Cuisinart DLC-2011CHB Prep 11 - Good, Solid, Basic Machine

My first attempt at purchasing a food processor was to buy the $69.99 Oster. I did this because of the price. Predictably, it did not perform well and I had to return it. Perhaps Oster does better with blenders, I don't know. After doing further research, I was torn between KitchenAid and Cuisinart. There are hordes of loyal followers in each camp on this issue, and it was hard to choose based on reviews. I finally just went with Cuisinart, because it happened to be the model that my local store carried. In general, I'm happy with the product and would recommend it to other home cooks. I've only had this appliance a few months, and I don't use it every day. I probably use it once every couple weeks because it's only my husband and me so I don't cook for a crowd. I do love to prep a lot of food and then freeze it ahead because I'm a busy teacher, so the processor is a big help with that. If it were not so heavy and easier to clean, I'd probably use it more because this workhorse really gets the job done fast. Here are my observations based on what I've done with it so far:

It is excellent at:
Making breadcrumbs (both fresh and dried)
Mincing fresh herbs
Chopping/mincing raw and cooked meats (like whole chicken for chicken patties etc.)
Making salsa

Pretty Good/Could Be Better:
Shredding carrots, cheese (very quick and uniform, but some gets stuck between the lid and the shredding disc)
Grating a wedge of Parmesan (I put small chunks of it in the bowl with the chopping blade, as it shows in the DVD demonstration - and the result was coarser than I expected. In the end it melted fine in the dish I was making (lasagna), but it just felt like coarse sand to me when I was finished processing it, rather than soft powdery flakes like you get when you use the fine holes on the box grater. Still, it sure was a heckuvalot quicker than doing it by hand. I guess I'd do it again, as long as it was being added to a dish that would be cooked, like pasta. To make a pile of Parm to serve at the table or to add to breading, I would still use a handheld Microplane zester.)

Not Good:
Slicing green onion by the bunch (it pulled them under the lid rather than slicing)

Cleanup and Handling
It's a little finicky to wash by hand, because there are nooks and crannies for stuff to get stuck in. So far with a little effort and some strong jets of water to shoot into the cracks, I've been able to get it clean. It MUST air-dry, because there's no way to get a towel into the handle, where some water collects. If I had a dishwasher I think cleanup would be a breeze. So far I've only used it when I had a big job to do, because otherwise it's just quicker to pull out the old cutting board and knife or the box grater. They're easier to haul out and quicker to clean. Speaking of which, this processor weighs about 12 pounds empty, and in the summer the rubber feet tend to "suction" themselves onto whatever surface they're sitting on. Not so easy to lift this baby down from on top of the fridge, I discovered - and I'm 5'9!. ' I would recommend storing this at countertop level or lower, and then lifting with your knees to save your back and shoulders.

Final Comments:
I am happy with my purchase and would buy another Cuisinart if this one ever dies. I wish it shredded things without pulling them sideways under the lid, but that's my only complaint - and actually, it's only a small amount that gets pulled under. In the end, I'd much rather use this processor to shred several pounds of cheese than to use the box grater. I would recommend this size to a family of 4 and up - unless you're like me, and you like to chop a bunch of stuff at once and then freeze or can it. Good product, decent price for what you get overall.


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