A solid performer across the board. In tests at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, it "excelled at everything -- even tricky jobs like slicing tomatoes and shredding carrots." Melissa Wagenberg Lasher of Wired commends its Dough Control setting, which she says produces "flaky tart shells." Only one professional source gives it less than straight A's, saying the Cuisinart is very good at slicing, shredding, grating and puréeing but only so-so at chopping. Owners at Epinions.com agree, saying that chopped vegetables can quickly turn into purée if the user isn't vigilant. One review says large chunks of food (such as whole onions) must be pre-cut to process properly, otherwise "you will have puréed onions instead of diced by the time the larger pieces are processed." A few Epinions.com users also find the Cuisinart isn't ideal for bread dough.
Assembly and usability simple. However, it does have a few quirks that some users find frustrating. First, the lid and feed tube can be difficult to snap on and off. Second, the entire pusher assembly must be inserted into the feed tube before the motor will start. This means that when using the larger feed tube, food can't simply be dropped into the bowl; the pusher assembly must be used whether or not the food actually needs to be pushed down. As for cleanup, it's pretty easy if you have a dishwasher; you can just pop the blades, bowl and all into the dishwasher. If not, however, be prepared to spend a lot of time scrubbing little crevices. One professional source finds that it's less work to chop small portions by hand than the time required to clean the machine. And once the cleaning is done, you'll still need to find storage space, which can be difficult due to its weight (close to 19 pounds) and no accompanying case for the discs.
A solidly built machine. Multiple reviewers at Epinions.com rave about the cutting discs, which are made of heavy stainless steel and assembled in a way that distributes torque to reduce breakage. If the Cuisinart does break, the motor is covered under warranty for 10 years and the other parts for three. However, many users warn that trying to get service from Cuisinart is a frustrating experience. To get a repair, you must ship the bulky machine back to Cuisinart at your own expense -- and that's only after you've managed to get in contact with customer support. We read reports of reps taking weeks to respond to phone and email inquiries and months to return repaired products. One owner even says Cuisinart shipped the wrong part and then refused to replace it.
Unanimously heard as a very quiet appliance. The Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus earns very good scores for noise level in professional tests, and multiple users praise its quiet performance. "Compared to my old processor," writes one owner at Epinions.com, "this new one sounds like a cat purring."
The Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus DLC-2011CHB gets more recommendations than any other full-sized food processor. Its solid all-around performance, durability and quietness make it a strong best choice. Just be prepared for a slight learning curve as you adjust to this machine's tricky features.
Review Credibility: Excellent ConsumerReports.org provides ratings on the Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus DLC-2011CHB 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. Food & Wine Magazine
Review Credibility: Very Good In this roundup of 76 small appliances, the editors of Food & Wine magazine name four food processors as top picks. However, it's not clear how these models were tested or how many didn't make the cut. The Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus DLC-2011CHB, described as "the mother of all food processors," is named the runner up behind the Oster 10-Cup 3200 (now discontinued).
Review: The Best Food Processors (Eight-Cup Plus), Kristin Donnelly, March 2008
3. Good Housekeeping
Review Credibility: Very Good The Good Housekeeping Research Institute names the Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus DLC-2011CHB (along with its smaller sibling, the Cuisinart Prep 9 DLC-2009CHB) as the overall winner in its test of 17 full-sized food processors. Editors say this machine "excelled at everything -- even tricky jobs like slicing tomatoes and shredding carrots."
Review: Best Food Processors, Editors of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, Not dated
Review Credibility: Good In this test of four food processors, the Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus DLC-2011CHB is named Editors' Pick. Testers praise its practical design, multiple speeds, wide feed tube and easy-to-clean touchpad controls. Its only downside: The lid and feed tube occasionally get stuck.
Review: Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus, Melissa Wagenberg Lasher, Oct. 23, 2007
Review Credibility: Good The Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus DLC-2011CHB receives an average rating of 4 stars out of 5 in more than 30 owner reviews at Epinions.com. Users praise its construction, versatility and ease of use, but we saw several complaints about its awkward safety features and unsatisfactory Cuisinart customer service.
Review: Cuisinart PowerPrep Plus DLC-2011 Food Processor, Contributors to Epinions.com