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Cuisinart FP-14DC Elite Collection 14-Cup Food Processor, Die Cast
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- 1000-watt food processor with 14-cup work bowl and nesting 4-1/2- and 11-cup work bowls
- On/off/dough/pulse touchpad controls; wide-mouth feed tube; blade-locking system
- Stainless-steel slicing disc, shredding disc, chopping/mixing blades
- Dishwasher-safe parts; accessory storage case, spatula, and recipe/instruction book included
- Product Built to North American Electrical Standards
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Equipped with a 1000-watt peak-power induction motor, this convenient food processor quickly and easily slices, dices, chops, and purees, helping to reduce prep time in the kitchen. It supplies a 4-1/2-cup small work bowl and an 11-cup medium work bowl that nest inside a 14-cup large work bowl--a versatile three-in-one design that can handle multiple-size batches. All the bowls feature durable polycarbonate construction, measurement marks up the side, and drip-free pour spouts. An exclusive SealTight Advantage System seals the bowls and locks the blades for clean, safe processing and pouring. In addition, the unit's wide-mouth feed tube accommodates larger ingredients, which reduces the need for cutting food into smaller pieces first, and its electronic touchpad control panel offers four selections for on, off, and pulse. Use the machine to quickly blend up individual or family-size batches of pesto, chop onions and green peppers for a veggie pizza, or shred cheese for omelets on a Sunday morning.
Accessories include a stainless-steel adjustable slicing disc (1 to 6 mm), a stainless-steel reversible shredding disc (fine/medium), a large and small stainless-steel chopping/mixing blade. Thoughtfully designed, the food-prep appliance also provides blue LED indicator lights, a simple on/off locking system with push-button release, a retractable cord, and dishwasher-safe removable parts for quick cleanup. A lockable accessory storage case, spatula, and recipe/instruction book come included. The food processor measures 7-4/5 by 10-1/5 by 17 inches and carries a three-year limited warranty with a 10-year warranty on the motor.
Cuisinart extended the potential of every kitchen, with the introduction of the food processor in 1973. Now with the innovative Elite Collection, Cuisinart continues the pioneering tradition. Loaded with 1000 watts of peak power and innovative options, this ground breaking collection utilizes the exclusive SealTight Advantage system and a revolutionary nested bowl design to usher in the next generation of food processing. With three nested bowls, a reversible shredding disc and adjustable slicing disc (8 different options with 2 discs) and a versatile chopping/mixing blade, there is no limit to what you can do. The SealTight lid and blade assembly lets you utilize the maximum of each bowl's processing capacity without spills or leaks, and ensures easy cleaning and convenient handling. The motor housing base is extra-durable with a streamline design that provides a solid foundation for the demands of food processing. It's versatile, powerful, and user-friendly food processor--something consumers always expect from Cuisinart.
Features, Benefits, and Operations
- Housing Base and Motor: With a vertically projecting shaft, this powerful base has 1000 watts of peak power.
- Touchpad Control Panel: These easy to clean, electronically controlled buttons, On, Off, and Pulse, cover most food processing functions. The contemporary, blue LED light indicates when the unit is powered on.
- Work Bowls: These nested bowls feature SealTight technology, which maximizes each bowl's processing capacity, ensures safe handling, and keeps all the ingredients contained in the bowl you're using! The bowls include a locking feature to prevent them from coming out of position when pouring, and finger recesses for user-friendliness. Three nested work bowls (14, 11, and 4-1/2 cup) made of durable polycarbonate material with convenient measurements marking and pour spouts are provided.
- The Supreme Wide-Mouth Feed Tube: Accommodates larger ingredients and saves precutting time.
- Pusher Assembly: Secured with a snap-fit, the small pusher inside the larger pusher allows you to accommodate ingredients of all sizes.
- Small Chopping/Mixing Blade: This small stainless steel blade chops or mixes anything in your small work bowl and also features the BladeLock system, designed to keep the blade in place during processing, pouring, lifting, and handling tasks--but not permanently attached.
- Large Chopping/Mixing Blade: Stainless steel in construction, this heavy-duty blade processes a variety of food in the large or medium work bowl. The BladeLock system enables the blade to stay in place to prevent leaking, while providing optimal pouring.
