Cuisinart Elite Collection® 2.0 16 Cup Review
We thought the Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 16-Cup Food Processor was one of the best and most comprehensive machines we tested. This workhorse can handle any and all processing projects, but you do pay for its versatility in storage space. Although it is expensive, we found that it consistently outperformed the other food processors we tested. Its exceptional performance was comparable to the Breville Sous Chef, but we'd say it is a much better value since it costs $100 less than the Breville.
You can compare the Cuisinart FP-16 Elite Collection 2.0 16 Cup Food Processor to other food processors in the Food Processor Review.
The Cuisinart Elite 2.0 FP-16 comes with all the features you would expect in a $300 food processor. It has a large work bowl with 16 cups of dry capacity and 7 3/4 cups of liquid capacity. It also has a smaller 4 1/2-cup work bowl that functions like a chopper. Both work bowls are conveniently marked with measurements and have pour spouts. It has a variety of attachments including a small and large 'S' blade, a plastic dough blade, a stainless steel adjustable slicing disc, and a stainless steel reversible shredding disc (medium and fine). The lid is designed with Cuisinart's sealing system to prevent leaking and also has two feeder tubes conveniently positioned at the front of the machine. The large feed tube measures 5.75" x 3" and the small feed tube is a 3" x 2" oval. It also features easy-to-clean touchpad controls with blue LED illumination that offer you the basic options of On, Off, Dough, or Pulse. The sturdy base of this model is powered by a whopping 1,300-watt motor. All parts are dishwasher safe and plastics are BPA-free. Lastly, the FP-16 comes with all the standard safety features and will not turn on unless the lid and pusher are correctly placed. It has rubber stoppers on the base to help stabilize the machine.
The Cuisinart FP-16 is one of the most powerful and versatile food processors we tested. With 16 cups of dry capacity, it was also one of the largest and it offered, by far, the most liquid capacity of any machine in our lineup. It can process up to 7 3/4cups of a thin liquid, which was well below the 12-cup "max liquid line" but still impressive. The FP-16 is designed with a small 4 1/2cup work bowl, essentially giving the large machine built-in chopper functionality.
We loved the variety of attachments. In particular, we really liked the adjustable slicing blade (with 22 settings from 0 - 10mm) and the reversible fine/medium shredding disc. It didn't come with some attachments that we consider extraneous (i.e. French Fry disc, emulsifying disc, etc.), but you can always purchase those separately from Cuisinart if you want.
In terms of feeder tubes, the FP-16 is designed with Cuisinart's "Supreme" feed tube, which was one of the largest we tested and can easily fit a whole tomato. However, it also features Cuisinart's standard safety system, which prevents the machine from starting until the pusher is engaged. This means that unless longer food items can be put thorough the smaller feed tube (3" x 2"), they will have to be pared down significantly. For example, we had to cut our russet potato in half in order to slice it. This is a typical safety system though, in higher-end machines.
We thought the touchpad controls were very responsive as well as easy to operate and clean. One feature the Cuisinart FP-16 lacked was a programmable timer like the Breville, but we can definitely live without one for a machine that is $100 less expensive.
With a 15-pound base and 1,300-watt motor, we weren't surprised that the Cuisinart Elite 2.0 did so well in our round of tests. Even during the heaviest processing job, it barely budged on the counter and overall we found it was really smooth and quiet to operate. First off, we thought it did an excellent job chopping. We chopped onions in the large work bowl and felt it produced some of the best results we'd seen during testing. We also minced parsley in the small work bowl and were equally impressed. The blades are clearly sharp because it left us with a dry, well chopped herb.
We also found that the adjustable slicing disc worked incredibly well. We sliced potatoes at 2mm and then we played with the adjustable slicing disc to turn out 4mm thick tomatoes.
We tested out the reversible shredding disc with carrots and parmesan. We used the medium shredding side to grate our carrots and used the small feed tube for a continuous feed. Overall, it worked really well. We used the fine shredding side on the cheese and it also did a great job. However, we were surprised with the amount of food wasted relative to other models. We think it is because there is a slightly bigger gap between the disc and the lid, and it is easy for food to slip under the lid and even into the work bowl.
We were disappointed when we tried to whip cream in the small work bowl. Not only did it fail to produce a consistent, unified product, but it made a huge mess.
Unsurprisingly, this model excelled making both pizza dough and almond butter. It was super quiet, stable, and fast.
We thought assembling the Cuisinart Elite 2.0 was easy and intuitive. All of the parts fit together smoothly and securely. It was pretty easy to clean, with the exception of the shredding disc and sealing system on the lid. The shredding disc has a groove around the edge of it that traps food particles and is incredibly difficult to clean. After our parmesan test, we struggled to get cheese out of the groove with a sponge, a butter knife, and a dishcloth. Regarding the seal, while we appreciated that it was removable (unlike the Breville's), we still found it time-intensive to clean. With that said, we did all of our washing by hand. The Cuisinart FP-16's parts are dishwasher-safe however, which should make cleaning a lot easier. Keep in mind that the blades will dull over time if you put them in the dishwasher a lot.
The Cuisinart Elite 2.0 is the biggest food processor we tested, even larger than the Breville Sous Chef. It won't fit under standard cupboards, so you will need someplace to store it and its accessories. This model offers both retractable cord storage and a secure container for your attachments.Best Uses
The Cuisinart FP-16 will excel at any processing job, large or small.Value
At $300, the Cuisinart FP-16 is one of the most expensive food processor we tested, but we thought it was a better value than the comparable Breville Sous Chef. Like all Cuisinart models, it comes with an excellent warranty. Cuisinart guarantees material and craftsmanship on the entire unit for 3 years and on the motor for 20 years.Conclusion
Overall, the Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 16-Cup Food Processor was our winner for processing capability, performance, and versatility. We love that it has two work bowls, a reversible shredding disc, adjustable slicing disc, and large feed tube. It makes fast work of big projects like pizza dough and almond butter but has enough precision to finely chop onions or mince parsley without decimating them. It comes with an excellent motor warranty - 20 years guaranteed. This behemoth is powerful but also exceptionally quiet and stable. In addition, it has a huge dry and liquid capacity. If you are looking to make an investment in a long-lasting, high performance food processor, and $300 is in your budget, this is the model we recommend. If you don't want this exact model, but love the Cuisinart brand, check out our other reviews of their products including the Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus, Cuisinart Pro Classic 7 Cup, and the Cuisinart Custom 14.Alternatives:
- 1200-watt motor
- 16-cup dry capacity and 5-cup liquid capacity (also includes 2.5-cup work bowl)
- 1-year limited warranty on unit and 25-year full warranty on motor
- 720-watt motor
- 14-cup dry capacity and 3-cup liquid capacity
- 3-year warranty on unit and 5-year warranty on motorWe suggest that you check out our Buying Advice for Food Processors to get an idea for what machine will best suit your needs.
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