on November 4, 2011
I recently bought the KitchenAid KFP1333CU 13-cup food processor to replace a Cuisinart FP-14 14-cup model. The locking mechanism on the Cuisinart's work bowl cover had broken, but rather than replace the cover, which would have run about $50, I decided to swap the whole thing out for the KitchenAid because, frankly, I never much liked the Cuisinart. So what I want to do here is compare the two machines, highlighting the pros and cons of each.
Both machines are about the same size and take up the same amount of counter space, the one-cup claimed difference in capacity notwithstanding. The KitchenAid, however, is considerably lighter than the Cuisinart -- almost flimsy by comparison. This of course makes it easier to lift and move the KitchenAid around, but try to finely chop chunks of hard cheese or knead bread dough and the machine rocks and vibrates violently. If you don't hold it down with both hands it threatens to overturn or jump right off the counter. The Cuisinart may shimmy a little in performing the same tasks, but it stays put.
I find the KitchenAid's work bowl cover much easier to put on, lock, unlock, and take off. You lock and unlock the cover in the conventional manner, by simply twisting it. You can do it with one hand. The Cuisinart's work bowl cover has to be fairly precisely positioned and then snapped into place. It sometimes took me a couple tries to do it right, a minor annoyance. To remove it, you have to press an awkwardly positioned button on the handle. It takes two hands.
I did not like the Cuisinart's work bowl design. It always seemed to catch a lot of stuff underneath the blade and in the angle where the side of the work bowl meets the bottom. When kneading dough, for example, I would find a couple tablespoons of unincorporated flour underneath the blade afterward. The KitchenAid's bowl has a similar shape, but doesn't seem to suffer from the same problems.
A problem with older model KitchenAids (so I've heard) is work bowl leakage when blending or pureeing liquidy ingredients. My old Cuisinart also leaked occasionally, but only when the work bowl was removed from the base. The new KitchenAid claims to have an "ultra tight seal," and I haven't had any problem with leaks yet, even when pureeing canned tomatoes, which are notoriously messy.
The feed tubes on both machines are fairly complicated contraptions with several nesting parts intended to accept, hold, and feed ingredients in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Both are overly complicated in my opinion -- more parts to lose or break. I guess I prefer the single medium-size feed tube and pusher found on older models.
Both machines are quite powerful. The Cuisinart's motor under a light load turns with a fairly quite hum. The KitchenAid is noisier, emitting a high pitched whine when running. Both claim to have two speeds -- high and low. The button for the Cuisinart's low speed is labeled "dough," because that's the speed you're supposed to use to make dough I guess. In any case I could never detect any difference in the Cuisinart's blade rotation rate no matter which button I pushed. The KitchenAid's low speed is noticeably slower than its high speed. The KitchenAid also does a "soft start" when you press the pulse button, meaning the motor starts slowly and accelerates up to full speed. Although I don't see any point to this feature, it seems harmless enough.
Both machines perform all the basic tasks -- chopping, pureeing, slicing, shredding, etc. -- well enough to suit me. I think the KitchenAid is more thorough in kneading small amounts of bread dough, although the Cuisinart, with its much heftier weight, can handle a big batch of dough with less commotion than the KitchenAid. The KitchenAid has one gimmick -- and it is a gimmick -- that the Cuisinart doesn't: There's a sliding lever on the base of the machine that's supposed to allow you to adjust the thickness of the slices you get when the slicing blade is being used. Theoretically you can infinitely adjust the thickness from paper thin to relatively thick. In practice, however, the slices come out just a little thinner or a little thicker. Again, to me, this is an unnecessary design embellishment that will probably break sooner rather than later. You can achieve the same effect with the Cuisinart by varying the pressure you exert when pushing the ingredient through the feed tube onto the slicing blade.
So in conclusion, I find I like the KitchenAid slightly more than the Cuisinart, mostly because the work bowl cover is easier to put on and take off, but it's not perfect. If you're trying to decide between the two, I'd pick the one with the lower price at the moment -- the Cuisinart lists for slightly more than the KitchenAid, but both are frequently and significantly discounted.
After having used this food processor for about six months, I'm lowering my rating from three stars to one star. This is a terrible machine, which has only gotten worse with use. The work bowl cover, which I initially found fairly easy to put on and take off, has become almost impossible to twist -- it's a real struggle to get it to lock into place, often forcing me to bang it with the heel of my hand to budge it. It repeatedly stalls when trying to knead even a fairly small amount of bread or pizza dough (made with about 8.5 ounces of flour and 3/4 cup of water). It does a lousy job of chopping vegetables, leaving big chunks untouched on top of a layer of almost pureed mush. And the pulse button drives me crazy. As I mentioned in my initial review, the motor has a "soft start" feature. When you push the pulse button, the blade begins to spin slowly and then works its way up to full speed. But this isn't at all what you want a pulse function to do -- you want a quick burst at full power to shake up and evenly redistribute the contents of the work bowl -- you just can't do that with this machine. It's like stepping hard on the accelerator in your car and having it hesitate for a second before beginning to move. Although KitchenAid has made excellent food processors in the past, this one is a real turkey. I'd strongly recommend against buying one.
on December 14, 2011
So far it's the best food processor I've ever owned. I do wish they had included a small cookbook with the appliance.
