Many beginner cooks can make the mistake of thinking that blenders and food processors are the same. These two devices look alike and have some comparable functions but there are still major differences between them.
In this article, I will explain the differences between both and help you decide if you really need both machines to have a well-equipped kitchen.
The main purpose of a blender is to blend liquids. When you turn on a blender, it creates a vortex, pulling ingredients towards the center and causing them to blend together.
A full-sized blender is between 8 to 22 inches in height. As for the weight, they can range between 4 to 19 pounds. If you’re into making smoothies and soups, a blender is the best appliance for you.
They excel at blitzing ingredients into a smooth mixture and most blenders can also crush ice and make dips. You won’t usually get an option to slice, grate and chop as you would with a food processor.
But some blenders come with additional attachments for grinding things like coffee and nuts. There are two types of standing blenders Jug Blenders which can make larger batches in one go and Mini-blenders which can make 1-2 portions at a time.
You’ll find that the blending cup can be turned into a travel mug The price of these blenders can range from $20 to $500.
Hand or stick blenders are good for quick jobs such as making a dip or blending soups and smoothies but can be tiring when held for long periods.
They are smaller in size and more compact. Pricier models come with whisking attachments and food processing abilities.
These are best for savory cooks. They can be really versatile with different attachments for things like baking, chopping, grating, pureeing and slicing.
Food processors come with attachments for baking jobs like kneading and whipping but they can’t do a great job comparable to stand mixers.
They come in 2-cup choppers for 1-2 people to about 20-cups that could work in a restaurant kitchen. Price ranges from $40 to $700 with the expensive range include attachments such as grinding mills, citrus presses, blender jugs, and different sized bowls.
This makes a food blender more versatile but this means that you have more stuff to clean and more storage space is taken up.
If you regularly cook in big batches, a food processor could help save time during preparation. But if you’re looking for an appliance to chop an onion or make a quick dip, you should consider a mini-chopper.
Can you use a Food Processor as a Blender?
You can blend soups in a food processor in small batches. Just be careful with hot liquids. The final product will not be as smooth as it would in a blender. Crushing ice can be accomplished with either tool but a high-quality blender will do a better job.
Can you use a Blender instead of a Food Processor?
The answer is it pends! You can find a workaround for some dishes while some might get you the right result. If you only have a blender, here are some tips to get the job of a food processor done:
You can achieve some degree of chopping on a blender using a tamper. To cut vegetables, run your blender on the lowest setting and use a tamper to force the vegetable downwards where the blade is.
Use a maximum of 2 slides of dried bread and add pieces of it to the blender. Use the pulse option for 30 seconds until you get a fine consistency. If you don’t have a pulse option, run it on high speed for 30 seconds.
If you’re trying to make homemade baby food, add a maximum of one cup of freshly cooked vegetables in the jar. Use the blender on the highest speed to get a smooth mixture.
To get shredded cheese, dicing hard cheese with your chef’s knife into 2-inch chunks. Add to the blender and pulse on high for 30 seconds till you get the right consistency.
Everyone loves a good pesto and making it at home is so much better than a fatty store-bought one. All you need is 3/4 cup of olive oil, 3/4 cup cheese about 1 ½ cups of basil, 3 cloves of garlic, and 1/4 cup of pine nuts.
Add this to the blender jar and use it on medium speed until the pesto sauce turns smooth.
Ice is a must for those evening parties of a nice girls/boy’s night at home. You can get crushed ice by placing about 5-6 ice cubes in the jar. Set the blender on high until you get finely crushed consistency.
I would recommend this only if you have an industrial blender. A home-use blender is not suitable because of its slender shape and sharp blades. This will not allow the dough to turn properly to rise with air permeation.
- Some blender models have accessories that can be bought along with it such as a tamper stick, serving cups set ice blades jars and more
- Most blenders have 3-speed settings while expensive ones have 6. If you’re looking to make pureed food, use the blender in the highest setting. On the other hand, turn on the lowest setting if you want textured and chunky food.
- If you’re unsure of the setting, add the ingredients one by one. By not adding all the ingredients today, you can prevent wastage if things don’t work correctly.
- A blender cannot handle a volume equal to a food processor. So it’s best to ruse ¼ of the ingredients as you would with a food processor and make the dish in batches
Final Thoughts on using a Blender as a Food Processor
Which gadget you buy depends on what jobs you do most, how much space you have and your budget. If you want to make a full range of recipes, you will need both of these kitchen appliances.
If you’re only dealing with soups and smoothies, then get a blender. If you want to do more food prep like chopping vegetables and more, get a food processor.