- Adjustable Slicing Disc: The versatile 6-in-1 disc allows for thin to thick slices with 1 to 6mm indicators.
- Reversible Shredding Disc: Provides the option of either fine or medium shredding for optimal results.
- Stem Adapter: This user friendly tool easily attaches to either disc or small chopping/mixing blade to engage the motor shaft.
- Cord Storage Case: This convenient storage case with safety lock holds all of the blades and discs that are included with your new food processor.
- Retractable Cord: The retractable cord system allows you to pull as much cord as needed and then store it back in the housing when not in use. The end of the cord is wrapped with red tape to prevent over-pulling.
Cleaning and Storage
All parts except the housing base are dishwasher safe, and recommend washing on the top rack only. The housing base may be wiped clean with a soapy, non-abrasive material and dry after cleaning. If you wash the blades and discs by hand, do it carefully as their cutting edges are very sharp. For your safety remember when handling, use the plastic hubs on the blades and finger holes for the discs.
Bringing the Good Life Home
Cuisinart products are designed to make life delicious all day long, offering today's consumers a variety of menu options, and fun and easy new ways to entertain family and friends. Cuisinart first came into home kitchens over 30 years ago when it introduced the now legendary food processor. People discovered that routines could be broken and creative cooking quickly became part of the new lifestyle. Preparing fresh ingredients with products that offered easy and interesting new techniques meant healthier meals and more free time.
Today Cuisinart develops products to make every meal memorable. From breakfast toast and coffee to elegant five-course dinners, the preparation and cooking have become a pleasurable part of the total experience. Today's relaxed lifestyles and the convenience of Cuisinart products make it easier than ever to Savor the Good Life, right at home with family and friends.
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P.S. I did not replace the lid because I found that it was still useable with the break. In the meantime, though, the feed tube cracked on both sides where the pusher contacts the outside of the tube and the medium sized bowl just cracked on the side. Both of these problems were with normal to light use. They used plastic that is too weak to hold up under use. This time I called Cuisinart and they are replacing both pieces but I am responsible to ship the cracked pieces to them at my expense. They are located in West Windsor, NJ which is near where my husband works but they would not let us just drop them off. They have to be shipped to Arizona.
While there is little information from Cuisinart regarding motor in the Prep Plus, I believe it to be the same as that in the Elite. Other places have said the Prep Plus has a 768 watt induction motor, and the Elite box states it has a 1000 max watt induction motor. In addition, the motor warranty on both is the same 10 years. They also sound very similar. They are both quiet, with the Elite perhaps edging the Prep Plus here, only because the base is bigger and is able to muffle the noise a bit better. This is not by any means scientific, but they are at least very similar motors and have avery similar amount of power.
The major difference between these two motors is that the Prep Plus has a dough feature and the Elite 12 does not. This does not mean the the Elite is incapable of dough. It is and it is heavily marketed for it in the sales materials and the included recipes. In fact the Dough button on the Prep Plus (and others including the Elite 14 cup) seems to be largely about product differentiation, or at the very least, it has limited utility. It is supposed to slow the motor so that the dough mixes better. In my testing though, it did not slow the motor significantly, and certainly slowed it less than the actual dough did. I also think a stand mixer does a much better job for this purpose. Having said that if you have limited space, both machines will happily punch up a dough for you.
The Work Bowls:
The Prep Plus has a Lexan bowl, the Elite has one made of Polycarbonate. Lexan is a very light weight plastic, but it is also somewhat flexible. This gives the impression that the Elite polycarbonate bowl is sturdier, and would last longer. Whether or not that is actually the case is difficult to say. In any case the Prep Plus bowl is undoubtedly lighter, so if you are an elderly person, or have some other infirmity, the Lexan will be better for you.
Both Elite bowls have a pouring spout, the prep plus does not. That's right, the Elite 12 comes with two nesting bowls. The Prep Plus comes only with one standard 11 cup work bowl.
