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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to buy a food processor and wonder if anyone has advice or a processor they couldn't live without. I already own a blender and hand-mixer, but I think I would use this mostly for:

-hummus and dips

-pureed soups

-sauces

I don't really need anything to serve 1,000 people or chop my vegetables.

Any advice?
 

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if you aren't doing anything heavy duty, something simplie like a black and decker 40$ type will work. that is what my mum has, and she has had it for years. she does stuff like that.

my sister and i are both much more involved in our personal kitchens, and we both have kitchen-aid pros. i love it, but for what you are using it for, i wouldn't spend that much. however, it will last you forever.
 

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I disagree on the cheapy - spend the $100 and get a basic CuisineArt 7-cup. Right now you might get the 11 cup for the same price (on sale). It has a 5 amp motor that will last 20 years, and cut through anything the whole time. I'm rarely into brand-names but I'd burned out countless processor until I bought this one (and many others for friends).

Kitchen-Aid does make great mixers, but I don't know anything about the food processors.
 

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in that case, i will agree with nigel.

i was just going by my mum's, but if that is the cost of a cuisinart, then yes, i would spend more too.
 

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rereading your OP and considering that you want to make soups and sauces - the cheaper ones leak like crazy and the Cuisine-Art does a great job of keeping things in.

If you're heavy on the pureed soups, though, I'd recommend a stick blender first. You can get one at target for around 20 bucks, and they're a hell of a lot easier to clean.
 

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I have a kitchenaid 11 cup and it's actually really quiet. I can use it while I'm talking on the phone and the other person can't hear it.
 

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I gotta agree with the Cuisinart recommendation. They're strong, durable and the parts are replaceable. I put that last part in bold because there aren't many processor makers that offer replaceable parts but this one does and ordering parts from them is a snap, too (seriously. Go look at their site and you'll see exactly what I mean).

IMO, you could spend 40$ on a B&D (or any other brand) but if something breaks, you are now left with a 40$ paperweight.
Go for quality and get a Cuisinart. Your long-term budget will thank you.
 

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Another vote for the Cuisinart. I've had mine for about a year and I love it. I use it a couple times a week.

I just wish I'd purchased the 11 cup instead of the 7 cup.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel View Post

I disagree on the cheapy - spend the $100 and get a basic CuisineArt 7-cup. Right now you might get the 11 cup for the same price (on sale). It has a 5 amp motor that will last 20 years, and cut through anything the whole time. I'm rarely into brand-names but I'd burned out countless processor until I bought this one (and many others for friends).

Kitchen-Aid does make great mixers, but I don't know anything about the food processors.
I like the Kitchen-Aid food processors slightly better because the CuisineArt has a locking mechanism that you practically have to have a degree in engineering to master. However the Kitchen-Aid is also quite a bit more expensive.

Below is a pdf of the ratings done by Cook's Illustrated.

RatingFoodProcessors.pdf 185.58984375k . file
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Plastic Straw View Post

I like the Kitchen-Aid food processors slightly better because the CuisineArt has a locking mechanism that you practically have to have a degree in engineering to master.
I'm not sure what you mean. On mine, I just turn it counterclockwise about and 8th of a turn and it locks in place.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel View Post

I'm not sure what you mean. On mine, I just turn it counterclockwise about and 8th of a turn and it locks in place.
Is yours an older model? On the Cuisinart my parents have you have to have two or three different things in the right position in order to get it to lock. It's a pain in the arse sometimes.
 

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It's about 5 years old, but I just bought my SIL one that's exactly the same.

You made me think though - I've heard of a few cases where the spring on the safety switch on the back of the bowl wears out and makes locking it in place difficult. Maybe that's what's going on with your parents'
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You are all amazing! Thanks for the advice - I'm going to do some more research, but I think the idea of spending an extra $50 makes sense if I want a long term, quality appliance.

Yay, so excited to make hummus in 10 seconds!
 

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I concur. Cuisineart. I use one and I like it. I haven't used a kitchen aid but I'd bet it would be good too. I'd avoid the B&D, for the reasons mentioned.

No problem with the Cuisineart motor-lock-out safety mechanism. Each bowl piece must be properly locked in place before the motor will run, one at a time, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Do not try to lock the cover to the bowl, then the bowl to the motor. First lock the bowl to the motor, then lock the cover (or chute unit) to the bowl. And the pusher assembly (having a sleeve, and 2 pushers) must be locked to the chute. The owner's manual is very good, as is the owner's video tape. They clearly explain how to lock the bowl, top, chute, and pusher assembly.

Basicly, everything you need to lock, except for the pusher assembly, you just twist counter-clockwise to lock. The pusher assembly, which has 2 pushers and a pusher sleeve, is locked to the chute, by pushing down on the pusher sleeve until it clicks into place.

