Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor
Great for small batches
For the task, chopped, Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus offers the best value and performance, we’ve found. Mini-Prep Plus makes a good addition to a full-size model (or a great alternative if you do not feel like spending $200). In our tests, it even performs better than the attachments small bowl comes with some of the larger processors. Last year we tested the Mini-Prep Plus 3.5-Cup KitchenAid against Food Chopper as well as against the chopper attachment of our favorite immersion blender, the Grip Control breville. This year, we have tested the Mini-Prep than 3 cups Farberware VonShef 4.5 cups Mini Chopper and Mini Food processor. In most trials, Mini-Prep Also on top.
In our tests, the Mini-Prep Plus more mixed, even texture than the competition, and did so more quickly. It chopped onions for about 17 pulses, while Farberware and VonShef lost nearly 30 pulses. In our tests last year, the chopper attachment for breville take forever to cut onions. This year, most Farberware chopped onion but a large piece of perfectly intact. The distance between the bottom of the food pipe and plate cutting on VonShef caused onion roll around and uneven paving lead. Onions can quickly turn to mush in a food processor, but Cuisinart has done a good job of retaining the texture of onions while not creating too much liquid; we thought this model would be great to do Mirepoix. We will not use Mini-Prep Plus to make a chunky pico de Gallo, but a mix of roasted salsa would be fine.
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Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus looks almost like a full-size processors, except that it only has two pulse button for cutting and grinding. The move marks the button opposite to the blade edges of the blade touching food; blender button clockwise rotating blades to the contacts inside dull food. Its blade is less sharp than those on a full size handle, often slightly serrated. And, of course, the Mini-Prep Plus is a little smaller and easier to move around than the larger machines. While the 18-pound Cuisinart Custom measures 15½ inches high processing and has a footprint 7½-by 9¾-inch Mini-Prep Plus 2¼ pounds only 9½ inches and has a footprint of 5-by 7½-inch.
We did not notice any tension or stutter 250-watt motor Mini-Prep Plus, even when mixing a thick curry paste. Since you will not use it for tasks such as making bread dough heavy, we do not think there’s much risk of burning out the motor.
Mini-Prep Plus excels at emulsifications. In fact, all food processors, blenders, grinders and immersion we’ve tested for different instructions, we see as simple mayo Mini-Prep Plus best. That’s because its lid has a small indentation to hold the oil, and two small holes to allow the oil to flow directly onto the wing so you have a consistent, measured line. With this method, mayonnaise come together without you have to control the flow of oil. The KitchenAid offers a similar feature but only a hole in the lid of it, so in our tests take longer oil dripping down too long, in fact, we will not use the KitchenAid to make mayonnaise. Both have small holes VonShef Farberware or to add oil.
We also think that the construction of Mini-Prep Plus is nicer. Its jar with a handle, while the bottle KitchenAid and Farberware not. We struggle to remove the jar on the model without a handle, especially when working with greasy hands. And Cuisinart model with continuous button on the base of its engines, while KitchenAid has its groove on the lid button, where they can trap gunk.
Mini-Prep Plus will no baking powder or shredded cheese, and a small bowl of it means it’s not a great choice for cutting large quantities of anything. You’ll need a full-size computer for any of these tasks, as well as to make chopped salad, bread crust, or portions of tomato sauce mix.
Consumer Reports recommends the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus, and Amazon this model has an average score of 4.4 stars (out of five) over 2370 user reviews.
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Care and maintenance
Food processor blades are not designed to be sharpened. They should last you a long time, but as Cuisinart told us, if a “consumer is using it more aggressively or more frequently than the average consumer it can become dull.
If you have to schlep your processor from a cupboard across the kitchen, you might not use it often. Norene Gilletz recommends buying a processor that will fit on the counter under your cabinets. She keeps her machines on folded dish towels so that they’ll slide out more easily.
Those with limited counter space can get creative, as Jean Anderson did when she lived in New York City. “I had a pop-up, like those old typewriter pop-ups that folded down underneath the desk. My processor pop-up folded down into the base cabinet, and I just swung it up whenever I used the machine.”
As for cleaning, Gilletz recommends putting water and a few drops of dish soap in the work bowl and running the machine. A bottle brush is handy for cleaning around the feed tube, inside the food pressers, and along the sharp blades. Never submerge the base of a food processor in water; you should only wipe it down with a damp cloth or sponge.
After testing models with storage boxes, we found that such boxes are convenient for keeping attachments organized, and they’re worth investing in if your model doesn’t come with one. You can also organize blades and disks in a designated Tupperware-style container, basket, or other receptacle. We store the Cuisinart Custom’s extra blades and disks inside the processor’s work bowl (but be advised that this can scratch the bowl).
Most brands sell replacement parts, which may come in handy after the limited warranty on parts expires. You’ll find replacement bowls, food pushers, blades, and various other attachments for the Cuisinart Custom, the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus, and the Breville Sous Chef.