One minute review
Cuisinart is a worldwide brand that’s now known for all sorts of kitchen appliances as well as cookware and bakeware. However, for many of us, the brand is synonymous with some of the best food processors (opens in new tab), and it even claims to be the first brand to introduce the food processor to the US in the early seventies with reported fans including the late great Julia Child.
The Cuisinart Elemental 13 Cup Food Processor with Dicing as it’s known in the US, goes under the name Cuisinart Expert Prep Pro FP13 in the UK. This large 13 cup/ 3.3 liter food processor offers a bigger capacity as well as more functionality than the Cuisinart Elemental 8 Cup FP8 / Cuisinart Easy Prep Pro FP8 (opens in new tab), (opens in new tab) but that means it’s also more expensive and takes up more space too.
In addition to the large main bowl, it also comes with a smaller inner bowl and blade for when you just need to mix or chop smaller quantities like herbs or salsa. And there’s a handy storage case to house the shredding and slicing discs, chopping blades, as well as the plastic dough blade. There’s also a dicing accessory for speedy diced fruits and vegetables. UK buyers will get an additional spiralizing accessory in the box, and although this doesn’t come as standard with the US model, it is available as an optional extra.
It excelled in virtually all of our tests, chopping, mixing, shredding and slicing everything we threw at it. Plus, we were impressed with the dicing and spiralizing accessories too. This food processor is best suited to passionate home cooks who will get the most out of all the functions it offers. But those looking for an appliance for basic chopping, shredding, and slicing tasks might find this one comes with too many accessories that’ll just clutter up valuable kitchen storage space.
Cuisinart Elemental 13 Cup Food Processor with Dicing: price and availability
- List price: $199.95/ £280
The Cuisinart Elemental 13 Cup Food Processor with Dicing is known as the Cuisinart Expert Prep Pro FP13 in the UK. It’s available direct from Cuisinart or Amazon in both countries as well as other appliance retailers.
The UK model comes with the spiralizing kit bundled in. However, if you’re buying it in the US, you won’t get the spiralizing kit included in the box, so you’ll have to purchase it separately for $49.95. The advantage of this though, is that you don’t have to have it unless you really want it.
- Good safety locking features
- Two speeds plus pulse
- Dishwasher friendly parts
If you’re thinking of leaving it out on your counter, the Cuisinart Elemental 13 Cup Food Processor with Dicing has a relatively compact footprint given all the functions it’s able to perform. The main food processor measures just 16.43 x 8.1 x 10.43 inches/ 41.7 x 20.6 x 26.5cm (h x w x d). However, it’s important to consider that there are plenty of accessories that’ll need space in your cupboards.
The storage case is super useful for keeping all the sharp blades and main accessories safely organized together in one box. It houses the reversible shredding disc, adjustable slicing disc, dough blade, large blade, small blade, spatula, and the stem adapter. It’s got a latch on the front to lock the lid closed too, but at 7.4 x 9.1 x 8.3 inches/ 18.7 x 23 x 21.2 cm (h x w x d) it’s chunky.
The dicing kit offers a quick and easy way to dice all sorts of fruit and vegetables and even comes with its own storage case. Again though, you’ll want to consider where you’ll store it as it measures 4.6 x 8.3 x 8.7 inches/ 11.7 x 21 x 22cm (h x w x d).
The spiralizing kit which comes as standard with the UK model offers both a spaghetti and ribbon cut disc, but the storage solution for this kit isn’t quite so neat and you’ll have to store most of these extra parts individually rather than in a case. If you buy this optional extra kit in the US, it comes with a third Angel hair disc.
There are only two speeds and a pulse button, so the controls don’t take much figuring out. Assembling the food processor bowl and lid is a little trickier. The safety lid-locking mechanism means that it all has to be assembled in a particular order and the work bowl cannot be removed from the base before the lid is unlocked. Once you’ve got to grips with the order of things, it’s actually quite simple to slot together and everything locks into position with a firm twist. Plus, it’s reassuring to have these safety features in place when using an appliance with such sharp blades.
- Simple to use
- Fast, even results
- Can be noisy
We did plenty of testing on this food processor, trying out virtually every function to get a true picture of whether it’s worth the money and in short, it’s good at what it does. First up, we tried out the slicing disc, and although the adjustable thickness is labelled 1-7, there are levels between the numbers, so it actually offers 20 thickness options. Needless to say, cucumber was no match for this disc and it powered through half a cucumber in seconds, creating even slices with no waste.
When it came to shredding, we used the small shred side of the reversible disc for chocolate. Unlike other food processors we’ve reviewed, very little chocolate melted to the disc during shredding. The majority of the shredded chocolate was even and fine, but some chunkier pieces got through as well, so we had to pick them out. There was also some chocolate lodged in the lid, which amounted to 17% of the total.
We switched the disc round for cheese and carrot to produce thicker shreds, which was effortless for this appliance. Both were shredded evenly and quickly, none of the carrot was left un-shredded and only a small amount of cheese (about 6%) got lodged in the lid, which you can just use in cooking instead.
The large chopping blade is powerful, we cut an onion into six wedges and it only required six presses of the pulse button to turn it into even, finely diced pieces. The tougher task of grinding diced beef was no match for it either, taking just 15 seconds on the lower speed setting to chop up all the meat to a fine ground beef texture. Similarly, the ingredients for cake were quickly mixed up into an even, smooth batter in under a minute.
To chop nuts we used the smaller bowl and blade, it was a little slower than the large blade and required 20 pulses to turn whole hazelnuts into a finely chopped texture. And although the nuts were a bit uneven with some fine powder mixed in, it was a good result in comparison to many other food processors.
When dicing potatoes, they had to be cut in half to fit in the feed tube. Unlike slicing, the size of the dice isn’t variable and the pieces come out at around 0.4 inch/ 1 cm cubes, but it’s fast and effective. It diced a whole potato in around 10 seconds. Some potato did get lodged in the blade after we diced a second potato, but given the speed and convenience, we were happy to open it up to remove a bit of potato before continuing.
Spiralizing was equally fast and easy, we made cucumber ribbons and carrot spaghetti. There was some waste, but there always is when spiralizing foods. It’s worth noting that the pusher has to be in position for the spiralizer to start up, so you have to cut food down to size accordingly, you can’t have a whole cucumber poking out of the top for example.
The dough blade is effective at combining bread dough and we mixed up the ingredients with five pulses, followed by 30 seconds on high speed, however, it can’t continue on and knead the dough. If you leave it too long and allow it to continue mixing after a dough has been formed, it shakes violently and has to be held down. The usually firm suckers on the feet aren’t enough to hold it to the counter in this instance, so we’d advise kneading by hand.
Our noise meter maxed out at 86dB on several of the tests, but since this food processor is so speedy, the noise doesn’t last too long, making it bearable.
Cleaning any food processor is a fiddly chore, this one’s no different. Thankfully though, all the parts can be cleaned in a dishwasher which certainly makes life easier. It’s worth noting that if you do wash it in the dishwasher, water droplets get trapped in the handle and some parts of the lid, it does eventually dry out though. If you need some more top tips about how to clean a food processor (opens in new tab) then our step-by-step guide will help.
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
- First reviewed: June 2022