From all the appliances we stock in our kitchens, blenders and food processors are among the most useful. Many people think they perform the same tasks, and that they could even be the same product. Can you use a blender instead of a food processor?
So when it comes to blenders and food processors, can one be a good substitute for the other? And if so when?
If you have questions about whether you can use a blender instead of a food processor, you have come to the right place.
We will aim to help you out in this article, and hopefully, you will be able to get the most out of your equipment.
These are best for savory cooks. They can be really versatile with different attachments for things like baking, chopping, grating, pureeing and slicing.
Food processors come with attachments for baking jobs like kneading and whipping but they can’t do a great job comparable to stand mixers.
Food processors are known to have less powerful motors than those of a blender. Their blades, however, are razor sharp and more rigid, and that’s where they top blenders. Food processors are excellent multi-purpose devices, and they can make a wide range of foods effortlessly.
They can quickly work through hard ingredients such as nuts or seeds. They also are fantastic for pulverizing onions and garlic, making them an excellent appliance for kitchen chefs in restaurants.
So when should you not use a food processor? When you have any ingredients that are liquid or loose, you should avoid using a food processor because you would have to blend in more than one batch, as the bowl should not be overfilled, as this would cause leaking from the lid or sides of the processor.
Therefore, it is recommended to only use a food processor for meals with chunky ingredients, or sauces with texture, like pesto. Anything else which is liquidy, like smoothies or iced coffee drinks are not recommended to make in a food processor.
This makes a food blender more versatile but this means that you have more stuff to clean and more storage space is taken up.
If you regularly cook in big batches, a food processor could help save time during preparation. But if you’re looking for an appliance to chop an onion or make a quick dip, you should consider a mini-chopper.
When making sauces or drinks with hard or solid ingredients, a food processor is best.
In comparison to the food processors, blenders have much more powerful motors and the blades aren’t as sharp. The blades are more blunt than sharp, and the motor does most of the work in the blender. The motor is powerful and it can easily blend ingredients into smooth purees and sauces, and this is why blenders are preferred for liquidy beverages and recipes.
The main purpose of a blender is to blend liquids. When you turn on a blender, it creates a vortex, pulling ingredients towards the center and causing them to blend together.
A full-sized blender is between 8 to 22 inches in height. As for the weight, they can range between 4 to 19 pounds. If you’re into making smoothies and soups, a blender is the best appliance for you.
They excel at blitzing ingredients into a smooth mixture and most blenders can also crush ice and make dips. You won’t usually get an option to slice, grate and chop as you would with a food processor.
Blenders are favored for making things like smoothies, frozen cocktails, soups and baby food, as they blend or even puree foods. There are not often many chunks and the ingredients will come together in a smooth blend.
But some blenders come with additional attachments for grinding things like coffee and nuts. There are two types of standing blenders Jug Blenders which can make larger batches in one go and Mini-blenders which can make 1-2 portions at a time.
Hand or stick blenders are good for quick jobs such as making a dip or blending soups and smoothies but can be tiring when held for long periods.
They are smaller in size and more compact. Pricier models come with whisking attachments and food processing abilities.
Can You Use a Blender Instead of a Food Processor?
The answer is it pends! You can find a workaround for some dishes while some might get you the right result.
Technically speaking, you can use a blender instead of a food processor, but the end result might not be what you want, and you may need to change the settings a little.
It’s essential to keep in mind that a blender might not handle the same amount of ingredients that a food processor would. This is down to the fact that the blades in a blender are not as sharp, and therefore they might not pulverize the ingredients as well as a food processor would.
If you only have a blender, here are some tips to get the job of a food processor done:
You can achieve some degree of chopping on a blender using a tamper. To cut vegetables, run your blender on the lowest setting and use a tamper to force the vegetable downwards where the blade is.
Use a maximum of 2 slides of dried bread and add pieces of it to the blender. Use the pulse option for 30 seconds until you get a fine consistency. If you don’t have a pulse option, run it on high speed for 30 seconds.
If you’re trying to make homemade baby food, add a maximum of one cup of freshly cooked vegetables in the jar. Use the blender on the highest speed to get a smooth mixture.
To get shredded cheese, dicing hard cheese with your chef’s knife into 2-inch chunks. Add to the blender and pulse on high for 30 seconds till you get the right consistency.
Everyone loves a good pesto and making it at home is so much better than a fatty store-bought one. All you need is 3/4 cup of olive oil, 3/4 cup cheese about 1 ½ cups of basil, 3 cloves of garlic, and 1/4 cup of pine nuts.
Add this to the blender jar and use it on medium speed until the pesto sauce turns smooth.
Ice is a must for those evening parties of a nice girls/boy’s night at home. You can get crushed ice by placing about 5-6 ice cubes in the jar. Set the blender on high until you get finely crushed consistency.
I would recommend this only if you have an industrial blender. A home-use blender is not suitable because of its slender shape and sharp blades. This will not allow the dough to turn properly to rise with air permeation.
Use Some Ingredients
In order to reach a similar consistency to that of a food processor, you’ll have to make fewer batches as opposed to one large batch. It is recommended to use half of the ingredients that you would use in a traditional food processor, and work your way up. This will ensure an evener consistency throughout your blending and give you a better final result.
If you end up putting too many ingredients into a blender, you will mostly find that the food at the top of the pitcher might not have the same texture as the food at the bottom. The food at the bottom might risk being overly processed, and so overall an uneven mix will be the result.
Finally, when using a blender rather than a food processor, you will need to use the correct settings. Most blenders usually only have three speeds, and others can have up to six. Therefore, if you want to puree ingredients, then the highest setting will be fine to use. If instead, you want to chop something, you will be better using the slowest setting. You may have to play around a bit until you find the most suitable speed.
It’s recommended never to add all your ingredients the first time you try it. This way, if things don’t work out, at least you haven’t wasted everything.
To conclude, if you are a smart cook, and know your kitchen appliances, you will be able to substitute a food processor with a blender. As long as you make some minor adjustments to the settings, and make several batches rather than one big one, using a blender could be an excellent way to shoulder some of the work in the kitchen.