Customer Review

155 of 161 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cleaning Considerations, December 16, 2009
This review is from: Cuisinart FP-12 Elite Collection 12-Cup Food Processor (Kitchen)
I bought the 12 cup, 2 bowl, stainless steel version of this food processor. It is the one with On, Off and Pulse on the front. I've only had it a few months and I do not normally review things this soon. My main motivation in writing this review is to help existing owners with some of the cleaning quirks this food processor has and my solution.

I'm a clean freak and do not like seeing trapped particles of food in my food processor. The lid of this food processor is very well engineer to insure it doesn't leak liquids. Cuisinart has also taken careful consideration in the placing of exhaust holes throughout the unit so that water doesn't become trapped in enclosed spaces. This avoids bacterial and mold related problems. However, the same can't be said for particles of food that get trapped. I have found grated carrots to be particularly frustrating.

The lid has a neoprene gasket going around the entire circumference. This gasket is embedded into a larger and more rigid hard plastic ring. The entire structure rests on springs and is then bolted to the roof of the lid using small stainless steel screws. This allows the lid to give while the bowl always remains sealed. The only problem with this design is there is a gap of about 1/32" between the outer rim and the gasket-support that shreds of food love to get stuck in. Very aggravating until you know how to clean it out.

Acquire a heavy drinking straw from a fast food place or gas station with fountain drinks. Flute one end by cutting it length ways for about a 1/2". Think of those straws for drinking Slurpees. You can then use this as a spatula to dislodge all that gunk that gets stuck in your lid. Run soapy water through the drain holes in the top of the lid until it is sparkling clean. This greatly quickens the cleaning of the lid so you will not be reluctant to use your food processor for the smallest tasks. They should have had Hubert Keller cover this on the DVD.

Another spot you need to be aware of is a groove that is formed in the large oval feeder-shoot where it meets with the lid. Run a toothpick lightly inside this groove to remove any food stuff that collects. Press both buttons on the handle to retract the latch mechanism on the lid. There is a small compartment in the bottom of the handle where food can sometimes get stuck. A bamboo skewer for grilling vegetables would work nicely to tease out any bits of food.

The construction of the bowl is a very sturdy plastic. It is resistant to scratching but is particularly vulnerable to hard crystals like salt. After marring my bowls a few times I've started to add salt slowly to wet mixtures only while it is running. This will keep it from splashing up the sides and allows it to dissolve. If you do get some salt on the sides you can pulse it a few times to wash it back down. Worse case is just to add a little more salt to make up for any lost on the sides. Rinse the salt off the bowl with water before doing any scrubbing when cleaning. Whatever you do don't use the silicon spatula to scrape salt granules off the sides of the bowl.

This food processor is great for making dough. It will not bog down. It is also great for shredding and slicing. Freezing soft ingredients will greatly extend what you can slice or shred in this food processor. A frozen block of mozzarella is a breeze to shred. Put cubes of meat in the freezer until very firm and then slice it with this food processor for stir frying.

There is a certain amount of waste created when using this food processor. The steel chopping blade pulverizes more than it chops. A lot of waste liquid is created from all the smashing. Don't expect this to dice a tomato better than you would by hand. It is more of the nature of food processors and convenience than a flaw in design of this unit. If you are wanting to divide vegetables at a molecular level buy a professional-level ceramic chef's knife at the same price instead.

The stainless steel slicing and grating blades have two "finger holes" for holding the blades. They are handy and all, but they create an annoying flaw. Unprocessed chunks of food will fall through the holes and into your product. The food processor creates beautiful shredded carrots but there will be large chunks of raw carrots mixed throughout. This happens when the tail end of the carrot slips through one of the two gaping finger holes. I would gladly give up the finger holes to not have to sift through 12 cups of shredded carrots.

I almost gave this Cuisinart food processor a 3 out of 5 because of the finger holes and lid cleaning quirks. I appreciate how well made it is that I have learned to deal with the quirks. I really do love the food processor. I find any ridiculous excuse to use it. Just need to slice a couple of button mushrooms? Wait right there, I'll get the food processor!
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 7, 2011 3:54:01 PM PST
Rdiazrivera says:
Thanks for the tips. I love my Cuisinart but HATE trying to clean that rubber ring around the cover. How the designers overlooked that is beyond me. The holes in the discs drive me crazy as well. It is such a waste of food.

Posted on Apr 19, 2011 2:35:38 PM PDT
Kimmy says:
I would love to know how you clean meat out of the lid of this monster. I recently ground some beef in mine and if you think it's bad having some carrot pieces stuck between the seal and the lid, try day old beef. Nasty. In my attempt to rid any bacterial outbreaks on my food processor, I ended up popping the spring loaded seal out of the lid and was able to clean the meat out...that straw trick sounds great but would not have worked here. Any idea on how to get the seal to go BACK in???? Thanks and I'm glad I'm not the only one bugged by the food getting stored in the seal cover.

Posted on May 15, 2012 2:32:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 15, 2012 2:45:18 PM PDT
Wyorattler says:
This is a great post! I agree with the below comments that while this is works well there as to be a better way to clean the lid or at leas produce a lid that will be able to be disassembled to clean. I tried this cleaning tip with the straw and it worked for the most part. Allot better than nothing at all... Still wish there was a better and cleaner way.

Posted on Sep 26, 2012 10:34:15 PM PDT
Ingrid says:
Thanks for the cleaning tip using the I know how to remove the little bits of food that always seem to find a way in there.

Posted on Feb 11, 2013 5:47:49 PM PST
zowee. It looks like the food processor has so many nooks for food and liquid to lodge...Is it worth it?

Posted on May 29, 2013 6:31:21 AM PDT
I wonder if compressed air can be used to clean the lid gasket. I have a DataVac electric duster that I use for my electronics, keyboards, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2013 7:40:38 PM PDT
To clean the lid gasket run a 1" rubber spatula around the edge and remove the gasket, wash and then stretch it back on. I can't figure out the spring loaded mechanism on the side of the bowl.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2013 10:48:24 AM PDT
At first, this concerned me, also. I found all I have to do to dislodge the food is compress the seal a few times while running water through the exhaust holes and out the seal. Then, I wash. It takes just a couple extra seconds. I usually only get one or two small pieces stuck, anyway, be it pineapple, carrots, or other foods. Overall, I no longer consider this an issue. It's just part of the clean-up.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2014 8:29:39 PM PST
Gary G. says:
Or do you think something like a water pik would work as well?

Posted on Jan 24, 2015 2:48:10 PM PST
Julie R. says:
This has been an issue with me too...advised a friend NOT to buy the same model for this reason...very poor engineering...must have been a man??
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