We get a lot of questions from the Versus All readers. We love knowing what you’d like to learn about, and we’re happy to accommodate! Recently, we were asked about the food processor vs blender difference. Here’s our take on the appliances, and the difference between the two.
Food Processor vs Blender: What are They?
To the inexperienced daiquiri maker, a food processor and a blender may seem like the same damn thing. After all, they’re both cylinders with spinning blades, which chop food and other items to oblivion.
Not so, though! The food processor, to begin with, is a very versatile little tool. At their most basic level, they consist of a motorized base, a large receptacle, a set of spinning blades, and a cover. The food processor cover usually has a hole through which food can be fed, and the spinning blades are ordinarily removable.
The fancier food processors, though, have other components. Most have different speeds which can be selected depending upon the desired fineness of the finished product. The really cool food processors have additional blades which can be used to slice, grate or chop. Some have dough hooks which replace the spinning blades.
Blenders, on the other hand, are a bit different. When most people think of blenders, they visualize a motorized base with a glass pitcher on top. There are spinning blades in the base, which are usually not removable. That description is pretty much accurate for most blenders.
There are a few types of blenders, though. There are the upright blenders, and there are immersion blenders. Have you ever paid attention to how a McFlurry ice cream is made? The associate dips a long, metal stick into your cup and WHIIIIIIIIRRRRR! The McFlurry is born. That’s an immersion blender. Those are great for shakes, but also for soups and purees.
Now you know the basic difference between a food processor vs blender. So which should you choose? What do you need in your kitchen?
Food Processor vs Blender: The Uses
Immersion blenders, as we mentioned, are great for things like milkshakes, soups and purees. Making your own baby food? An immersion blender will be your best friend. Have a habit of making lumpy gravy? Immersion blender! Making icing? There ya go!
Immersion blenders, also called hand or stick blenders, are great because they’re not messy. They require you to immerse the blender in a liquid, but there’s virtually no splashing when you do it right. Immersion blender is small, portable, and easy to clean.
Platform blenders, the countertop kinds, are used for a variety of similar purposes. Hummus is one of our favorites – it’s very easy to make the puree in a blender. We’ve also been known to make our own mayo in a blender.
Blenders are most well known for their ability to crush ice. Lime margarita, anyone. Of course, we don’t drink those in the office. Ever.
There are big platform blenders and wee ones, too. The Magic Bullet and the Ninja are two examples of the wee blenders. Those are great for making smoothies to go, or for blending leftovers into baby food. The larger blenders are good for pesto, soup, chili and larger-scale recipes.
Food processors are the most versatile of the set. You can use a food processor for anything mentioned above. You can also use them to shred cheese, slice cabbage for slaw, mix pie crust, or even prepare beer batter for chicken.
Again, before you buy, think about what you’ll be using your appliances for. You can take a look at food processor vs blender recipes online to get a better idea, as well.
Food Processor vs Blender: Which Should You Choose?
Food processors are pretty big. They’ll generally need about a 14×14” chunk of real estate on your countertop. That said, though, they’re so very versatile. You may find yourself using your food processor more than you’d thought, and that space may be worth it to you.
Platform blenders will have about a 10×10” footprint. Of course that’s not true for the wee kind. But if you’re shopping for an appliance you can cook with, expect to get a larger countertop blender. If your lifestyle calls for salsa, watermelon gin-gins and smoothies, a blender may be perfect for you.
Platform blenders will have more practical use than an immersion blender, but less than will a food processor. Immersion blenders are by no means useless; they are, however, limited. They’re smaller than the platform variety, and you’ll have a hard time pureeing with them. They’re easy to clean, but if you don’t use them right they can splatter quite a bit.
Food processor vs blender – which should you choose? If money and real estate is no object, go for the food processor. Absolutely! You’ll get a ton of use from it if you spend any time in the kitchen, and you’ll find that the food processor has uses you didn’t even think of. Once we mixed a mud clay mask in ours.
If you’re on a budget, or if you have limited storage space, go for the platform blender. You’ll still be able to perform basic tasks, and they’re relatively small and inexpensive. Stick blenders are best for you if you only want to mix up a health drink every now and then, or mash up food for babies.
Food Processor vs Blender: Which is Best?
The food processor is definitely the most useful of the appliances. That’s particularly true if you get the more high-end version. You’ll have interchangeable blades, a variety of speed settings, and even tools for pastries.
In terms of cost, food processors are the most expensive. Blenders are mid-range, and better for people on a tight budget. Blenders are also better for those with limited space.
If we had to tell you which to choose, we’d tell you to go buy a food processor. But what we recommend you do is check out some recipes online, then visit your home goods store. Take an up close look at your options, and see which fits you best.