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Jan 24, 2005 08:16 PM

Food processor dilemma: Cuisinart vs. KitchenAid

  • c

I know this topic has come up before, but am needing some personal feedback at this time. Want to buy a good-sized (11 or 12 cup) food processor for my mom. I envision her using it to make pie dough, grind meat, make desserts (she doesn't have a stand mixer).

After reading positive reports on this board as well as Amazon for the KA over the Cuisinart, I was fairly set on going w/ the KA...until I went to Macy's. They have both models and after poking and prodding at each, I was more impressed w/ the 11-cup Cuisinart's larger blade, more durable work bowl, relative compactness, and overall look than the 12-cup KA model. Looks aren't usually a big factor for me, but the KA top-flared model was an eyesore--downright ugly and cheap-looking.

Re: the Cuisinart--they have the older-style blockish version w/ the two levers as well as the more modern, rounded one w/ buttons. Opinions on differences and which one is better??

Would also be great if you can steer me to the best deals at stores or online. Best prices that I have found: Cuisinart at Costco (per my FIL's report) is $170, while the KA at Macy's is around $200 on sale. Thanks!

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  1. Not to be discouraging in any way, but before you spend the money (like I did) make sure it's something she really wants (like I didn't). I got a great Cuisinart for my mom because she is getting elderly (sorry mom) and thought it would make life better for her. I am sorry to say it sits in the cupboard unless she needs to grate a lot of something at once. As she said, I've been making things with my hands for 78 years, and why should I haul that big thing out of the cupboard and get it dirty to do something that takes less time and only one bowl to make with my hands? And that thing makes tough pastry that your father can't chew...and so on and so on.

    If she really wants one, I would get the Cuisinart over the KA any day of the week if for no other reason than I currently find KA to be unreliable and have experienced disappointing service from that company.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cyndy

      Yes, my mother can be rigid and hard to please/change when it comes to her cooking practices. She's been the one dropping hints here and there about a food processor, so my sibs and I just asked her outright if she wanted one and what features. So she knows it's coming...

      Your comment about KA's customer service is interesting--I actually had heard more horror stories about Cuisinart's CS in my search. Well, if they have equally bad service, then I'll go w/ the Cuisinart.

      1. re: Carb Lover

        It's sad when we have to pick the lesser of two evils. As a tech support person, I was appalled by my experience with KA and my $550 mixer breaking after 20 uses. They refused to fix it...said it was an 'old model' and wasn't covered any more. Argh. Only cost $40 to fix it, but I had to drive it to another city. I would buy the Cuisinart at Costco if you can...they will take anything back, even after being used for years...I work for HP and we routinely use this as an out for out of warranty customers who bought them there. Gosh that sounds support is like that.

    2. Oh Boy -

      I would DEFINITELY go with a Cuisinart. They are truly the top-of-the-line when it comes to food processors. Their new food processors are so good (including a "dough" feature) that I have not missed having a stand-mixer AT ALL. Currently in my miniscule (Boston-sized) kitchen, I can only afford one counter-top appliance and it's been the food processor. My hand mixer picks up where that leaves off. If that's not good enough, my mom has had a Cuisinart for YEARS and she's the one who bought me mine. It's been fantastic - I use it as often as possible (which is quite often!!!)

      Good luck!

      1. I can't speak from experience as I haven't used it yet, but I went through this same situation recently when I was registering for my wedding. I talked to tons of people and got feedback from this website and other sites and the majority said they preferred Kitchen Aid over Cuisinart, and so that's what I went with. People said it worked better and was more reliable. (Though I see that both people who've written back so far have said the opposite, so who knows!) Like I said, I haven't tried them both yet, but I spent two weeks researching it, and that was the conclusion I came to. Good luck!

        1. The January issue of Cook's Illustrated had a section on food processors- they tested major brands and did a run down of which brand did which task better. You might find the article on the America's Test Kitchen website. If not, and you have specific tasks in mind, I can look up the article and tell you what the recommendations are but I believe that KA came out on top overall but just slightly. I have a KA that I got new on eBay for $90. That's where I would check for the best deals. The only criticism I have for the KA is that I wish the feed tube was wider all around. I got the KA b/c I read that the Cuisinart blades weren't what they used to be, and that KA blades are better. If this is still the case, but you want a Cuisinart, you might be able to find a factory refurbished (like new) older model on eBay. Good luck!

          1. My local Costco has the 11 cup Cuisinart with an extra bowl, extra blades, plus a blade-storage container. $169 if I remember correctly. Worth checking out.