My last food processor finally started cracking after 15 years of use, so I upgraded to the 13 cup Kitchenaid. The plastics in this appliance are far superior to my last processor, and the gaskets make for a tight seal. Another upgrade for me was the fact that you push the blade in to lock it....that means you can take the work bowl off of the processor and have no leaks because the blade stays firmly in place. I also love the case that was included to hold all of the blades in a small space.
Note: If you buy this product, take pictures of how the accessory case is packed before you take the blades out. Took me a little while to repack correctly so the accessory case would close.
on January 6, 2012
Harsh, but true. KitchenAid had built up a solid reputation over the years with their quality mixers: kitchen workhorses that lasted for generations. Unfortunately, the company has steadily been cutting corners, and the results are now sadly inadequate machines. The company was started by a restaurant equipment manufacturer that wanted to make home versions of their industrial equipment. The Hobart company is still around today, in restaurants and in the home, although the prices of their countertop units are certainly not for the budget-minded. Since the 80's, KitchenAid has been owned by Whirlpool, and they have elected to make some very unfortunate changes. Aside from a weak, whiny motor, the major problem with this food processor is the quality of the parts. Slowly but surely, what were once solid all-metal parts and gears are now being made of moulded plastic, and cheap, inferior metal. Not only that, but there are instances where metal is GLUED TOGETHER. For a while, they cleverly hid the cheaper parts "under the hood". Take apart one of their "solid metal" stand mixers and you will find a few key components that are made of shoddy material. Now, they aren't even bothering to hide them anymore. This particular food processor has a flimsy plastic body and base, designed to look like stainless steel. The drive shaft itself is made of plastic, with plastic teeth. The blade attachments are indeed sharp, but after cutting cold butter into flour for pie dough, the blade assembly came apart; no surprise. Not only was the assembly was made of (you guessed it) plastic components, with a metal washer and "clutch", but they were GLUED TOGETHER! A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Since the blade assembly is glued at a crucial place, the slightest torque can snap the glue, so the blade will spin, but have no power behind it, rendering it useless for cutting. In this case, I was cutting cold butter into flour for a pie dough. When a food processor can't handle cutting cold butter, you've got a problem. Some I am not saying that KitchenAid is one of the worst brands out there. I am still looking for an affordable, durable food processor, but I am rapidly starting to believe those qualities are mutually exclusive nowadays. Maybe that kind of quality is all we can get for under 500.00$ anymore.
The only good thing that KitchenAid has managed to retain is the beautiful aesthetic of their products: they are the finest looking pieces of countertop kitchen equipment out there. If only their performance and reliability were half as good as they used to be. To be blunt, it is nothing more than a good-looking toy, that can handle some lightweight jobs. Don't expect too much.
on January 9, 2012
So disappointed with this! Received this as a gift and was excited to replace my 10+ year old kitchen aid food processor which I loved and used at least 2-3 times per week. This new one had all the same features as the old processor, but I loved the look of this, and the idea of the wide feeding tube, so I was sure it was going to be a winner. However, when I took it out of the box and began to use it, I realized that it was not easy to use and everything about it was worse than my old processor. In fact, the only nice thing I can say about it is that it is lightweight and easy to lift up to the counter. Its so bad I'm seriously considering keeping my old one instead of this one.
With this machine I spend a good 5-10 minutes of setting up, assembling and troubleshooting to accomplish about 1 minute of chopping. Isn't a food processor supposed to save time and frustration? This one does not!
It's a users nightmare, I'm not even sure where to begin...
1. Its so big and bulky, all the parts seem oversized, big and clunky, hard to hold for women's hands. The whole machine is so big it barely fits in my storage cabinet.
2. The buttons aren't really buttons, you have to press really hard and in just the right location to get them to work. There's just no feedback like an actual button. Also, some of the buttons only work with certain attachments, so you end up just mashing all the buttons till you find one that works.
3. The feeding tube-- Comes in 3 pieces which you have to keep track of, and makes it hard to clean with too many nooks and crannies for the food to fall into. Also the wide feed which was the most exciting new feature doesn't really work as I had hoped, since you have to have the food pusher halfway down or the machine won't turn on at all. Large items that you would be putting in the wide feed tube are usually wide and tall, taller than the halfway point so I guess I'll just be chopping large things into to fit in the smaller feed tube anyway. There goes that idea!
