UPDATE Feb. 2018: This model has been discontinued. It is still available on Amazon from third party sellers, but the price is outrageous.
What we suggest instead:
To see other models check out our Food Processor Comparison Charts (includes all sizes).
See the lowest price listing I’ve found on Amazon:
4.0 Reviewed by SusanRating:
If you’re looking for powerful and versatile, the Cuisinart FP-14 Elite Collection 14-Cup Food Processor is worth serious consideration. Its large capacity and 1,000 Watt motor make it excellent for a wide variety of cooking tasks in your home kitchen. While it’s definitely one of the higher priced models on the market, the cost is justified by all the bowls, blades, discs, and extras that are included.
Like all food processors, it does have some drawbacks – but are the complaints because of inexperience and improper use, or because of actual design flaws? We’ve done the research to sort the invalid from the legitimate so you’ll have all the details to help you decide whether this is the best food processor for you.
Read our complete Cuisinart FP-14 Elite Collection 14-Cup Food Processor Review below.
NOTE: This review applies to Cuisinart model numbers FP-14, FP-14DC, and FP-14BK. The only difference in these three models is the color: White (FP-14), Die Cast (FP-14DC – pictured above), and Black (FP-14BK). See photo of all three models under Best Price.
Table of Contents (Click a topic to read ahead!)
- 1000 Watt Motor
- 14-Cup Work Bowl
- Nesting 11-Cup and 4.5-Cup work bowls
- Touchpad controls and a dough speed setting
- Supreme Wide-Mouth Feed Tube
- Large and Small Pushers
- Work Bowl Cover with Extra Large Feed Tube
- Large and Small Pushers for Feed Tube
- Large Chopping/Mixing Blade, Small Chopping/Mixing Blade, and Dough blade
- Adjustable Slicing Disc (6 settings from 1mm to 6mm thickness)
- Reversible Shredding Disc for fine or medium shredding
- All parts except base diswasher safe
- Retractable cord
- Accessory Storage Case, Spatula, and Instruction/Recipe Book Included
- 20-year Motor Warranty; Limited 3-year Warranty on Unit
Demo Video of the Cuisinart FP-14 Elite Collection 14-Cup Food Processor
This video runs about 16 minutes, so it’s a little long, but you’ll get closeup views of all the parts as well as an excellent demonstration of how everything works. (Review continues below video.)
Most people like to hear the bad news first, so let’s get right to it. One complaint I found mentioned several times is about the finger holes in the slicing and shredding discs. The purpose of those holes is to allow you to handle the discs without cutting yourself. However, some report that because of those holes, chunks of food can fall through the shredding disc into the bowl while processing. Many other users are completely happy with this model and say this isn’t a deal breaker because it doesn’t happen often enough to matter.
Update about disc finger holes (Aug. 20, 2014): One verified purchaser reported on July 28, 2014, that the finger holes have now been removed from the discs. This information does not appear anywhere else online so I contacted the manufacturer. Cuisinart Customer Service sent me an email dated 08/20/2014 that states:
“Thank you for your inquiry. All of our new models will come with no finger holes in the discs. The disc with no holes are also orderable separately.”
That’s good news, but be aware that there is probably some transition time involved. Retailers will sell their in-stock models first, and many of those will ship with the original discs. At the moment there is no guarantee that you will receive a model with the newly designed discs that don’t have finger holes.
One other drawback to consider is that the cost of replacement parts for this model is quite high. Since the motor has a 20 year warranty, you may well need to buy new bowls or discs over the years, so this is something to think about when you’re comparison shopping. What’s really surprising is that replacement parts for this Cuisinart model are a lot more expensive than those for the much pricier Breville Sous Chef. For example, a new work bowl lid for the Cuisinart FP-14 runs around $45, whereas the same part for the Sous Chef is only about $18. (For a detailed comparison you may also want to read our review of the Breville Sous Chef.)
If those issues don’t turn you off, then here’s the good news — For anyone who uses a food processor often and for lots of different jobs, this machine has a lot to offer. A big part of its value is that it includes such a nice selection of accessories. Right out of the box it gives you the ability to chop or mix, process dough, shred fine or medium sizes, and slice in 6 different thicknesses. In fact, about the only discs it does not include are for making french fries or julienne strips (see Optional Accessories below).
