~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Product Review...Cuisinart Elite 12 Cup Food Processor Model FP-12DC

Product Review... Cuisinart Elite 12 Cup Food Processor Model FP-12DC
The wonderful and very generous folks at Cuisinart have sent me a Cuisinart Elite Collection 12-Cup Food Processor Model FP-12DC to test and review.
The Cuisinart company makes a host of products ranging from bakeware, griddlers, ice cream makers, to countertop cooking appliances...and even food processors. Among their food processors, Cuisinart has the Elite Collection... featuring a 4 Cup chopper/Grinder, a 12 Cup Food Processor , and a 14 Cup Food Processor. But for this review, I tested the Cuisinart Elite Collection 12-Cup Food Processor Model FP-12DC in the die cast. The Cuisinart Elite is a redesigned food processor that offers new and exciting features. Upon opening the package, I first noticed how sturdy and heavy-duty the food processor was. Would it perform?
I was very curious to find out...

About the Elite:

This is one high-capacity, heavy-duty processor with an ultrapowerful motor! You will definitely feel how powerful the the 12-Cup Elite Processor is...it has a 1000 watt peak power motor. This of course, allows for some real effortless slicing, shredding, chopping, mixing, and even kneading. It has 2 interchangeable bowls...a 12-cup and 4-cup bowl. The 4 cup bowl is nested inside the 12 cup...so you can use the 4 cup to do some chopping and then easily switch to the 12 cup to do shredding, slicing, mixing, etc. The electronic touch-pad controls feature an on, off, and a pulse function....it is easy to clean.
One neat feature of the Elite, is the SealTight(TM) system. This creates a spillproof seal between the bowl and the lid. It allows you to fill the bowl to maximum without without leaking. A pretty cool new feature!!...no more leaking when you process soups, puree foods, etc.
It also has an additional feature where you can lock both bowls while you pour out your ingredients. That's really nice, because you don't have to deal with the bowl/blade falling and creating a mess. The 2 blades provided are very durable and made of stainless steel. It has a couple of finger holes where you can pick them up safely. The slicing disc is adjustable. You can customize the size and thickness you want by turning the dial to the required thickness....from 1 mm to to 6mm. I love this feature...you don't need a bunch of slicing discs.
The shredding disc is two sided... allowing you to quickly grate thin or thick shreds of ingredients.
It even has a dough blade that makes it easy to knead dough without using the harsh chopping blade.
The chopping blade will process foods or even mix ingredients.
Another wonderful feature of the Elite is the extra-large feed tube.... which I love! It eliminates the need to precut most ingredients. It also gives you the option of a smaller feed tube, if needed.
The pulsing motion is quick and quiet. I can't get over how quiet it is!

• 2 Food Processors in 1
• 12-cup Large Bowl and 4-cup Small Bowl with Pour Spouts & Measurement Markings
• Exclusive Patent-Pending SealTight™ Advantage System – Seals Bowls and Locks Blades
• Easy On/Off Locking System with Push-Button Release
• Stainless Steel Adjustable Slicing Disc (1 to 6mm)
• Stainless Steel Reversible Shredding Disc (fine/medium)
• Large and Small Stainless Steel Chopping/Mixing Blades with BladeLock System
• Dough Blade
• Cuisinart® Supreme® Wide-Mouth Feedtube and Cover Assembly
• Electronic Touchpad Controls – On/Off/Pulse with Blue LED lights
• 1000-Watt Peak Power Motor
• Spatula
• How-to DVD and recipes by Hubert Keller
• Recipe/Instruction Book
• All removable parts are dishwasher safe
• 10-Year Motor Warranty 3-Year Limited Warranty
• Available in Die-Cast, White, and Black

You can watch a demo video of the Cuisinart Elite Food Processor HERE.

How I tested the Cuisinart Elite Food Processor:

Over a period of several weeks, I decided to make a variety of recipes... using as many of the features the Elite has to offer. Some of the recipes were the ones I often prepare. Yet there were a few new recipes that I had never made before. When I first started using the Elite, I noticed how powerful and well it performed.... yet it was quiet. With that alone I was impressed! The noise level was very minimal...I need to stress that, because it impressed me way beyond my expectation.