The Elite bowls utilize the Sealtight lid, the Prep Plus uses a standard lid. Some have complained the Sealtight lid is hard to clean, but I have not found that to be the case. A rinse with the sink sprayer, and a run through the dishwasher (top rack) is all that I needed to get either of the work bowls and lids clean. The Sealtight lid does take some downward force to close, but I found it needed no more pressure than the Prep Plus bowl required laterally (sideways). In fact I found the Prep Plus bowl was inferior in use, in almost every way. The Elite bowl can be removed by twisting it left and lifting it from the motor with the lid still closed. The Prep Plus bowl, however, must have it's lid loosened before you are able to remove the work bowl from the base. In practice this is a real pain. I also found the button release of the Sealtight lid to be much more agreeable than the twisting function of the Pre Plus.
The Prep Plus has a widemouth plunger opening, and so does the Elite. Oddly, though the Prep Plus opening is very slightly wider, because of the way the slicing and shredding blades mount on that machine, it is a solid inch more shallow. This means you will be doing more chopping before you can get your food processor to do your slicing. In my tests with carrots, it meant four fewer cuts over 5 total carrots. Not a huge difference, but if you were going to do a lot of slicing - making pickles or the like - it would mean quite a bit more prep work.
The smaller plunger on the Prep Plus is a circular one, that can lock inside the larger plunger. The Elite has a wider elongated small plunger that does not lock. At first I thought this was a falling of the Elite, but in reality the extra real estate in the smaller opening is appreciated, and the need for a locking smaller plunger in negated by the fact that you have to press down on it as well as the larger plunger when using the large opening. The only real failure I saw in the Elite plunger system, was that it was missing some drainage holes that the Prep Plus version had, and these cause the plunger to collect water in the dishwasher.
This is where the Elite comes out head and shoulders above the Prep Plus. The Elite slicing blade is adjustable, creating 6 different widths for slicing 1mm to 6mm. While I can't imagine a circumstance where you would use a 1mm blade - since the power and speed of the machine would render whatever you were slicing into mush - the rest of the widths are very usable and make very good even slices. The slicing blade on the Prep Plus, on the other hand, is fixed. In addition, because the slicing and shredding blades have a smaller circumference, they do not cut as well. - more about this for the shredding disk.
I have read people complain that food falls through the finger holes in the Elite disks. This did happen some for me, but over all the slices were far superior with the Elite blade. So much so that fully a third of the Prep Plus slices were uneven, where only 8 slices did not pass muster in the Elite machine (out of about 1.5 and 2 cups respectively). That included one piece that must have gotten through the finger holes. To be sure the finger holes are an unfortunate design decision. They are completely unnecessary given that the hubs provide a more than adequate place to grip the blades without cutting yourself. However, I found that their impact, when the machine was used as directed, was negligible.
The shredding disks were another place for the Elite machine to shine when compared to the Prep Plus. Both disks for the Prep Plus are an inch smaller in circumference. This combined with the odd design of the shredding ridges on the Prep Plus blade gave wholly uneven shreds. Some were very short at around 1/4 inch, some quite long at 1.5 inches. I can't think of a situation where this would be desirable. Even and long shreds should be a no brainer, and the Prep Plus blade can not deliver. When I first looked at the Prep Plus shredding disk, I wondered if it wasn't trying to accommodate the small blade circumference, but even if it is, it's a design that is faulty.
The chopping blades were much closer in performance. Both produced an even, fine mince, with a slight edge going to the Elite design. It took two additional pulses to get the same evenness and size in the Prep Plus. Not a deal breaker to be sure, but when you put that together with a far more functional slicing disk, and far better shredding performance, the choice is becoming clear.
Additionally the Elite chopping blade has a locking blade design, that allows for both more liquid in the work bowl, and for pouring the processed food out without losing your blade into the receptical, splashing food everywhere. This is a far better feature than all of the others combined. The Elite is a food processor that could legitimately be used for making smoothies, or milk shakes, because it can actually hold liquid.
So in the end I can confidently say that while both machines are very good, the FP-12DC Elite 12-Cup processor is the winner hands down, and the Prep Plus will be going back from whence it came.