Adding to the value of this processor are several design features that make it more user friendly than a lot of other models. The three work bowls have measurement markings on the sides, and the drip-free pouring spout is such an obvious improvement it makes you wonder why it took so long for anyone to build a better work bowl.
Speaking of pouring … The chopping/mixing blades are designed so you don’t have to remove them to empty the bowl. They stay locked in place so they won’t fall out while you’re pouring out the contents of the work bowl.
The same goes for the work bowls. To understand that you need to be aware of how the nested bowls work. To use either the medium or small work bowl, you must first attach the large bowl, and then attach the medium or the small bowl inside of it. Basically, the main difference this makes is that there may be times when you’ll want to plan ahead before jobs that require processing lots of food in different size bowls. What’s important is that like the blades, the bowls lock in place so you don’t have to remove the inner bowl to empty it.
In keeping with its ability to accommodate large jobs, the cover assembly has an extra large feed chute – the patented Cuisinart Supreme Wide-Mouth® feed tube. Both a large pusher and a small pusher are included to accommodate foods of different sizes, from whole potatoes to small mushrooms. Like other Cuisinart models with a similar lid assembly, the small pusher has a drizzle hole for adding oil or other small amounts of liquid during processing.
The SealTight® lid is designed to fit snugly to prevent leakage when using any of the 3 work bowls, and it has a gasket to give you a tight seal when processing very liquid foods. If you aren’t new to these machines, maybe you’re familiar with the dish rag trick for processing liquids. You know, where you put your liquid in, put the lid on, wrap a big dish rag around the bowl and lid, and then try to hold the lid down and keep the rag in place while you operate the machine, all at once. Well here’s some good news. The rubber seal on the lid of the Cuisinart FP-14 will spare you all that. If you do experience leakage, most likely you don’t have the lid seated firmly on the work bowl and just need to get both front and back securely locked in place.
In fact, compared to some other models (the Cuisinart Model DFP-14BCN for one), the lid locking mechanism on the FP-14 Elite model is much easier to maneuver. On this unit you simply push down on the front and back of the lid to lock it in place. The manufacturer does advise that the lid can be somewhat stiff when new, but it will lock down easier after some use. One suggestion for easier locking is to engage the lid at the front of the bowl first, and then push down on the back to lock it in place. This is a big plus when processing a lot of food in batches; the unit will do its job in mere seconds, and you don’t want a contrary lid slowing you down. Home gardeners will really appreciate that at harvest time!
This sturdy, powerful food processor is also attractively designed so it looks nice sitting out in your kitchen – which is a good thing because this is a big machine for big jobs. Be aware that it’s very heavy, over 23 pounds. That may make it harder for you to move in and out of cabinets, but it’s also what keeps it from vibrating around on the counter during use. Also note the dimensions. This food processor has a pretty large footprint, so it isn’t for anyone with very limited space.
The retractable cord system keeps the cord hidden when not in use, and you can pull out only as much cord as you need. To prevent possible damage, Cuisinart even marked the end of the cord (the end at the base unit) with red tape so you’ll know when to stop pulling.
All parts are dishwasher safe on the top rack. Of course that excludes the base unit that houses the motor, but the touchpad control panel makes it easy to wipe clean. (…no more hunting for a toothpick to dig crud out of those tiny crevices around push buttons…)
This model also comes with a dough blade and dedicated dough speed. Note that the dough blade can only be used with the large (14-cup) work bowl, and that’s appropriate for most bread dough recipes. The metal chopping/mixing blade is recommended for processing pastry dough.
All in all, the Cuisinart FP-14 offers a good many features for the price. In a 2013 review it was the top choice of America’s Test Kitchen. After comparing it to two much higher priced units, a KitchenAid 13-Cup model and the Breville Sous Chef, here’s what they said:
“It lacks the dazzling attachments and secondary abilities, such as variable slicing thickness, offered by the other two processors, but it performs basic chopping and slicing tasks extremely well, and you can change slicing thickness by buying extra disks.” (Source: America’s Test Kitchen)(Back to Top)
Size and Capacity
The assembled unit measures 11.75″ x 11.25″ x 17″ and weighs approximately 23.5 pounds.
This unit includes three work bowls, and the total capacity of each is:
- Large bowl – 14 Cups
- Medium Bowl – 11 Cups
- Small Bowl – 4.5 Cups
As with any food processor, the actual usable capacity of each bowl is going to depend on the food that you’re processing. The table below shows the manufacturer’s recommendations on capacity for each of the three bowls.
