Pros:Compact, easy to clean, excellent chopping/grinding performance for small quantities
Cons:Limited capacity, no slicing/shredding
The Bottom Line: For daily meal prep there’s a lot to like in the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus DLC-2 Food Processor. Its compact size makes it a practical counter-top addition.
Earlier this year when my father-in-law came to stay with us again following a prolonged hospital stay he insisted that we take his Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus DLC-2 Food Processor. Although at the time I really didn’t see a need to add another food prep appliance to our Cuisinart DLC-5 Food Processor and Oster 10-speed Blender I decided not to argue. I guess my father-in-law saw it as his contribution to our expanded family kitchen. A few days passed before I set it up on our counter-top and started to incorporate it into my meal prep routine.
Recommend this product?
Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus DLC-2 Food Processor
This mini processor features a 250 watt motor, a 3-cup work bowl, reversing stainless steel blades and a simple pulse system for chopping and grinding. The buttons that control the chopping and grinding functions are touch controls sealed into the base. At just under 9”H x 8”D x 5”W it doesn’t take up much counter-top real estate.
Although I've used the larger DLC-5 for many of the same chopping and grinding chores, in some respects the smaller DLC-2 outperforms its larger cousin during routine meal prep.
When using the larger processor for certain chopping/grinding chores it has a tendency to throw the ingredients up on the side of the bowl requiring that I stop processing and open the processor up to push the ingredients back down with a spatula. The smaller DLC-2 Mini-Prep usually doesn't suffer the same problem due to the smaller volume of the work bowl and the reversing action of the blade. Simply alternating the Chop and Grind functions causes the blade to reverse pulling the ingredients back into the bottom of the bowl. When preparing a small batch of hummus, this can be a real time saver. The same is true when I'm reducing cloves of garlic to a fine mince.
If you’re familiar with Cuisinart Food Processors, assembly and operation will feel intuitive. The work bowl attaches to the base with a small counter-clockwise twist and the blade slides down over the spindle. The blade can’t be started until the cover is seated on the bowl and likewise gets the counter-clockwise twist.
Ingredients to be chopped or ground have to be cut into manageable pieces and added directly into the work bowl. Liquid ingredients can be added either directly or drizzled through openings on the cover. To chop, simply pulse or hold the Chop button and the sharp edge of the blade spins clockwise making quick work of herbs, vegetables and even small amounts of meats and fish. I’ve used it to chop up to a pound of cubed salmon fillet for use in grilled Salmon Burgers (recipe available).
To grind, the Grind button is pulsed and the blades reverse so that the blunt edge of the blade is used. I find this ideal for items like pecans when preparing a pecan encrusted dish.
When ingredients are finished being processed, I recommend that the blade be removed before attempting to remove the ingredients. With my larger processors I often “cheat” and don’t bother to remove the blade. But with the smaller space of this 3-cup bowl for the sake of safety I don’t attempt this short-cut.
Although I was first doubtful of this 250 watt motor, keep in mind that we’re processing smaller quantities of smaller pieces than we ordinarily do with larger processors. Used within the limits of this 3-cup bowl this motor will perform well.
The plastic work bowl and top can be washed in the dishwasher as can the blade if positioned safely in the dishwasher. The base is completely sealed so it’s easy to clean with all-purpose spray and a paper towel.
Unlike my DLC-5 7 Cup Food Processor, the DLC-2 doesn’t accommodate slicing or shredding discs. This makes some sense since the smaller size of this appliance doesn’t allow for a full-sized feed chute. So, if slicing or shredding is required I either pull out my Progressive Adjust-A-Slice and Julienne Mandolin for smaller jobs or press my DLC-5 into service for larger jobs.
For daily meal prep there’s a lot to like in the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus DLC-2 Food Processor. Its compact size makes it a practical counter-top addition. I believe my in-laws paid about $35, but I’ve seen on-line deals for as little as $29.99. For this kind of price it’s almost irresistible.
Now go cook something good tonight.