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Kitchenaid vs Cuisinart Food Processors


Richard Kilgore
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In another thread, Andie wrote:

I still like the Cuisinarts better than any other food processors, even with their idiosyncracies.

I meant to ask why you still prefer Cuisinarts? The new KAs are getting a lot of attention right now, so I would appreciate your thoughts.

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If you search for food processors on the cooking thread, there are a bunch of topics. But, I'm feeling a bit too lazy right now to link to all of them.

I had a Cuiz from about 1976 that finally got a warrior's burial after the thing sparked, started smoking and actually sprouted a flame.

I replaced it with the KA. Two reasons. Kohl's had them on way, way discounted sale, and they came with a big rebate. Second reason. That little bowl. I have a tiny kitchen in this house, and eliminating yet another appliance was appealing. I think I use the little bowl more often than the big bowl.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I prefer the kitchenaid.

My preference is largely based on my experience with a KA food processor I bought last year and my experiences with my 10 year old cuisinart food processor and some newer cuisinart products.

The KA food processor is solid. It is quite heavy and when I hit the pulse button, I can feel the torque cause the rubber feet to tighten their grip on the counter. In the past year I have done things that really shouldn’t be done with a food processor, but since I got mine on the cheap, I have been treating it like a rented car with the optional damage waiver. I have crushed countless lobster shells, crab shells (fyi: don’t try to crush the large shell on Dungeness crab in your KA food processor. It gets stuck in a manner that reminds me of the incident Richard described in the thread that I suspect inspired this one), endless amounts of chiles, lots and lots of soups, and many pounds of pastry dough. So far the blades are still pretty sharp, the bowl has no cracks, and the motor unit is as strong and shiny as ever. I am very happy with it and it has far exceeded my expectations.

My old cuisinart is also a solid machine. There are some broken bits on the old bowl and overall the bowl could use a replacement, but the motor is solid and I think it could easily handle another 10 years.

However, the cuisinart blender and a food processor attachment it came with, along with the carving knife (just horrible. The design puts a lot of sideways pressure on the blade and after a few uses the blades are noticeably bent and grind up against each other as I try to cut anything. The design just plain sucks and it retails for about $50), and a few other assorted cuisinart products I have purchased or aquired in the past few years have provided only disappointment. The blender is horrendous. I would not wish it’s shoddy manufacturing and even crappier performance on anyone. There is nothing nice I can say about the smart-power duet blender/food processor. It is a terribly designed and terribly manufactured product. Go ahead and turn one of those crappy blenders over and you’ll see something interesting through the vents (Yes, that is cardboard you are looking at). I can say without any hesitation that the bulk of cuisinart products are crappy, shoddily designed, very poorly manufactured products. Nonetheless, I will admit that a friend bought a cuisinart food processor about the same time I bought the kitchenaid and she loves it. And having used it several times I will say that I also I think it is a great food processor, but I can’t forget about all that garbage that makes up the majority of cuisinart’s products. They must make their food processors using a much higher standard.

Kitchenaid, on the other hand, has rarely made a disappointing product. Their blenders, coffe grinders, food processors, mixers, and all the attachments have always proven to be of solid manufacture. Of course there are some KA products I have not liked, but none have proven to be so remarkably disappointing as some of the cuisinart offerings.

At this point, I avoid cuisinart products on pure principal. A company that can produce such a singularly shitty carving knife should not be encouraged by any form of repeat business.

Edited by fiftydollars (log)
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If you search for food processors on the cooking thread, there are a bunch of topics.  But, I'm feeling a bit too lazy right now to link to all of them.

I had a Cuiz from about 1976 that finally got a warrior's burial after the thing sparked, started smoking and actually sprouted a flame.

I replaced it with the KA.  Two reasons.  Kohl's had them on way, way discounted sale, and they came with a big rebate.  Second reason.  That little bowl.  I have a tiny kitchen in this house, and eliminating yet another appliance was appealing.  I think I use the little bowl more often than the big bowl.

I hit the same sale and love mine. I especially like that the cutters com off the center post making it easy to store.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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I have two KA.

I have worn out the bowl, two shafts, 5 rubber feet, two lids and one large blade. I know it has a small bowl but have never used it ( who wants it ! Like new ! )

When this one bites the dust, I will get another.

One thing that is a pain is when you are makeing a salad dressing - you have to make it in small batches because the liquid leaks out from the center shaft hole in the bowl if it gets too high.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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I inherited one of the original CAs from my mother but had to replace the lid. The new lids with those horrendous feed tubes and their interlocks caused me to give the piece of crap to my sister for the country place. I use the graters and slicers a lot so the feed tube issue was a real problem for me.

When the KA went on sale I jumped at it, having looked them over at Sur la Table. The design genius just kept coming . . . simple feed tube, graters and slicers that store flat, small bowl (LOVE it), pusher that doubles as a measure (it is going in the dishwasher anyway), ingenious spatula design, solid construction.

