So, the million-dollar question is “can I use a blender instead of a food processor?” The short answer is sadly no. Although both machines look similar in nature and seem to function the same, the are quite different.
While they can perform similar functions, ultimately, you need the right tool for the job your undertaking. Below ill provide you with a basic understanding of how each machine operates and what’s its best used for.
To start, the biggest difference when it comes to the blender is the speed at which the blades turn. Your average blender operates at just over 20,000 rpm while your average food processor operates at 2,000 rpm. This makes the machine perfect for turning any ingredients into a fine powder or drinkable liquid.
The main function of Blender is to create liquids or powders and blend them together. They work to break down ingredients into their smallest form, be that the cell membrane of vegetable or the tough outer layer of a seed. High-powered blenders such as the Vitamix or Blendtec range have the ability to break down the smallest seeds into fine a powder. Some people even use their blender to break down coffee seeds, ready for the coffee machine.
Blender often come with different containers, depending on the task you are doing. The first is a dry container to break down cereals into a fine powered to be used in baking. The other is a wet container, designed for creating hot soups and green smoothies.
Blenders often have a star shaped blade system – making them perfect for smaller ingredients. The blades are often dull and won’t cut you should your hand come into contact with them while washing up.
It’s not uncommon for ingredients to become stuck when you haven’t added in enough water or the mix or the item is large – needing some convincing to make their way down to the blade housing. A good blender will come with a tamper, used to push stubborn ingredient down. This makes the machine perfect for creating sorbets.
Most blender come with a pulse feature or allow you turn the device on and off quickly for chopping. You need to be careful not to overdo it or you’ll liquefy the contents. The food processor dose a better job at this.
The Food Processor
As with the Blender, the biggest difference with the food process is the speed of the blades. They spin a lot slower for the simple reason that the food processor is designed with chopping in mind, not to create liquids out of your ingredients. This makes the food processor more versatile when working with dry fruits and vegetables.
As such, your everyday food processor does not have the power to break down seeds into fine power as the blades do not spin fast enough. Not does it have the ability to create green smoothies, dips or soups.
The blades in a food processor are serrated (sharp) and come in an S configuration. The left blade sits a little higher while the right sits a little lower. The right blade is designed to catch food items that miss the top blade. Most come with a smaller s shaped doe blade designed to mix doe. This blade is dull to the touch.
Aside from chopping with the S shaped blades, the food processor is capable of slicing and shredding ingredients. To do so, you insert the provided stainless steel disks onto a special adapter. The disks are often reversible, offering a different gradient of thickness. Food processors come with a pusher, allowing you to push items down on to the disk.
The bowl is often larger and round with a hollow point in the middle that you insert the blade on to. You need to be careful not to add to much liquid as it increases the risk of liquid splashing up, traveling down the centre tube, causing damage to your motor in underneath.
Each Machines Best Use
The Blender is best used in the creation of green smoothies, hot soups and turning seeds into a fine powder. Although you can use it for salsas where you finely chop ingredients, it would be best to use a food processor – should you have both.
Dips are also best created with a blender due to their thick liquid state. Salad dressings are even easier if you prefer not to whisk the ingredients by hand. Just remember a blender require a minimum amount of liquid to perform effectively.
The best use of a Food Processor is in creating salads from whole ingredients. Aside from salads, you can also chop fruits into small uniform pieces to create a fruit salad. The next best use is in home baking – creating does for sweet and savoury. The food processor is also the best machine for creating salsas to ensure you don’t turn the ingredients into a liquid. Food processors don’t need liquids to process ingredients.
Both machines require a minimal amount of ingredients in order to process effectively. A Blender requires a minimum amount of liquid while a food processor requires a quantity minimum. You cant place a single nut in the machine and expect it break down properly in either device – you need quantity to get things moving.
Both machines have the ability to create nut butter, tho you’ll need to make sure the nut you choose has a sufficient amount of natural oils to turn the nuts into a paste. If you find the machine turns the nuts into a powder, you need to add in some oil (preferably of nut its self).
So, hopefully this clears up the question of “Can I Use a Blender Instead of a Food Processor?” Just to wrap things up, both machines are capable of blending, mixing and chopping. The biggest difference is the in the speed of the blades. The faster blades on the blender will allows you to easily turn any amount of ingredients into a liquid or a fine powder.
The slower blades on the food processor makes it perfect for chopping large ingredients into smaller byte sized pieces, perfect for salads without turning the ingredients into a liquid. The extra attachments allow you to do more with the machine such as creating uniformed cuts or does for bread or pizza.
No matter what machine you decide on, I’m sure your now armed with the right information to make the right decision.