Can You Use a Food Processor as a Blender? (And What Should You Buy?)

food-processor

Both blenders and food processors feature ultra-sharp blades with impressive speeds. While these two appliances have many things in common, they perform differently. To enhance your kitchen processes, it helps to know what each machine is best at and the ingredients to avoid putting in each appliance.

That said, we’ll help you understand the differences between blenders and food processors to make things easier for you. 

What is the Difference Between a Food Processor and a Blender?

The primary difference between blenders and food processors is the mechanism. A blender incorporates manual power to propel food through the blades, while a food processor uses electric power to swirl food inside a container. Blenders come with blades convenient for processing a specific product, whereas food processors are compatible with various blades that run many tasks. 

What is a Food Processor?

Food processors are electrical appliances that incorporate spinning blades to chop foods. And because the edges are extra sharp, ingredients are passed through the chute to avoid unnecessary accidents. Apart from the basic kitchen processes such as dicing, chopping, and grating, this appliance can mix the dough, blend hummus, and emulsify dressings. 

What’s more, food processors are labor-intensive, so you can count on them for tasks that involve too much of your hands. Meanwhile, there are two types of food processors tailored to different performances:  

  • Batch Bowl Food Processors: This type of processor uses the spinning mechanism to spin the blades inside a batch bowl. The bowl can only accommodate a certain amount of ingredients before it becomes too packed. Once the batch is complete, you can pull out the bowl and pour out the elements.
  • Continuous Feed Food Processors: The continuous feed food processor is perfect for processing significant batches. The processed ingredients are infiltrated through a chute to your preferred container. And because a batch bowl doesn’t limit this type of food processor, you can run it continuously. All you need to do is to replace the containers beneath the chute once filled. 

What is Food Blender?

Food blenders incorporate ultrasharp blades at the base of the container. Ingredients are put in the jar, and the blade spins to blend the elements, including fruits, vegetables, or even nuts. Depending on the blender, the speeds or pulse performance will vary to allow the user to manage the blending process. 

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Once you’re done blending the ingredients, simply remove the jar and pour out your ingredients. Food blenders are ideal for components with a lot of liquids. So should you need to liquefy your ingredients, feel free to reach out for a food blender. Yes, the blender jar is more convenient for holding and pouring liquids. 

When to Use a Food Processor vs. a Blender?

a) Blender

Ever wondered how efficient blenders are despite the blunt blades? Well, the edges do not facilitate the blending process, but the motor does. It’s the one responsible for pureeing ingredients, regardless of their textures. 

For smoothies and frozen cocktails, a conventional blender will get the job done. Again, the powerful motor can withstand harsh elements like ice. You can also use the traditional blender to process purees, but it will be much better to use the immersion blender. 

That said, the blender’s bowl will allow adequate mixing of liquids without overflowing through the lid. If you want your puree to be smooth and uniform, utilize the motor but use a traditional blender instead. 

Immersion Blender

This is a labor-intensive type of blender mostly preferred in processing soups that require multiple batches of pureeing. It is also ideal for foods that incorporate a lot of liquids, such as scrambled eggs. Do not use an immersion blender in shallow pans as the blades need to be submerged entirely in the blended liquid; otherwise, things will get messy. 

Unlike conventional blenders, immersion blenders will pack fewer ingredients. The motor might also not be sufficient for harsh elements such as vegetables, making traditional food processors a sought-after. 

b) Food Processor

The blades of a food processor are ultrasharp, probably the reason they outshine ordinary blenders. The only drawback is the motor, which isn’t as powerful as that of a blender. A food processor is flexible, and you can use it for many functions like grinding seeds and nuts. It’s an excellent substitute for a chef’s knife because you can use it as a pulverizer for garlic cloves. 

That said, you don’t want to get your kitchen messy, so it helps to use the food processor for the intended purpose. Do not use it for liquid foods; instead, use it for textured foods. Again, avoid overpacking the bowl and blend in batches for complete effectiveness. If you don’t have a food processor, you can always count on your chef’s knife, though it won’t be useful as a food processor. 

What Can a Food Processor Do That a Blender Cannot?

Blenders are excellent for handling liquids and developing smooth textures. In contrast, a food processor features ultrasharp blades that enhances the slicing of more substantial foods. 

While blenders feature a single blade attachment, food processors include an array of blade attachments that can perform any type of work, including slicing, mixing, shredding, chopping, grating, and more. They also come with bowl inserts that allow for simultaneous operations. 

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Food processors are mostly preferred for dry ingredients due to their shape and flexible blades. They aren’t recommended for liquid foods as they tend to cling to the sides of the bowl. You can also pack the bowls to the brim, and it still functions well, which is contrary to blenders. 

