There can be a lot of confusion between blenders and food processors. Which one do you need in your kitchen? What can they both do? In this definitive guide, we will break it all down for you. We will discuss the similarities and differences between blenders and food processors, as well as when you might need each one. We will also give our top recommendations for the best blenders and food processors on the market today!
A food processor is a kitchen appliance that can do many different tasks, such as chopping, slicing, shredding, and grating. It can also be used to mix ingredients or dough. Food processors typically come in different sizes, but the necessary qualification to be considered as a food processor is a feed tube where you can add ingredients.
Food processors are used for slicing, shredding, and chopping dry ingredients, so you’ll save time chopping and cutting with a handheld knife, to mix into recipes for eating, usually with a fork or as a dip. My favorite examples are salsas and guacamole, if you don’t want to make these by hand anymore you should consider getting a food processor because they make food prep super easy!
The Hamilton Beach Food Processor comes with a special bowl scraper attachment, which is my favorite feature because it keeps ingredients close to the sharp blades for more even results. This saves you time when chopping or pureeing — no need to stop and remove the lid to use a spatula to clean out the hard-to-reach corners in most food processors. The generous bowl size can handle large volumes of foods (it comes in 8, 10, and 12 cup sizes, but 10 is what I use), and the large feed chute can fit large foods like a whole block of cheese. The reversible Shredding/Slicing disc and S-Blade can be used for chopping, mixing, and pureeing a variety of dry ingredients which makes this food processor a versatile kitchen essential for many kitchen tasks.
A blender is a kitchen appliance that can do many different tasks, such as blending, mixing, and pureeing. They’re so versatile that I covered them in my Kitchen Essentials post. Blenders are commonly used to make liquid ingredients into smoothies, soups, and sauces. Blenders come in different sizes, but the key feature they all have in common is a pitcher or container where the ingredients are blended together into a uniform mixture. A food processor will usually come with a variety of attachments to cut food in lots of different ways; serrated blades, x shaped blades, and an s shaped blade are all attachments to look for to make sure you can get exactly the result you’re looking for whether its chopped nuts or sweet potatoes.
Blenders are used for making mixtures uniform and smooth enough to flow as a liquid. The perfect example is smoothies and milkshakes. Blender blades are ideal for taking frozen strawberries, ice cubes, and nut butter, and some milk to make a perfect breakfast smoothie.
Looking for a professional-grade high quality blender that can handle anything? The Ninja Professional 72 Oz Countertop Blender is perfect for you. With 1,000 watts of power, it can easily crush ice and break down any ingredient. The 72 oz size can easily handle large quantities of raw ingredients and is great for making frozen drinks and creamy smoothies for the entire family. Plus, the intelligent technology ensures that your drinks are always smooth and delicious. Ice-crushing blades quickly turn ice into snow, so you can blend your favorite ingredients into delicious resort-style frozen drinks in no time.
There a quite a few overlapping functions in these two appliance categories, but there are a few differences between blenders and food processors that you should know of before investing in one or the other because certain foods are better with one or the other and its good to know which.
- The general rule is to use a blender for things you will drink, like smoothies, and a food processor for things you would eat, like guacamole.
- A food processor can do many different tasks, such as chopping, slicing, shredding, and grating. It can also be used to mix ingredients or kneading dough for cookie dough or pie dough.
- A traditional blender can only blend ingredients together into a smooth mixture.
- A food processor comes with a feed tube where you can add ingredients, while a blender does not.
- Food processors are generally larger and will take up more space in your cabinets because they just don’t look as good as blenders do on counters.
- A Blender works by drawing ingredients towards the specially shaped blades with a specially designed blender jar. The spinning blades create a vortex to ensure consistency.
- Food processors have slower blades and multiple options. This gives you more control over how the ingredients are chopped, sliced, or shredded, by using the feeder tube.
There really is no definitive answer to this question because it depends on the blender in question. Some blender models have attachments or features that can make them more versatile and able to do some of the tasks of a food processor, but others definitely cannot.
If you’re not sure if your blender can be used as a food processor, it’s best to think about what you are trying to make. If your goal is a smooth consistent end result then it may be worth a try, but if you want solid ingredients chopped, shredded, or sliced in a specific way it may be best to use a knife or get a food processor.
- Dry Ingredients and Solid Foods
- Mixing Dough
- Baby Food
- Bread Crumbs
- Shredding Hard Cheese and Vegetables
- Ricing cauliflower and most vegetables
- Mincing meats
Just like with most blenders, some food processors can also be used as blenders. Again, it depends on the model and what features it has. To get the blender effect you’ll want high-speed chopping that results in a smooth consistent end product.
- Smooth Liquid Ingredients
- Pureed Soup, sauces, and bisques
- Fruit Blends like Applesauce
- Nut Butters
- Icy Drinks
If you aren’t sure which one to get, you can get a combination appliance, however, they are usually more expensive than single-function blenders and food processors.
My favorite is the Ninja Mega Kitchen System. You’ll notice it’s very similar to my pick for the best powerful blender, but that’s because it’s basically an upgraded blender system with the same blender blades in the Ninja Professional 72 Oz Countertop Blender with extra food processing blade attachments which you can interchange easily to ensure you get the right functions for your recipes.
The Ninja Mega Kitchen System can do it all no matter what the recipe calls for! You can use it as an XL Blender, a single-serve blender, or an 8-cup food processor. With multiple blades and a powerful motor, it can handle any recipe. The XL Blender is perfect for drinks, smoothies. While the food processor mixes dough in seconds and can be used for a variety of dips. The single-serve blender is perfect for making personal smoothies or shakes for breakfast on the go.
- Only need one electric motor for both which saves on space and money as compared to purchasing both separately.
- Not recommended if you only want one function because the single-function versions are smaller and cheaper.
- Are not usually offered in larger sizes for food processors, so if you are cooking for a party, you may have to do multiple batches. The Ninja Mega Kitchen System only has an 8 cup bowl, which is a smaller bowl option than the regular food processor.
Immersion blenders are handheld blenders that can be directly inserted into a container of food. This allows you to blend the food right in the pot or bowl, which makes it easier to clean up.
This will depend on your preference, but if you want to be able to drink through a straw use high. That way everything will flow easily instead of causing blockages.
Hopefully, this guide has cleared up any questions you had about blenders and food processors. Both appliances have their own unique benefits and can be used for a lot of different jobs around the kitchen. I like to think of my food processor as a food chopper and my blender as a tool to take frozen ingredients and crushed ice and turn them into nutritious on-the-go meals when I’m in a rush.
I hope this cleared up any confusion you may have had between the two, but let me know if you still have questions and I’ll answer them in the comments!