I was planning to buy the Kitchen Aid food processor, but the store was out of the model I had researched. I desperately wanted to walk out of the store with a food processor in hand after fighting traffic in freezing rain for an hour to get there. The Cuisinart FP-14DC Elite was in stock, a bit higher priced than I had budgeted, but it was huge and shiny and promised a tight seal over the 3 working bowls that, putatively, would allow me to process liquids with minimal collateral damage. The Kitchen Aid model I thought I was going to buy had several concerns expressed online about leaks and spills, which may or may not have been accurate. This Cuisinart model had numerous issues posted online about food getting stuck inside of the lid and toothpicks, toothbrushes, power washers, and steam-powered carpet cleaners being required to remove all the little particles. There were also some ancillary comments about the dough blade not picking up all the ingredients and food getting stuck under the blades. Every product has some pluses and minuses when used by a large enough percentage of the population, so I decided to brave the reviews, not let perfection be the enemy of the good, and give it a whirl, or a slice.
I spent twelve hours on my birthday making a five course very extended meal for my family with frozen drinks, fruit smoothies, home made peanut butter, peanut butter cookies, turkey pot pie, hummus dips, fried falafal, very low fat turkey burgers ground on the processor, spinach mashed potatoes, shrimp-stuffed homemade ravioli, served with homemade pesto, and all manner of goodies that I couldn't make with any consistency or flair in my old blender. I assumed that a food processor would perform some miracles that the blender just didn't have the oomph to accomplish and so far could not be happier. I can't imagine that I've been cooking for 30 years without one--what a dunce.
Given that this new toy is fast becoming my best friend, I wanted to provide this review to allay some of the concerns others may have with two specific issues: cleaniness and dough mixing.
All the big issues about cleanliness were associated with the rubber seal around the lid of the machine. The three bowls on this unit nestle together and the spring loaded rubber seal keeps everything in place. The blades lock into the base of each bowl and processed food can be poured out of the work bowl with the blades still in place. From the mixed drinks to the honey flavored peanut butter I had ice, flour, herbs, nuts, and juice flying everywhere and never experienced a problem getting one course cleaned out and the next course loaded up. Many people said that they had to resort to toothpicks to get all the food out of the lid that slipped past the rubber seals. Food particles, particulary parsley and chopped spinach, do slip up past, around, between, and above the rubber seal. However, I found no need to clean this by hand. There are open slots cast into the top of the lid that allow hot water to cascade throughout the lid and down past the rubber seal. Just a quick spray from the sink did 99.9% of the work. The tiny pieces of finely chopped carrots or spinach that slipped between the upper lid and the inner seal flushed away by raining water down on the lid's top while manipulating the rubber ring with your fingertips. The manual suggests just rinsing the whole thing down and throwing it in the dishwasher. But I tend to go on marathon cooking sprees when the family is together for a whole day and I'm not going to run the dishwasher every 30 minutes when I'm cooking 5 to 10 courses. Flushing the lid seemed to take care of the problem so I'm less worried at this point about the online comments regarding the difficulty of cleaning the unit. I may not be processing the same foods as the people experiencing the difficulty, but my limited experience to date suggests that the rubber sealing mechanism in the lid is a big benefit, not a problem.
The other issue raised in the online reviews was the effectiveness of the dough blade. I only made a pie crust, a pizza, and some raisen bread, but, here again, I didn't experience the same issues reported by others. I had to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times to get a dough ball to form and pick up all the flour off the side of the bowl, but this still seemed like massively less work than kneading by hand and throwing flour all over the kitchen while making fresh pasta. Kneading the pasta dough in the machine for a few seconds beats the heck out of the 10 minutes of hand kneading that my cookbook demands.
So, I can't speak to all the features (I haven't even taken the shredding blade out of the case), but I did want to address those two issues. People reading about food processors online may be unduly scared off by those two concerns. I'm no expert, but I intend to become one. I have to say, my kids absolutely flipped over the taste of homemade peanut butter and homemade hummus compared to the store bought versions. I can make peanut butter in less time on this machine than it takes me to grab it off the shelf at the store and it actually tastes like peanuts, not some homogenized version of Soylent Green that has had the flavor reinjected chemically after it was all removed in processing.
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My favorite recipe to use it for is my New York Style Cheesecake.Read more
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