It is undebatable that both a food processor and a blender are integral kitchen appliances that assist us in carrying out most culinary tasks. Both of them have many similarities that make many people think that they are made to perform similar roles. For instance, both have a base motor, rotating blades, and a clear body. However, culinary arts professionals have proved that these two kitchen devices differ largely and don’t necessarily substitute each other. Therefore, the user has to correctly decide the cases where each of these two devices is put into use.
Though the two kitchen appliances seem equally versatile, a food processor comes with multiple attachments and can perform a wider range of food prep activities. Basically, a food processor is the best option for making pie crust. Similarly, it is a powerful tool when it comes to the preparation of baby food. Moreover, it can quickly puree large batches of vegetables and fruits.
On the other hand, a blender usually comes with only one jug and excels in making smoothies from soft and hard ingredients; it is also perfect for making greens smoothies like kale, spinach, and other leafy greens. Also, it can quickly whirl food ingredients to come up with most icy drinks. So here, we will be going into a deeper comparison between the two kitchen essentials.
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Food Processor Functionality
A food processor allows you to prepare different varieties of dry and firm food within a short time, which you would rather take a longer time to prepare manually. Therefore, we can term this machine as a master time saver. In general, a food processor will do:
- A quick chopping of vegetables, nuts, or herbs. Its blades spin at high speed to turn the food ingredients into suitable sizes. The size of the food items is determined by the time one takes to chop.
- The food processor will easily chop nuts and mix them into the perfect homemade nut butter.
- Furthermore, a food processor is reliable for slicing some food items like cucumber, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, and greens. Also, one can slice fruits to make desserts.
- Besides, this kitchen tool is quite efficient for grating food items like carrots, cheese, or potatoes.
- This kitchen appliance is actually a bonus during the mixing of things like chunky salsa snack bars and pesto.
- With this appliance, you will puree food ingredients like lumpy soups and chickpeas with ease. Above all, most of them have the ability to knead consistent bread dough. Within a span of time, the machine combines the dough components to achieve a sturdy texture.
It is worth noting that there is a mini food processor, which is a compact model for minimal food prep activities.
Mainly, every food processor comes with s‑blades, grating discs, and slicing discs which do the slicing, mixing, chopping, mincing, and many other activities. There are also other attachments (whisking disc, dough beater, peeling disc, etc.) that make this machine more versatile.
Food Processor Attachments
First, there is an S‑blade, also known as the Sabatier blade that operates in the food processor at the bottom part of the bowl. It is a versatile blade that helps the machine to grind, slice, chop, grate veggies and fruits, and churns some food ingredients like nut butter and pesto. Also, this blade is great for mixing to come up with perfect hummus and salsa. Moreover, when it is in a continuous pulse setting, it can turn a particular food item into a puree.
Additionally, there is a shredding or grating disc found at the top part of the bowl and comes in varying sizes. The disc grates food ingredients like carrots, cheese, and cabbages.
At the top part of the bowl, there is a slicing disc that is closely similar to the shredding disc. In particular, this disc will make thin flat strips from apples, potatoes, zucchini, and other food items. To get even and fine slices, ensure that you slowly add the food items.
Apart from the three basic blades (S‑blade, slicing disc, and shredding disc), some food processors come with an additional blade known as dough blade/kneading paddle. It is less curved than the S‑blade and usually made from plastic. When using this blade, ensure that your food processor has a speed regulator to prevent heat buildup on the dough. Besides, there is a whisk or egg whip blade which has two straight arms. This blade enables the food processor to whip creams and egg white. Moreover, many standard food processors have a julienne disc. The user can deploy this disc to make matchsticks from food ingredients.
- Has a large capacity;
- Quick to chop, slice or grate food;
- Can blend and puree food ingredients;
- Knead dough, grate, chop, and slice food items;
- Protect your family from using sharp items;
- Requires cleaning and set up, which can be time-consuming;
- Some are expensive to purchase;
- Larger models can take a lot of countertop space.