On Saturday morning, we sometimes have hash browns. My husband usually helps with that. He usually takes out a hand held grater and grates the potatoes. This time around, I had him try the Elite. He placed the grating disc in the food processor, adjusted it, and proceeded to grate the potatoes. In literally seconds, he grated the potatoes. He commented on how quickly and quietly the Elite performed. He loved it...

I needed to slice some onions to fry for the Chicken Biryani. I used the slicing disc and adjusted it to 1mm. I got beautiful thin slices in under a minute. Incredible...I was impressed how quickly it had sliced the onions that would have easily taken me much longer to do by hand. And they were evenly sliced! I also used the Elite to make thicker sliced onions for my Basque Chicken...it sure simplified the dish, that's for sure.

I shredded some carrots and jicama for a salad. I had a salad in a matter of minutes...evenly shredded.

One day I made some biscuit scones. It was a breeze cutting the butter into the flour....evenly distributed by using the pulse button. This is great for making double or triple batches.

On another day, I ventured out to try a new recipe. I made a Potato Pave( recipe soon to be posted) where 3 pounds of thinly sliced potatoes were needed. My potatoes were all odd shaped and I still managed to get some wonderful thin slices... in record time. We were able to enjoy a an elegant side dish that looked beautiful.

I also wanted to use the dough blade. I decided to make some whole wheat(chipotle flavored) homemade tortillas (recipe soon to follow).The Elite combined and kneaded the dough beautifully. I had homemade shredded beef burritos with homemade tortillas for dinner.... ready in less than an hour. What a treat!

And of course, I was excited to try the 1 ingredient "ice cream" ... banana ice cream!Have you ever made it? Basically, you freeze sliced bananas for 2 hours and process until smooth and creamy. You can add all sorts of additional ingredients, such as honey or sugar, flavoring, milk/cream, chocolate...etc. I chose to make the original as well as a chocolate version. I was impressed with the Elite managing to cream the bananas with very little effort. I had a healthy "ice cream" in a matter of minutes...very nice!

Oh, and today, I needed to shred a 2 pound cheddar cheese block. I slightly froze the cheese for a few minutes. I cut the block in 3 pieces...the wide mouth feed tuber was perfect for the job. It was big enough...I was able to fit the cheese blocks right through the feed tube. I had beautiful shredded cheese in minutes...ready to be placed in a ziploc bag and frozen for future use. How cool is that?!
I can't say enough about this food processor...this is one amazing food processor that performed beyond what I expected. I just love it! I am looking forward to using the Elite for many other recipes.
Would I recommend it?
Absolutely... 5 stars indeed!
The Cuisinart Elite, completely redesigned, with all sorts of exciting new features, provides the home chef with one of the finest food processors on the market.


Emanuel Balarie said...

I never thought you could make icecream with this! Pretty awesome!

Corn said...

You are sooo lucky! I love Cuisinart...I own so many, even their pots and pans. Enjoy :)

Ellie said...

Emanuel and Corn,
Thanks for stopping by... this is definitely a neat food processor... makes life much easier in the kitchen!

Gloria Baker said...

Ellie I think your procesoor food is amazing!! gloria

Ellie said...

Aww...that's sweet, Gloria! I really appreciate it. Thanks for stopping by.~Ellie

Unknown said...

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Cuisinart Food processors

Ellie said...

Andrewgede, It means a great deal that you would take the time to comment...thank you for your kind words! I really appreciate it...and it made my day.

Briana Darnell said...

Ellie- did you think the 12C was large enough? would you want the 14C because it has the dough button? or would the 14C be too big?

Briana Darnell said...

Ellie- would you be tempted to buy the 14C instead of the 12Cup? Do you think the 14 Cup would be too big? I have the regular 11 cup now and want to upgrade, but getting the 12 cup would mean losing my dough button...what do you think?

Ellie said...

Hi Briana,
You know, the Cuisinart's Elite 12 cup is just right for my family...it is actually big enough for my needs and since I have a large mixer I do my kneading in that...except for the occasional pizza dough I make in my food processor with the dough blade(w/out the dough button).
So if you are looking to upgrade to a bigger bowl, the difference between the 11 cup and the 12 cup isn't much of a difference...if you have a larger family or you make big quantities, the 14 cup would be ideal...as it has 3 bowls. ...the 4 1/2, the 11 cup AND the 14 cup...and then you get the dough feature as well!
You can always use the 11 cup... and then when you need a bigger bowl switch to the 14 cup...and this way you can have the dough button feature( which I am assuming are using often). Again, it all depends on your needs and how often you use the dough button feature.
Hope I have been of help...and thanks for stopping by.

