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Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup Review

An excellent model if you are planning on frequently making dough or mayo
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Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup Review (The Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup.)
The Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup.
Credit: Cuisinart
Price:  $200 List
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Manufacturer:   Cuisinart
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  May 12, 2022
65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 11
  • Chopping - 20% 5.0
  • Mixing - 20% 8.0
  • Pureeing - 20% 6.0
  • Shredding - 15% 8.0
  • Slicing - 15% 7.0
  • Cleaning - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup is a standard food processor that has a middle-of-the-pack score and a price range to match. While this Cuisinart kitchen appliance didn't deliver any amazing results in our rating metrics, it also didn't disappoint. It scores particularly well in the mixing and shredding metrics in our food processors review and only had a few minor drawbacks when it came to ease of cleaning.
REASONS TO BUY
Good at mixing and shredding
REASONS TO AVOID
Average at chopping
Little harder to clean
Editor's Note: This Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup review was updated on May 12, 2022, with more product recommendations from our team.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line If you often find yourself making dough or aioli, this may be just the ticketBest overall performing model for the priceIt won't slice down the competition but will chop up its price tagDelivering excellent performances in the majority of our tests, we think this is a great kitchen appliance for anyone shopping for quality on a limited budgetThis is the cheapest, lowest-performing food processor in our fleet
Rating Categories Cuisinart Elemental... Cuisinart Custom 14 Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Ninja Professional Black+Decker 8-Cup
Chopping (20%)
5.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Mixing (20%)
8.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
6.0
Pureeing (20%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
4.0
Shredding (15%)
8.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
3.0
Slicing (15%)
7.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
4.0
Cleaning (10%)
4.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
Specs Cuisinart Elemental... Cuisinart Custom 14 Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Ninja Professional Black+Decker 8-Cup
Model # FP-13DGM DFP-14BCNY 70730 BN600/BN601 FP1600B
Bowl Size 13 cup and 4 cup mini bowl 14 cup 10 cup 9 cup 8 cup
Dimensions W: 8.25"
H: 16.5"
D: 10"
W: 7.75"
H: 15"
D: 10.75"
W: 10.5"
H: 15.5"
D: 8.5"
W: 9.9"
H: 15.6"
D: 7.3"
W: 7.5"
H: 15.3"
D: 10.7"
Measured Weight of Base 5 pounds, 9 ounces 12 pounds, 6 ounces 3 pounds, 1 ounce 4 pounds, 8 ounces 3 pounds, 2 ounces
BPA Free Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Motor 550 Watt 720 Watt 450 Watt 850 Watt 450 Watt
Speed Control High/Low/Pulse/Off On/Off/Pulse High/Low/Pulse/Off Chop/Puree/Dough/Disc/Low/High/Pulse On/Off/Pulse
Cord Storage Internal None Internal External Cord Wrap Underside Cord Wrap
Feet Smooth Rubber Smooth Rubber Suction Cups Suction Cups Suction Cups
Decibels at 3ft 79 61.5 96 80 95
Mini Bowl Blade Yes Yes N/A N/A N/A
Accessory Storage Case Yes No No No No
Slicing Disc Adjustable to 8mm Non adjustable Non adjustable Non adjustable Non adjustable
Shredding Disc Fine and Medium Medium Medium Non adjustable Medium
Dough Blade Yes No No Yes No
Whipping Attatchment No No No No No
Citrus Juicer No No No No No
Dicing Kit Yes, with a cleaning tool No No No No
Built-in Bowl Scraper No No Yes No No
French Fry Disc No No No No No
Julienne Disc No No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


cuisinart elemental 13-cup - the cuisinart elemental scored in the middle of the group.
The Cuisinart Elemental scored in the middle of the group.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Chopping


The Elemental ranked about average in our chopping metric. In our test kitchen, we chopped carrots, almonds, and onions to assess its performance, comparing the final product to the other food processors. We evaluated how long it took for the blade to stop, demonstrating the level of control the device has. It did very well at chopping onions, earning the second-highest score of the group.

cuisinart elemental 13-cup - some fantastic chopped onions produced by the elemental, though not...
Some fantastic chopped onions produced by the Elemental, though not the best we saw.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Unfortunately, performance plummeted when chopping carrots, with this model tying for the lowest score. The carrots weren't very uniform, and we could not chop the large residual pieces without over-processing a significant portion of the carrots.

cuisinart elemental 13-cup - we got large chunks and mush instead of a uniform mix.
We got large chunks and mush instead of a uniform mix.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Elemental was about average at chopping almonds, similar to the Black+Decker 8-Cup in chop quality, but created much, much less pulverized almond dust. This model took a brief moment for the blade to cease spinning when the button was released.

cuisinart elemental 13-cup - the mixing blade installed on the elemental.
The mixing blade installed on the Elemental.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Mixing


The Elemental did better in our mixing metric, tying for the second-highest score of the group. We compared the quality of the mayonnaise, pie crust dough, and pizza dough produced by the machines to come up with a final score, particularly looking for consistency and any signs of struggle. It successfully made our one cup mayo recipe without difficulty and produced a high-quality finished product, earning it full marks. This model also did a great job making pizza dough, only shaking a tiny bit while mixing. It did well at making pie crust, though not quite as well as pizza dough. The pie crust actually got thrown against the side of the bowl and stuck there, resulting in a dough that had some dry spots and some overly sticky spots when we rolled it out.

