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Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup Review

An excellent model if you are planning on frequently making dough or mayo
Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup
The Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup.
Credit: Cuisinart
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Price:   $200 List | $199.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Good at mixing and shredding
Cons:  Average at chopping, little harder to clean
Manufacturer:   Cuisinart
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  May 12, 2022
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 12
  • 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 scored particularly well in the mixing and shredding metrics of our food processor testing and only had a few minor drawbacks when it came to ease of cleaning.

Editor's Note: This Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup review was updated on May 12, 2022, with more product recommendations from our team.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $200 List
$199.95 at Amazon
$200 List
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$58 List
$39.99 at Amazon
$120 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Good at mixing and shreddingGreat for pizza dough, pureeing perfection, easy to clean, mostly even slicing, little to no leakageGreat at pureeing and slicingGreat at pureeing, good at chopping, inexpensiveGreat for shredding, slicing, good at chopping
Cons Average at chopping, little harder to cleanNot great for applesauce, average chopping and shreddingNo adjustability of shredding or slicingLeaky, not the best at mixing, loudLittle more difficult to clean
Bottom Line An excellent model if you are planning on frequently making dough or mayoA food processor especially great for pizza, but you'll need to own a Vitamix motorOne of the best food processors you can get on a budget without sacrificing too much performanceFor those trying to save some dough, this inexpensive model will get the job done, especially when it comes to pureeing and choppingOffering all-around excellent performance given its price tag, this is one of our favorite recommendations to those on a budget
Rating Categories Cuisinart Elemental... Vitamix 12-Cup Atta... Cuisinart Custom 14 Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Ninja Professional
Chopping (20%)
5.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Mixing (20%)
8.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
Pureeing (20%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Shredding (15%)
8.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Slicing (15%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
Cleaning (10%)
4.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
Specs Cuisinart Elemental... Vitamix 12-Cup Atta... Cuisinart Custom 14 Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Ninja Professional
Model # FP-13DGM VM0215 DFP-14BCNY 70730 BN600/BN601
Bowl Size 13 cup and 4 cup mini bowl 12 cup 14 cup 10 cup 9 cup
Dimensions W: 8.25"
H: 16.5"
D: 10"
W: 8.5"
H: 12.8" (no base)
H: 19.6" (on tested base)
D: 11.8"
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"
Measured Weight of Base 5 pounds, 9 ounces 8 pounds, 12 ounces. Varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base 12 pounds, 6 ounces 3 pounds, 1 ounce 4 pounds, 8 ounces
BPA Free Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Motor 550 Watt Varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base 720 Watt 450 Watt 850 Watt
Speed Control High/Low/Pulse/Off Pulse/(On/Off), varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base On/Off/Pulse High/Low/Pulse/Off Chop/Puree/Dough/Disc/Low/High/Pulse
Cord Storage Internal Underside cord wrap; varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base None Internal External Cord Wrap
Feet Smooth Rubber Varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base Smooth Rubber Suction Cups Suction Cups
Decibels at 3ft 79 80.5, varies, tested with Vitamix A2300 blender base 61.5 96 80
Mini Bowl Blade Yes N/A Yes N/A N/A
Accessory Storage Case Yes Yes No No No
Slicing Disc Adjustable to 8mm 2 discs large and small; Non adjustable Non adjustable Non adjustable Non adjustable
Shredding Disc Fine and Medium 2 discs large and small; Non adjustable Medium Medium Non adjustable
Dough Blade Yes No No No Yes
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 No Yes 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 food processor - 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 food processor - 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 food processor - 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 food processor - 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 food processor - 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.

Cuisinart Elemental 13-Cup food processor - 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 food processor - 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 food processor - 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 food processor - 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 food processor - 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 food processor - 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
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