If you’re choosing between a food processor vs. a blender, you need the perfect appliance for your uses. Both kitchen appliances use spinning stainless steel blades to pulverize food, but there is much more to know about these kitchen tools. The best blender should handle most ingredients, but food processors have their place in a functional kitchen.
- A food processor is a compact appliance that specializes in chopping and grating dry or soft ingredients.
- A blender uses powerful spinning blades in the base of the blender jar to blend and mix hard or liquid ingredients.
- For recipes like smoothies or soups, go with a blender. For making recipes like baby food or rice veggies, go with a food processor.
Food Processor vs. Blender Compared
In most kitchens, space is limited, so the idea of storing multiple appliances on the kitchen counter might sound crowded. Many people have to choose between a food processor and a blender but aren’t sure which one they truly need. That said, if you simply want a small device for smoothies, check out immersion blenders.
Explaining Food Processors
A food processor is a compact appliance that uses small blades to slice, grate, chop, and mix ingredients. They use multiple blending attachments to create dishes like cauliflower rice, hummus, or homemade tomato sauce. A mini food processor will use a similarly sharp blade but not have the capacity or powerful motor for big cooking jobs. In addition, some food processors use glass or plastic blender jars.
Benefits of Food Processors
Premium food processors have a sharp blade and multiple functions. Some units offer additional blades to work through a variety of foods. In addition, a food processor provides better control over how you want your meal and excels with dry ingredients. The wide range of attachments can assist any cooking style and even serve as a baby food maker. If you don’t need all those attachments and just want something to help a little with food prep, like chopping vegetables, check out how a chopper vs blender compare.
Look for a 2-in-1 combo unit if you cannot decide between a food processor and blender.
Drawbacks of Food Processors
Basic food processors cannot make large amounts of food. While the blender blades are tough enough to work through solid foods, not every blade attachment is useful. The foods you can make with a food processor are usually small servings or pieces of a larger recipe.
A traditional blender uses blender blades to work through ice cubes, frozen ingredients, hot foods, and everything in between. A high-powered blender can even handle dense foods like pizza dough and use multiple functions and settings.
Benefits of Blenders
The main benefit of a countertop blender is versatility and a powerful motor. With a powerful motor and sharp blades, the average ingredient will get broken down quickly. In addition, most blenders have large blender containers to make big servings or meals for later. You know that blenders can make smoothies and other delicious frozen drinks, but if you want a frozen treat, is it the best option for you? Check out our comparison of a Yonana vs blender to see. Alternatively, if you are a baker and need something to help with flours and such, check out our comparison of a grain mill vs blender to see which will suit your needs. For another great comparison, check out our page on a coffee grinder vs blender.
Drawbacks of Blenders
Compared to food processors, the main cons of blenders are counter space and cost. High-end blenders can get much more expensive than a food processor. In addition, a blender cannot do the precise slicing, chopping, or grating of a food processor.
Which is Better?
A food processor will save on storage space but will not have a full-sized blender’s strong blades or electric motors. That said, you can find an all-in-one unit called a 2-in-1 food processor. If that sounds intriguing to you, check out the top-rated blender food processors. In general, a traditional blender will give you the power to make most recipes. That said, check reviews and figure out which blending appliance is best for you.
Never use a food processor for ice because it can damage the blades and plastic containers.
Should you buy a food processor or a food chopper?
A food chopper is a great tool, but a food processor will chop an ingredient much faster.
Is making baby food with a food processor better?
A food processor is an all-around great baby food maker, especially if you want to give your baby food from fresh fruit.
Can a food processor be used as a blender?
It can, but the results will be messy. For example, a food processor cannot deal with liquids or doughs and a traditional blender.
STAT: One of the first electric food processors was the Starmix, introduced by German company Electrostar in 1946. (source)