CUISINART, WE'RE THROUGH! I'm With KitchenAid KPFP850 Proline Now

Dec 1, 2005 (Updated Dec 23, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:metal base, HEAVY DUTY parts, storage box, manual excellent, ultra-high quality, more bowls & blades,TIME-SAVING

Cons:it did not come out three cuisinarts ago :D

The Bottom Line: The first truly PROFESSIONAL quality food processor we have found- this unit is a workhorse. Beats Cuisinart by a mile. This is ultra-top quality at a decent price.


KitchenAid KPFP850 Proline 16 cup Food Processor

We use our food processors. In fact, we can not survive at today's fast paced lifestyle without a GOOD high capacity food processor. As vegetarians/vegans, we use our food processor constantly just to make it through mealtimes. When you eat mostly vegetables, you NEED a food processor to cut and prepare all of the produce on a daily basis!

Over the last 15 years we have gone through THREE food processors. Now, despite the fact that we use our equipment on a daily basis, we are also quite careful not to ABUSE our kitchen equipment.

Because of accelerated deterioration, we rarely put any of our food processor parts in the dishwasher, unless they are very very greasy and hard to clean, which again is rare.

Why am I telling you all of this?

BECAUSE I AM MAD!!!


WHY I AM ANGRY WITH CUISINART

When we first had the magic in our eyes that comes with the discovery of the world of food processors, we looked everywhere we could to find the best model for our needs. Our needs were LARGE.

Because we cook most of our own food from the basics up (including grinding our own flour and growing and preserving our own produce when the season permits), we need a lot of help to get the job done in large quantities quickly.

It is not uncommon to prepare 10 quarts of soup on a daily basis. Chopping and slicing with knives was quite a tedious task of this magnitude.

When we inspected all of the processors out there, the only one that we could envision ourselves owning at all was the infamous CUISINART. Why? Because it was the only feeding tube that was big enough to put a small whole tomato or potato in. All of the other processors had minute feeding tubes which required so much chopping to fit the vegetables or fruits in there that you might as well do it all by hand anyway.

Somehow, through it all, I got sucked into the Cuisiart fairytale. That they were the BEST on the market. However in reality, they were just the first to have a decent sized feeding tube for larger vegetables and fruit.

We started with the 11 cup processor. However, after only 5 years, the spindle in the base was coming out, a crack was forming near the spindle in the base, the feeding tube pusher was cracking and the discs had become dull after only a few uses.

Surely it was because we bought an OLDER model.

So, for Christmas that year we got some money for a gift and we purchased the Cuisinart 14 Cup Pro Food Prep Center. Wow, what a HUGE difference. We could do a LOT more food in that baby, and I really loved the little tiny whisk attachment for eggs and cream. Worked in under a minute.

However, my well meaning husband and son team decided to make my birthday meaningful and did not follow my careful instructions and connected the attachment incorrectly, which led to its breaking. I was heartbroken.

Cuisinart did not have replacement whisk attachments which infuriated me, but a wonderful customer service rep at Chef's Catalog helped me to get a complete machine replacement so I could have my precious whisk attachment again.

It was the beginning of the end.

The new Cuisinart was cheaply made, and the whisk did not even work like it used to. I never got the same performance out of it from the beginning. And that was only the beginning.

After only 1 1/2 years, the feed tube pusher cracked almost completely in half- having no abuse whatsoever happen to it.

HOW DID I END UP WITH A KITCHEN AID PRO LINE PROCESSOR?

I tolerated the cracked feeding tube pusher, but when I was slicing some celery a couple of weeks ago, the stem that holds the slicing disk cracked COMPLETELY UP THE MIDDLE, making it impossible to fix. The blades were cracking as well, but I figured if I could only put the stem back, I could get about 5 more years out of this expensive machine.

Boy was I wrong.

While I was sending for the disc stem, I figured I would throw in a feed tube pusher. I looked up the prices online and almost fainted. $60 for those lousy two parts!!!!!!!

It was before Thanksgiving, and I knew that we would need to use the processor, so I figured that this little sacrifice would be worth it.

Instead when I got my two parts delivered (Note to UPS men, please do not leave customer's packages inside their grill- doorway would be smarter), I put them all together and started processing again, only to find to my horror that the work bowl had a big crack starting to form at the base of it.

