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Kitchenaid vs Cuisinart food processor?

I've never owned a food procesor and it's time to take the splurge! Eeeek! I can't wait! This is my *birthday treat* to myself.

Since I've never had one, I'm not sure how I'll use it. I cook meals from scratch every day, and I use my blender just about daily. I imagine that I'll use my processor for most/all of the sauces (mayo, dressings, pestos etc) and dips (hommus, etc) that I currently whip up in my blender (I do feel fierce attachment for my trusty blender, but it's tiring to scrape the bottom and I can never extract the entire batch of sauce). I like chopping veggies with my knives now, but maybe I'll use the processor for that sometimes too. I like grinding up spices for curries and pulsing breadcrumbs, so I'll definitely use it for that. I do own an immersion blender already that I enjoy.

I've read a lot online and now I'd like the hounds' perspective: which is better, Kitchenaid or Cuisinart? I'm looking at the seven-cup models. I know Kitchenaid comes with a cool little mini-bowl and a juicer. People rave about both -- I'm wondering if one is actually better quality, or if it's personal preference.

Gracias, hounds!

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  1. I only own one (obviously) - a Cuisinart 11cup (I recommend getting at least 11cup) - and it's fantastic, but I also own other Kitchenaid appliances & love them too. It might be a bit too big for spices (so if that makes you lean towards the KA then so be it), but it works wonders for pastry doughs, hummus etc. MUCH faster than a blender and much more surface space. the CZN is really powerful & as many have said, blades are sharp (comes with several & a blade case). When I was reading about them I thought there were slightly more votes for the Cuisinart, and I got a good deal & have been really happy. Is there a huge price diff?

    Bottom line is probably they're both great, but maybe a KA loyalist will disagree.

    1. Did you happen across this thread yet?

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/408307

      According to some, Cuisinart customer service leaves a lot to be desired...

      1 Reply
      1. When we bought a food processor we looked at several different brands and decided on a Bosch (not exact this model, ours has also a blender:

        http://www.ekitchengadgets.com/bosfoo...

        And we are very happy with it and highly recommend it.

        1. I'm very happy with my Cuisinart.

          1. I just did this purchase too and ended up getting the KitchenAid 11-cup. I love it. It's beats the hell out of my old Cuisinart and the second small bowl is great to have.

            Get the Kitchen Aid and check prices on eBay, I did and saved a bunch.

            1. I don't mean to be a downer, but I'm wondering if you really want a food processor! If you're happy with your blender and you're not sure what you'll use the processor for, it might be better to wait till you have a better idea. For instance, I knew that I wanted a processor because there were lots of curry recipes that called for blending large amounts of onions, shallots, and so forth (I didn't have a blender). I live in the UK and got a Magimix. One of my favorite things about it is the grating attachment--fabulous if you have lots of cheese to do.

              But since you mention grinding spices, you may find that a processor isn't the best tool for that job. You might have better luck with a cheap electric coffee grinder instead.

              I also have an immersion blender, and I often find that the little bowl attachment on it is just perfect for things like spice pastes and pestos. I actually prefer to do mayos and other dressings by hand with a whisk. To me, it's just quicker that way and less to clean up! I also prefer the texture of hand-whisked mayo.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Kagey

                Hmmm--- good point.

                I've wanted to hand-whisk mayo but I'd been told that it's nearly impossible! Do you set the bowl with a towel to steady it, or do you have an assistant? :) How long does it take you to whisk to appropriate consistency?

                I know I'll use the processor -- I just meant since I've never had one, I'm not *exactly* sure for which purposes. :) I do want to get one of those coffee grinders... I was thinking of curries for the processor too - for the sauce itself. I do love my blender though... hmmm.

                1. re: foxy fairy

                  Hi. Well, I'd suggest trying to hand-whisk mayo at least once! I do use a twisted-up dish towel to steady the bowl, and it really doesn't take me more than about 5-7 minutes to make.

                  I'm not saying you shouldn't get a processor, but it might not be the best thing for some of the uses you mentioned. I'm sure you'll find great uses for it!

                  1. re: foxy fairy

                    Hand whisking allows you to use less egg yolks. If you make it in a food processor, you need to have enough liquid in the bowl before you start adding the oil to actually move.

                    I can make a cup of mayo with 1 egg yolk, a few teaspoons of lemon juice, a teaspoon of mustard and a cup of oil. I couldn't make it this way in a FP.

                    If you are using a glass bowl, just set it on your cutting board. My bowls are heavy enough that they won't move around. If they are, you aren't whisking the eggs, you are whisking the bowl :-)

                    1. re: meadandale

                      I've made mayo in my blender for years, love that you can adjust the flavor and oil to the dish you want to use it for. My italian friend's aunt has a special wooden bowl and spoon that she only uses for this. Clean up in a blender is also quick--hot water and a squirt of soap and one or two seconds of blending and you're ready for the next thing.

