Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blender vs Food Processor

My mom just called to ask me about this very thing. I Googled the topic, thinking that I would find dozens of other blogs about this, but all I found were a few forums and a rather vague article from Real Simple Magazine. Good for me- I can pioneer the subject!

One would think that this would be discussed more often. Once I was reading an article about simplifying your life, and it asked the question, "Do you really need a food processor and a blender and a mixer?" Of course, my answer was a resounding YES! (And as I've said before, I try to keep my kitchen gadgets to as little as possible.) I realize that not everyone does as much exploratory cooking as I do (such as my mother), and for others the money and cupboard space do not need to be spent on all three items. But which to keep?

Let's start with the mixer. Yes, if you do any baking at all you need a stand mixer. I value mine above all other appliances, and think this is the first thing to invest in. The second two are a little less obvious- different from the mixer, but similar to each other. They both chop, they both have blades. So, which do you need more? The answer is personal. I am now going to compare and contrast both.

Blender: A good one will run you $100-$200
Food Processor: $200+

B: Crushes ice
FP: Do not crush ice if you can avoid it. It will dull the blades.

B: Better for purees
FP: Better for sauces with a little more texture (Note that you really can't puree completely)

B: Usually has a pulse option, but doesn't do much
FP: Easy and effective pulse to chop foods

B: Only one blade
FP: Removable attachments such as graters, mandolins, and kneaders (although I don't think the last works very well)

B: Poop out after a couple years
FP: Last a very long time, in my experience

B: I use to mostly to make crepe batter, shakes, mixed drinks, smoothies, and purees for sorbet
FP: I use mostly to make pie dough, mayonnaise, salsas, etc. I definitely use it most often.

That's all I can think of for now. If you can think of any more differences/similarities I would love to hear them. I hope this helps you make a decision!

*Photo from*


The Saunders said...

I have actually wondered about this as well. Thanks for your input :)

Asian Man said...

Thanks for the post. I am an inexperienced cook and I didn't want to purchase anything that I wouldn't use and your article helped a lot in that regard.