My piece of crap blender went out just when I needed to make chile sauce for enchiladas. After about 5 minutes of processing in the big bowl with the blade, the ancho paste was smooth as silk. I may not replace the blender. If the KA craps out in a couple of years I will just buy another one.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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If you search for food processors on the cooking thread, there are a bunch of topics.  But, I'm feeling a bit too lazy right now to link to all of them.

I had a Cuiz from about 1976 that finally got a warrior's burial after the thing sparked, started smoking and actually sprouted a flame.

I replaced it with the KA.  Two reasons.  Kohl's had them on way, way discounted sale, and they came with a big rebate.  Second reason.  That little bowl.  I have a tiny kitchen in this house, and eliminating yet another appliance was appealing.  I think I use the little bowl more often than the big bowl.

I hit the same sale and love mine. I especially like that the cutters com off the center post making it easy to store.

What these two said. Same sale, same opinion of the little bowl.

sparrowgrass
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I've never even seen a KA, so I'll have to check them out. I have a CA that is now 20 yrs old and I adore it. I dread replacing it when it finally dies.

But please explain the attraction of the small bowl. I usually have to do more than one batch in my CA with just about anything, so can't imagine wanting something smaller.


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I've used about five of the most recent models of both and think they're all excellent machines. I wouldn't presume to say one is "better built" than the other -- both are remarkable. The advantages I see are that the KA has the option of the smaller bowl, and that the Cuisinart has the slower speed available for dough. Also the available sizes are different. If you want a really large capacity, Cuisinart is the way to go because you can get a 14-cup unit at a great price (the KA large unit is only available in the overpriced "Pro Line"). Overall I have to think the best deal out there right now is probably the 11-cup Cuisinart combo package that Costco is selling for $169.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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The final straw may be CA's customer service should something go wrong. It took months for them to replace a faulty unit that broke after a week's worth of use. It was really a drag. I wouldn't buy from them again.

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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Big KA here. It's swell. Although I, too, like Neil, have noted the leaking out of the center hole if you're not careful and you put in too much liquid.

But over all, love it. Especially the small bowl. For small batches of dips, flavored butters, that kind of thing.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I've got a Cuisinart DLC 8E. The thing is just slightly older than my marriage, as I got it new for a wedding present in 1983. I have two sets of bowls for it, neither of which is original, and replaced the cutting blade at least twice. I still have all of the other original blade attachments.

The motor in this thing still runs like it was new. I like it because it has a minimum of safety features-I find that many of the new ones are overkill to the point of making the units a pain to use. This has been a great machine. I know that it will eventually conk out, as I have used it, on average, 3 times a week for over 20 years. I think I will be forced to buy another Cuisinart just because this thing has been so great. Except for a 50 year old roaster oven (on the cool stand with the clock on it) and an O'Keefe and Merrit Stove, the Cuis is the oldest appliance that I own.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I inherited one of the original CAs from my mother but had to replace the lid. The new lids with those horrendous feed tubes and their interlocks caused me to give the piece of crap to my sister for the country place. I use the graters and slicers a lot so the feed tube issue was a real problem for me.

seems to me that there's a real (if incredibly risky, legally) market for some sort of feed-tube-safety-switch-eliminator aftermarket piece for a cuisinart...

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Thanks for the informative posts. Just so you all know Culinary Parts Unlimited has boucoups (sp?) parts for KA and Cuisinart, old and new.

Best,

Chris

Frau Farbissma: "It's a television commercial! With this cartoon leprechaun! And all of these children are trying to chase him...Hey leprechaun! Leprechaun! We want to get your lucky charms! Haha! Oh, and there's all these little tiny bits of marshmallow just stuck right in the cereal so that when the kids eat them, they think, 'Oh this is candy! I'm having fun!'"
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Richard, while I haven't measured them with a ruler, I think the current generation wide feed tube on the KA 12-cup is the same size as the current generation wide feed tube on the Cuisinart 11-cup.

I'm pretty sure nothing has ever gone wrong with any KA or Cuisinart product that I've owned, so I can't really compare customer service war stories, but I do know my mother's Cuisinart was replaced very promptly when it broke after something like a century of heavy use.

Note: When people are saying "CA" does that mean Cuisinart? It's a bit confusing and prone to misinterpretation, so maybe we could stick to KA for KitchenAid and Cuisinart for Cuisinart?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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As a former owner of a Cuisinart and a current owner of a KitchenAid, I lean heavily towards the KA. It's easy to use and clean, the base is heavy, the motor is powerful and the utility of the minibowl cannot be underestimated.

Of course, one will always be able to find one or the other manufacturer on a big sale. That's the nature of the beast. Comparing full retail prices, KA seems a clear winner to me.

