Cuisinart 14-cup Custom Food Processor (DFP-14)

Conclusion
Pros
  • Very good to excellent performance on most basic processing tasks
  • Highly capable of handling all sorts of dough
  • Generous 3/5 year warranty on parts/motor
  • Excellent control over pulse feature
  • Large capacity
Cons
  • Our least favorite “wide mouth” feed tube design
  • Minimal accessories included (only two discs, no storage)
  • Lacks multiple bowl (mini/chef’s bowl) option

The Cuisinart 14-cup Custom (or Classic) is definitely not for the “bells and whistles” crowd, but we still recommend it for its notable strengths.  For around $175, buyers will get a powerful, high capacity machine that excels at all blade-related tasks, from chopping to pureeing, and is particularly well suited to handling bread doughs.  For users intending to perform this type of task, we believe that the model is likely to meet or exceed all expectations and offer a solid value.

The DFP turned in impressive results chopping mixed vegetables for our mirepoix test and pureed hummus to a creamy consistency.  As a baker’s helper, we believe this model offers the greatest capability in this price range, boasting maximum capacities that are significantly greater than the competition: the model can handle up to 3 lbs of bread dough (6 cups of flour), 3 1/2 lbs of cookie dough, and 4 lbs of cake batter.  Considering that kneading dough is likely the most strenuous job a food processor can be tasked with, we also appreciated the fact that Cuisinart backs this model with a 3/5 year parts/motor warranty.

The performance of the included discs was also generally very good to excellent.  We were disappointed that Cuisinart did not include a thin (2mm) slicing disc along with the medium slicing and shredding discs that come in the package, (the slicing disc costs $29.99).

Using the discs, however, was sometimes complicated by the awkward feed tube design, which was our biggest complaint about this model.  While it does a good job of accommodating round fruits and vegetables (small to medium onions or apples), we found it did a poor job of handling tall ingredients (zucchini, carrots), and bulky ones (cabbage, oblong potatoes).  While it costs considerably more, we much prefer the feed tube design on the new Cuisinart Elite.

In addition to one or two more discs, we missed the inclusion of a storage system with the DFP-14.  An integrated blade/disc system is available here, but costs $30 extra.  A simpler disc-only case is available for $20.

We liked the proportions of the model’s 14-cup work bowl.  In comparison to the similarly priced Kitchen Aid 12-cup food processors to which it is often compared, we had an easier time incorporating flour and butter during our pie dough test (likely due to the extra capacity), and found that liquid handling was significantly better, if still not a real strong point.  Buyers should be aware that the Cuisinart lacks a multi-bowl system: smaller bowls are not even available as accessories, so those contemplating multiple back-to-back processing tasks may be better off looking elsewhere, or else springing for a duplicate 14-cup bowl, which retails for about $40 here

We were concerned that the model’s lack of a mini bowl would compromise its ability to perform small volume chopping tasks; we were surprised to find that results were very good (if not quite up to the performance of other models’ mini bowls) when processing a handful of fresh herbs (about 1 cup), or a mixture of garlic, onions, and ginger.  We were disinclined to downgrade the DFP-14’s blade performance marks on this basis because we believe that these small chopping jobs are so much easier to perform with a chef’s knife.

Recommended

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