Actually yes, food processors and blenders are different! Their differences though are less compared to their similarities. Despite many people’s belief, these two kitchen appliances are designed to perform different purposes, all necessary for a kitchen master like you.
Food processors and blenders share a lot of similarities: they are both motorised and designed to mix things together, they look pretty much the same and use a variety of accessories. They both have speed controls, removable blades and a mixing bowl. If you like cooking, baking and chopping things, then it’s most probably that you should have either one or both of them. You’ll see! Your life in the kitchen will become easier!
However, their main difference is in their functions. A blender is most of the time used for foods that will end up mostly liquid, whereas a food processor is better for foods that will end up being mostly solid. For instance, a food processor is used for chopping, shredding and slicing tough, dry ingredients and mixing dough, while a blender is designed for creating smoothies. So, keep on reading to find out more about those two appliances and the differences between them, before deciding which one is the best choice for you!
Table of Contents
- What is a food processor?
- What is a blender?
- Can I use a blender instead of a food processor?
- Do you need a blender or a food processor?
- Which one to buy? A blender or a food processor?
- What should you consider before buying a food processor?
- What you should consider when buying a blender
- So, are food processors and blenders really different?
What is a food processor?
A food processor is a small kitchen appliance that helps you with those difficult food prep tasks that require the strength of many repetitions, like making dough. It is ideal from very simple to intensive heavy-duty cooking tasks, cutting down the prep time significantly.
Food processors usually come with a variety of attachments that allow you to chop, slice, grate, puree, knead, mix, whip and whisk. They can actually make everyday food preparation easier, quicker and more efficient. Just imagine using just one appliance with various attachments!
With the help of a food processor, you can do magical things in your kitchen, like:
- Turn heavy cream into butter.
- Grind meat all by yourself and prepare homemade and healthy ground meat dishes.
- Turn cookies or bread into crumbs.
- Shred lots of potatoes in a matter of seconds.
- Make pasta dough.
- Cut cold butter.
- Chop tough vegetables, like carrots.
- Make sauces with hard ingredients, like hummus.
- Grind meat or knead the dough.
- Make nut butter or dressings.
- Grate cheese.
A handy tool, don’t you think? But, like all good things, this one has its pros and cons as well. Let’s see:
- It can tackle several tasks.
- It can chop, slice, mix, grate etc. very quickly.
- It has a large capacity.
- Ιt can be rather expensive (from £30 up to more than £400).
- It takes up a lot of space both on the countertop and in the cupboard.
- It takes a lot of time to clean it and set it up.
A food processor consists of a base, a transparent work bowl, a lid and removable sharp blades. Speed and pulse controls are located on the base. While mixing, you can usually add ingredients through the lid. It has a variety of removable blades and slicing discs that can be used for chopping, slicing, mixing, dicing and more. You can’t use wet ingredients in a food processor as they get stuck along the sides of the container and blades can’t reach them, so it’s highly suggested that you use solid foods.
If you like cooking and baking, then the food processor is a very handy appliance. It will save you time and make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Isn’t it great? Can you imagine how many tools you will get rid of because you don’t need them anymore? And without making a mess! Depending on the model you’ll choose, you can do plenty of things!
What is a blender?
We have to admit that a blender is a very useful tool for someone that spends time in the kitchen. It is mainly used with liquid ingredients, and it’s best for mixing, creating smoothies, ice creams and shakes. With a good blender in hand, you can also crush ice, but you wouldn’t want to use it for slicing your salad’s veggies.
Most of the time a blender is used for creamy smoothies and silky soups. Now, you can take nuts, oats or almonds and make your homemade cream, flour or milk. You can even break down food waste and make your compost. Not to mention that if you love to enjoy a protein shake on a daily basis, a good blender is all you need! Mixing protein with milk was never easier with such a helper.
There are two types of blenders:
- Countertop blenders
- Hand blender
A countertop blender is more common. It’s got a base, a bowl, removable blades and a lid. Speed and mix controls are located on the base. The bowl of the blender is usually conical, with handles and spouts. The blades can be removed easily, as they’re screwed to the bottom of the bowl. When it comes to the lid, it has a removable plug that allows you to add ingredients while blending.
