How to Decide: Blender vs. Food Processor
No kitchen has an unlimited amount of counter space, which is why you want to make sure every appliance you own is perfect for your needs. After all, you only have so much storage space, and you want to make sure it’s filled with the items that will help you quickly and efficiently prepare meals. Perhaps the toughest decision you make will be between owning a food processor or a blender. Both machines are very similar, so it can be hard to tell which is a better fit for your kitchen. When you need to get the most out of your appliances, it’s important to know the benefits and drawbacks of each style so that you can have the perfect solution to your cooking needs.
Reasons to buy a blender
A blender is typically associated with liquid food items. The tall pitcher is perfect for blending up beverages and soups because you can fit plenty of volume in the container without worrying about it spilling over. Liquid smoothies are ideally created in a blender because you can mix your fruit juices, yogurt and soft food items easily and efficiently. Likewise, the blender is great for whipping up soup and sauce bases since you can load up the pitcher with everything you need at one time.
If you love a morning shake or mixing up new and flavorful soups, the blender is probably the best fit for your kitchen. On the other hand, the blender is not ideal when you need to chop up and puree chunkier food items. The narrow base of the blender can allow food items to get stuck, which means you will have to spend a little extra time scraping the sides and mixing ingredients with a spoon in-between blend cycles. And of course, a little extra work can add up to a great loss of efficiency over time.
Food processors are great for cooks who really don’t like to spend a lot of time hovering over the cutting board. These machines can slice, dice and mince just about anything with their powerful motors and sharp blades. If you like thick smoothies, chunky sauces and experimentation, a food processor is probably the perfect fit for you. You can shred carrots for salad toppings or soup additions, dice tomatoes for a lovely pasta sauce or puree your roasted chicken for a baby meal in a food processor with ease. The wide bowl helps maintain plenty of room under the blades for larger ingredients, so you can easily chop and grind anything from almonds to sweet potatoes.
The main drawback of food processors is that they aren’t the most convenient device when working with strictly liquid ingredients. The shallow bowl and high-powered blades make splatters likely if you aren’t careful, so choose a blender if you think you will be working mainly with juices, broths and other liquids.
The best of both worlds
The best value is a blender and food processor combination appliance that lets you switch blades and containers as your recipes require. Though slightly more costly, these appliances are cheaper than buying both the food processor and blender separately, and will help you handle a wide variety of menu options with ease.