A blender is a multi-functional kitchen appliance that is applicable in the prep of most food items. Blenders come in the form of full-size blenders, personal blenders, and immersion blenders. Full-size blenders are meant for making large quantities of smoothies, soups, iced drinks, or homemade food items like spreads and sauces. A personal blender is a smaller blender model that can hold little food ingredients, especially for one or two individuals. On the other hand, an immersion blender is a hand blender that works by pressing its rotating blades into a container with food ingredients. It is designed to perform light kitchen tasks and make simple smoothies.
Generally, blenders are great kitchen appliances for carrying out a wide range of liquidizing and mixing wet food ingredients. These activities include:
- Liquidizing smoothies and milkshakes;
- Additionally, they are perfect in shaving and crushing ice;
- If you need to whip cream, blend the soup or make mayo and sauces, this machine will do it for you;
- Also, you can use the blender to puree baby food and heat liquids;
- With this kitchen device, you can grind coffee and spices, make nut butter, and mill grain flour with ease;
- Above all, high-end blender models have the ability to knead the dough.
The Full-size and personal blenders usually have only a jug with inbuilt or removable blades; some may include food processing attachment for light tasks. The jug with the single blade type can carry out a wide range of kitchen tasks such as making smoothies, liquidizing soup, crushing ice, and preparing a variety of sources, dips, and salad dressings.
On the other hand, an immersion blender features several accessories. For instance, an S‑blade will perform a range of tasks similar to the full-size and personal blenders. They may have a whisk head that can whip creams or make light cake mixes. They also sometimes include a frothing blade to mix muffins and froth milk. Some immersion blenders come with is a masher put in the blade unit to mash boiled potatoes.
- Great for liquid blends;
- Puree and blend food ingredients with ease;
- Easy to store due to its compatible size;
- Some, like the hand blenders, can mix food in any container;
- Can blend varying quantities of food ingredients;
- Most of them are noisy while blending;
- They have limited running time;
- Some lack kneads, chop, whisk, and slice options.
Blender vs. Food Processor
Though a blender and a food processor share some common similarities, both of them differ to some extent. Their difference can be based on factors like size, functions, number of accessories, and quality of the product. For example, a blender works best on wet food ingredients, while a food processor efficiently works on both dry and wet food items. Furthermore, a food processor has the ability to knead a consistent dough, while most blenders lack such a blade option. Hence they are known to have limited versatility when in use.
Furthermore, blenders are the best option when makings smoothies, protein shakes, cocktails, dips, soups, sauces, and crushing ice. On the other hand, a food processor is best for chopping onions, kneading dough, and mincing herbs. In fact, food processors are expensive compared to countertop blenders. It is worth noting that the cost of blenders and food processors may vary from one brand to another. Plus, blenders are known to have a compact size and hence can only occupy a small countertop space. Conversely, food processors can occupy a good kitchen countertop space. If you have to buy a food processor that occupies a smaller counter space, you can go for a mini food chopper.
Additionally, both of these kitchen appliances differ in that blenders can produce varying food textures with better consistency. However, food processors deliver a consistent food quality depending on the function. Whether you are slicing, dicing, slicing, or kneading, a food processor is will do it uniformly.
In a nutshell, a food processor and a blender have some similarities and some differences that make them work differently in a kitchen. None of these two can fully replace the other since their features and functions are different. However, each of them is special and functions best in its field. For example, if you are a liquid food enthusiast, a blender will always do it for you. Similarly, it is the best option for the preparation of baby food, smoothies, and purees. In cases where you are working on dry food items, a food processor is equal to the task. Mostly a good number of attachments accompany a food processor. These attachments include dough blades, slicers, and graters. Such attachments are a bonus to the usability of this kitchen tool. Conversely, blenders lack most of these attachments hence making them less versatile. Although both food processor seems to be more versatile than a blender, both of them are equally important. They are functionally independent, and each of them performs well in its field.