Shilpi said...

Great product!!! I wish I had one. You are very lucky. I also appreciate the fact that you did the product review so well. Enjoy your cuisinart!!!

Eric Winter said...

I have a question. In several videos demonstrating Cuisinart food processors, I noticed that the Cuisinart motor shuts off when you remove the pusher from the feeder at the top.
And also starts when you insert the pusher in the feeder and press it down.
That is economical, because the motor only runs when there is actually food in the feeder to chop/process.
Does this model, the FP-12DC, also has this feature?

Ellie said...

Eric, Sorry to get back to you so late, but to answer your question: Yes, this model has the same feature... the motor shuts off when the pusher is not pressed down all the way. and only runs if the pusher is in place. I love this feature:)...Hope that helps, and thanks for stopping by.

Karen S. said...

Is there an advantage to purchasing the die cast model vs. the standard black, white or red model? Isn't die cast a metal version? I can't find anything in the product details online. Thanks.

Ellie said...

Karen, From what I know, the food processor is the same... be it die cast, white, black or red. All of them offer the same features, same motor, same accessories, etc....the only thing is that die cast is one of the colors they offer(a more popular choice)...along with the white, black, or red. Hope that helps...

nancy said...

Hi Ellie, I just bought this machine, and so your review helps tremendously!!!! I bought it to help with making bread but all the added bonuses are a big plus. Thx for sharing your review

Ellie said...

Oh, Nancy...That's wonderful! I am thrilled that you enjoyed the review... am still enjoying the food processor tremendously. Just love it!
Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to stop by. I really appreciate it!
Have a wonderful day!

SamanthaG said...

I love this processor and all its features - especially the small and large work bowls. My husband also loves it. Problem is, I'm on number 2 1/2 now. I bought the original one from Costco at a very good price about 6 months ago. First the spout on the small workbowl broke - I assume from stress where the latch for the top is. Called Cuisinart and they sent me another work bowl free - didn't even make me return the broken one. Then a couple of months later, the latch refused to engage, so the motor wouldn't go. Took it back to Costco this time - got a refund and bought another. Now, after about a month, this one has developed a more dangerous problem - the motor and blade will run without the latch engaged and even without the top on. I'm not using it now and will return it but am very conflicted about whether to get another. Have I just been in lemon-land or does this machine have some design flaws? Anyone else have similar problems?

Ellie said...

SamanthaG, Boy, it sounds like you really have been having some issues with the food processor! I'm not sure what to tell you... I've enjoyed my processor ever since I got mine. Haven't had any issues with it at all. Runs smoothly, as ever.

I do know that if you don't put the top on right and engage the "latch" well, it can cause problems... ie. food can spill out. And if you forcefully push it... well, the plastic parts can break. But I'm not sure why you are having problems with the motor running, especially when the top isn't even attached?!

Could you have something stuck... where the metal pin usually inserts to activate the motor? If not, I would definitely talk to a Cuisinart expert from the company... maybe you really got a few bad models. Sorry to hear that... wish you success with another one.

SamanthaG said...

Thanks, Ellie - I'm really confused about the problems w this machine. I've used Cuisinart food processors for years and so I do know about makeing sure the latch is properly engaged, etc. Also got my husband to try his touch in the motor issues on both machines. His luck was no better. I'd love to talk w an expert at Cuisinart but seems that when you call them, they just tell you to send it back and they'll send another. I do think the current problem is a dangerous one since the blade will go without the top being attached. I'll let you know what happens.

Ellie said...

SamanthaG. It looks like you've tried everything... but I agree, it's no use having an appliance that poses a danger. Nonetheless it's nice of Cuisinart to offer to replace it. Too bad that you've encountered such frustrations... maybe the third one will last? Sure hope so!

Sheri Z said...

Ellie, I was reading some other reviews on this product. Some were saying that the seal around the lid has tiny holes in it where food gets trapped inside the ring and has created mold issues. Have you seen this at all?

Ellie said...

