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Help! My Cuisinart is Stuck!

Has anyone run into a problem with their Cuisinart Food Processor? The last few times I've used it, I've had a big problem releasing the lid from the bowl. The lid seems stuck and won't come off.

I've tried pressing down, Standing on a step-stool to get more leverage, putting a damp towel underneath to keep the base from slipping, all to no avail.

My chopped walnuts are being held prisoner. I could use your help!


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  1. I would inspect the critter over more carefully for whatever imperfections that are causing that. A minute crack/split near the top could easily bind up making the top wedge into place. Food getting into the grooves can bind up a top.

    Does that food processor have a center alignment pin for the knives or attachments? (A metal protruding pin) It could be bent.

    I do not recomend doing nuts or beans in full size processor bowls. (Greater than 2 cups) It knocks them out of wack really bad. Small portion processors or grinding mills should be used.

    1. This has never happened to mine, so I can only theorize. You might take the same approach as with a stuck jar lid and heat it. Obviously you don't want to hold the whole thing under hot running water, but try soaking a towel in very hot water and wrapping it around the seam for a few seconds.

      If you get it off, try rubbing the seams with some plain white unscented candle wax before each use to help keep it from sticking in the future.

      1. Maybe it's the security mechanism, for example, if the it's slight pushed towards "On", it might be "locked" to prevent injury. Make sure all the buttons are in the neutral position.

        1. It happens to me all the time and I've never been able to figure out why. I've analyzed that locking mechanism until I thought I could build one and still couldn't figure it out. Sometimes, I just give the feed tube a good hit with the base of my palm and that does it. Sometimes releasing the outer sleeve of the feed tube seems to help. Hope someone who knows for sure how to fix it jumps in here. But I've been living with mine doing that fairly regularly for a couple of years now and at least the machine still works. And I've yet to have anything "held captive" permanently.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JoanN

            Have you tried to rotate the lid in the back-on direction, press any interlock, then twist off? The interlock may intentionally jam ("double lock") until the remove-off pressure is released.

            I just got the info from my aunt and it solved her problem for good.

            Ooppss! it is meant for anyone with the issue.

            In case of clarification- Turn the lid back on before unlocking, then twist off.

            1. re: RShea78

              This worked for me! Thanks, RShea!

          2. I have the same problem with both the bowl and lid sticking all the time. They are especially hard to get on the mount and also together. I have to have someone hold the base to get the bowl of the motor mount and the lid off the bowl.

            1. I've had the same problem, caused, I believe, by tiny cracks throughout the Lexan work bowl. But the rest of the processor has held up so well, I've actually splurged twice now for a new work bowl (I didn't need a new cover, which is sold separately).

              I wonder if this problem is unique to the Cuisinart FP. Do Kitchen Aid users ever have this problem?

              1. I have had this problem. Usually the workbowl has rotated slightly and caused this not allowing the release of the top. Check to see that the workbowl is all the way into its seated locked position and the top will come off. This workbowl problem can be made to happen when you find minute cracks near the holddown tabs on your workbowl, I have repaired a few workbowls by adding a reinforcement to the outside of the workbowl using epoxy and nylon. But best solution if you find cracks is new workbowl. Look very carefully at the holes around the rim of your workbowl at the bottom. I wish I could attach photos to this post to show the issue.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Magnapro

                  Yeah, I find that re-seating my work bowl solves this problem with my 25+ year old (will it EVER die?) Cuisinart, too.

                2. Another common problem is the stem getting stuck with a disc on top. They can get real difficult to remove. If any of you have had this problem let me know.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Magnapro

                    Hand up here for stem stuck. I got the disc off of it with a couple of flat head screw drivers shoved between the bowl and the disc, but the the stem won't budge.I tried hanging on to the stem and letting weight pull it off, then saw it was splitting down at the base and tried to break it off in pieces after moving the bowl up as far as I cold, to no availe. I've confirmed I can buy a replacement stem for my DLC - 7 Super Pro if I can just get it loose.

                    1. re: cherikim

                      I have several stems, and they all do this, so it's not the stems. And yes, whatever I've processed is definitely being held captive. I've tried prying the grater/slicer up from the stem with two durable knives, one on either side, and have broken the points off some expensive knives doing this. I'm about ready to throw the whole thing in the trash!

                  2. I think I remember reading in the manual something about the locking mechanism can misfunction after awhile if you leave the top locked in when not in use while it isn't plugged in.

                    I haven't had this problem yet. But have only had it under a year.

                    1. If you put it in the dishwasher, this will eventually happened. Learned the hard way, and now wash by hand.

                      1. Just for any owners of older models, or ruined bowls.
                        I had similar issues, after close inspection of the bowl it revealed small cracks.
                        These cracks were right in the area of the locking lugs where the bowl locks down to the base or power unit. What happens is when you lock your lid on the bowl shifts upward slightly causing the safety to not allow the motor start.
                        For me these small cracks would cause this issue. Replacing or fixing the bowl was required.
                        The way this relates to the original post is when those cracks occur they can also allow the bowl to rotate on the machine base under use causing the lock to malfunction.
                        These problems can be interconnected.
                        I did a fix on my bowls to repair that area of the bowls.
                        Involving a chunk of nylon zip tie and epoxy to repair and reinforce the small cracked areas.
                        This works perfectly and does not compromise safety in any way.
                        I will post a photo of the issue and repair if any one needs it.
                        It saved me $100 bucks per bowl for replacement.

                        1. If you manage to get it unstuck, this is what I do to prevent sticking: Spray some of the locking bits of plastic with a little Pam. The lid and bowl need lubrication.

                          1. I'm pretty ashamed of this, but my method is whacking it with a hammer.

                            1. After reading all of the posts (Thank YOU), I determined that the my top was stuck because the Cuisinart at idle for many moons. So, I filled the base to the top with hot water and the lid twisted off easily.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Powellk273

                                Powellk273: thank you for your post. I struggled with the lid and bowl for several hours without success. After reading your solution I filled the bowl with boliing water, poured it out and then (surprisingly) was able to twist open the lid and the bowl relatively easily. I wore rubber kitchen gloves to protect against the heat and to provide a better grip.

                              2. Thank you! My bowl has never gone on and off the base smoothly, and this time it was really stuck on the base. I tried both together: pam spray on the locking lugs AND hot water in the bowl, and the bowl rotated clockwise and it came off. Yes, I have the little cracks and I assume it is from how hard I have had to work to get the bowl on and off. I may also have stored it with the work bowl in place.

                                1. Our 25+ yr old Cuisinart finally died and we got a new one. First time using it, my husband managed to put the bowl/lid on backward - partially and at a tilt!! Stuck for sure. He tried & tried. So did I. I found this post. Sprayed cooking spray at two key points. Waited. Tried & tried. No go. BUT I took someone else's suggestion & whacked it with my hand a few times (afraid to use a hammer). The combination worked. THANK YOU!