What Should You Buy: Blender or Food Processor?

Best Foods For The Blender

1. Cocktails, Smoothies, And Sauces

As mentioned before, blenders are perfect for liquid foods, including smoothies and cocktails, while food processors are best preferred for textured ingredients. Blenders can also be used in making sauces due to the conical shape of jars that direct everything to the blades beneath.

And because the blender pitcher is extra deep, there are minimum chances of the blended liquids to overflow. Despite the blender’s blunt edges, the powerful motor ensures adequate agitation of fluids inside the jar. 

2. Hollandaise

Blenders can be used for any type of sauce, and hollandaise is one of them. This is a brunch from staple foods and eggs. Hollandaise primarily benefits from the textural consistency of blender motors. Initially, cooks would find it a hassle processing hollandaise via broilers, which often end up broken. However, with the advance of blenders, it’s much easier to mix butter and eggs for perfect hollandaise. 

3. Purees

Regardless of the puree you intend to prepare; a good quality blender will help you get the job done. Not only will the blender aerate the mixture, but it will also produce a silky, smooth texture with a pleasant mouthfeel.  

4. Cake and Pastry Batters

Again, the blender will help enhance the aeration of cakes and pastry batters. Blenders are excellent for making fluffy, smooth batters. Similarly, they are great for smoothies. By incorporating air into the batter, you’re guaranteed an airy, silky mixture. 

5. Baby Food

When babies start eating, their digestive system hasn’t developed yet. As such, their food items need to be soft for easy ingestion. It can be daunting to prepare such a meal, especially if you’re a first-time mom. Fortunately, blenders have to your rescue. It’s easier to achieve a fine texture with the blender. Besides that, it gives you control over your baby’s food.  

Worst Food For The Blender

1. Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is an excellent keto-substitute for grains. With a blender, transforming these veggies into rice is dead simple. Cauliflower incorporates moisture, and upon switching the blender, the water inside this vegetable leaks out, leaving behind a soggy texture. In this case, a food processor will work perfectly fine without tampering with your rice texture.

Best Foods For The Food Processor

1. Pie And Biscuit Dough

Food processors will work great if you want to prepare biscuits and pie doughs. This is because a food processor’s blade is usually very sharp. Biscuits and crusts get their sturdy texture from the sharp edges of a food processor, which is why most people trust a food processor when they want to make some pie and biscuit doughs. 

2. Pasta Dough

If you want to save more time and make your work easier, you should try out making pasta dough using a food processor. By using a food processor, you will save more time and get a consistent product. Sure, you can always use your hands, but a food processor is much faster and constant with the results. 

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3. Chopped Nuts, Veggies, and Breadcrumbs

You always want a smooth and fast process to find the time and do other things. That is why a food processor should be your go-to kitchen appliance when you want to make some chopped veggies and nuts, or even breadcrumbs. 

A food processor can help you chop and grind different ingredients you may want to use in your cooking. For example, a food processor can come in handy when you want to chop and grind items, such as nuts, breadcrumbs, and coconuts. 

4. Textured Spreads And Dips 

You probably want dips and spreads that aren’t pureed and smooth. Blenders make these very soft, and that is not what you want. Blenders are known for grinding food into a fine texture, while food processors will grind and leave the food with some rustic texture in them. 

Worst Food For The Food Processor

1. Pureed Soup

The worst food to prepare in a food processor is the pureed soup. This is because a food processor is usually shallow compared to a blender’s pitcher. However, you must note that pureeing food will still work if you are using a food processor, but a bit slow because you will have to do it in batches. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. How do I safely use a food processor and a blender?

There are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you must avoid wearing a loose tie. Secondly, you will have to tie your long hair. Thirdly, ensure that your food processor base is kept dry. Finally, ensure that the power cords are away from any source of heat.

2. Can I put ice in a food processor?

Yes, you can put ice in a food processor. Throw in a few pieces of ice into your food processor and make your fine cocktail. You have the option to use it right away or store some for future use in the freezer – it’s all your prerequisite. 

3. Can I mix a cake in a food processor?

Usually, cakes made from food processors are prepared using the “all in one” method. This means that the ingredients are placed simultaneously and evenly mixed. 

Bottom Line 

The most important thing to know is that you can’t interchange between a blender and a food processor. If you want to replace many different manual food preps, a food processor will be your perfect match. On the contrary, if you want a kitchen appliance best for smoothies or your soup-making requirements, a blender will perfectly meet your needs. 

In other words, what you want to use depends entirely on what you want to do. Define your needs before deciding on what appliance you will need. In some cases, you may realize that you want to have both, which is completely fine, as long as you know whatever you will be doing with both appliances. In a nutshell, it all boils down to your needs; what you want to do. 

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)