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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.
Top customer reviews
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.
Those two issues along with a number that I hadn't thought of have been addressed by the FP-14-DC Elite. It is more powerful and does a better job overall of chopping, cutting, slicing and all of the other basic tasks. The blade lock function frees up a hand in the kitchen which is always important. Having three bowls is also a big deal - we have been able to retire our mini-processor which required some hand cleaning. The nesting bowls helps with space in our Manhattan apartment and we appreciated the blade/disc storage unit that came with this processor (we had to buy them for our previous units).
When I was buying this processor I was very concerned by a couple of comments that other people left and I would like to address them:
1. CLEANING THE LID - The lid has a silicon gasket, which is why it doesn't leak fluid. A number of people complained that it's difficult to clean. This is true if you try to clean it by hand. In my experience, though, it gets fully clean in the dishwasher (top shelf only).
2. Leaking - some people complained about leaking. I think I understand why. With the old system of closing the Cuisinart (twisting), the machine would not operate unless the base and top were both locked in and the pusher was inserted. In the new system (where you press directly down on the lid to shut it), it is easier to close, but you have to make sure it snaps shut at the front AND back. I like this system better, however and my wife also finds it much easier to remove the lid.
3. Leaking between the three bowls - we haven't had any problem with this and we frequently use the smaller bowl to prepare foods for our toddler. If you use the pour spout as the reference it's easy to align the bowls correctly to nest them inside the machine. We've used all three bowls in succession several times.
My overall impression is that this is a really thoughtfully designed product which was actually created by people who cook frequently. It has made our home life just a little bit easier. Cuisinart probably should have introduced this product a little sooner, but it is welcome in our kitchen.