But the one you choose will depend on the cooking you like to do in your kitchen on a regular basis, otherwise you’ll just end up with yet another appliance that gets stored in a cupboard to collect dust.
Do you get more use out of a food processor or blender?
If you want to do lots of tasks in the kitchen, a food processor is usually your best bet.
Chances are you or someone you know has used the terms “food processor” and “blender” interchangeably.
Well, these are not the same!
Here’s everything you need to know about these must-have kitchen appliances.
What Is A Food Processor?
A food processor can be described as an appliance that quickly slices, chops, grinds, purees, and shreds a variety of foods.
You can find some food processors that can make juice out of fruit or vegetables, knead the dough, beat egg whites, grind meat, and even beat cake batter.
How Does A Food Processor Work?
Although you can find different sizes of food processors, how they work is the same. They contain a motor in the base of their design, and it is connected to a shaft that connects to the bowl and lid.
This lid has what’s known as a feed tube that’s designed with a plunger. You put the food into this feed tube and the plunger pushes it down. You can find food processors that have narrow or wide feed tubes so that you can use differently-sized foods.
Your food processor will come with attachments in the form of an S-shaped blade and discs that are used for slicing as well as shredding foods. The blade part rests at the bottom of the food processor bowl and has two curved blades.
The discs, on the other hand, sit on top of the bowl so you push food down the tube and it will make contact with the disc, where it gets sliced or grated.
What’s great about a food processor is that you can purchase additional attachments for it, such as a dough blade, a julienne disc, and a citrus juicer, which definitely makes this kitchen appliance so much more versatile.
Food Processor Pros And Cons
- The variety of blades you can use with a food processor makes it a must-have appliance in the kitchen, especially if you love to cook.
- You don’t need to use a lot of liquid in a food processor to be able to get the results you want, and you can even make frozen desserts or bread dough!
- Food processors enable you to chop up and slice through solid foods in an effective way that you won’t be able to achieve with a blender. They’re especially great at chopping and dicing.
- You can’t fill up your food processor as much as you can when using a blender because this can cause some of the ingredients to remain unprocessed.
- Food processors can be quite bulky, so they tend to take up a lot of counter and storage space in your kitchen.
Tips For Using A Food Processor
If you’re unsure of how to use a food processor, here are some important tips:
- Attach the jug to the food processor’s base. This will lock into place and it’s usually done by turning it anti-clockwise.
- Choose the blade you need for the task at hand. If you want to mash, chop, puree, mince, or mix ingredients, you should choose the main blade (sometimes called the knife blade). Click it in over the central mechanism in order to attach it. Make sure it’s locked in securely by turning it anti-clockwise.
- If you need to use a disc for grating or slicing ingredients, you’ll have to attach the discs onto the disc support. So, fix the support fitting onto the main motor’s shaft, then place the metal disc you want to use on top of that. Again, turn it anti-clockwise to ensure it’s locked into place.
- Add your ingredients. Now that you’re ready with your attachment, you should add your ingredients, then close the lid into the top of the mixing bowl.
If you’re using a disc for grating or slicing, you won’t do the above step. Instead, once the motor has been put on and is running, you will use the funnel cover to push through ingredients you want to slice or grate with the use of the disc attachment. The funnel cover will also produce pressure so that the ingredients can move through it and the disc, straight into the bowl.
- Start the food processor’s motor by pressing the power button. If you want a pulse function, you will use the pulse button. Otherwise, you will keep pressing the power button at intervals to get the desired texture of the ingredients.
- When your work is complete, switch off the food processor. You should also remove the attachments to give them a clean with warm, soapy water. This makes it easier to remove any bits of food instead of allowing them to become stuck to the attachments.
What Is A Blender?
A blender is an appliance that, as its name suggests, blends solid and liquid ingredients together.
You’ll likely reach for your trusty blender when you want to make smoothies, soups, or purees. So, if your cooking recipe calls for liquid ingredients, a blender will come to your rescue.
How Does A Blender Work?
A blender contains four parts: a motorised base, a set of blades, a lid, and a pitcher. The rotating blades are found at the bottom of the pitcher, which is usually conically shaped, so you can remove them when you want to clean them.
