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Cuisnart Elite Food Processor-help!

I have a 30 year old 11 cup Cuisinart Food Processor that suddenly died, and I am trying to figure out what is the model to replace it. We used it all the time and often wished that we had a second with a smaller bowl for certain tasks, but we never bought a mini-prep.

What do you know about the relatively new Cuisinart Elite Food Processor with nesting bowls? Or should I be considering another brand or model?

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  1. If your bowl/accessories are in good shape think about picking up an old base unit off ebay. I got one for $25 after moving to the US from the UK (different electric requirements). Worth doing because they were so well made in those days. Check out not just Cuisinart but also RobotChef (who I think I'm right in saying were then making the base units for Cusinart).

    1. Thanks everyone. Keep those opinions coming. I looked at Cook's Illustrated but I didn't see the 11/10 review on the website. The last review I saw was 2004. I will look again.

      3 Replies
      1. re: veggielover

        On the Cook's Illustrated website, under Equipment Reviews - Small Appliances, there are currently two Food Processor headings. One with a 2004 review and one with a 2010 review.

        1. re: veggielover

          Make sure it is not just the interlock mechanism and not the motor. If it is the bowl/cover/tube interlock there are parts available from places like the one listed below.

          1. re: ospreycove

            A plastic piece broke off of the chute and it won't start. We already replaced the bowl and accompanying parts once, but the base also has a crack. We really need to replace the whole thing.

        2. I was just in the store looking at food processors yesterday. Unless you want something made in China, your only choice is Robot Coupe, MagiMix? Williams Sanoma has them, the others; Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Wearing were all made in China.

          We have an older KitchenAid made in France, and gave out daughter an older Cuisinart we had that was also made in France. I detest buying stuff made in China, most of it is inferior in materials and workmanship.

          I work in the plastics industry and you can't imagine how many times my customers have stuff made in China and they don't use the specified plastic, then the company has a part failure. Well, no kidding, it broke, well it's not made out of what it's supposed to be. Even big name brands, it's a crap shoot buying stuff made in China. Someday I'm going to post a rant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mikie

            You have a point. Maybe, we'll need to buy a 3 year warranty for replacement parts.

            I recently was advised to do so for the new washing machine we purchased to replace one 30 years old. I guess our stuff is beginning to wear out :-)

          2. I have the 16 cup Elite (from Williams Sonoma) and absolutely love it. I make a lot of soup, and this machine's the bomb. Absolutely does not leak. Great with heavy doughs. It can be a bit fiddly to clean the lid, but that's a minor issue for me. I find that I use the small and large bowls a lot, the medium not so much.

            10 Replies
            1. re: pikawicca

              pikawicca - I'm on the verge of buying this model from WS, so searched for it on the cookware board. I've always had trouble with a thin line of soup spitting out around the room with my old cuisinart (that and the blade plopping into the bowl when I pour out the contents), so I was happy to read your post here. I think you've pushed me over to the must buy side of the decision. Hope you are still happy with it.

                1. re: L.Nightshade

                  Did you buy the food processor from WS? Do you like it?

                  1. re: Momsgot3

                    Yes, from WS. And we like it, with reservations. Mr. NS strongly prefers the smaller one. I like the three bowls when I'm doing a complex meal or prep, but I almost always use the largest bowl for everyday. It seems the largest bowl always gets some food on it when you use the smaller bowls (when you use a smaller bowl, the larger bowls have to be on the machine also), so it's just easier to clean only one bowl.

                    It's very tall, fits on the counter under our cupboards only by a hair, and some people say it doesn't fit under their cupboards, so measure if that matters to you. It's heavy also. I can't move it around easily like the smaller, or the older ones.

                    It's great for making puréed soup in large amounts. The old one used to leak out around the lid when puréeing, no matter how little liquid I put in the bowl. And the blade stays locked in place when you pour liquid out.

                    As rasputina mentions, the adjustable slicing blade is really nice. But it has the same problem that all Cuisinarts have, which is a big space above the disc, so I'm always left with half a carrot or half a zucchini that doesn't get grated or sliced.

                    My biggest problem with it, which may be a problem with any size, is that it's difficult to impossible to completely clean the lid. As far as I can tell, the big rubber gasket does not come out, and tiny bits of food get stuck between the gasket and the lip of the lid. I've tried everything from brushes to pressure washing, to no avail.

                    Since we have two kitchens, we have two Cuisinarts. The sixteen cup from WS, and the 11 cup from Costco. The smaller one is much more convenient for me to use, and I tend to use it more frequently. The bigger one is more of a hassle, and I find myself grabbing the immersion blender whenever it will do the job. But the big one is great for big dinners or big projects.