It would be only a matter of time before that was unusable too.

AFTER ONLY THREE YEARS???

I was so angry that when my husband suggested that we start looking for another food processor I jumped at the chance. Clearly Cuisinart was no longer a consideration for food processing.

I thought about the past when we looked at Kitchen Aid processors, and I remembered saying over and over that if only Kitchen Aid had the larger feeding tube that I would have bought one of them.

So I began my online research.

I called the customer service center 5 times and grilled them with questions about their processors.

The only thing I could find was the 12 cup which was a step smaller than what we already had.

I was looking for more information when I happened to come across one of the only reviews on the internet for Kitchen Aid's new Professional Food Processor line that was 16 cups.

With this review was a similar story of disappointment with Cuisinart and amazement at the quality of their new Kitchen Aid Pro Line processor.

I began to look locally for this unit, but the few kitchen stores we have left, insisted that Kitchen Aid does not make anything over 12 cups.

It took many many hours of research and telephone calls to Kitchen Aid before I managed to find out what I needed to know.

The reason for this review, is to provide you with what I wish I had provided for me when I desperately needed to know what pro level processor to buy.


WHAT IS THE KITCHEN AID PRO LINE PROCESSOR LIKE?

I must say that after the way that customer service handled my endless questions (since I could not see the machine, I needed measurements, and tons of technical data so I could compare our kitchen area), and the 2 year no hassle warranty, my husband and I were convinced that this machine was for us to at least try.

Although I have only had the processor for a few days, I wanted to get this review out there immediately for any of you who have found yourself in our position and need information on this hard to find but amazing food processor.

First of all, the base is amazing. It is a completely metal unit which is HEAVY- that means no walking across the counter with a full load.

Secondly, you get a ton more stuff with this processor than you do with any Cuisinart, including the Pro Prep center that we got originally.

Thirdly, WOW- the quality of the bowls and attachments is equal or better than Cuisinart- and when I say better, I mean WAY BETTER.

Fourthly, THIS SET COMES WITH A CASE TO HOUSE ALL PARTS AND BLADES AT NO EXTRA COST!!!!

Okay, time to get specific....

SPECIFICS ABOUT THIS UNIT

Here is what the KitchenAid site says about this Pro Line 16 cup food processor:

FROM KITCHEN AID SITE
Pulse Control

DESIGN
Feed Tube Ultra Wide Mouth™

Food Pusher Two Piece

Safety Interlock System

CONVENIENCE
CleanTouch™ Control Pad

INCLUDES
Multipurpose Stainless Steel Blade

Dough Blade

4mm (Medium) Shredding Disc

4mm (Medium) Slicing Disc

Spatula/Cleaning Tool

Egg Whip

Accessory Storage Case

Chef's Bowl

Mini Bowl with Mini Multipurpose Blade

Instruction and Recipe Guide

Polycarbonate Work Bowl

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT**
Weight 23.5 US pound

Depth 12 25/32 in.

Height 17 1/2 in.

Width 10 25/32 in.

ELECTRICAL
120 Volts, 60 Hertz (1/second), SINGLE PHASE

The incredibly stable metal base stands up to the most intensive use while providing exceptionally quiet operation.

A robust 950-watt motor makes quick work of the most demanding food processing tasks.

The 16-cup work bowl is made of a tough, crystal-clear polycarbonate and features a comfort-designed handle.

Fit the 4 ˝-cup Mini Bowl inside the Work Bowl or Chef's Bowl and you have the perfect tool for mincing garlic or herbs.

The industry's largest feed tube saves time and effort by accommodating large items like tomatoes, cucumbers or potatoes.

When a light touch is needed, use the pulse control for precision results.

The essential model for the creative chef, this premium quality food processor chops, minces, blends, mixes or emulsifies foods quickly and easy. The industry's largest feed tube saves time and effort by accommodating large items allowing you to speed through food preparation.


I want to take a moment here to correct some things. First of all, this unit is not 950watts, but it is 1000 watts, which is equivalent to 1 1/4 horsepower (for all you horsepower fans out there).

Secondly, for some reason, they do not list what comes in the box correctly. You do not get two discs like you get with Cuisinart, you get THREE of them- 2mm slicing, 4mm slicing, and a large shredding disc.


LET'S COMPARE THIS WITH MY CUISINART

Okay, now for the comparisons- I want to comapare this for you with my 14 cup Pro Prep Center Cuisinart (which was a step above the regular 14 cup cuisinarts that you find in the stores).

BOWL
Cuisinart comes with one 14 cup work bowl. Supposedly it is that bullet proof lexan, but the way this stuff cracks, I highly doubt it. It is pitifully thin gauge and locks into place. Replacement Cost: $46

Kitchen Aid's bowl is amazingly thick, HEAVY DUTY and is about 2 1/2 times thicker than the Cuisinart. Instead of a blocky rigid sides, it has tapered sides which are easier to clean. When you pick this bowl up, you know you are picking up a professional level of equipment.
Replacement cost- at this time there are no replacement costs listed, but all parts are under warranty and will be replaced for two years no hassle. All of the customer service reps have told me that in all the years that they have worked there that they have rarely had to replace cracked or broken parts.
Time will tell......

Kitchen Aid Proline comes with THREE bowls- 16cup work bowl, chef's bowl, and 4 cup mini bowl with its own blades. The work bowl is very sturdy and easy to clean, the chefs bowl is also thicker than the Cuisinart work bowl and it is for slicing and shredding into so that you can still have the work bowl clean. The mini bowl is also very thick and excellent for chopping parmesan cheese, onions, herbs, etc.


BLADES

You are not supposed to have to replace blades on a food processor for the lifetime of the machine. Well, tell that to Cuisinart.......their blades do dull over time and cost 35.00 to replace. However, they do work well, it is just that the plastic housing will crack over time, another problem that I am upset about. Despite that, the older blades were nice for these units, but the newer blades are not as nice as they used to be. Also, if you try to pour anything out of the work bowl like salsa or something, the blades come crashing out into the bowl unless you remove them first. That is frustrating many times to me.

Kitchen Aid has thinner blades with a higher grip area. The do chop very quickly and cut well- again though you have TWO sets of sharp blades- one for the work bowl and one for the mini bowl. The exciting part is that you can slide your finger into the blade stem and hold the blades in place while you pour the ingredients out of the workbowl or mini bowl. WHAT A GREAT FEATURE! No more blades crashing into my serving bowls!

Both units have dough blades which work reasonably well. At this point I have not had the chance to do some serious comparison testing on the dough blades so I will update as I do.

DISCS

Cuisinart came with two discs- a medium shredder and a medium slicing- 4mm. They have worked reasonably well, but I found that they dulled rather quickly, causing problems with clumping in the unit.

Kitchen Aid KPFP850 comes with three discs- 2mm slicing, 4mm slicing, and medium shredding.

Cuisinart locks into a shaft- which is horrible,by the way- mine cracked completely up the middle after only three years of use. It cost $15 to replace.

Kitchen Aid sits on top of a metal spindle with a little play in the unit. I will see how well this will handle over time.

EGG WHIP

Cuisinart came with a tiny mixer that has two wire beaters. They d/c this luxury which is too bad, as it was a unique and fun unit while it lasted. However, it costs almost $100 to replace now that they FINALLY offer it as a replacement part.

Kitchen Aid comes with a waffle looking nylon paddle that reminds me of our ice cream maker, but with more tiny slats in it. It whips cream in under 1 minute and will bring eggs rapidly to a soft peak stage, but not stiff peaks. If you want stiff peaks, your best bet is still a mixer- cooler area than a food processor, allowing for stiffer peaks.


COVER

Cuisnart has a goofy system where the cover slides into place and the plunger tube pusher snaps in by a thin plastic tongue like thing that snaps and cracks after only a year or two of use. HORRIBLE design. The cover also pops up when the non sharp discs cause clumping of celery or other veggies to build up quickly under the lid.

The one area where Cuisinart wins in this competition is that it comes with another lid that does not require the feed tube pusher to be in place. I wish Kitchen Aid had one.

Kitchen Aid has a very sturdy thick professional quality lid- the lock is a slide into place safety lock that has no flimsy parts that will snap off. In fact, the newer Cuisinarts are using a design that copies Kitchen Aid- does THAT tell you anything?


FEED TUBE PUSHER

Small and large pushers are in both units, but Cuisinart is flimsier than Kitchen Aid.

Cuisinart has a hole in the base of the small tube pusher for mayonnaise, the Kitchen Aid does not have that (if you REALLY want one, I suppose you can drill one, but I just remove the pusher and drizzle the oil in through the small opening and it is fine.

Kitchen Aid is far sturdier and thicker than the Cuisinart. It is also has larger feed tube- 1 inch longer and 1/2 inch wider approx than the Cuisinart.

The little plunger in the food pusher, which allows for the slicing of skinny vegetables like carrots and small cucumbers or squash has a fabulous feature!

The little plunger has measuring lines for FOUR MEASUREMENTS! Pints, oz, ml, cups. What a handy little tool!

All parts are considered dishwasher safe, but I would hand wash unless absolutely necessary to put in the dishwasher. The parts will last longer.


BOOKLET

Cuisinart has a good booklet with detailed photos and drawings and explains the usage of the machine well. Recipes are nice and helpful, with lots of basics included.

Kitchen Aid's booklet is impressive. It is plastic sheathed on front and back with bolts in the binding to hold it in place forever, and the instructions are decent and easy to follow. Everything is cleverly designed and all sections are clearly marked with tabs, which are all protected by this amazing plastic cover. Recipes are gourmet quality and unusual, but I find that it lacks a few of the basics that some people really need to refer to- like mayonnaise, salsa, etc. However, most cookbooks have those recipes, and the Kitchen Aid book is definitely up my alley. These recipes make me want to go out there and COOK!

BASE UNIT

WOW, where do I begin?

Cusinart. Plastic. Two of the three we have had have cracked on the base. The spindles started pulling up and I was not pleased with them. The buttons pressed down, either continous on, or pulse. Hard to clean and blocky, it does have a small footprint, however. 750 watts. Does walk across counters if it has a dull disc problem now and then. Two pronged plug polarized so fits one way.

Kitchen Aid. Like night and day, this base is INDUSTRIAL. I mean this baby is a workhorse! VERY HEAVY METAL construction makes this stay in place- no walking across counters when it has trouble. It stays PUT! The three buttons on the front are encased in rubbery material and the unit is all rounded and SUPER easy to clean. THREE PRONGED PLUG with heavy duty round black cord.

It does only come in pearlized metal color- aka gunmetal. On the plus side, it matches our Electrolux mixer beautifully which we did not expect!. They even resemble each other with the rounded easy clean construction.

WHAT KITCHEN AID KPFP850 16 CUP COMES WITH THAT CUISINART DOESN'T

What I am so impressed about in this machine is the fact that it comes with a HEAVY DUTY case to keep all of the equipment in- spatula, discs, all sets of blades, spindles and cook book in. Cuisinart has a partial case you can BUY, but it is not as inclusive as this.

Oh, by the way, the DVD that this comes with is about the only thing that I have found in this processor that is rinky dink. It shows some basics but each segment does not even end, it just sort of stops. They really should take some more time to produce a good DVD for this unit. There is so much you could do with a DVD.

On the up side, it does have ALL of the Pro-Line products on the DVD so if you are interested to see a glimpse of the other products, you can watch their movies too, but don't blink, you might miss it! HAHAHAHA

I have not watched it in a long time, but from what I remember, the Cuisinart Video that I got with my processor was better than this Kitchenaid DVD.


WARRANTY

Cuisinart- limited three year warranty (just try to claim on it), 10 years on motor. I have talked with quite a few people who are furious with the way they have been treated by Cuisinart (conair) when they try to claim on a warranty.

Here is what the Kitchen Aid Site says about Warranty:

Our Hassle-Free Replacement Warranty guarantees that if your PRO LINE™ countertop appliance fails in
the first two years, KitchenAid will replace it free of charge. We will:


Deliver a replacement to your door
Arrange the return of the failed appliance
Guarantee the new appliance for two years

For more information or complete warranty details on KitchenAidŽ PRO LINE™ countertop
appliances, please call Customer Service at 1-800-541-6390 or click here.



WHERE CAN YOU BUY THIS FOOD PROCESSOR

We purchased ours through www.homedepot.com while it was on sale for about $365- plus tax, but free shipping and six months no interest with the home depot card. That was by far the best deal we found anywhere.

The retail price is $499, and the usual price you can find it for online is $449- make sure you get free shipping.

If you want information on this food processor from Kitchen Aid (remember a few things are inaccurate on the site, but I have given you the correct info which is supposed to be fixed on the site soon).....

http://www.kitchenaid.com/catalog/product.jsp?src=FOOD%20PROCESSORS&categoryId=185&productId=522

If that does not work, try just www.kitchenaid.com and follow the links.

Customer service is 1-800-541-6390


FINAL COMMENTS

I know that it is rather unusual for me to write a review on a unit that is this new to me, but I was so frustrated with the lack of information on the entire internet about this unit that I decided that I would provide something for anyone else out there who is tired of the Cuisinart nightmare and wants to move on to something industrial and professional quality for a lot lower price and higher warranty coverage.

I can not tell you how impressed I am with this food processor. It is so superior in design and quality to the Cuisinart, that if you can afford the high price tag, it is worth it in the long run. Making heavy doughs such as cookie or cracker dough is done in lightning speed.

I have not tried yeast dough in it yet as I use the Electrolux for that, but I have been told that it is amazing for one loaf of bread dough too- including whole grain.

The emulisifying quality of the blades is so marvelous- it takes just a few pulses and that is it. Talk about QUICK!

Slicing and shredding is a dream too and I love the idea that you can remove the bowl so that you can work on something else. THAT is such a time saver. Having the tiny 4 cup bowl is also fabulous because you can do little chopping of nuts or herbs, or you can make a little dressing for that salad that you just sliced for!

It is a bit frustrating to have a place to keep the bowls when you are just working in the work bowl and the counter is full, but that will be remedied when we clear a better storage area for them.

Kitchen Aid says over and over that they almost never get calls for dull blades, broken parts, cracked things, etc for their food processors, unless it is something rather severe.

They do get a lot of calls from people that lose things and need replacement parts.

At this time there are no replacement prices for parts on the units. However, I was assured by a high level customer service person that all parts are covered under the no hassle warranty at this time. This unit has only been out for a year or so, so no parts are out of warranty yet.

If anyone out there wants any more information on this unit that I have not included here, just let me know and I will be glad to include it if I can! I want to make this a very helpful review so that you can make an informed decision whether or not you want to try this food processor.

I will continue to update this review as I put this Kitchen Aid Pro-line 16 cup food processor to the rigorous test of life in our household. It appears that it will far surpass the Cuisinart in performance, but time will tell, and I will keep you updated as it does.


ONE ADDITIONAL NOTE ABOUT CUISINART POWERPREP PLUS VS KITCHENAID PRO LINE

I just wanted to mention here that in our research that led us to purchase the KitchenAid Proliner 16 Cup Food Processor, we did go out and examine in detail the Cuisinart Powerprep plus unit - 14 cup.

I wanted to mention here that the newer design emulates the Kitchen Aid design, but the bowl is still thinner, the blades are the same as in they have been in past models from Cuisinart, and the stem that holds the discs is also the same, and that is what cracked on me a few weeks ago. Even though it looks better and is a bit better design, some of the things that I had problems with are still in this new unit, so I wanted to point that out to you as well.

Comparison wise, The Pro Line Kitchen Aid 16 cup is in a league of its own. The price is well worth it as you get far better performance out of that than you do the highly coveted Cuisinart DXL unit which retails for $1000 and is hard to come by.


DECEMBER 23,2005 UPDATE

Well, we have used this machine daily since we received it and I had to come here and tell you all that this machine is so far and above what the Cuisinart was for us.

We LOVE the three containers- our processing time is so much faster than it used to be. The parts are easier to clean, and use without having to mess around with snapping parts.

The only thing that I am having a hard time with is finding a place to put the case with accessories in. However, with the Cuisinart, the accessories were always all over the kitchen and storage was much more difficult without a central storage unit.

Our entire family continues to rave daily about how much we love this unit. I make salads, stir fries, cookies, pie crust, dressings, chopped herbs, cakes, and other meals in this Kitchen Aid Processor and I gave up using the Cuisinart for all of these things- it was just too much work to clean after each use. And the base is fabulous to keep clean. I can not rave about this enough.

This unit gives us three bowls to use and so many more options, it is worth EVERY penny that we paid for it and MORE!





















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