How To Know If You Need A Food Processor or A Blender

Both small kitchen appliances are useful in the kitchen and each have its unique uses.

ILLUSTRATOR Jon Tolentino

Any kitchen appliance is an investment. Apart from the basic large appliances every kitchen should have (the refrigerator and the stove), there are other gadgets, smaller kitchen appliances which should catch your eye: the food processor and the blender.

 

The food processor and the blender are two different kitchen appliances which have different uses. When it comes to kitchen prep, it’s these two gadgets that chefs and cooks will use to transform food into the ingredients needed for a dish. However, while both appliances contain blades, both have its use and each has unique abilities which make one better for one task and the other for another type of task.

 

If you’re curious how these two appliances are different, here’s what you should know:

 

 

The food processor has a lot of attachments

A food processor is an appliance with many attachments. It’s these attachments that make it one of the most useful gadgets in your kitchen. Even the most basic food processor will come with these: the chopper blades, the slicer, the shredder or large grater, and the fine grater or julienne slicer. Sometimes, it comes with a whipping or mixing attachment that is useful for those who want to mix, knead, or even whisk ingredients together.

 

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Pros: The biggest benefit of having a food processor is how fast it can slice, dice, grate, and chop your food. When you have recipes that call for a number of different sliced vegetables, a pound of grated potatoes, or dicing five or more potatoes, prep work alone will take some time. You can cut that amount of time to even more than half when you use a food processor. A pound of sliced carrots is easily done in minutes, and this reduced time applies to all the prep work, whether you’re slicing, dicing, chopping, or grating. It’s just not possible if you’re grating each carrot by hand.

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Love to keep things spicy?
 

Add cashews to give a subtle crunch to your usual chicken stir fry.

 

Cons: While the food processor can definitely process ingredients quickly, it cannot, however, puree ingredients as smoothly as you may desire. The blades and its disks are really meant to replace the tasks usually associated with a chopping board and knife and pureeing is definitely not on that list of kitchen tasks.

 

This classic French dish makes use of different kinds of vegetables.

Use ground beef to make this, then top with sliced vegetables.

 

If you’re looking for the gadget to make the smoothest hummus or the silkiest soups and smoothies, you need to look at another kitchen appliance: the blender.

 

The blender and its other uses

The blender is different from the food processor because it usually only comes with one type of blade. It has a jug and usually comes with a smaller container which you can use as either a coffee bean or spice grinder.

 

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Pros: If you love purees and smoothies, this is the appliance that can do the job better than a food processor. Only a blender can finely blend softened chunks into the silkiest, most velvety soup you can slurp. It easily liquefies a pot of mushrooms in broth into the best-tasting cream of mushroom soup and fruits and ice into a delicious smoothie to quench your thirst and fill you up before a big meal.

 

Ice is also easily and finely crushed so milkshakes are a breeze to make as well as ice-blended drinks such as a DIY Frappuccino. When the blades are combined with the small container, it can easily grind coffee beans, spices, nuts, and other ingredients into a finely ground consistency. Put peanuts in it, and homemade peanut butter seasoned the way you like it is a few minutes away. 

 

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Cons: A blender’s ability to finely crush ice is unbeatable but what it does find hard to do is cut ingredients evenly. Not only that, you'll need to add a liquid to whatever you're blending so that the ingredients can mix in a vortex which will propel the ingredients to where the blades are spinning. It can't do its job without a liquid. While it can certainly roughly chop ingredients by pulsing the blades, the narrow opening where the blades are located will only result in inconsistently sized pieces. It's really an appliance best used for times when the consistency of size of the pieces doesn't matter; not the best appliance for prepping ingredients for a stir-fried dish.

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Whether you’re in the market for a food processor or a blender, it’s good to note which of each appliance’s characteristics and abilities are best suited for your needs. With this quick guide, you know exactly what you are getting to do what tasks.

 

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Hummus makes for easy appetizers and filling breakfasts. Adding roasted garlic gives it a good punch.
 

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