One minute review
Cuisinart is a global brand that is now known for all kinds of kitchen appliances, cookware and bakeware. However, for many of us, the brand is synonymous with some of the best food processors (opens in new tab)and it even claims to be the first brand to introduce the food processor to the US in the early 1970s with reported fans including the late great Julia Child.
The Cuisinart Elemental 13 Cup Food Processor with Dicing as it is known in the US goes in the UK under the name Cuisinart Expert Prep Pro FP13. This large 13 cup/3.3 liter food processor offers greater capacity and functionality than the Cuisinart Elemental 8 Cup FP8 / Cuisinart Easy Prep Pro FP8 (opens in new tab), (opens in new tab) but that also means it is more expensive and also takes up more space.
In addition to the large main bowl, it also comes with a smaller inner bowl and blade for when you only need to mix or chop smaller amounts such as herbs or salsa. And there is a handy storage case for the grating and cutting discs, chopping knives and the plastic dough knife. There is also a cutting accessory for quickly dicing fruits and vegetables. UK buyers get an extra spiraling accessory in the box, and while this isn’t standard with the US model, it’s available as an optional extra.
It excelled in pretty much all of our testing, chopping, blending, shredding and slicing everything we threw at it. In addition, we were also impressed with the cutting and spiralizing accessories. This food processor is best suited for passionate home cooks who will make the most of all the features it offers. But those looking for a unit for basic chopping, shredding, and slicing tasks may find that this unit comes with too many accessories that will only clutter up valuable kitchen storage space.
Cuisinart Elemental 13-cup food processor with cubes: price and availability
- MSRP: $199.95/ £280
The Cuisinart Elemental 13 Cup Food Processor with Dicing is known as the Cuisinart Expert Prep Pro FP13 in the UK. It’s available directly from Cuisinart or Amazon in both countries, as well as from other device retailers.
The UK model comes with the spiralizing kit included. However, if you buy it in the US, you won’t get the spiralizing kit in the box, so you’ll have to buy it separately for $49.95. However, the advantage of this is that you don’t have to have it unless you really want it.
- Good safety interlock features
- Two speeds plus pulse
- Dishwasher Friendly Parts
If you’re thinking of leaving it on your counter, the Cuisinart Elemental 13 Cup Cube Food Processor has a relatively compact footprint, considering all the functions it can perform. The main food processor measures only 16.43 x 8.1 x 10.43 inches / 41.7 x 20.6 x 26.5 cm (HxWxD). However, it is important to keep in mind that there are plenty of accessories that will require space in your cabinets.
The storage case is super handy to keep all sharp knives and most important accessories safely together in one box. It includes the reversible grating disc, adjustable slicing disc, dough blade, large blade, small blade, spatula and the handle adapter. It has a latch on the front to lock the lid closed too, but at 18.7 x 23 x 21.2 cm (HxWxD) it is thick.
The cutting set offers a quick and easy way to cut all kinds of fruits and vegetables into cubes and even comes with its own storage box. But again, you’ll want to consider where you store it, as it measures 4.6 x 8.3 x 8.7 inches / 11.7 x 21 x 22 cm (HxWxD).
The spiraling kit that comes standard with the UK model offers both a spaghetti and ribbon cut disc, but the storage solution for this kit isn’t quite as neat and you’ll have to store most of these extra parts separately rather than in a case. If you purchase this optional extra kit in the US, it comes with a third Angel hair disc.
There are only two speeds and a pulse button, so operation doesn’t require a lot of figuring out. Assembling the bowl and lid of the food processor is a bit more difficult. The lid’s safety locking mechanism means that everything must be assembled in a certain order and the work bowl cannot be removed from the base until the lid is unlocked. Once you get the hang of the order of things, it’s actually quite easy to slide together and everything locks into place with a firm twist. Plus, it’s reassuring to have these safety features when using a device with such sharp blades.
- Easy in use
- Fast, even results
- Can be noisy
We’ve done a lot of testing with this food processor and tried almost every feature to get a good idea of whether it’s worth the money and in short, it’s good at what it does. First we tried the slicing disc, and although the adjustable thickness is labeled 1-7, there are levels between the numbers, so it actually offers 20 thickness options. Needless to say, cucumber was no match for this slice and floated through half a cucumber in seconds, creating even slices with no wastage.
When shredding, we used the small shredded side of the reversible chocolate disc. Unlike other food processors we tested, very little chocolate melted on the disc while shredding. Most of the grated chocolate was even and fine, but some coarser bits came through too, so we had to get those out. There was also some chocolate in the lid, which accounted for 17% of the total.
We swapped the disc for cheese and carrot to make thicker shreds, which was effortless for this unit. Both were shredded evenly and quickly, none of the root was left unshredded and only a small amount of cheese (about 6%) got stuck in the lid, which you can just use in cooking.
The large cleaver is powerful, we cut an onion into six wedges and it only took six pushes of the pulse button to make even, finely chopped pieces. The tougher task of grinding diced beef was no match for it either, taking just 15 seconds on the lower speed to chop all the meat into a fine ground beef texture. Likewise, the cake ingredients were quickly blended into an even, smooth batter in less than a minute.
For chopping nuts we used the smaller bowl and blade, it was slightly slower than the large blade and it took 20 pulses to turn whole hazelnuts into a finely chopped texture. And while the nuts were a little uneven with some fine powder in them, it was a good result compared to many other food processors.
When slicing potatoes, they had to be cut in half to fit in the filler opening. Unlike slicing, the die size is not variable and the pieces come out in about 0.4 inch/1 cm cubes, but it is fast and effective. It cuts a whole potato into cubes in about 10 seconds. Some potato got stuck in the blade after we diced a second potato, but given the speed and convenience we were happy to open it up to remove a bit of potato before continuing.
Spiralizing was just as quick and easy, we made cucumber ribbons and carrot spaghetti. There was some wastage, but there’s always that with spiralizing food. It’s worth noting that the pestle has to be in position for the spiralizer to start up, so you’ll need to cut the food accordingly, e.g. you can’t have a whole cucumber sticking out of the top.
The dough knife is effective at combining bread dough and we mixed the ingredients with five pulses followed by 30 seconds on high speed, but it can’t go through and knead the dough. If you leave it too long and it continues to mix after a dough has formed, it will shake violently and you will have to keep it pressed. The usually firm suction cups on the feet are not enough to hold it on the counter in this case, so we recommend kneading by hand.
Our noise meter reached a maximum of 86dB on several tests, but because this food processor is so fast, the noise doesn’t last too long, making it tolerable.
Cleaning a food processor is a difficult job, this is no different. Fortunately, all parts can be cleaned in the dishwasher, which certainly makes life easier. It’s worth noting that if you wash it in the dishwasher, water droplets get stuck in the handle and some parts of the lid, it does eventually dry out. If you need even more top tips on cleaning a food processor (opens in new tab) then our step-by-step guide will help.
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
- First assessment: June 2022