4. The Shredding and chopping blades left big chunks up on the blade, the old processor left smaller chunks.
5. There are way too many parts- there are 3 adapters (disc adapter, slicing adapter and drive adapter) to fit the various bowls, blades and graters, Some do not require any adapters, some use one or two, it is incredibly confusing to figure out which adapters go with which parts, and you get the whole thing assembled and are ready to go, then press the buttons only to find out that it doesn't work, that something is not put together or locked into place correctly and there are just too many parts to troubleshoot the problem quickly. You end up having to take it apart a couple of times, try different things then reassemble and try again till it finally decides to work. The old processor just worked. There were fewer pieces for the same functions, and they were easy to assemble, no guesswork, trial and error or troubleshooting involved.
6. The lid is difficult to put on. It does not click into place, and is difficult to slide into place. You must align the black nub with the black handle on the bowl, seems simple enough, but to get them to align you have to move the lid in a direction that always makes the bottom bowl unlock, so after finally wrestling the lid into place, you then have to go back and relock the bowl in place.
7. The bowl locks into place, but the lock isn't very sturdy, I'm always bumping it out when I touch the handle or try to put the lid on. Also, the handle only goes on the right side, so you lefties out there are out of luck. Why not make it so the handle is in the front, or so you can lock it in either right or left sides? Also, why not a button or lever to lock it so it can't be bumped out accidentally?
8. The blade is difficult to remove. It has a push down to lock system which is nice when you go to empty the bowl because it means that the blade won't tumble out on you, but there are no instructions in the user guide on how to unlock the blade once you've locked it in. I've tried pulling up, pushing down again, and also twisting the blade in both directions, the only thing that worked was to pull up so forcefully, that the blade popped up unexpectedly and cut my finger. I'm not looking forward to having this happen every time I use the machine. this system makes it dangerous to remove the sharp blade.
9. The smaller chefs bowl must be used inside of the larger bowl, so you're not really saving any space there. Also, since the chefs bowl is inside the big bowl the food gets into the big bowl or splashes on the top rim of the big bowl, so you have to wash it anyway. Using the chefs bowl doesn't save you anything, and only creates yet another part to have to wash.
10. The storage container is well organized and everything has its assigned place. Unfortunately, because each place is assigned you must use trial and error to put the parts back and spend time twisting and turning each part in different directions till they fit into the slots. It's worse than a puzzle! Also, the chopping and shredding blades are at the bottom of the case, so every time you need them you have to pull everything on the top out which takes extra time. I always use the shredding blade, and it is at the very bottom which means I have to take everything out of the top, and then take out the chopping blade, just to get to the shredding blade at the very bottom. Too time consuming!. The old processor had the blades standing on end in the back of the case, so you could just reach in and slide out what you needed.
on October 11, 2012
I bought this processor last night and was so excited! I felt like a kid on Christmas morning! It was a beautiful work of art and I was going to be so proud to display it on my counter along side the old Kitchenaid mixer (15 years old) that I currently have and the one that I was about to buy. I run a small, at-home baking business and as my business is increasing, I need to add equipment to keep up with demand.
Because it was a Kitchenaid (I love my bowl lift mixer), I ignored the negative reviews I'd read and decided to only focus on the positive ones. BIG MISTAKE! Exactly what was stated in the negative reviews was what I experienced when I purchased the machine.
I make pie crust in the food processor so when I took it out of the box, I tested it out by making a batch of pie crust which included: 2.25 cups of flour, roughly 2 tbsps of sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 2 sticks of butter, and 6 tbsps cold water--though I didn't get to the entire 2 sticks of butter and none of the water. I video taped it in action, but unfortunately I can't post it because it is an unsupported file format.
There is a slow start to the processor-- I get that. I let the dry ingredients whir until it looked like they were well mixed. Then I started dropping in the chunks of butter. The butter was straight out of the fridge as it should be for pie crust. My cheesy little no-name brand processor had no issue with this, but after just about a quarter cup of butter, the little blade stopped turning. The motor was running but the blade wasn't-- okay so maybe it crept around the bowl a bit, but it wasn't processing a thing. Can you say TICKED? I just bought the thing at Macys and had them drop the price from $299.99 to $199.99 because that is what it was advertised on their website for so they price matched. I don't care if it was $59.99, if it doesn't work it doesn't work! When I tried to unsnap the blade from the processor, it broke!!! Apparently the moving pieces of the processor are not up to par with the motor. Soooo disappointing! They really should just pull this one off the market.
on July 31, 2012
I was very excited about getting this new food processor last December (Christmas present from my husband) because of the adjustable slicing blade. I had been using an older model 12 cup Kitchenaid that worked great but I thought the new features on this model would be convenient. Unfortunately it just does not do some of the simple tasks that I expect. The slicing and shredding blades work great, but a food processor should do more. The problems seem to be with the chopping blade functions. There just does not seem to be enough power to push the blade through a bunch of basil and parsley leaves for pesto. I have tried this a couple of times and had to transfer the whole batch to a container and use my hand blender to finish the task, which it did admirably. Similarly I can't make pizza dough in this machine, which I could easily do in my older model, and I no longer get good results cutting butter into flour for pie crust dough, which I could do pretty well with the older model. So I am asking for a refund from Kitchenaid and will probably retrieve my older model, which is much more functional, and hope it lasts a good long time. This one is just too big and expensive an appliance to use only for slicing, shredding and mixing already soft or liquid ingredients.
