Last Updated on May 5, 2021 by Henry Matthew
Food Processor vs. Blender: Which Do You Need?
The most important thing to keep in mind when deciding between a food processor and a blender is that the two aren’t necessarily interchangeable. If you’re interested in ramping up your kitchen’s efficiency by replacing several manual food prep tasks with an appliance, go with a food processor. If you’re looking for a device for all your smoothie- and soup-making needs and wouldn’t use it for much else, a blender is an appliance for you. If you’re interested in both, chances are you’ll be best off if you equip your kitchen with both a food processor and a blender. Certain blenders can do some tasks; Food processors can look in the description and specifications for details before buying.
What Is a Food Processor?
A food processor is a versatile electric appliance that allows you to prepare all sorts of foods in various ways. From chopping to shredding to mixing dough, a food processor can quickly handle many tasks that would take you much longer to complete manually.
Food processors typically have four parts: a base, a transparent plastic body, a set of removable blades, and a lid. Food processors have speed and pulse controls located on their grounds. A food processor’s body is wide and spacious, which allows it to accommodate larger recipes. Food processor lids are equipped with tall feed chutes that will enable you to add ingredients while mixing.
Unlike blenders, which typically come with only one blade attachment, food processors can come with a large assortment of blade attachments that can perform all sorts of tasks: shredding, slicing, grating, chopping, mixing, and more. They can also come with bowl inserts that allow you to perform several different functions in different compartments simultaneously.
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Because of their bodies’ shape and their blades’ versatility, food processors are adept at processing dry ingredients. They aren’t as good at blending liquid ingredients – partially incorporated wet material tends to get stuck along the sides of the mixing bowl, out of reach of the blades. Unlike blenders, food processors can be filled to the top and still function fine.
What Is a Blender?
As its name suggests, a blender is an electric appliance best suited for blending solid ingredients with liquid ingredients.
Like food processors, blenders typically have four components: a motorized base, a pitcher, a set of (often removable) blades, and a lid. A blender’s controls, located on its floor, can include speed and mix settings. Most blender pitchers are conical in shape, with handles and spouts for easy pouring. A blender’s rotating blades screw onto the bottom of the pitcher, so they’re easy to remove for cleaning. The lid fits snugly to the top of the pitcher and can be equipped with a removable plug. Pulling the cork allows you to add more ingredients as you blend.
Blenders are most often used to puree fruits and vegetables for smoothies and soups. If the liquid is involved, a blender is an appliance to use. The conical shape of their pitchers is excellent at directing ingredients toward the blades. As the liquids and solids blend, they rotate, creating a downward-moving vortex that virtually ensures all unblended particles are shredded and combined.
One drawback of a blender is that it cannot function properly if its pitcher is filled to the brim with ingredients. Most recipes recommend filling the blender only three-quarters full to leave enough space for the elements to move freely and prevent overflow. Blender blades also have a limited reach, and without a liquid, they don’t handle dry ingredients well.
Most blenders don’t come with different parts and attachments that would make them more versatile. Still, some high-powered blenders do – be sure to check the description and specifications of a blender to learn what tasks it can handle and what attachments are included.