If you are setting up your first kitchen or just looking to upgrade some appliances, you have a difficult decision to make. Do you purchase a blender or a food processor? These are two very common kitchen appliances that many would say are a must-have for the modern kitchen. But if you have a modest budget or limited storage space, you might not be able to justify purchasing both. In cases like this, which option do you choose?
Pros and Cons for Blenders
If you want to turn raw ingredients into a soup, sauce, or smoothie then a blender is probably the best appliance to use. Blenders are specifically designed to accommodate liquid ingredients, though many are capable of crushing ice and handling other tough ingredients. One major benefit of blenders over food processors is that the lids are designed to keep ingredients in when the blending container is full – if you fill your food processor all the way you might have a little leakage. You may also be able to get away without scraping down the sides of the blending container like you have to do with a food processor, depending what you are blending.
The downside of a blender is that it might not be the best choice for chopping foods. Many blenders are designed to liquefy, so even if you use the Pulse function you might end up pureeing your ingredients a little more than you intended. Another problem with blenders is that they are so variable. The size and speed of the motor is incredibly important when it comes to determining what kind of ingredients you can blend – the quality of the blades makes a big difference as well. A good blender will have a feature that helps to draw ingredients down into the blade for a smoother blend, but low-quality blenders often leave unprocessed chunks of tough ingredients behind.
Pros and Cons for Food Processors
If you find yourself doing a lot of chopping and grating, having a good food processor will significantly cut down on your prep time. Many food processors are equipped with a variety of different blades that can be used to slice, shred, grate, and chop ingredients. Food processors are also generally able to puree and blend, though the results may not be quite as smooth and even as they would be if you used a blender. Food processors generally don’t require as much liquid to do a good job and you can create everything from frozen desserts to pizza dough in the bowl of your food processor.
The main downside of a food processor is that you can’t load it up quite as full as you would a blender. Blenders are designed to keep ingredients in when blending at high speeds but if you fill a food processor too full you might end up leaving some of the ingredients unprocessed. It is also generally not a good idea to blend liquids in a food processor if you have a blender available because liquids can leak out of the bowl through the middle – this can lead to a big mess. While many blenders have technology that draws ingredients down into the blade, you may have to scrape down the sides of your food processor bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are processed properly.
Which is Better?
When it comes to choosing between a blender and a food processor it really depends what type of cooking you tend to do. If you make a lot of smoothies and blended beverages, a blender is definitely the way to go. If you are looking for something that will make quick work of chopping vegetables, on the other hand, a food processor is the better option. Both blenders and food processors come in a wide variety of price points and can be equipped with different accessories to serve different functions. For example, having an assortment of different blades for your food processor will enable you to do things like shred, grate, slice, knead, chop, and puree. A blender can sometimes be used to fulfill these functions as well if they have interchangeable blades.
Overall, both blenders and food processors have their place in the modern kitchen. If you cannot afford both or have limited storage space, take a few moments to think about what kind of cooking you do most often then compare the pros and cons for each option to make your decision.