Food Processor vs Blender: Which Should You Get?

Food processor vs blender- they may look similar but that doesn’t mean they work the same way. You can figure out the biggest difference between these appliances from the names themselves.

A food processor is designed to process food whereas a blender blends and mixes them together. If you’re still a little confused, no need to worry as we intend to clear out everything by the time you finish reading this.

Both appliances are used to make your job easier as you prepare ingredients for making a dish. They have their own perks so you may ask, “should I just buy both?”

Technically speaking, you can buy both but not everyone would want to have two appliances that are kind of similar to each other at the same time.

There are things to consider, such as – the budget, extra kitchen space, what you need them for, etc. So let’s focus on the differences rather than the similarities so you know which way to go.

How Does A Blender Work?

A blender is used to mix multiple ingredients. It is mostly used to turn a solid ingredient into a more liquid version. A lot of people buy a blender to just make juice. A blender has a motorized base where the controls are. Then there is a pitcher on top where you put in the ingredients with a lid. There are blades attached to the inside of the pitcher that rapidly spins to turn any ingredient into mush.

There are different kinds of blenders. Some blenders have removable blades with different attachments provided in the pack. You can also get a set where there are different sized pitchers with different types of blades. The blades are shaped differently which indicates what they are good for.

Different blades are used for different types of ingredients (wet or dry). The blades aren’t that sharp so you won’t have to worry about cutting your fingers off if you try to remove them. They are quite blunt. But avoid putting your hand inside the pitcher (because that would be stupid) when the blades are attached to the motorized base and spinning rapidly.

How Does A Food Processor Work?

A food processor is used to process food in different ways. When you cook a dish, you cannot throw in the ingredients in the state they are in. They need to be processed depending on your recipe and preference. You may have to cut them, slice them up, or have shredded to tiny pieces.

If you use normal kitchen tools (Ex- a knife), it would take you a lot of time to get the ingredients in their desired state. But if you use the food processor, your job would be so much easier and faster since the food processor can slice the ingredients in a matter of seconds.

A food processor also has a base with a motor. There is a pitcher on top with a chute-like lid. You can remove the lid and keep adding ingredients as the processor slices each one of them. Food processors often come with multiple blades which can be changed easily.

Since different ingredients may require different shapes and slices to be processed into, the various blades give you the choice so you won’t have to look for additional blades.

When to Use a Blender?

1. Blending Drinks

You would most likely notice a blender in every juice shop or a coffee place. A powerful blender can crush almost anything you can put inside. A blender is widely used for making shakes, smoothies, juices, cocktails, and so on. You can even put in solid ingredients to make frozen desserts with the help of a blender.

2. Ice Crush

Do you like snow cones? The crushed ice that slowly melts in your mouth with a delicious flavor added on top of it, who wouldn’t love that? A blender can be used to crush all the ice you want. Crushed ice is used in a lot of drinks and desserts. Having a blender nearby would take seconds to have a bucket full of crushed ice whenever you need it. You can have snow cones right at home!

3. Grinding Solids

Like we mentioned, almost anything would be mushed when you put it in the blender. A grinder is a separate appliance that is very similar to a blender and is used for grinding solid ingredients. But you can do the same with a blender if you can adjust the speed properly.

A blender may not be the best way to grind ingredients like- almonds, pines, seeds, etc. You would have to sift afterward to get the texture you need. But many latest blenders are coming with separate blades that are designed for grinding dry ingredients. So getting one of those blenders would be quite helpful.

When to Use a Food Processor?

1. Mixer

You can mix or blend things with a food processor just as you can with a blender. But a blender has the tendency to blend everything until they turn into liquid. With a food processor, you can get the blended form you want minus the liquid part. All the ingredients would be blended but keep their real consistency mostly intact.

2. Knead

A lot of people enjoy baking. You may not be skilled enough to bake a gorgeous birthday cake, but you can always make simple snacks like cookies, bread, pound cake, rolls, etc. When it comes to baking, kneading the dough is the key element in making sure your dish maintains its texture. A poorly kneaded dough can ruin your whole batch of cookies.

Kneading dough by hand is a very time-consuming process. Not to mention the energy you would have to put into it. You can have a sore arm after a while. With a food processor, your arm can rest since the processor can knead your dough at the exact consistency you need it to be.

3. Cutting

The more blades your food processor has, the more options you have for processing your ingredient. You can use get a large bowl of finely chopped potatoes in a few minutes with the help of a food processor whereas it would take you around half an hour (depending on your chopping skills) to cut the potatoes with a knife. You can also get shredded ingredients if you need them. The food processor can provide you shredded cheese in no time for your pasta.

Blender or Food Processor: Which Is Right for You?

Now if you’re wondering which one would be the right pick for you, that depends on what you want to do with the appliances. We already laid out the specifications of both a blender and a food processor. Both are very useful as kitchen appliances. But, if you have to pick one, you should focus on the services each of the appliances would offer.

A blender is mostly used for turning solid ingredients into almost liquid form. If you want to have fresh juice now and again or if you have children who love smoothies, shakes, and other desert items, then you should go for the blender. You can try new flavors for your smoothie every day.

If you have small children, you can also use a blender to prepare their food. They would need food throughout the day and it can take up a lot of your time trying to make a puree out of fruit by hand. A blender can come in handy in this situation.

As for a food processor, if you love to cook, then you should go for this one. The food processor is mostly used to process different ingredients into different forms. What do you do with those ingredients? You use them to make dishes. Having a food processor can cut down a lot of your time and energy that would go into making any kind of dish.

If you love baking, a food processor can be your perfect companion. As we mentioned, having a food processor can be very beneficial when you need to bake something since kneading the dough takes out most of your energy. A food processor can do it quite easily which would make the process go faster.  

Final Thoughts

We did say that you can buy both if you have enough budget and kitchen space. In that way, you can enjoy the best of what both of these appliances are offering.

If that is not an option, you can also get a high-end blender or food processor that would come with a lot of features, especially several blades. If the settings are well-adjustable, you can use a blender to also function similarly to a food processor when you need and vice versa.

No matter what you go with, focus on what you wish to get out of using a blender or a food processor. That would help you decide between the two.