Food processors and blenders can be a lifesaver in the kitchen, shaving off the time it takes to prepare ingredients by hand and opening up more possibilities when it comes to trying new or difficult recipes.
At first glance, blenders and food processors seem quite similar. After all, they both use spinning blades to chop food into various forms, and they can even be interchangeable in some cases.
However, they both serve different purposes and have specific tasks that they’re designed for. In this article, we’ll explore what each product can and can’t do, so you can decide which one you’ll get the most use from.
A blender’s main function is to crush and blend solid foods and liquids, creating things like frozen drinks and smoothies or pureeing soups and sauces. There are two main types of blenders, immersion blenders and standard blenders.
Immersion blenders are typically used for smaller batches of softer foods combined with liquids, as they have a long stick design with the blades positioned on the bottom. Some models even come with attachments for whipping eggs and cream.
When using an immersion blender, you just submerge it directly into the pot, pan, bowl, or whatever your vessel of choice is, and blend away.
And while they aren’t quite as powerful as a standard blender, their light weight and slim design make them convenient to use and store if you don’t have a lot of space.
If you’re looking for something that packs more of a punch for crushing ice to make frozen drinks, you might be better off with a standard countertop blender.
A standard blender typically provides more power and speed options than an immersion blender, so you can make things like smoothies, frozen drinks, and more.
They’re usually on the larger side, with a base and pitcher that sits on the countertop. You place the food and liquid into the pitcher, cover with a lid, and set the blender to your speed of choice.
While most standard blenders do a good job at pureeing and crushing ice, there’s usually some residual small pieces of food or ice left behind.
If that’s not ideal for you, there are some high-performance blenders that operate similar to a regular blender but with even more power to create silky purees and smooth nut butters. Some can even help you prepare cake mix and bread dough.
A food processor can handle a task like pureeing soups or sauces similar to a blender, but they can also do a lot more, like chopping, slicing, grating, shredding, and preparing pie, pizza, or bread dough.
They’re typically used for prepping larger quantities of drier or hard ingredients, since the sharp blades or slicing attachments easily cut through things like vegetables and nuts without a lot of liquid.
You can also use a food processor to grate harder cheeses, turn bread into breadcrumbs, or mix up pie dough.
There are mini food processors that are great for things like chopping onions and garlic or emulsifying salad dressing, but they’re not ideal for making coleslaw or kneading dough because they’re too small.
And while some blenders can technically chop ingredients, a food processor usually does so quicker and with more uniform results.
A blender and a food processor are two completely different appliances with some overlapping characteristics, and they both excel at what they do.
A good blender can help you whip up some fantastic smoothies or puree soups and sauces in no time, since they’re designed to liquefy ingredients. And if you lack storage space or just want the ability to whip up softer ingredients, an immersion blender will do the trick.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something that can handle more tasks like chopping, slicing, grating, shredding, or even kneading, a food processor is the way to go. It’s the more versatile option for serious cooks or bakers since they provide so many different functions in one appliance.
Writer and Product Researcher
Spending the last 10 years researching and writing about various home, garden and electronics topics, Shelley is more than qualified to write for Meccano Home. Her work has been featured on eBay, Pottery Barn, SFGate, TheKnot, Williams-Sonoma and various other blogs and websites.