Sheri, You know I haven't had a mold issue, though you are right about the few smaller holes in the lid that can sometimes trap food particles. Of course if the lid isn't cleaned properly I could see how mold can occur. But with a good thorough cleaning the food particles can be removed. I normally use the hot water hose(using the maximum pressure)on my kitchen faucet to remove any stubborn food that tends to lodge itself(which by the way doesn't happen on a regular basis). I think it's a matter of taking care to wash the lid thoroughly... or using the dishwasher if one finds it too hard to wash by hand.
But you know, I've had my FP for some time now and use it quite often... making herb sauces, bread dough, and other things where small food particles can easily find themselves through the holes... and I manage to remove them without too much difficulty(by running water through the holes). I have to say that I've never had to deal with mold issues. In reality mold comes about because of improper cleaning. I suppose that can happen with a blender just as well... where the blade isn't cleaned thoroughly underneath and food remains and turns into mold.
Even after a couple of years using the FP I would still recommend it:).
Sorry for the long answer... but I hope this helps. And thanks for stopping by...

Sandy said...

hi Ella and Briana and everyone else,
I am looking at one of these. My kitchenaid mixer (so called professional) died 5 days after the 1 year warranty expired.
My question is How much bread dough can you make at one time? How many cups flour? I like baking several loaves of rye bread at a time and it would be great if this could process and do bread dough as well. any feedback from anyone? Much appreciated, Sandy

Ellie said...

Hi Sandy, sorry to hear about your KA mixer. I've had mine for 10 years and have used it to make tons of bread and other baked goods. I do know that the amount of flour used for each mixer depends on it's size(ie 5,6,7 quart). If the amount of flour exceeds what is recommended, then the motor can "die"... and the same goes for food processors.

The Cuisinart 12 cup processor can handle up to 8 cups of white flour for a yeast bread dough.... according to Cusinart's instruction manual. Hope that helps and wish you the best.

Anonymous said...

Hi ella, read your review about the elite 12 cup fd processor,its very informative.As i am looking for one myself..and i was thinking of the 11 cup.I like to be able to use the machine for various jobs in the kitchen eg.slicing,choping,making dough etc.what is your advice about the 2 machine and which has less problem. As i read in some other reviews the 12 cup cuisinart has problem slicing/grating disc as some small pieces consistenly gets stuck there and you need to remove the lid and get it out and also the design is not easy to clean as it has too many grooves in the bowl.your opinion in this matter will be of great help for me to choose the right one for all my kitches works.tnx..jd(malaysia)

Ellie said...

JD, My review is based on the 12 cup processor, I'm not really familiar with the 11 cup. So I couldn't give you any info on the 11 cup as I don't own one. Having said that though, I think every processor will have some things you may not be totally satisfied with. Most processors will always have small pieces that don't get totally sliced... at least that's what I've noticed with all my food processors I've had in the past. And sometimes you need to learn how to use your food processor.... the amount of pressure you apply when pressing food through the feeding tube makes a big difference. You can get big chunks as well as little pieces.

The 12 cup Cuisinart is no different... it sometimes does leave behind a few pieces that don't get sliced or grated... it's the nature of food processors. But for the most part, 90% gets sliced or grated and it does a wonderful job. The bowl/s are extremely easy to clean and there are no grooves that make cleaning difficult. On the other hand, the lid has a seal that can sometimes collect fine particles of food, especially herbs. But if you clean or even allow the lid to soak in some water immediately after using it, the lid is easily cleaned. The only issue is when you allow the lid stay uncleaned and the food particles dry up making for more difficult cleaning.

I've had my food processor for some time now... and I still stand behind it. I love it and use it for lots and lots of kitchen duties including slicing, chopping and making dough.

Hope this helps you a bit... I'm sure you will make the right decision that's suitable for you.

Thanks for stopping by... all the way from Malaysia:).

Susan said...

I, too, have a terrible time with food stuck between the seal and the bowl, even cleaning immediately. The company has no suggestions except for a water spray (it didn't work), and does not consider this a design flaw. My physician husband considers it a food poisoning hazard. Right now it has summer squash and new potato bits stuck from slicing, and I am SO frustrated.

Ellie said...

Susan, Thanks for taking the time to comment and sharing your view on the processor. I think I won't repeat myself, as I think I've answered it in the comments above:).