Does well at most tasks. In professional tests, it gets good results for shredding and puréeing, as well as making piecrust and pizza dough. Results for chopping and slicing are more mixed. While the editors of KitchenAudition.com say it "aced" these tests, other professional testers say it delivered unevenly chopped veggies -- even after pre-cutting them into 1-inch chunks as the manufacturer recommends. Home users generally seem happy with its performance, especially for piecrust and dough, although one says the machine made a mess of slicing carrots.
Feed tube's design draws complaints. Although it's a wide-mouth tube, both professional and user sources say it's too small to accommodate anything bulky. Blocks of cheese, hunks of cabbage and even full-sized potatoes require pre-cutting before they'll fit. In other respects, however, professional reviewers say this model is easy to use. The 14-cup bowl can handle large batches of dough yet still manage smaller chopping jobs -- though not quite as well as models that include smaller secondary bowls for this purpose.
Users also complain about some of the Custom 14's safety features. The motor won't start unless all parts are perfectly aligned, and the pusher must be left in the feed tube during use, requiring you to stop the machine and remove it to add extra ingredients. Cleanup can be easy or difficult: All the removable parts are dishwasher-safe, but users say it's a chore to clean by hand.
Scratch- and crack-prone. The editors of KitchenAudition.com say its plastic bowl is scratch-prone, and several users at Amazon.com say it tends to develop cracks over time. Cuisinart backs this food processor with a three-year limited warranty, covering the motor for an additional two years. However, users taking advantage of warranty service say it's a huge hassle. To get repairs, you must ship the machine back to Cuisinart at your own expense (with an extra $10 for return shipping) -- once you succeed in reaching the company, which users say is a job in itself. One owner reports that Cuisinart initially refused to honor its written warranty, claiming the part he needed replaced (the blade) was no longer covered.
Not a problem. Professional testers say the Cuisinart Custom 14 DFP-14BCN is very quiet, and in more than 250 user reviews, we found no complaints about its loudness.
For large families, the Cuisinart Custom 14 DFP-14BCN offers a larger alternative to the top-rated, 11-cup Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus DLC-2011CHB (*Est. $200). However, the frustrating feed-tube design makes it more awkward to use. In terms of performance, durability and noise level, they're about the same, so if you don't need the extra capacity, the Prep 11 Plus is a better choice.
Review Credibility: Excellent ConsumerReports.org provides ratings on the Cuisinart Custom 14 DFP-14BCN and 33 other food processors. Each one is evaluated on noise level and five essential tasks: chopping, slicing, shredding, puréeing and grating. The site also features a few user reviews.
Review: Food Processors and Choppers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, January 2012
2. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Review Credibility: Excellent Experts here put eight food processors through their paces, including the Cuisinart Custom 14 DFP-14BCN. Each one gets a chance to chop, grate and slice vegetables; grind dry ingredients; make pizza dough; and cut butter into flour for piecrust before editors pick the best buys.
Review: Food Processors, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, January 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent After an extremely detailed test, the Cuisinart Custom 14 DFP-14BCN emerges as a Recommended pick. It chops, purées and makes dough beautifully, and editors say its reasonable price makes it a great value, even though it doesn't include extras like mini bowls and blade storage.
Review: Cuisinart 14-Cup Custom Food Processor (DFP-14), Editors of KitchenAudition.com
Review Credibility: Excellent With about 220 owner reviews posted, the Cuisinart Custom 14 DFP-14BCN maintains a very high rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. Owners love its performance, capacity and quietness, but some say its safety features make it tricky to use. We also saw a lot of frustration with Cuisinart's customer service.
Review: Cuisinart DFP-14 14-Cup Food Processors, Contributors to Amazon.com
Review Credibility: Very Good In nearly 70 reviews, the Cuisinart Custom 14 DFP-14BCN earns a near-perfect rating of 4.8 stars out of 5. Owners find it powerful, versatile, quiet and easy to use. The most common complaint is that it's hard to clean.
Review: Brushed Stainless 14-c. Premier Series Custom 14 Food Processor by Cuisinart, Contributors to Cooking.com