Extra Tip: Be sure that you have filled the bowl only ¾. Otherwise, get yourself ready to clean up your whole kitchen from the mess. If the bowl is filled up with ingredients, it might overflow, and blades might not reach everything inside.
Hand or Immersion Blender
A hand blender, also called an immersion or stick blender, looks like a wand with its blades attached to it. It might be corded or cordless depending on the model. It’s perfect if you want to turn something into a liquid. It’s usually used for soups and sauces and pureeing, but it works great for fruit smoothies, whipped cream and shakes. For smoother results, it requires more liquid.
Extra Tip: To use this type, you need a container filled with the ingredients you want to blend.
So, what’s the verdict on blenders’ pros and cons? Have a look!
- It is affordable enough so that every household has one.
- It can be cleaned easily.
- It has a large capacity and is easy to use.
- It can’t chop, slice, knead or whisk efficiently.
- It is rather noisy.
- It takes up space on the countertop (only about countertop blenders).
You should keep in mind that some models with a highly powerful motor can do much more, like chop, mix and blend as effectively as a food processor. High-speed settings help the whole process even more. However, most of the time, these are more expensive. So, how to make the right choice? Depending on your needs, you should check out all the characteristics and attachments that a blender comes with, before choosing one.
Can I use a blender instead of a food processor?
From a tech point of view, yes you can use a blender instead of a food processor. But, in the end, you might be disappointed with the results. There’s a chance that you might need to try multiple times until you have the wanted results, or experiment with the tool’s settings until you have the desired outcome.
Bear in mind that you can’t use the same amount of ingredients in a blender as in a food processor. A blender’s blades are not as sharp as a food processor’s, and if you do so, you’ll end up having uneven consistency of the food.
So, what can you do?
Use fewer ingredients
As we’ve already mentioned earlier, in case you only have a blender and you need to use it for more of a food processor’s task, then you better not use large quantities. Instead, you should use fewer ingredients and consequently make more small batches.
In case you add large quantities in a blender, your food will have a different texture at the top of the blending bowl, compared to that at the bottom, so overall an uneven mix will be the result.
But this isn’t enough. There’s one extra thing you should do.
Play with the settings
If you use a blender instead of a food processor, then you should definitely want to adjust the settings to use the right ones. Usually, blenders have from three to six speeds. If you’re going to chop a carrot, for example, then check around to find a suitable speed starting from the lowest. Now, if you want to complete a more difficult task, like making a vegetable puree, then it’s highly possible that you reach the highest speed available.
Do you need a blender or a food processor?
Keep in mind that having the right kitchen tools and machines will save you time. A food processor and a blender are tools that will make your life easier. And it’s only when you start using them that you will understand their value! Trust our words.
Do you need a handy helper to support you in creating a healthy eating lifestyle? Do you need a quick and easy way to make your baby’s food? Are you maybe a gym enthusiast who loves his daily protein shake? Do you love baking and look for a cool way to beat your eggs’ whites?
These are some of the questions that you might need to answer prior to deciding which one of these two you need the most. What’s right for you depends on what you like to cook, your daily needs, the space you have in your kitchen and of course, your budget.
If you want to be more efficient in the kitchen and get rid of some appliances such as a hand or stand mixer and choppers, then go for a food processor. But, if you’re fond of smoothies and soup, then a blender is what you are looking for.
A blender is the best tool for making soups, purees and smoothies. It is capable of making dips, but it isn’t ideal for making butter or dough. And don’t ever try to use a blender to chop vegetables or shred cheese. It’ll probably break down.
But if you want to chop vegetables, create nut butter or shred cheese, then a food processor is the best tool to do so. Also, it can knead your dough, make soups and puree vegetables pretty well. But, it isn’t recommended for smoothies.
But do you know what it is that you need to take a look at prior to deciding which one will complete your kitchen appliances set? Let us help you with that.