I am so disappointed in Kitchenaid. I am a long time customer and own several of their small appliances, but I have to agree that quality and product testing have really gone downhill. I am willing to pay for quality but I feel like this product is more hype than function.
on February 27, 2015
I ordered this because of a deep discount. After reading the reviews I was nervous that I had chosen wrongly. I am now quite happy to report that the negative reviews were quite wrong. Either they were written for older units or they were bogus altogether. I have found that this machine is easy to operate. It isn't difficult to figure out which adapter goes with which blade. It isn't difficult to figure out how everything fits into the accessory box. And it isn't difficult or dangerous to lift straight up to get the multi-purpose blade out of the bowl. Bottom line, I would advise others to ignore the negative reviews. So far, this machine has done quite well processing veggies for veggie burgers, shredding cheese, grinding pumpkin seeds into meal, and grinding toasted oats for oat flour.
on November 30, 2011
My wife got this with a little bonus money she came across (yea savings bonds!) This is her first "real" processor and she is in slicing dicing heaven! She has made everything from Coleslaw to Hummus in it. So far it works like the nuts. The lid is a bit difficult to get on and off (a little cooking oil on the rubber ring will solve that problem) and we find we often try to overload the feed tube so that the safty lockout won't engage. It is big and takes up counter space but it get used plenty enough to justify it. There are a ton of cool recipes (yumm food processor cheesecake- TO DIE FOR!!) and even mundane tasks (like slicing tomatoes for a sandwich) are quick and easy. Clean up is a breeze (usually just a quick wipe with a soapy sponge and a rinse) and the blade storage case is practical. All in all we are very impressed. Lets just hope kitchenaide carries thru and makes the accessories they promise in the manual.
on November 22, 2012
Why I don't like it:
1. The multi-purpose (read: the most-used) blade broke under light use (I was making pie dough with cold butter and it snapped apart inside the blade).
2. When using pulse, high, or low, you get a slow start every time. Nearly every time I used it, this "feature" (read: flaw) meant that food would get pushed between the blade and the bowl and stop the blade from turning.
3. Don't use the mini bowl unless you're also planning to use the large bowl, because what starts in the mini bowl doesn't stay in the mini bowl, and you'll end up cleaning the entire processor.
4. The individual feed-tube pieces don't lock together. You'll be reminded of this fact every time you need to take the lid off to scrape down the bowl sides and they come apart all over your counter because you tried to lay it upside-down.
I've used this machine four or five times, so there is no excuse for the blade to break the way it did.
Update 11/30/12: I contacted KitchenAid about this problem. They agreed to send me a new multi-purpose blade at no charge, with the admonishment that the multi-purpose blade should not be used to make dough; only the dough blade should be used to make dough (yes, even pie dough). Now I'm wondering what else the "multi-purpose" blade can't handle.
on August 8, 2012
I received this 13-cup Kitchen Aid food processor as a warranty replacement for a Kitchen Aid 12-cup model which is no longer being manufactured. The 12-cup obsolete processor worked perfectly for about 10 sessions before the motor gave out when I tried to make a small batch of peanut butter, a fairly routine use of a food processor that any food processor should be able to handle easily.
Buyer beware! When you buy a Kitchen Aid food processor these days you are paying for the Kitchen Aid brand but you will not be receiving the Kitchen Aid quality appliance of yore. The Kitchen Aid label is now owned by Whirlpool. The 13-cup food processor is light in weight, it's flimsy, it will move around your counter and it chops unevenly--that's if you can get the top to lock into place, which takes some time, especially after a couple of uses. I am a long-time user of food processors, starting in the early 70's with a Robot Coupe and moving on, as my cooking years rolled by, through various Cuisinarts. Cuisinarts have quality issues of their own these days, but the overall quality of Cuisinart food processors is so much greater than the new Kitchen Aids.
It is sad to see the Kitchen Aid label being slapped on inferior kitchen appliances of all kinds. Kitchen Aid used to set the standard for home-kitchen quality appliances. That is certainly no longer the case and unless there is some dramatic improvement that is well documented, I don't intend to waste my money on Kitchen Aid products again.