The lid will fit at the top of the pitcher to prevent your liquids from shooting out of it. When you put liquids and solids into the pitcher, they make contact with the blades which blend them together by shredding and combining them.
Although it’s not as common as what you’ll find with food processors, there are some blenders that give you the chance to fit additional accessories to them.
Blender Pros And Cons
- Blenders are great for liquid-based recipes, such as if you want to make a soup, smoothie, cocktails, or emulsify mayo. This is because they have a conically-shaped pitcher that sends ingredients straight to the blades which are located at the bottom.
- The pitcher is long and deep, so it’s less likely to reach the point of overflowing as compared to a food processor, therefore preventing a mess in the kitchen.
- Blenders can be quite noisy.
- Only the more expensive blender models are powerful enough to grind and crush food items.
Tips For Using A Blender
Using a blender is really easy.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Plug the blender into a kitchen socket.
- Remove the blender’s lid and pour your ingredients into the pitcher. Don’t overfill the blender! It’s also good to remember that you should chop large ingredients into small pieces so that it will be easier to blend them.
- Put the lid of the blender back on and make sure it’s securely in place.
- Switch on the blender and choose the setting you want, based on the options provided by the blender model. Should you blend or pulse? Blending will make your ingredients smoother faster, while pulsing is good if you want some texture in the ingredients.
- Check the blender every few seconds to see how the texture of your ingredients is coming along.
- If it sounds like your blender is battling a bit to blend the ingredients, you should add a bit of liquid to the blender to help it, such as in the form of water, milk, or stock. When adding liquid to the blender, make sure you slow down the blender’s motor and add the liquid slowly to prevent it from splashing.
- Pour the blended ingredients into a bowl or cup when you’re done.
Extra Tips For Blending:
Never pour boiling hot ingredients into the blender.
This is because they could spill out if the lid of the blender is not securely in place, resulting in burns.
In addition, the very hot ingredients can steam up inside the blender and cause them to expand, which is also dangerous. Always ensure that the ingredients have cooled before putting them into the blender.
Foods You Should – And Shouldn’t – Make With A Blender Or Food Processor
As we have seen from the differences between blenders and food processors, there are some foods you should and shouldn’t try to make with these appliances. Here’s a rundown of them.
Best Food To Make With A Blender
Sauces, cocktails, smoothies, and purees are all great to make in a blender, but it might surprise you to learn that you can also make great cake batter with a blender.
This is because the blades help to aerate the mixture, so you’ll get a batter that’s soft and fluffy.
Worst Food To Make With A Blender
Anything with cauliflower, such as cauliflower rice. This is because cauliflower is full of moisture and you could end up with a watery or soggy meal.
Best Food To Make With A Food Processor
Earlier, we mentioned that you can make the dough in a food processor and it’s really great to try because this appliance will ensure that your dough is consistent all the way through.
When you make the dough by hand you might find inconsistencies, but a food processor ensures that you will have the dough at the same consistency every single time. This will also ensure you can save time in the kitchen.
Food that you need to chop really finely, such as nuts or breadcrumbs, work really well in a food processor. You will be able to get the results you want in a shorter amount of time than if you have to chop these foods by hand.
Worst Food To Make In A Food Processor
Liquids such as soups and purees are best not made with a food processor. This is because the pitcher in a food processor is much more shallow than what you’ll find in a blender.
Not only does this prevent you from filling it up to the top, but it means that you will have to use the processor for a longer time in order to get the result you want. You will probably have to make small batches of the soup or puree, which will take time.
Can you make pancake batter in a blender?
You can make pancake batter in a blender. Put pancake ingredients, such as eggs, flour, and others, in your blender and blend them so that they’re at the right batter consistency. Then, pour the batter directly into a hot frying pan.
Should you buy a food processor with a heavy base?
A heavy base can help it to stay put, but it can make it more difficult to move around. The same goes for food processors that have suction cups underneath them.
The food processor vs blender debate doesn’t have a clear winner.
The appliance you choose will require you to take into consideration the type of cooking you do in your kitchen, and if you mainly work with solids or liquids.
In this article, we’ve looked at both food processors and blenders, featuring their pros and cons as well as information about how they work so you can choose the one that will enable you to cook up a storm.