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Meals Processor vs. Blender: What is the Distinction?

Straight to the Level

Our favourite meals processors are the Magimix 14-Cup Food Processor, Cuisinart 14-Cup Processor, and Breville 16-Cup and 12-Cup fashions. Our favourite blender is, unequivocally, the Vitamix 5200 Professional-Grade Blender.

Earlier than air fryers and Instantaneous Pots hit the scene, blenders and meals processors reigned supreme. (Sure, we rhymed on objective.) The 2 small kitchen home equipment have been instrumental in each skilled and residential kitchens for many years—they mix, purée, emulsify, chop, grate, and pulverize quicker and sometimes extra effectively than the ol’ “chef’s knife and elbow grease” technique. However though meals processors and blenders each include sharp, quickly turning blades on the base of a jar or bowl, they excel at very completely different duties. If you do not have both, whether or not you can purchase a meals processor or a blender depends upon what you prefer to cook dinner and the way a lot you’re prepared to spend, in addition to which kitchen duties you like to do by hand. Nonetheless, we do suggest having each when you have the price range and house.

How Does a Meals Processor Work?


Williams Sonoma


Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor

Amazon


Breville 12-cup food processor

Amazon


At its most simple, a meals processor consists of a base (which incorporates a motor), a bowl, and a detachable set of sharp blades. Most fashions include interchangeable discs that carry out different duties, like grating—however extra on that in a second. When the bowl and blade are fitted to the bottom and the motor is operating, the S-shaped blade turns quickly—chopping, slicing, or shredding components. When fitted with a disc attachment (for slicing or grating, for instance), the disc spins round when the meals processor’s on, tackling components as they’re fed by means of the chute (meals processors normally include a pusher, that can assist you transfer components by means of the chute and thru the disc).

When Ought to You Use a Meals Processor?

Critical Eats / Russell Kilgore


A meals processor’s worth lies inside cooking duties which can be messy (like grating a bunch of cheese), large-scale (like plowing by means of a pile of potatoes for latkes), or each.

Meals processors include a wide range of completely different attachments, so you’ll be able to carry out plenty of duties with them. In our review of food processors, we examined fashions that contained not simply chopping blades, however slicers and graters; our prime decide even had a novel attachment for making pizza dough. You need to use a meals processor for any job that might in any other case name for a box grater, mortar and pestle, or chef’s knife and reducing board (like making a big batch of mirepoix), which makes them tremendous versatile and useful…so long as you don’t thoughts lugging the heavy base out of storage and cleansing up the a number of elements. 

Meals processors are additionally commonly used for making pastry dough. This technique is definitely faster than utilizing a handheld pastry cutter, though we’ve discovered it’s simple to overwork the dough, which can result in tough pie crusts, biscuits, or scones.

How Does a Blender Work?

Vitamix 5200 Professional-Grade Blender

Amazon


Blenders work by making a vortex as their blades spin quickly on the base of a jar. This vortex creates a vacuum impact, circulating the contents all through the container. When the meals is pulled right down to the underside, it makes contact with the whirling blades, which pulverize, purée, or emulsify it. Blender blades are sharp, however smaller than meals processor blades—they’re additionally angled upwards to assist create that essential vortex.

When Ought to You Use a Blender?

Critical Eats / Tamara Staples


Fingers-down (knives down?) a blender is best than a meals processor at dealing with something liquidy, like smoothies, in addition to puréeing soupy or saucy objects. Blenders carry out greatest with not less than just a little liquid to get issues going. Blenders are additionally extra environment friendly than meals processors at getting meals extremely easy. For this, look to high-speed fashions, like Vitamixes, which annihilate pulp, fiber, and chunky bits. 

Puréed soups are a really perfect match for blenders for each of these causes, but in addition as a result of a blender jar is best suited to a higher amount of liquid than a meals processor bowl. Smoothies and blended juices excel in blenders (particularly with ice or frozen fruit and greens, which are not any match for the quick, multi-pronged blades). 