                  2. re: Kagey

                    omg immersion blender = best thing ever!!

                    in addition to the blender attachment, i have one with that also has a whisk and food processor attachment. it is very easy to use and clean, and takes the hassle of out hand-whisking meringues and the like.

                    but as for your food processor needs, the ones i have seen come with quite smallish processor attachments so it might not work for your needs. but it is perfect for small batches of things when you don't want to bust out a big appliance.

                    1. re: cincomomo

                      I have that same immersion blender with those attachments! I'm glad you reminded me -- I haven't really used the processor there, and I should, especially before purchasing a big one I think.

                      Yesterday, armed with 20 % off coupon, I went to check out the food processors and they just seem monstrously huge. I don't know that I would use something requiring annoying assembly, and I don't have counter space for that right now. Maybe I should just stick with the mini-processor on my immersion blender, plus the little nut chopper I forgot I found at a yard sale a couple of months ago. I might just splurge on a new blender instead. I like the pink KitchenAid Pro one... thanks for the input everyone.

                  3. Get an 11 cup. The 7 cup will be too small for times you really want to use the food processor. Just trust me on this.

                    I have used both the KitchenAid and the Cuisinart, and love them both. I lean a bit more toward the KA just because it comes with a wider range of attachments.

                    1. cook's illustrated did a rating. they said the kitchenaid was the way to go. that being said, i have a cuisinart and it's a workhorse. i love it. either way, you'll be fine.

                      1. And this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/408637 (actually just a little ways down the list on "Cookware" at the moment). The thing that worries me about that thread is the number of people responding and saying they have the same problem.

                        I'm in the market for a nice food processor too, and while no brand seems to get exclusively positive comments, the negatives about Cuisinart are turning me toward KitchenAid.

                        1. I've had 2 Cuisinarts in 32 years of marriage. I am finally getting ready to replace the one I have had for 17 years. It will most definitely be another 11 C. Cuisinart. The ony reason I am replacing it is that the work bowl and lid are wearing out, the steel knife is getting a bit dull and getting replacements is almost as expensive as getting a new machine. Mine gets used several times a week and has never let me down. I have a Krups mini chopper and for spices I use a Krups oval coffee grinder or a mortaar and pestle.

                          1. I have both the cuisinart 11 cup & the mini chopper & use them both- no issues! My mixer is kitchenaid & I like that too, so I'm sure the processor is probably good. If you already make homemade stuff using the blender, splurge & go with the 11 cup.

                            1. All of these critiques and suggestions are so helpful. :)

                              It seems that the KitchenAid design is ineffective when processing large amounts of liquid (for big batches of dips and mayo, for example). I've read a number of reviews complaining about this issue, due to the fit between the lid and the bowl -- for the 750 and the 760, both 12-cup processors. I like that KA comes with multiple accessories and the mini-bowl, but it would drive me crazy to have liquid sputtering all over the place. Has anyone found this to be true/untrue?

                              Also, it looks like Hamilton Beach Big Mouth (14 cups!) is a great processor for the price, if a bit awkward to store. Anybody have experience with HB? I wonder if I'm just being a brand snob by limiting myself to Cuisinart and KitchenAid. My mom's old HB blender is about 25 years old and it's a powerhouse!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: foxy fairy

                                The new Hamilton Beach stuff is terrible. KA and Cuisinart are the only ways to go with food processors.

                                1. re: foxy fairy

                                  i have leakage with my cuisinart if i fill it above the suggested level. so that's a problem across the board. i don't know where you keep your blender now, or if you have the counter space. but i leave mine out. along with my stand mixer. and find that if i didn't i would never use it. i know this because of living in places where i didn't have the room to keep it out, i never used it. really, though cook's illustrated recommends kitchenaid, and i have the cuisinart, so you can't go wrong with either one.

                                  1. re: foxy fairy

                                    I like the Cuisinart. I have the 11 cup and the mini. I use the mini all the time for pestos, mayo, etc.

                                    1. re: foxy fairy

                                      Don't buy anything but a Cuisinart or Kitchen Aid. I can't speak personally for the KA, but I know it's a good reliable brand. My Cuisinart, however, is about 15 years old (maybe older) and still going strong. I have replaced the bowl, the lid, the pusher; I've purchased new and different blades; I've used it at least 3 times a week (sometimes daily) for all those years and believe me I have put it through its paces. I love it - it's a good, solid reliable machine.

                                      Previous to the Cuisinart I owned two different processors. I can't remember the brands but they were "known" ones - neither one lasted more than 3 years. And you couldn't get freaking replacement parts either, so when the lid cracked on one of them I had to pitch the whole thing. Useless.