The pushers will lock to the pusher sleeve (by turning them counterclockwize), but neither pusher needs to be locked in order for the motor to run. This is sort of obvious, since you need to be able to move the pushers within the pusher shoot, while the motor is running, in order to use the pusher with a slicing disk or shredding disk. However if you want to lock the large main pusher, you push its locking tab counterclockwize. The small pusher inside the big main pusher can also be locked - by turning it counter clockwise.

Most mechanical devices that turn to lock, are turned clockwize to lock, but with the Cuisinart, everything is counter-clockwize. However it is consistant. Every part you turn to lock, you turn it counter-clockwise to lock (and clockwize to open).

Each part that you lock by twisting, you first place it so that its line-up mark is a centimeter or two ahead of the line-up mark on the part below it (its lineup mark is a centimeter or two in a clockwize direction from the part below it), then turn the upper part counter-clockwize until both line-up marks are lined up, and you hear and feel the parts click into place. The base, bowl, cover, and chute all have clear marks or landmarks, so that you can see how each should line up with the part below it. Place the part you are attaching an centimeter or two ahead of being lined up, then turn it counterclockwize until it is lined up.

The locking mechanism is kind of clever and elegant, actually.

To unlock and remove parts, work from top to bottom, and turn clockwise. Top to bottom. Do not try to remove the bowl, without first removing the cover, or at least first unlocking it. The pusher assembly is unlocked from the chute, by pressing in the tab. It will unlock and pop up when you do this. Then you just pull it up and off.

According to the manual, when storing the unit, if you leave the bowl, and cover or chute, on the unit, it is best to leave them unlocked. I would think that this is because by leaving the safety switch (in the motor housing, below the tiny hole at the front) open, you prolong the life of the switch spring.

The motor is quiet. It does seem to get too hot when I make almond butter. I do half the job, then let it rest a half hour, then do the rest. It takes about 10 minutes to turn blanched almonds into almond butter. But most food processors won't make almond butter at all. They will grind almonds into a fine powder, but not into an oily mass. Hint when making almond butter, lightly oil the inside surface of the bowl and bowl cover, and the entire blade assembly too, before putting the nuts in the bowl.
 

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"I've heard of a few cases where the spring on the safety switch on the back of the bowl wears out and makes locking it in place difficult."

In mine, and I think in all 7 and 11 cup models, the switch is not on the bowl but is in the motor base, hidden below a tiny hole at the front of the base, which has a dust-seal on the inside surface of the hole. What the bowl has is a (plastic resin) rod that moves down (and up) in a tube (which is at the front of the bowl, near the bowl's handle) when you turn both the bowl and the bowl-cover counter-clockwize into locked position. When bowl is turned lined up properly, the rod lines up with the hole but does not go in. When the bowl cover (or chute unit) is also lined up properly, a tab on the bowl cover pushes the rod down through the hole in the base and pushes the seal down, which in turn presses down on the switch, and closes the switch, allowing electricity to flow through the switch, which allows the motor to run when the on-off switch is also closed. When you turn the cover clockwise to loosen it, the tab stops pushing down on the rod, and a spring around the rod pushes the rod up, causing the switch to open.

Dirt and dried food can get in the motor base hole, and in the rod mechanism. Soil in the motor base hole can cause the switch to stick open or closed. If stuck closed (down position) the motor will be able to run even if the bowl is not locked in place. If stuck open (up position) it may be hard to lock the cover (or chute unit) in place. It can prevent the cover from closing completely, and prevent the tab on the cover (or chute unit) from pushing the rod down, which would make locking the bowl and cover in place impossible, and prevent the switch from being closed, thus preventing the motor from running even if the cover could somehow be forced into place.

If the spring were to weaken, the bowl should easily lock in place when you turned the cover (or chute unit) to the correct position. However since the spring is needed to push the rod back up when the cover is turned clockwise and removed, the weak spring could make it difficult to turn the bowl clockwise, and remove it - because the rod would stay in the down position, with its bottom end still in the hole. However without the pressure from the tab on the cover to press the rod down, the switch itself should help push the rod up, and there are holes in the tube through which you might be able to pass a tool, that you could use to grasp the rod and pull it up, if you could find a suitable tool.

I think one should try to avoid getting food in the rod mechanism. If you do, rinse it out before it dries. If it dries, conceivably it could turn out to be just about impossible to get it out, and free up the rod, but I'd try simply soaking the bowl in detergent-water for a few hours to loosen up dried-on goop; that would probably work in most cases. You could also try to find some kind of tool that will fit in the tube and enable you to gently move the rod, free up the rod, once the goop is softened. Be careful, the rod and tube seem to both be fragile plastic resin. If you have compressed air you could try blowing goop and particles out of the tube. You could also direct a water sprayer at the tube and rod. The tube has lots of holes in it to allow water (or compressed air) to get in and reach the rod.
 

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I went shopping yesterday so I was checking out the Cuisinarts....I didn't realize how expensive they were...I was in Sears and they wanted $159 for a 7 cup one and I was hoping for the 11 cup. Isn't that a little steep?
 
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