Blender vs Food Processor

The experience, versatile cook will probably find a reason to have both a blender and a food processor in their kitchen. But for the home cook in a hurry, it’s important to know which one to reach for when the pressure is on. They are similar, but they are not the same.

A difference in set-up:

You can recognize a blender by its tall beaker, usually with a pouring spout. At the bottom of the beaker is a small blade that spins at high velocity. On some models, this cutting blade is fixed in place. Ingredients are put into the beaker, the lid applied, and the motor engaged.

A food processor, on the other hand, tends to be bigger, with a low, wide mixing bowl that locks onto a motor housing. Many will have a variety of cutting blades or discs, often with the addition of a dough arm or whisk. Unlike blenders, food processors encourage you to feed in ingredients through a spout while the blades are underway.

What can you use food processor for?

Get a high-end model, and your food processor becomes a chef at the touch of a button. Especially for the cook with limited knife skills, the food processor can turn out perfectly cut vegetables and fruit in lots of different ways – crinkle cut, julienne, baton or shredded. The key difference is that the food passes through the spinning blade, meaning you can use it for creating the wafer-thin ribbons of vegetables such as carrot, cucumber and zucchini that would otherwise require significant expertise with a chef’s knife.

What can’t a food processor do?

Where the food processor falls short is in coping with liquids or purees. Many models will be advertised as perfect for soups or purees, but this is only really true in small volumes. You can get away with whipping up a quick salsa or hummus, but try to make a soup in your food processor and you could find yourself not only with leaks out the bowl, but also an inconsistent finish.

What can you use a blender for?

When you insert vegetables or fruit into a blender, the ingredients sit on top of the blade and gradually fall onto it as the whole lot is turned into a puree. This is great where you want to turn several ingredients into a smooth puree or soup, but it won’t keep the individual ingredients separate. Speed is the key benefit here. Rough chop your fruit or veg, drop them into the beaker, add a little liquid, and just a few pulses on the button yield a perfect soup or smoothie.

What can’t a food processor do?

Without liquid to create viscosity, most blenders struggle to make their presence felt. Insert raw vegetables alone, and the blade will usually only shred those pieces that surround it immediately. Add a cup of two of stock, milk or water, however and the motor can pull the mixture into a vortex and work its magic.

Apply a simple rule of thumb and you can’t go wrong. Blender for liquid, food processor for raw cuts. With a little innovation, there is a certain amount of crossover between the two, but the best results are from playing to the strengths of each.

 

 

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Blender vs Food Processor

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