The standard 12 cup KA with 4 cup minibowl has a full retail price of $250

Cuisinart's most comparable model is the 11 cup "Prep 11 Plus" with a full retail price of $320. And, in order to match the KA's functionality, it's another $110 for the 3 cup "Handy Prep."

Now, as Steven points out, you can buy an 11 cup "Custom Prep" (which I assume is either an earlier version or the "Prep 11 Plus" or a similar-looking model manufactured for Costco) at Costco for 170 bucks. That gives you another 80 bucks to find a 4 cup food processor for a full match with the KA's functionality at the KA's full retail price. A 5 minute search of the internet turned up a number of sites selling the KitchenAid 12 cup model for around 200 bucks, which narrows the gap considerably. It wouldn't be so easy to find a high quality 4 cup food processor for 30 bucks -- never mind all the extra room it would occupy on your countertop.

Given the small ($30) difference in discounted retail price and the fact that KA has the 4 cup minibowl, I think it's crazy not to buy the KA.

--

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I believe I have the entire line of Cuisinart food processors.

I bought my first one at the old Broadway dept store in Woodland Hills when I lived in the Valley, probably in 1973 or 74 as I was still married to my last husband.

I knew most of the women who worked in the kitchen section and one called me and told me about this new appliance and that they were going to be demonstrating it that afternoon.

I saw and I bought, even though it was very, very expensive.

I never regretted it. It was small and I had to do multiple batches for anything more than a few servings but it really changed the way I prepped certain things in the kitchen. It was retired from active duty but I still have it.

When the 11 cup became available I got one and also bought a domed lid for dough and a flat lid for certain things (pesto for instance) where almost everything goes into the bowl and then oil (or another liquid) is added through the center hole as it hits the top of the blade shaft and is sprayed evenly around the bowl. I think I have purchased 4 or 5 bowls, usually because I broke them from mishandling them. (They are tough but will not survive a cast iron skillet dropped on them in the sink.)

Several years later the 14 cup made its appearance and I got that one also and a flat lid for it too and an extra bowl.

About 5 or 6 years ago I bought the 20 cup and use it for large batches of dry ingredients into which I need to incorporate butter, lard or shortening, shred large batches of cabbage or slice cucumbers for pickles, make large batches of salsa, or in particular, the verde sauce I make for pork (tomatillo sauce).

Here is the lineup of the 11, 14 and 20 cup.

gallery_17399_60_47970.jpg

I also have the "Mini-Prep" but rarely use it. It was a gift.

I have never really had any significant problems with any of the Cuisinarts and they have had a lot of use.

I have used other brands at the homes of friends but have yet to find one that I like as well. However that is just my personal preference, other people have other needs and likes and they should use what works for them.

I have never returned a motor unit to Cuisinart service - I have a wizard of an appliance man who does wonders with anything I take him. I have had the cords replaced because they do wear out after a while and I am a safety freak.

One of the switches broke off when I dropped the thing and the appliance guy was able to replace it. I didn't ask how, since he isn't an "authorized" repair service for Cuisinart, but it works as well as it ever did.

And that is just about all I have to say on the subject.

By the way, all of my slicing blades on all the machines have removable shafts except for the very first one which I no longer use.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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The 12 cup KA at places like W-S and SLT run $230. That includes three work bowls ---12, 10 and 4 cup as I recall, several (3?) cutting disks for the 12 cup bowl in addition to the metal blades for the three work bowls.

The 11 cup Cuisinart at $199 includes a small separate food processor --- maybe 3 - 4 cups, not sure. And no disks.

That's a lot of extra functionality for the KA for $30.

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These offers are different than the KA I listed above for $239, which has a very wide mouth feed tube and a 10 cup bowl that the $199 ones do not have. I think it depends upon what you want to spend and what you want and need.

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Comparing retail prices is meaningless -- the retail price of an appliance is a theoretical construct that exists for a variety of reasons, with none of those reasons being that it's the actual price. "Street price" is the measure that matters. Nor is the $169 Costco deal a special or temporary sale. It's the standard price Costco charges for that unit and it has remained the same since last year. There are also a variety of vendors that always have it for around that price, albeit with a slightly different product name and not as well equipped. I also think it's not particularly useful to compare old models of one brand to new models of the other. Although the rate of change with food processors doesn't rival that of microprocessors, there has been a lot of recent evolution. So it's somewhat like comparing a new computer to a two-year-old computer.

The extra work bowl in a different size is definitely a selling point of the KitchenAid. Whether it translates into a value computation equal to having a whole additional food processor depends on what you use these things for. If you don't use the small unit at all, it's irrelevant. If you use it all the time -- like you're making baby food a couple of times a day -- you'll want a dedicated mini unit anyway. Similarly, the Cuisinart's superior treatment of dough only matters if you make dough in your food processor. Most people who make a lot of dough are likely to have a KitchenAid stand mixer or something along those lines anyway. Although, the Cuisinart is so good at making dough that the last two times I made any I didn't even bother to set up the KitchenAid.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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