A common piece in any good kitchen, a Food Processor is capable of a wide variety of tasks as soon as you assemble it out of its box, even excluding the countless attachments and add-ons you can buy for it or that may come included when you buy your own processor. However, can this tool replace another, even more common tool in your kitchen, and thus save you valuable kitchen space? Today, we are going to examine if the Food Processor can be a viable alternative to your blender, and what you can do with each of the two!
One thing you should keep in mind is that, while we are considering some of the more popular attachments that are available for food processors when comparing it to the blender, we will only be considering the more mainstream ones: The shredding, slicing, and S-Shaped discs. These attachments are the most common to find for processors and are really the only attachments you will need to perform functions similar to a blender. With all of those extra facts in mind, and without any further ado, let’s take a look at the facts!
What Does a Blender Do?
In order for us to replace a blender, we need to know what functions we need to replicate, right? First and foremost, as we all know, a blender does exactly what it does on the box. It blends things. Not incredibly complicated. It can blend them finely or coarsely, requires some kind of liquid in order to blend your food well, and is generally used to blend up liquid-heavy recipes, such as smoothies, slushies, dips, things like that. The reason liquid is needed is so that the blades responsible for the blending do not get over-crowded by the food and get jammed or stuck. If they do, the motor burns out and can stop working, or even catch fire if you try to push it too much.
Almost everyone knows what a blender can do, because they are so ubiquitous that even if you don’t own one, you definitely know what one looks like, what it sounds like, what it does. They typically come with a variety of speeds, each indicated by different buttons, as well as a ‘pulse’ option, that you can press and hold down to run your blender at full force until you let go of the button.
It has a few more alternative uses, but at the core, that’s what a blender is all about. So now we need to ask the question: Can a food processor blend he same things, in the same way, to the same quality that a blender can? Well to answer that question thoroughly, we first need to ask another question, and you can probably guess what that is.
What Does a Food Processor Do?
Food processors, while certainly not as common in a household kitchen as a blender might be, are still a vital and useful tool nonetheless. Food processors perform very similarly to blenders, and the optional blade attachments make it even more versatile, if you’re willing to take a couple of minutes to see how everything fits together. While the main purpose of blenders is to blend everything up in a more-or-less equal way, the emphasis for food processors is to grind and blend the ingredients in it much more finely than your average blender can. For instance, while you can throw some ingredients into your food processor and end up with a nice, smooth Hummus, you could never replicate that same quality with a blender.
Another point is that food processors don’t need any liquids for their blades to operate safely. They are designed differently to a blender’s, and while liquid certainly would help the process, and is vital to creating the right textures and flavors in certain recipes, you don’t need liquid to simply be able to operate the machine.
However, one point where the food processor comes up short is that they are simply not made for the same liquid-heavy recipes that you would use your blender for. While blenders have liquid-tight lids that seal on to prevent leakage, if you introduced the same volume of liquid to a food processor and turned it on, you would likely see the liquids leaking out of the top of the processor as it works. Smaller volumes of liquid that are less likely to be thrown to the top of the bowl should be fine, but there’s still a chance it could spill, and most food processors bowls are not very tall, so the amount of liquid you would be able to use without having to break out the paper towels would be pretty small when compared to the capacity you get with a blender.
So Can a Food Processor Replace My Blender?
Ultimately, no. They are both very different tools that are specialized for very different tasks. A good rule of thumb when wondering if your recipe should go into your food processor or blender is to look at how much liquid is going into it. If it is a mostly-liquid recipe, with very few solid foods that won’t make the end result too thick for the blender blades to work with, use your blender. This could include things like smoothies, slushies, mixing juices, or thin dips.
However, if the recipe you want to create will become a thicker final product, something like thick dip, any kind of puree, or if you are just looking to finely grind up some vegetables, nuts or meats, your food processor will serve you well. If the recipe doesn’t have a lot of liquid generally, it belongs in the food processor. If it’s mostly or all liquid, or produces a very thin, easy-to-pour final result, then it almost certainly will work fine in your blender.
But both of these tools are invaluable to any kitchen, and if you have the budget, investing in a good blender along with a good food processor will really help you with creating the perfect meals.