Maximum Recommended Capacities for Work Bowls
14-Cup Work Bowl
11-Cup Work Bowl
4.5-Cup Work Bowl
|Sliced or Shredded fruits, vegetables, cheeses||14 cups||11 cups||N/A|
|Chopped fruits, vegetables, cheeses||12 cups||9 cups||3 cups|
|Puréed fruits, vegetables, cheeses||12 cups cooked,|
8 cups puréed
|8 cups cooked,|
6 cups puréed
|3 cups cooked,
1.5 cups puréed
|Chopped or puréed meats, fish, seafood||2.25 pounds||2 pounds||.5 pounds|
|Thin liquid (soups, some salad dressings and sauces)||10 cups||8 cups||3 cups|
|Cake Batter||Four 8-inch layers|
(two 18.5 oz. packaged cake mixes)
|Two 8-inch layers|
(one 18.5 oz. packaged cake mix)
|Cookie Dough||Recipe for 8 dozen cookies||N/A||N/A|
|Bread Dough - White||6 cups flour||N/A||N/A|
|Bread Dough - Wheat||4 cups flour||N/A||N/A|
|Nuts for Nut Butter||6 cups||5 cups||1.5 cups|
The manufacturer also recommends that when you’re making custard or processing other egg-based liquids, you should reduce that maximum capacity number by about 2 cups.(Back to Top)
- 14-Cup Work Bowl
- Nesting 11-Cup and 4.5-Cup work bowls
- Extra Wide Feed Chute
- Large and Small Pushers for Feed Chute
- Work Bowl Cover with Extra Large Feed Tube
- Large and Small Pushers for Feed Tube
- 2 Chopping/Mixing Blades, large and small
- Dough Blade
- Adjustable Slicing Disc (6 thickness settings: 1mm to 6mm)
- Reversible Shredding Disc (choose fine or medium)
- Storage Case with safety lock (holds all blades and discs and the stem adapter)
- Instruction/Recipe Book, How-to DVD, and Spatula
- Cleaning Tool
So much is included with the main unit that you won’t find a lot of accessories to buy. However, there are two specialty discs available that may interest you:
Julienne Disk – It can be used with carrots, potatoes, firm fruits and even coconut to produce square strips that are 3-by-3 millimeter in size.
French Fry Disc – Similar to the above disc, this one is for potatoes but can also be used on a variety of other fruits and vegetables. It produces larger strips but still not huge. That is, don’t plan on making steak fries. Expect something closer to the small sized french fries you get at fast food restaurants like Burger King™
Also worth mentioning is that there is a whipping disc available for this model. Research turned up no reviews or information on this disc, and it’s difficult to locate online, but it is available directly from the manufacturer.(Back to Top)
Most people prefer the bad news first, so let’s get straight to it. Please read this section carefully because what may be a really big deal for one person, doesn’t amount to a hill of beans for another. Known problems are always covered here, but our reviews also include issues mentioned by others that may or may not be significant to you.
What are the common complaints?
Doesn’t make good smoothies — That’s because it isn’t a blender. It isn’t designed to chop ice, and if you do, you risk damaging the work bowls. In fact, you’ll find 2 smoothie recipes in the included recipe booklet, but they are made only with fruit and/or frozen fruit and do not call for ice.
Doesn’t purée very well — Again, it isn’t a blender. Blenders pull foods to the center, whereas food processor blades tend to throw foods outward while processing. The Cuisinart FP-14 will do a great job liquefying foods such as tomatoes for making sauces. However, if you want an absolute velvety smooth texture, you’ll probably be happier with a blender.
Discs and lid seal are hard to clean — Complaints about the discs seem a little odd because after all, finely grating or shredding foods requires blades with very small “nooks & crannies”. On the other hand, the problem with the lid seal is worth thinking about. The lid and gasket design leaves room for tiny bits of food to become trapped, and any moisture is slow to dry out. Some users found this annoying and even reported instances of mold. But then, that gasket is also a big plus because it’s exactly what enables you to process liquids and semi-liquids without leakage. In fact, most users report that cleanup is easy enough if you just follow directions. The parts will clean up much better in your dishwasher, but Cuisinart even includes a specially designed cleaning tool if you need it.