Pureeing


The Elemental's performance dropped slightly on our pureeing tests. We had a panel of tasters rate and rank the hummus, applesauce, tomato sauce, and nut butter produced by each food processor. We also tested whether or not each bowl leaked when filled with water to the maximum fill line, and the motor was run. The hummus tied for the third-best of the group with the Cuisinart Elite. The applesauce produced by this model featured some large chunks and was overall coarser than that of other models.

The tomato sauce wasn't great and was chunkier than other sauces we made. The Elemental also had a less than stellar performance grinding nut butter, taking around 25 minutes and receiving the second-lowest score.

cuisinart elemental 13-cup - the shredding blade with two different sizes installed on the...
The shredding blade with two different sizes installed on the Elemental.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Shredding


Shredding was another one of the metrics that the Elemental scored very well in. We did a careful shred analysis of the potatoes, cheese, and carrots that were sent through each machine to determine scores, as well as looking at whether or not you could adjust the size of the shreds. This model has both fine and medium shred settings. It performed well at shredding cheese, with a finished product that had very few crumbles and was primarily cheese strands.

We had to do some minor trimming to the two-pound block of cheese to get it to fit in the feeding tube, and no chunks were left behind in the gap between the lid and shredding disc. The Elemental continued its solid performance when it came to shredding potatoes, producing some of the highest quality shreds we saw during testing of our top-ranked food processors.

cuisinart elemental 13-cup - this model produced excellent quality shredded potatoes.
This model produced excellent quality shredded potatoes.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The shredded carrots weren't too shabby either, and we were impressed during this test.

cuisinart elemental 13-cup - these carrots lacked the crispness of the top scoring models.
These carrots lacked the crispness of the top scoring models.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The carrots didn't have any large chunks in them, but they weren't as crisp and as structurally sound as the shreds made by some of the higher performers.

Slicing


Delivering an above-average performance, the Elemental earned an above-average score. We sliced zucchini, potatoes, and tomatoes to assess the aptitude of each model, as well as if it was possible to adjust the thickness of the slice on the slicing disc. The slicing blade was easy to adjust, with the numbers corresponding to the desired thickness in millimeters. It did a fantastic job slicing tomatoes, though the feed tube wouldn't fit the largest tomato we had.

cuisinart elemental 13-cup - the even tomato slices created by the elemental.
The even tomato slices created by the Elemental.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Quality dropped when it came to potatoes and zucchini, both ranking about average. There was a small degree of taper on all of the potato slices. The zucchini slices exhibited a wide variation in size, and there was some tapering, but it did alright.

cuisinart elemental 13-cup - the parts of the cuisinart elemental drying after our cleaning test.
The parts of the Cuisinart Elemental drying after our cleaning test.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Cleaning


This model was one of the more difficult to clean. The discs, blade, bowl, and lid are all dishwasher safe, though recommended for the top shelf only. The blade was easy enough to clean, especially helped by its longer length, making it easier to hold on to when washing manually. The bowl had some small raised points to act as stops for the smaller bowl that would catch food and be very problematic to clean. The lid was even worse, with some even smaller spaces that would trap food and cause endless frustration to clean.

cuisinart elemental 13-cup - the included accessories with the elemental.
The included accessories with the Elemental.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Should You Buy the Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup?


All in all, you probably wouldn't be disappointed in this model, but you might not be thrilled. It comes with a dicing attachment, which is a nice perk unique to this model. All in all, though, we think most people will be better served by models that scored similarly but were significantly less expensive.

cuisinart elemental 13-cup - this middle-of-the-road food processor scored fine and had a...
This middle-of-the-road food processor scored fine and had a reasonable price.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

What Other Food Processors Should You Consider?


This model scored on par with a couple much cheaper processors. The Hamilton Beach 10-Cup is our favorite inexpensive model, if you're hoping to stretch your dollars but maintain good performance. In the same price range as the Elemental, you can get the Cuisinart Custom 14, a higher performer. And if money is no object, the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro takes the cake as the best overall food processor we tested.

David Wise and Austin Palmer