KitchenAid’s 13-cup food processor (Model KFP1333) has a wide variety of accessories that give it a ton of versatility.
About the KitchenAid 13-Cup Food Processor
KitchenAid has attempted to pack a lot of functionality into its 13-cup food processor, so much so that the myriad accessories need their own little storage case. And there really are a lot of them: three different slicing/shredding discs, a smaller work bowl and blade (the model I tested came with a 4-cup work bowl, some models also include a 10-cup chef’s bowl), a dough blade, an egg whip paddle (on some models only) and several adapters that are needed to use the different accessories.
The machine has simple controls: four buttons for Off, Low, High and Pulse. But what sets this food processor apart from others is a little lever that’s just below the base of the work bowl. This is the slicing control, a lever that can adjust the thickness of a slicing disc, much like how a mandoline slicer works. The slicer will make slices from 1mm to 6 mm in thickness. While Cuisinart has a life of food processors that have mandolin-style slicers, KitchenAid’s is the only model that you can control from the outside, making it easy to operate.
The KitchenAid 13-Cup Food Processor to the Test
The first food processor I ever bought was a KitchenAid model, and I was eager to see how this newer version measured up to my 12-cup model, which has since been discontinued. The first thing I noticed was that the base of this newer machine seemed a little lightweight and flimsy, like it was made with a cheaper quality plastic, or like the motor wasn’t as powerful.
This observation, however, didn’t seem to bear credence on the machine’s actual performance.
During the testing I did – including making pesto, chopping vegetables, mixing biscuit dough, grating sweet potatoes, among other tasks – the KitchenAid food processor performed well with each task. It chopped vegetables evenly, mixed my dough without straining a bit, and quickly grated the hard sweet potatoes (although, as with most food processors, the ends of the vegetables didn’t get completely grated).
I particularly liked how easy the bowl and lid were to put onto the base, they easily and intuitively click into place, and the blade also clicks onto its spindle, and even stays in place when you’re tipping the work bowl to pour the ingredients out). This design of the blade also helps to seal the bowl, so that liquid ingredients won’t leak out. It gives the work bowl a more realistic capacity than other food processor designs (KitchenAid claims that the usable capacity is 12 cups).
The slicer was fun to use, and made short work of slicing potatoes for a gratin, although it is not necessarily a perfect substitute for a real mandoline slicer. The blade spins quickly so it’s harder to control than a hand-operated slicer. It’s particularly hard to completely slice a thin vegetable such as a carrot or piece of celery, since at a certain point you can’t be holding it anymore and instead need to push it into the machine with the food pusher.
It takes awhile to familiarize oneself with how to assemble the different attachments. There are three different adapter pieces, which are used separately or in combination for the various discs, slicers, and smaller bowl inserts. Luckily each of the three adapters is labeled, and a handy little guide tells you exactly which assembly to use for each of the accessories (plus it recommends the type of food to use with the accessory, and whether to use pulse, low or high speed.
The lid is also a bit perplexing. It is made of four parts, including a three-piece feed tube and pusher. This means that various nested parts can be removed to accommodate different sizes of food, but the machine will only work if the largest pusher part of the lid is at least halfway down.
One of my least favorite parts of using a food processor is the cleanup, and the KitchenAid is no exception. I found the multiple parts of the lid annoying because if you were working with a messy ingredient like wet dough, you need to take each piece apart and clean it well, and there are plenty of crevices for debris to hide. But I did find that the main part of the lid has been improved over previous models, and was much easier to clean than the old style lid, which had a deep groove around its circumference that was very difficult to clean.
The base, however, wiped clean easily, and the buttons are seamless so there are no cracks for food debris. And the beautifully designed storage case for all the accessories really helps to keep them organized and within reach – each piece fits into its own molded compartment, making it easy to see if any are missing. The case is a good place to keep your manuals handy (you’ll need them, at least at first, to remember how to properly assemble the accessories!)
The KitchenAid 13-cup Food Processor is a great value for all of the functionality it offers, and I was impressed by its power and design. Although there’s a learning curve in terms of figuring out how the various functions work, it’s well worth the effort.
- A good value for the price
- Parts come in a well-designed carrying case
- Fairly easy to clean
- A lot of parts to keep track of
- Takes up a lot of space
- 13- and 4-cup work bowls are BPA-free plastic
- Comes with: reversible shredding disc, externally adjustable slicing disc (1mm to 6 mm), julienne disc (some models), stainless steel multipurpose blades, dough blade and 3 adapters
- Storage case for accessories, instruction manual and accessories selection guide
- Controls include Low, High, and Pulse
- Three part feed tube accommodates even very large foods
- Comes in brushed chrome, silver, black, red and white
- 1-year replacement warranty