Which one to buy? A blender or a food processor?
Before deciding which one to buy, you should think of your needs, your available space in the kitchen and of course your budget, as mentioned earlier. No one knows your needs better than you do.
If you like cooking and baking and you have many tools and small appliances, you can replace all of them with just one machine. A food processor! But, if you like smoothies and cocktails, then go for a blender. Or you can buy both of them! If you can afford it, why not?
Just keep in mind that there are blenders that can perform the same tasks as food processors. So, before deciding which one to buy, check the features of each one and then go for the one that will be more useful to you.
What should you consider before buying a food processor?
While checking out which food processor to buy, price shouldn’t be the only factor that you check. You should also look for:
Depending on the size of your family and your cooking habits select the right size of the food processor. If you have frequent visitors or you want to store meals, then a 14-cup food processor should be the right one.
A good food processor comes with different types of blades so that you can do various cooking tasks. Just make sure to look for stainless steel blades as they offer high strength, durability and efficiency.
As for the body of the food processor, you should go for one with a solid – built body and wide bases. This way, you will prevent it from moving on the countertop.
When you’re checking out for the lid, make sure that it fits tightly. Otherwise, the content will spill out. Moreover, look for a food processor with a wide feeding tube on the lid to be able to add ingredients while you’re using it.
When it comes to power, you should be very careful. Choose a food processor with more than 700 Watts, so it can accomplish all cooking and baking tasks like kneading and mixing dough.
While looking for a food processor, check its components. Can they be washed in the dishwasher? It will save you so much time and make cleaning a walk in the park. Oh! And don’t forget to check if there are any hard accessible cavities where food can stack and then you’ll have to wash them by hand.
Before you buy a food processor, make sure that different blades, dishes and attachments are included. Or if they aren’t, that you can buy them separately. Otherwise, you won’t be able to perform all your cooking and baking ideas. And that’s a pity! Don’t you think?
Commonly, food processors have on, off and pulse mode. And that’s sufficient enough. But, there are some cases when you need to control the speed. For example, when making a dough that needs different mixing speeds. So, make sure that the food processor you intend to buy is occupied with speed control.
Usually, the warranty for most home appliances is one year. However, in some cases, there’s an extended warranty applied to the motor and parts. It might be a bit expensive, but you will save money in the long run.
What you should consider when buying a blender
So, you’ve decided to buy a blender. What should you check?
Depending on your needs, you can decide what the appropriate size of the container is. There are blenders with 8 ounces capacity for personal use and others up to 64 to 80 ounces for high performance. Moreover, you should check what the container is made from. Plastic, glass or stainless steel? Usually, blenders with plastic containers are the cheapest and those with stainless steel the most expensive and of course the most durable.
As for power, choose a blender of 600 Watts to be sure that you will be able to perform all your cooking ideas. The more powerful blender you can afford, the more versatile it will be.
Blender blades should be of stainless steel to offer high efficiency and durability. Stainless steel blades and a high wattage blender will make the cooking process a piece of cake.
Do you want your blender to make iced drinks and slushes? Then choose one with a pulsing button to mix up the ice a lot faster. It’ll be much easier and faster than stopping the motor, mixing up the ice and then starting the motor again.
Make sure to go for a blender that you can increase and reduce speed. This ability allows you to add ingredients while blending.
So, are food processors and blenders really different?
Food processors and blenders are quite different. First of all, they differ in the way they look and of course in the tasks they perform. Each one is designed to perform better on some tasks, whereas the other isn’t. Find out what your cooking needs are, how often you‘ll be using each one of these appliances, measure your empty spaces in your kitchen, and last but not least think of your budget, prior to making any buying decisions. Both blenders and food processors come with a variety of features, accessories and functions. You can either choose a food processor or a blender. But you know what? You can choose to have them both! Whichever you choose you’ll enjoy cooking! That’s for sure! Make sure to check our guides for Best 10 Blenders and Best 10 Food Processors and start your cooking adventure!