                                      I just found a beautiful Cuisinart - about the same vintage and similar size - at a garage sale for $5 (including all the blades etc.). I bought it because I couldn't resist. It works perfectly and I'm giving it to my son.

                                    2. I recently purchased a new food processor, after much research. I looked for a model between 10 to 14 c capacity, versatile, powerful and easy to clean. After looking at the technical specs of the kitchen aid and cuisinart they seemed to be very similar. I felt they were overpriced and the name had a great deal to do with it. So, I looked further and discovered a really great food processor from Hamilton Beach. 14c, big mouth, four speeds 450w motor and versatile. Model 70590. its great. i love it and it works like a marvel. Tt cost me under 50.00 at Walmart. I am very pleased with this food processor and I challenge it to the more expensive ones from kitchen aid or cuisinart any day!!! (my hommus is better than ever!!!) and i have money in the bank!
                                      Opa!

                                      1. For those who purchased the KA 12 cup with the wide mouth, how do you find the bowl-in-bowl feature? I really need to buy a food processor and am tempted to buy the KA 12 cup simply for the accessories, bowl-in-bowl and rating given by CI. I want to make sure that it functions well or I may just get the smaller sizes. Realistically I don't think I would a 12 cup bowl, but who knows.. all those add-ins (blades) are tempting!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: cakesncookies

                                          RUN don't walk to your nearest Target -- they had the KitchenAid 7 cup food processors on clearance for $17.48 -- in Red and Black (white was full price).

                                          1. re: cakesncookies

                                            i guess this is a bit late, but hopefully you read it. I just got the KA 12 cup with three bowls in December and I LOVE it. It does everything and the beauty is that i can use the smallest bowl for chopping nuts and i don't have to wash anything else. For example, when I make pad thai, I shred the carrots in the large bowl and chop the nuts in the small one and i still have a medium sized clean bowl left. I have never overflowed and i make a lot of large portioned things. I use my immersion blender for soup - maybe that's what people are having trouble with? Anyway, I would recommend the newest KA to anyone.

                                            1. re: cakesncookies

                                              I have owned a bowl in bowl KA 12 cup, but not the wide mouth version, and I like the stacking feature well. The food processor works well. I also have extra blades, and although I don't use them as much as I thought I would, when I need them, they are great. I've had my KA food processor about 5 years. My only complaint is that I've got a crack in the smallest bowl. However I still use it successfully.

                                            2. I have the cuisinart power prep plus. Frankly, it is a decent food processor but the safety features bug the crap out of me. Everytime I pull it out to use it, it's like a chinese puzzle to figure out how to get the bowl off because of all the pins and catches. Frankly, I'd prefer that they just buy a better insurance premium and make the damn thing simpler. it's nothing like the ones you see chefs using on tv where the continually take the lid on and off.

                                              In order to take the lid off, you have to remove the food plunger (to release the a pin). But, once you put the lid back on, you have to put the plunger back in or the motor won't go on. It's really a PITA....

                                              1. We use a Magimix, which is certainly of equivalent quality to KA or Cuisinart (although the anti-clockwise locking is a royal pain!). Having said this, it's certainly true that for large quantities of liquid (margaritas!) a true blender is a superior tool. We cook a lot of Indian food, and for spice grinding I would never use anything but a mortar and pestle. A coffee grinder might be OK, but a food processor is way too brutal for this task.

                                                1. I've had the Cuisinart 11 cup model for about five years and it is incredibly tough. I abused this thing to no end by dropping a peach pit in there or other things that would damage the motor or the blade, and this thing just keeps on going. It is so handy and I use it almost weekly for chopping, sauces, pesto, etc. I'm sure KA is fine as well, but I'll definitely buy another Cuisinart if mine ever breaks down.

                                                  1. I've had my Cuisinart for 29 years and have never hadd a problem with it.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: howboy

                                                      I've had mind for about 13, also with no problems.

                                                    2. Had a Cuisinart. Used it only three times. Shortly after the warranty expired, the thing won't start. Emailed them - nothing back. Brought it to an "appliance doctor" can't figure it out. The doggone thing looks brand spanking new.I am buying a KitchenAid.

                                                      1. I own a KitchenAid K5 and a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine, the KA is over 20 years old and the Bosch is over 45 years old and on its third motor. Al things considering they are both excellent machines but living here in Canada I believe for the first time buyer the KA is a better buy because it is reasonably priced and strong and durable (even Consumer Reports give it a buy). I think that, unfortunately, Cuisinart is over hyped and very overpriced. My mother used both a lot, she bought the Bosch after arriving from Germany in the early 50s and used it to nourish 10 children and I bought her the KA from "Sams" during a trip to visit my brother in Texas because the second motor on the Bosch had worn out (we bought the motor and repaired it as well). Overall, in Canada, I think that the KA is the better buy because it is cheaper and very durable. Most of the family own KA and are very satisfied with them. Hobart may have made them better but I would put my KitchenAid up against any of them. Are they still built in the States?