Hmm … Is it the machine, or is it the operator? — A good many of the complaints (and this applies to lots of other food processor brands and models too) are about disappointing results. Folks complain that with certain foods, a unit will over process or under process foods, or won’t work at all on those items. Well, as bad as most of us hate to read instructions, in this case it can save you a lot of grief. The user manual for the Cuisinart FP-14 has a chart that includes quite a variety of foods and details about how to successfully process each. One example is mozzarella, a soft cheese that can be difficult to grate (even with a hand grater!). To make this work, Cuisinart recommends that you cut the cheese into 1″ pieces and freeze for 25 to 30 minutes before processing.
What do owners like about this model?
Recently the Cuisinart FP-14 Elite 14-Cup Food Processor has been ranking as the number 4 bestseller online among large food processors, and 60% of online reviewers give it the highest rating possible. Of the poorest ratings given, only 13 occurred this year. A good many of the prior complaints had to do with a design flaw that caused one of the discs to damage the lid when processing hard cheese. The manufacturer has since fixed this problem via redesign and shipped replacement parts to owners of the original version. The unit now ships with the redesigned parts, so this issue has been resolved.
Owners love the power of this machine because you don’t have to worry about it bogging down or overheating. It performs well on everything from nut butters and pesto to grinding meats and making dough.
Even with all that power, the unit is relatively quiet. It looks nice on the kitchen counter, especially since the cord is retractable, and the accessory box is great for neatly storing all the extra parts and keeping your hands safe from those razor sharp cutting edges.
The consensus of opinion is that cleanup is not at all terrible as some claim. While the lid’s rubber gasket can be a bit hard to clean at times, most feel it’s worth a little extra trouble because you get such a tight seal for liquids.
It’s fast, does an excellent job on just about everything, and has some good practical design features – like pouring spouts on the work bowls, and blades that are locked in place so they don’t fall out while you’re emptying processed contents.(Back to Top)
- Fast and extremely powerful yet reasonably quiet.
- Includes 3 work bowls to accommodate any size job.
- Includes more blades & discs than most units (saves you the added cost of buying additional discs for common uses)
- Nice storage features with retractable cord and accessory box for parts.
- Extra large feed chute.
- Two pushers for large or small foods in feed tube.
- Small pusher has drizzle hole.
- Pour spout on work bowl and locking blades for easy emptying of content.
- Large size not suitable for small kitchens.
- Weight could be a drawback if stored in cabinet after every use.
- Seal on lid can be difficult to clean.
- Cost of replacement parts is excessive.
Before you buy, be aware that different colors sell for different prices.
The Cuisinart FP-14 Elite 14-Cup Food Processor comes in white, die cast, and black. At this writing, white is the most expensive, and both the Die Cast and Black colors of this same model sell for a good bit less.
If you aren’t particular about looks, you should be able to save at least a few dollars just by choosing one of the less expensive colors.
(You will land on a page that shows the die cast color model, but you’ll also see the other two color choices. Click on the different colored images to see the price of each.)
For most people, the biggest considerations with this model are size and price. If you live in a small apartment or have a tiny kitchen, this probably isn’t the best choice for you. It’s big, but if you have the room, it’s a real workhorse that can handle lots of large capacity processing.
As for price, this one is definitely on the higher end, but when considering other models be sure you make a fair comparison. Additional accessories for most all brands are quite expensive. Before you buy, decide what blades and discs you want. A less expensive model isn’t a bargain if you end up spending a fortune on the extra discs and blades you need.
However, if you’re looking to invest in a good food processor, it’s not hard to see the value in this one. Compared to other models of comparable or lower price, you get a lot for your money. The Cuisinart FP-14 Elite Collection 14-Cup Food Processor has more power, more bowls, more blades and discs, plus it boasts some very nice extras like the storage case and its user friendly design features.(Back to Top)
Does Cuisinart make a less expensive 14-Cup Model?
Yes! The Cuisinart DFP-14BCN 14-Cup model costs considerably less than the food processor reviewed above. The main differences are:
- It isn’t quite as powerful (750 Watts).
- It has only 1 work bowl.
- It includes fewer blades, discs and features.
If you want to save money and will be happy with a machine that only performs basic tasks, it’s definitely an option to consider. Get all the details here:
You can also check out other bestselling brands and models in our quick reference charts: