When it comes to so-called kitchen electrics, few may be more used and useful than a food processor.  Once you’ve used one, seen its many benefits, it is difficult to do without. And so it is with my choice, the Cuisinart 14-cup Elite Collection FP-14DC for about $249 at Amazon (prices fluctuate). It’s not a blender or a stand mixer, but a hybrid of sorts, and, perhaps more useful than both in some families.

What’s so special?  This is a product that has been refined over the years since the first Cuisinart food processor that was the beginning of the category, circa 1973. What you see above is just plain smart!  The bowl seals and locks better than earlier models, and the blades lock tightly, again, an improvement.  The cord is not retractable.  And the design is clean and simple, with simple touch-sensitive controls.  The 1000W motor is strong and works effortlessly at most tasks. The included dough blade may mean this one device can perform what otherwise would have been relegated to a stand mixer, though most cooks will still defer to their trusty stand mixer for baking prep chores.

Notice, too, that this model now includes a 14-cup Large Bowl, 11-cup Medium Bowl, and 4½-cup Small Bowl with Pour Spouts & Measurement Markings, so users need not use only the large bowl for smaller jobs, though the small bowls still nest within the large when in use.  The wide mouth accommodates most items, though, naturally, some have to be made smaller to fit down the throat.  This model and recent predecessors have come a long way since the era of the very narrow input chute.

Reliability is another hallmark of these products, though I’ve read reports online of premature failures.  What I do not and cannot know is if some users attempt more work beyond this machine’s design capability.  For example, there is a workhorse commercial and home-rated model, their DLC-XPN 20-cup model retailing for a cool $800 and suitable for the tough stuff of amateurs and professionals alike.

A few additional accessories may be desired, so have a look at what is available versus what comes with the unit.

What about competitive products, such as from Kitchen Aid, for example? There is nothing wrong with other brands. I just think Cuisinart is at the top of their game in this appliance, also with the best warranty – 3-year limited and 20 years on the motor.  At its price as found online, I think it’s kind of a no-brainer!

In conclusion, this is a device that is likely or at least has the potential to see a permanent home on the kitchen counter, even in cramped kitchens as it is so useful for so many things on a daily basis.  From shopping and shredding, to blending big batches of things, this has it all.  I shred cheese, slice veggies, make a mean smoooooth hummus from scratch, make salsas and soups and nut butters and marinades of all types and descriptions (i LOVE spicy!).  Shredded veggies for salads is another favorite that takes seconds.  Using one’s imagination yields wondrous results. Were I more into breads and desserts, this useful tool would hardly have time to cool down between projects.

Cleanup is easy as well.  That was the one thing I initially dreaded, but it comes apart so easily, rinses and washes easily, then I let the parts dry overnight in the dishwasher or on the counter.

Why not get this useful tool that will provide dividends for decades into the future?

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