Cuisinart has a long history of making food processors, becoming so ubiquitous that they have become a generic trademark. The Cuisinart Custom 14's aesthetic remains similar to the earlier models, and this is what comes to mind for many people when they think of a food processor. This classic kitchen appliance scores very well and has a reasonable price.Editor's Note: This product review was updated on May 12, 2022, with additional purchase information and help to better compare products.
Cuisinart Custom 14 Review
Pros: Great at pureeing and slicing
Cons: No adjustability of shredding or slicing
Compare to Similar Products
Cuisinart Custom 14
$249.95 at Amazon
$158.94 at Amazon
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|Pros||Great at pureeing and slicing||Great for pizza dough, pureeing perfection, easy to clean, mostly even slicing, little to no leakage||Great for shredding, slicing, good at chopping||Great at pureeing, good at chopping, inexpensive||Inexpensive, better than average at mixing|
|Cons||No adjustability of shredding or slicing||Not great for applesauce, average chopping and shredding||Little more difficult to clean||Leaky, not the best at mixing, loud||Shreds and slices poorly, loud|
|Bottom Line||One of the best food processors you can get on a budget without sacrificing too much performance||A food processor especially great for pizza, but you'll need to own a Vitamix motor||Offering all-around excellent performance given its price tag, this is one of our favorite recommendations to those on a budget||For those trying to save some dough, this inexpensive model will get the job done, especially when it comes to pureeing and chopping||A small model that is the least expensive and lowest scoring of the group|
|Rating Categories||Cuisinart Custom 14||Vitamix 12-Cup Atta...||Ninja Professional||Hamilton Beach 10-Cup||Black+Decker 8-Cup|
|Specs||Cuisinart Custom 14||Vitamix 12-Cup Atta...||Ninja Professional||Hamilton Beach 10-Cup||Black+Decker 8-Cup|
|Bowl Size||14 cup||12 cup||9 cup||10 cup||8 cup|
H: 12.8" (no base)
H: 19.6" (on tested base)
|Measured Weight of Base||12 pounds, 6 ounces||8 pounds, 12 ounces. Varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base||4 pounds, 8 ounces||3 pounds, 1 ounce||3 pounds, 2 ounces|
|Motor||720 Watt||Varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base||850 Watt||450 Watt||450 Watt|
|Speed Control||On/(Pulse/Off)||Pulse/(On/Off), varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base||Chop/Puree/Dough/Disc/Low/High/Pulse||High/Low/Pulse/Off||On/(Pulse/Off)|
|Cord Storage||None||Underside cord wrap; varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base||External Cord Wrap||Internal||Underside Cord Wrap|
|Feet||Smooth Rubber||Varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base||Suction Cups||Suction Cups||Suction Cups|
|Decibels at 3ft||61.5||80.5, varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base||80||96||95|
|Mini Bowl Blade||Yes||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Accessory Storage Case||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Slicing Disc||Non adjustable||2 discs large and small; Non adjustable||Non adjustable||Non adjustable||Non adjustable|
|Shredding Disc||Medium||2 discs large and small; Non adjustable||Non adjustable||Medium||Medium|
|Build in Bowl Scraper||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|French Fry Disc||No||No||No||No||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Custom 14 did alright in our chopping test. We chopped almonds, carrots, and onions in each machine, looking for the most consistent, uniform chop with no aberrant large pieces. We also timed how long it took for the blade to stop spinning when the button was released, assessing the level of control you had over the food processor.
This model's blade stops spinning immediately, offering you precise control over how chopped your food is. This kitchen appliance did a good job at chopping almonds, tying for third place overall. The almonds weren't chopped as much as we would like, but they weren't pulverized into dust like other models. However, chopping carrots wasn't its strong suit, and it earned one of the lower scores here.
The size wasn't very uniform, and the mix got a bit over-chopped while trying to reduce the larger chunks to an appropriate size. It did a bit better chopping onions, however.
This food processor did about average, performing similarly to the Cuisinart Elite. The mixture was primarily uniform, though a handful of larger chunks were thrown in.
Our mixing metric consisted of making pizza dough, pie crust dough, and mayonnaise from scratch in each machine and comparing the results. The Cuisinart performed about the same as chopping.
It did a great job making pizza dough, tying for the top-quality product with some of our high performers. This model was by far the fastest at mixing the dough, with no signs of a struggle from the motor. The Cuisinart lacks a dough blade, but there were no apparent negative effects. Performance decreased slightly when we mixed pie crust dough in this machine. It would shoot flour out while mixing, failing to incorporate it and making a less consistent dough. It was unable to make our mayonnaise recipe entirely — the blades didn't mix the lemon juice and egg, although perhaps doubling the recipe would help.
The Cuisinart Custom displayed its pureeing prowess in this metric — one of the highest scores overall. We compared the quality of the nut butter, applesauce, tomato sauce, and hummus produced by each machine and determined how much water leaked out of the devices when they were filled to their maximum fill line and turned on.
The Custom 14 whipped up an excellent hummus. Both the tomato sauce and the applesauce were the perfect consistency after the prescribed amount of pureeing time, earning this model one of the highest scores in both of those tests. Nut butter was ground to satisfaction in about 19 minutes, though it required a spatula scrape at the very start of the test to keep it happy. This need for human intervention dropped its score slightly.
This model didn't leak at all, taking about three and a quarter cups of water to reach the marked line. The water was about a half-inch below the seam when filled to this point.
The Custom does an above-average job at shredding. We looked at how this model shredded potatoes, carrots, and cheese and if the shredding blade had any adjustable settings.
This model did a fantastic job at shredding carrots, earning one of the highest scores of the entire group. The shreds were crisp and dry, though not on the same level as the Breville.
This model did about average when it came to shredding potatoes. However, it left two large slices of potatoes un-shredded above the blade.
This food processor performed a little worse when shredding cheese, making strands that were a little on the weaker side. It only comes with a medium shredding disc.
The Cuisinart did better at slicing than shredding, tying for the runner-up position. We sliced tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini, looking for consistent, uniform slices without noticeable taper. We also compared the ability to adjust the blade to alter the slice thickness.
This model came with a 4mm slicing disc, though others can be purchased separately. It had the largest feed tube of our food processor test fleet and easily fit even the largest of our test tomatoes. The slices were fantastic, with no noticeable taper or mangling of the tomato.
This device also did the best at slicing potatoes, producing as close to perfect slices as you could expect. The zucchini slices were average, as some botched cuts and slices of varying thickness.
The final metric, cleaning, is where we assessed how much of a pain it was to clean these products after using them. The Cuisinart Custom wasn't too bad, as it didn't cause much frustration when it was time for dishes.
The bowl, lid, blades, and discs are all dishwasher safe, though it is recommended that they are washed on the top shelf only. The blade was a little on the short side, making it somewhat challenging to clean around where it attaches to the shaft. The bowl is simple to clean, with no extra plastic details to catch food. The lid had a few problem areas, but nothing too bad.
Should You Buy the Cuisinart Custom 14?
This model is an excellent bet if you want the best possible food processor you can get while still saving some cash. It scores high across many metrics, with no serious shortcomings or pitfalls. This is a great model for most kitchens.
This model is a great value — enough to earn it an award. It was the second-highest score overall and had a price that isn't terrible on the wallet.
What Other Food Processors Should You Consider?
If the price is too high, you may want to consider other value options. The Ninja Professional Food Processor and Hamilton Beach 10-Cup are both excellent performers that feature much lower price tags. If you want the best you can get, though, we give that honor to the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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