An typically missed however necessary cause to make use of a blender: the pour spout. Most blender fashions have a spout that permits the puréed components to be neatly transferred to a special container—say, your favourite smoothie glass. Pouring a liquidy soup or sauce out of the large bowl of a meals processor is difficult at greatest, and messy at worst.

Can You Use a Meals Processor as a Blender and Vice-Versa?

Critical Eats / Vicky Wasik

We’re coming into “might” versus “ought to” territory right here. Some jobs are interchangeable between blenders and meals processors, however the bowl/jar form, blade operate, and design are in the end too completely different to contemplate the instruments fully equal. 

Meals processors can mix and purée components, though they’re not supreme for that. For one, food-processed soup won’t ever be as velvety easy as blended soup. One more reason: most meals processors’ max-fill line may be very low; you’d need to purée your soup in a collection of small batches, which is neither environment friendly nor time-saving. As a substitute, their large bowls and S-shaped blades (that span practically your entire diameter of the bowl) are higher at dealing with thicker, drier components (suppose blitzing chickpeas for hummus).

On the flip facet, blenders can chop and grate components, however they’ll by no means carry out the duty in addition to meals processors. Blenders typically battle with cheesy or gummy meals, too (like peanut butter). However for something liquidy or in want of being tremendous easy, attain for a blender.

Which Is Extra Costly: A Meals Processor or a Blender?

Critical Eats / Tamara Staples


Each instruments fluctuate extensively by way of value, however it doesn’t matter what, plan on spending not less than a pair hundred {dollars} on a meals processor or blender.

Whereas there are many blenders for underneath $100—together with miniature or “private measurement” blenders—we really feel it’s value paying for a high-speed blender, just like the Vitamix 5200 (our favourite mannequin). The price lies within the beefy motor. Our favourite Vitamix mannequin is on no account probably the most highly effective available on the market, nor probably the most high-end, and it retails for round $400. 

Meals processors are just a little trickier to pinpoint a value. Sometimes, greater prices are related to bigger capability bowls. For instance, we preferred two Breville fashions—one smaller, one bigger. The 12-cup capability prices $280, and the marginally snazzier 16-cup rings out at $550—fairly the worth soar. 

No matter which equipment you purchase, spending just a little extra for a trusted, highly effective mannequin—with a powerful guarantee—is cash effectively invested.

Ought to You Purchase a Meals Processor or a Blender?

Magimix 14-Cup Food Processor

Williams Sonoma


Vitamix 5200 Professional-Grade Blender

Amazon


The overall guideline right here is {that a} meals processor is an effective funding for reducing down on prep time, whereas a blender can assist you make recipes that might be laborious to duplicate with out it (like smoothies). 

When you’ve got the house and price range and would worth the time-saving high quality of a meals processor, go for each. For those who can solely select one, we suggest beginning with a high-speed blender.

FAQs

What’s the most effective meals processor? 

We tested a lot of food processors to seek out the most effective one. You actually can’t beat the Magimix 14-Cup Food Processor, which is highly effective with well-designed chopping blades and huge sufficient to be really helpful. It’s additionally the mannequin with that nifty pizza dough attachment. Nonetheless, it’s undeniably spendy; for those who’re searching for a price range possibility that also delivers, we suggest the Cuisinart 14-Cup Processor. Breville’s 16-Cup and 12-Cup fashions additionally ranked excessive in our checks. Though smaller capability fashions are attractively priced, they’re not nice at dealing with massive portions of meals, which cancels out one of many causes we discover them so priceless.

What’s the most effective blender?

For those who’re going to purchase a blender, it’s value investing in a high-speed one. In an extensive review of multiple blender brands, our favourite was the Vitamix 5200 Professional Grade Blender. For those who’re searching for a smaller mannequin, we additionally preferred the Blendtec Designer Series.

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