If you cook in a small kitchen, obviously space is going to be at a premium and you may be tossing a coin as to whether to invest in a blender or a food processor. So , food processor vs blender; what’s the difference? And which should you choose? Or do you need both?
As it turns out, if you are anything other than a basic cook, you probably need both. This is similar to gardening where you need a fork for digging and weeding, but you need a potato fork – which looks similar, but has wider tines – for digging and lifting potatoes. They are both forks, but designed to do different jobs. Neither is made to do the job of the other.
Basically a blender is used for soft foods and liquids while a food processor is used for chopping, grating and generally pulverizing hard foods – carrots, parsnip, potatoes and so on.
Not only that, but a blender will not do the job of a food processor, while a food processor can make a right royal mess of liquids.
A food processor has a much wider bowl or container than a blender. When a knife just doesn’t cut the mustard, it’s time to get out the food processor. It will chop onions, mushrooms, swede, cabbage, etc., into tiny little bits for use in soups or, say, a meat loaf. It usually also has different blades for grating and for making dough. You might find that some pieces of food stick to the sides of the processor where the blades cannot reach them, so you may have to stop and scrape them back into the center of the bowl with a knife or spoon.
What it is not so good at is liquids. OK, you can use a small amount of liquid, but if you try to fill the bowl it will squirt out and you will find yourself with a big clean-up job just when you don’t need it right in the middle of food preparation.
Here’s a very quick recipe for a chilled yoghurt. Take some frozen fruit and chop it in the food processor. Add some yoghurt. Add sugar or a little sweet fruit juice to taste. Give it a whizz. And that’s it.
The blender, on the other hand, is pretty feeble at trying to chop up vegetables and so on, but comes into its own when making soups, salad dressings, smoothies and the like. You can fill it to the top and it will be fine – just so long as you remember to put the lid on it.
One danger to be wary of when using a blender is if you are mixing very hot liquids. If you leave the center piece of the lid on top it is possible, believe it or not, to create an explosion because of the steam. Remove it and cover with a kitchen towel or teacloth.
So food processor vs blender – which to choose? If you are on an extremely tight budget, then the food processor is the more versatile, but ideally you should have both.