There's no doubt that Cuisinart and KitchenAid are the reigning brands in the food processor category. And for good reason. Both product lines are powerful, well-designed and backed by strong, well-established company names. But if you're shopping for a food processor, how can you decide?
To help you make a more informed decision, here's a side-by-side comparison of the two most similar models, Cuisinart's Prep 11 Plus 11-cup Food Processor (Model DLC-2011RN) and KitchenAid's 12-Cup Food Processor (Model KFP-750).
Cuisinart's machine has a 600-watt motor, while Kitchenaid's motor, at 700 watts, is slightly more powerful. For bread makers, Cuisinart might be an advantage, as its Dough Control feature adjusts the speed of the motor to achieve the proper dough consistency.
Design and Colors
Both machines are fairly similar in size and basic design, while certain user-friendly features are the cumulation of improvements on previous models.
Cuisinart's machine a wide mouth feed tube, while KitchenAid offers two feed tubes in one; a wider tube and a narrow insert tube ideal for feeding ingredients like carrots or celery. Both have a control touchpad for easy wiping. KitchenAid's machine will take up a slightly bigger footprint on your counter: it measures 8 1/4 inches wide by 10 1/2 inches deep and 15 1/8 inches high, compared to : Cuisinart's machine, which is 9 1/2 inches wide by 7 inches deep and 14 3/4 inches high. The fact that KitchenAid's capacity is one cup larger might be a selling point for those who cook for a crowd.
Features and Accessories
When it comes to features, KitchenAid has a slight edge, mainly due to its handy 40-cup mini bowl and blade, which fits inside of the machine and allows you to use the machine as a mini grinder for chopping small quantities of nuts or herbs. KitchenAid also bundles its machine with both a multipurpose blade, a dough blade, a 2 mm fine slicing disc, a 4 mm medium slicing disk, a 4 mm medium shredding disc and a spatula/cleaning tool. All of these parts fit neatly into a plastic accessory storage case, another advantage over the competition.
Cuisinart's Prep 11 Plus, meanwhile, comes with a shredding disc and a medium, 4 mm slicing disc, as well as a chopping/mixing blade and a metal dough blade, small and large pushers and a spatula.
Both machines come with instruction and recipe books, of course, but Cuisinart also includes a how-to DVD.
If warranty is important to you, you'll probably appreciate Cuisinart's generous limited 3-year warranty on the entire unit and its 10-year motor warranty. KitchenAid, meanwhile, offers its Hassle-Free Replacement Warranty, which guarantees it will replace a faulty item for one year after purchase.
The suggested retail price of Cuisinart's Prep 11 Plus is $179. The suggested retail price of KitchenAid's 12-cup Food Processor is $250, although some retailers sell it for as little as $130.
The Bottom Line:
KitchenAid's larger capacity, added accessories and handy accessory storage case give it an edge, even though it's a little more expensive. The company has also released a stepped-up model, KFP-W760, which adds an even wider-mouth feed tube, a third 10-cup work bowl, and a citrus press and egg whip attachments. At $270, it might be an even better choice for the home cook who really wants it all.