                                                        1. I have an original 7-cup Made in France Cuisinart that is 35 years old and still going strong. The only problem is that my bowl has started breaking. I used it approximately two times almost every day. I LOVE IT and am trying to replace the bowl. I have looked and looked and don't like that you have to press buttons and can't figure out how to remove the lid from the bowl on the new ones. I am killing myself looking for a new workbowl.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: jjqueen

                                                            These guys may have what you're looking for. I've ordered from them and have had great service:
                                                            http://www.thegourmetdepotco.com/stor...

                                                            1. re: jjqueen

                                                              Look on Ebay. I've gotten replacement parts for my Cuisinart that way - cheap. Sometimes it's cheaper even to buy the whole machine and use it for parts than it is to pick up a new replacement bowl.

                                                            2. I went through the notes and i didn't see where anybody pointed out that Cook's Illustrated liked them both but liked the kithenaid a little better because the kitchenaid has a wider feed tube.

                                                              1. I have only had Cuisinart food processors and have loved them! I recently bought a new 12 cup processor-it has a small 4 cup bowl. I use the small bowl for herbs, grinding spices etc. and the large bowl for everything else. I really like the shredding and slicing discs since they are adjustable. It also has a leak proof seal. All in all, well worth the money!

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: kteacher

                                                                  I am just about to buy my first fp (thus my visit here), and I was intrigued by the "adjustable disks" on the Cuisinart. Am I correct in thinking that this means I can vary the thickness of my slicing and/or chopping? I'd very much like to know, as I was going to purchase a KA but this sounds like it might mean more versatility/less fuss with disks?

                                                                  1. re: kteacher

                                                                    Sorry for any goof-ups, I am having trouble with the edit function... I was set to buy my first KA food processor, but I saw the "adjustable disks" on the Cuisinart. Does this mean more versatility with slicing and chopping sizes? Please let me know a bit about how this works...

                                                                    1. re: 008cats

                                                                      Depends on what you mean by versatility. The two discs that come with the new Cuisinarts are both multi-function. The slicer has 8 preset thicknesses that you can set it to. The shredder is dual sided with large and small shredding choices by flipping it to whichever side suits the occasion.

                                                                  2. I carefully studied reviews and bought the KA 11-cup, because of the 3 bowls it came with. It works great, but the studies didn't mention the cleanup chore--you have to have all the bowls in to use the small ones, which means you wash all of them often. After the initial euphoria, I put away the small ones and just use the large one, so I might have saved some money with the Cuisinart. Check the warranties and the capacity--if you use it much at all for 6 servings, you need the 11- or 12-cup bowl. Customer service is an oxymoron for these companies any more, although I have had good luck with service on my KA mixer. Another way to choose is to go look at them and see which one you like the look and feel of. Machines in the kitchen are tactile hand tools, just in a different way from hand tools.........imho. And, it is a helpful tool, mainly when I'm cooking for a crowd. It's faster and less messy to chop by hand for small quantities, as in dinner for two. I use it for onion quantities (chop + slice), grating cheese, mixing cheesecake & flavored butters, making sauces, jams, chopped nuts, puree veggies, occasionally pie crust & cream puffs. My first food processor was a great little machine from JC Penney, just too small--7 cups means doing lots of batches which is time consuming and inefficient. Good luck. Have fun! I bought the discs for grating Parmesan cheese; several came with the machine.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Krissythecook

                                                                      I have owned a KA with the stacked bowls for several years. I use it less often than I expected. One reason is that I don't cook large amounts as I used to do. I also bought a set of slicing blades. I like having them, and I use the wide slicer the most. The limitation is that the food to be sliced must be cut to fit the oval shape of the feed tube. I agree, that for small amounts of chopping a good chef's knife and a cutting board are the way to go.

                                                                      And there is this--if you want your chopped onion to look nicely chopped, the knife and the board do the best job.

                                                                    2. PS The capacity measures on FPs are weird--I don't think they mean that they process X number of cups, because there is a mark on the bowl for the maximum liquid. Usually that is about even w/the height of the central bottom part. They play with the capacity, must measure chopped cabbage or something; eyeball it and look at the manual before you buy for minima and maxima. Nothing matches the FP for puree, cheese cake, cheese balls, fine, fine grinding. Just don't be over impressed by the cute little bowls that come with the KA--they are not that big a deal. If you plan your work to do the dry foods first, you don't need different size bowls. The bowls and blades are dishwasher safe but they take up a lot of room in the dishwasher, and they are hard to clean well by hand. K.