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The food processor SHOW DOWN: A comparison of 14 cup stainless Cuisinart food processors
on October 14, 2009
Update: cuisinart no longer carries the Limited Edition. However, it periodically gets reintroduced by them. I've been asked to leave my review up based upon it covering the other two and noting things one might consider in comparisons. However this old model of the LE is hard to find now so I wanted to note that up front.
When I buy a new kitchen or household item with lots of competitors I do loads of comparison/contrasting and research first if it's over a hundred bucks...Knowing it was time for a new food processor, I began comparing models. However, I found it a tad difficult to do with all the different blades, codes, etc.
Therefore, once I had completed my own shopping and comparisons, I thought it might be helpful for anyone else in the same situation if I posted my own comparisons here.
I'll start by saying, after all the testing I decided to order the CUISINART LIMITED EDITION Metal (NOT THE ELITE) 14 cup food processor on Amazon. I found it to be the best value for my own needs and it was cheaper here than anywhere else I looked as of the time of my review. I chose Cuisinart because it's known to be the best but what made me decide on the limited edition may not be what you would want...this way you can compare and decide.
I chose a 14 cup because I love soups and big batches of dough.
I only looked at stainless because I only have 2 electronics on my countertops....this will be one. And it best matches the appliances.
So...that said...here we go: (these are all by Cuisinart)
I compared The Custom 14 food processor DFP 14BCN.
I will call this "C from now on.
I compared it to the Limited Edition 14 cup MP-14N
I will call this "LE" from now on
I compared also the Elite Collection 14 cup FP 14DC
(I will call this "E" from now on)
and I compared the PowerPrep Plus 14 cup DLC-2014CHB
(I will call this "PP" from now on)
C: 5 year motor, 3 year entire unit
LE: 20 year motor warranty, 3 year entire unit
E:20 year motor warranty, 3 year LIMITED warranty
PP:10 year motor warranty, 3 year entire unit
C: Two controls: On/off and pulse. No dough mode button
LE: 4 controls: On, Off, Pulse, Dough
E: 4 controls: On, Off, Pulse, Dough
PP: 4 controls: On, Off, Pulse, Dough
MOTOR: (heavy doughs especially need the better motor if you use these)
C: regular motor, 720 watt
LE: most powerful: over ¾ horsepower commercial induction motor
E: regular 1000 watt motor
PP: induction motor 768 watt motor
C: Brushed stainless overlay
LE: Heavy duty die-cast metal
E: Brushed stainless overlay
PP: Brushed stainless overlay
LE: all metal
PP: all metal
C: stainless medium
LE: stainless medium
E: stainless reversible shredding disc (fine/medium)
PP: stainless medium
E: adjustable 1-6mm
C: large blade
E:Large and small blades for various sized bowls it comes with
How To DVD:
PP: video included
All have extra large feeding tubes which replaced the small ones of food processors of yesteryear so you don't have to prechop veggies to get them in the feeding tubes. All come with spatulas to scrape them down. All have parts that are dishwasher safe.
LE: also comes with attachable beater blades so you don't have to keep your mixer on the countertop or drag out two appliances for some mixing chores. Bowl is made so no food gets caught in grooves or corners. Cord can be wrapped underneath machine.
E: also comes with attachable 11 cup and 4.5 cup bowls with pour spouts and measurement markings for small chores. These nest inside the 14 cup bowl. Some have complained that the narrow base and wide top, which makes the nestling bowls fit in, don't allow as smooth of mixing and also that food gets caught in a rim making this bowl harder to clean after mixing things that get trapped like shredded cheese and fine nuts. This is the only one that comes with an accessory storage case with a lock...nice to keep blades away from kids. Cord can be wrapped under unit on this one as well.
What I wanted in my food processor may be different from you so I'll note a few things. For me, the Limited Edition was what I purchased because it was far higher priced everywhere else on the internet including the Cuisinart site itself so I thought it good value and its price on Amazon, it's warranty was the best and it had the most powerful motor of all of them so, since I use it often, this was a plus. Also because of its powerful motor it is best for doughs as was the solid metal dough blade. I have a huge kitchenaid mixer that I don't keep on the counter so having the beater blade attachment was great for quick mixing when I don't wish to drag it out of the pantry. Because most of my slicing is the 4mm and I never do any fine shredding, the adjustable blades weren't needed for me (and I can buy them later if I want them...all parts are interchangeable on the 14 cup Cuisinart food processors.) BUT if you are someone who wants a variety of bowl sizes and blades, then I'd say the Elite would be the best choice. It's also nice that that one comes with an accessory storage case. However, I find having to unstack the small bowls housed inside the large one and get food out that gets trapped in the seams with the Elite model were an annoyance I wished to avoid. I found the custom to be too simple with a lesser motor and poor warranty and no mode specifically for dough. And the powerprep is fine but more basic as well with a lesser warranty and motor for almost the same price as the uber food processor...(the limited edition). Might be ok for those who rarely use the machine who know they won't wear out the motor. Also, Cuisinart is really going "old school" on this model to include a VHS tape with it...rather than the DVD included in the newer models. Still it's got an induction motor which is still better than the Custom and the Elite...(but the Elite has more wattage to it's motor inspite of the fact it's not an induction motor.) Final thought is for the price, the parts, the mega motor, the commercial grade and the warranty of the Limited Edition along with its ease of cleaning and stremlined look... it just pulled out ahead of the game for me.
I'm very happy with my purchase...my old food processor was working fine but had the small chute and didn't offer near what this new one does and it looks impressive on the counter even though I'm very picky about anything out on the counter in my kitchen as my kitchen is open to the living room so I have to keep it neat. The metal is attractive, the motor is SO quiet for what it is, and the chopping power is tremendous...I did a couple batches of dough already too and it makes some FINE pizza in no time because of it!
Negatives: Some complain about the new food processors having safety mechanisms that won't allow the machine to start unless everything is aligned perfectly. For me this is not a negative because the newer machines with the commercial induction motors being loose would easily chop off your head. ' And that's a kitchen mess none of us want. They aren't your mama's old school food processors that whir at a low speed...these things do all but chop logs and they'd probably do that too. I want nothing loose when this baby starts! However, the Limited Edition starting is the same as my food processor from years and years ago...you just turn the top to the right and it locks in place and you can start it, then when you want to remove the lid, push left on the top part of the handle. I thought all food processors had always been like that...at least mine were. The only difference with this new one is the blade doesnt continue spinning when you remove the plunger...but because you can now fit your hand inside with the large opening, I get it. SOMEONE would reach down and try to hold an onion to slice it thin on the blade...you know it. So now to have the large opening, the mega processors initiated this safety factor. No big deal for me.
p.s. If you buy shredded cheese, try shredding your own in the food processor...not only will you save lots of cash to help pay for the food processor, but shredded cheese is coated so it won't stick together. If you shred your own it actually tastes soooo much better and fresher, and it melts better. Same for meat--well, except the melting part! But I'm a cheese lover above all else...