Let’s start by stating the obvious: the KitchenAid Pro Line Dicing Food Processor is big. I could quite possibly drive it down the Interstate. (Come to think of it, it rather resembles a MINI Cooper.) So yes, if you want it, clear your counter. And save space somewhere for its garage of accessories, because that’s big, too.
My Viewpoints assignment: Compare new KitchenAid vs. Cuisinart I own
After making its culinary debut earlier this year at the 2013 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago, this beautiful specimen of kitchen equipment found its way down the Interstate and into my scullery. I am a passionate cook, but I’m far from a professional one. I do, however, love preparing delicious food. I also cannot imagine life without my KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer ($299, rated 96/100), so when the opportunity arose to review its new food processor for Viewpoints, I promptly raised my hand.
A bit of background. I’ve used a Cuisinart food processor since it came on the market in the 1970s. For the past three years, my food processor has been the Cuisinart DLC-2014 ($375, rated 99/100). As essential to my food prep as a good set of knives, it has helped me make dips, grate vegetables, and chop a seemingly endless supply of onions, parsley, and celery for Thanksgiving dinners.
More than 30 years into our relationship, however, I found myself dissatisfied. I began seeing my new OXO mandoline ($40, rating pending more reviews) for slicing on the side. The Cuisinart’s modest-sized food chute seemed inadequate somehow. The thrill, sad to say, was gone.
I liked the mandoline, but wondered if there might not be something else out there for me.
Enter the big and brawny KitchenAid Pro Line food processor (KFP1642)
This is a magnificent machine in every sense of the word. It dwarfs my Cuisinart (did I mention that it’s big?) and looks every bit the serious appliance that it is. Serious is the operative word when referring to this KitchenAid food processor, because unless you enjoy having a gleaming thing of mechanical beauty on your counter merely to admire, it is not a piece of equipment for the casual cook.
It seems to possess the power of a turbo engine, with blades that I suspect are just as sharp. I suggest you keep your wits about you when using it; be more careful with these blades than you think you need to be.
KitchenAid emphasizes the Pro Line food processor’s commercial style “hands-free” dicing capability as a feature that sets it apart from the competition. The dicing kit, which comes in three parts plus a cleaning tool, is indeed a marvel, slicing and dicing simultaneously. I never thought an appliance could take on such a tedious job, but in no time at all, I diced tomatoes, red pepper, and red onion for salsa, amazed that the tomatoes did not turn to mush. Each tiny cube was compact, whole, and recognizable for what it was. Best salsa I ever made, by the way.
As in all relationships though, nothing is perfect. I must share one small quibble, but I preface it by noting that it was probably me that was lacking.
Not exactly hands-free
I did not find the KitchenAid to be truly “hands-free” in my dicing test. Yes, the dicing itself is hands-free, but I actually used my hands quite a lot when trying to assemble the kit and insert it into the processor. I also had some trouble figuring out just how to use the dicing cleaning tool. It then occurred to me to look at the user’s manual for help. (Yes, I know. I should have asked for directions first.)
More to master
Because the KitchenAid does more than the Cuisinart, there’s more to master; it takes a bit of practice to get the hang of it all. Take my advice and review the manual. For good measure, look at the KitchenAid video a couple of times.
VIDEO: Getting my husband to shoot video of my kitchen demo proved to be a bit challenging (another story), but here’s a video produced by KitchenAid that shows the Pro Line food processor in all its glory.
KitchenAid vs. Cuisinart food processors
Blade stays in place
One aspect of the Cuisinart that used to frustrate me to no end was the way the chopping blade would fall out when I’d tip the bowl to scrape the processed food into a dish. I’d have to hold the blade in place by the shaft or remove it; either way I’d end up with slippery dip all over my fingers. The multipurpose blade of the KitchenAid has a leak resistant seal, so you can leave the blade in the bowl while you pour. A true flash of genius.
Variety of bowls
By the way, not only is the KitchenAid bowl bigger than the Cuisinart bowl, there are three of them, in sensibly different sizes: the 16-cup work bowl is the workhorse of the unit, followed by a 10-cup prep bowl and a four-cup mini bowl. There’s a right-sized bowl for every task with this food processor.
Variety of food pushers
The three-in-one food pusher also offers flexibility and control for whatever task is at hand. The smallest size was perfect for adding oil to a pesto I was making. The largest size allowed me to slice eggplant (although the vegetable’s girth required that I cut it in half first). The mid-size food pusher, as Goldilocks said, is just right for other tasks.
The speed on the KitchenAid is phenomenal; I didn’t even use the faster setting. And the adjustable blades follow the same principle as a mandoline. You can have thin slices or thick or mid-size. With the Cuisinart, I had no choice in the matter.
So KitchenAid vs. Cuisinart? No, it was clearly time to part ways with the Cuisinart. I bid it adieu (giving it to my soon-to-be-married son), snuggled close to my KitchenAid Pro Line food processor, and we drove off into the sunset.
Editor’s note: Viewpoints asked KitchenAid to provide a review unit for this article, which the company did at no cost. Viewpoints is giving the food processor to Marci Rich in return for her 6-week-long test and impartial review.