                    So, bottom line, I think it's really a matter of what you're going to be using if for, and how accessible it's going to be for you.

                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                      Thank you so much, you answered all of questions, and give room for thought. I thank everyone that answered my questions. I looked at the elite at WS and it is huge. I might just go with the 14 cup elite and save a few bux. I do use a food processor alot, but like you I grab that immersion blender when pureeing soups, and sauces. I make a a lot of bread dough, for pizza and bread, so I really want something heavy, and the elite seems a bit better built. My 11 cup prep plus still works,but the bowl has masking tape on it. The lid is held together with a wire, that is until the pusher cracked. So as you can see, not in good shape. The light buttons on the base are also missing (who knows where they went? They used to glow red, now just white holes.) I must say the motor still works fine, but to replace all the sad parts will be over 100 dollars, and thats why the Mr. said, Just get a new one, so the Mrs. Me said, well okay. Hope to land it this weekend. Thanks for your answer, isn't CHOW just great?

                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                        On your advice, just measured my cabinets from the counter up to the edge of the cabinets, and it reads 18 inches, which I believe is the standard. So...said food processor should most likely fit. On the recommendation of another poster, I would have to place it on a place mat or the like to be able to pull it forward for use.

                        Hey, since you seem so knowledgeable, and familiar with WS, perhaps you might know the answer to this question. Why do you think that WS gets exclusive rights to certain sizes or types of things? Ex. All Clad let WS sell the d-5 stainless, when other retailers were excluded from selling the d5. Apparently since it was made. And why would Cuisinart let only WS sell the 16 cup Elite food processor, and no other retailers. Other retailers can only sell the 14 cup. Hmph. Makes me wonder why WS has manufacturers in their sweet little pocket. I'm sure they WS have lots of other things exclusively. Just wondering.

                        1. re: Momsgot3

                          As to "why", likely because they pay for it. They probably enter into exclusivity agreements with a commitment to sell a certain volume of goods.

                  2. re: pikawicca

                    How is your 16 cup elite doing and do you still like it. I want this one, but williams sonoma is the only ones selling the 16 cup. Everywhere else 14 cup. Not sure if two lousy cups is worth xtra 60 bux. What do you advise?

                    1. re: Momsgot3

                      I've had mine for a couple years now and really like it. A big improvement as far as liquids and the adjustable slicing blade is convenient.

                  3. Like Pikawicca, I have the large Elite. It took a bit of getting used to but we are very happy with it. I bought it from Amazon.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: Candy

                      Do you have the fourteen cup then? May I ask what it cost? The sixteen cup is only at WS and is 199.99 ( why the H they can't just say 200, i dunno). Irks me so.

                      1. re: Momsgot3

                        If you can get the 16-cup for $199 then jump on it. That's an extremely low price.

                        1. re: Momsgot3

                          Blame psychologists. They do everything from arranging products like putting the sweet cereals at toddler eye level to this whole .99 pricing thing. A customer will be more likely to buy something that is $9.99 rather than one that is priced at $10. Similarly, something that is $199.99 is more likely to sell than something that is $200. It pretty much makes a product feel like it is as cheap deal. Walk into Walmart and you'll find shirts selling for $14.99. Other stores dont want the psychological thinking of cheap deals associated with their products and will purposely avoid .99 or $ 199 at all costs and you'll see Alexander Mcqueen Gladiator Sandals selling for $540 as opposed to $539.99. Its annoying but it works great. Well not for the consumer lol.

                          1. re: PrinceZuko

                            Just want the largest Cuisinart for the best price, but only if folks absolutely love it. The Elite food processor by Cuisinart. Chime in everyone, and tell me if you love it, or wish you had something different.

                            1. re: Momsgot3

                              I see a lot of listings for the 12 and 14 cups for $250 to over $300. So if you want the largest, and you want Cuisinart, you might as well go for the 16 cup!

                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                Ya, most likely will. The prices vary so much, its almost scary. Wondering if the WS outlets have this product. I have never been to one, but they are opening a new one and hour and a half north of me. I will venture up there in a few weeks, when the throngs of folks quiet down. Wondering what they have there anyway.

                                1. re: Momsgot3

                                  Got mine (14-cup) on over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, heavily discounted (was probably $170-175)..

                            2. re: PrinceZuko

                              Here's an ad from the 1930's with prices ending in .95. I suspect there are cave paintings somewhere advertising wooden clubs and stone axes for 3.9 squirrels, or whatever currency they used back then.