Food processors and blenders are kitchen appliances that make cutting and blending our food easier. They both have a food vessel and blades with multiple speed and texture settings.
These resemblances beg the question, can you use a blender as a food processor? The short answer is yes. In this blog post, we delve into using a blender as a food processor and how to go about doing it.
Blenders and Food Processors – What’s the Difference?
Before discussing using a blender as a food processor, let’s look at the distinctions between the two kitchen devices. One is that we primarily use blenders for liquid food items. In contrast, food processors can work with a variety of foods.
Food processors have parts that allow them to chop, shred, mix, and perform other functions you would typically have to do by hand. They can work efficiently with solid food and dry ingredients, although they don’t fare well with moist or liquid foods. These appliances can also help you chop vegetables and knead doughs.
In contrast, blenders are better at managing wet or liquid foods. They pulverize and blend moist foodstuffs with dry ones to make multiple food items like pastes, soups, milkshakes, and other liquid foods.
Can You Use a Blender as a Food Processor?
You may be thinking about buying a new food processor for a new recipe or replacing or repairing your old one. But, before making sudden moves, ask yourself, can I use my blender as a food processor? Yes, you can!
First, set your blender at low speed. Then, ensure that you change the other settings so you get standard food processing instead of making liquids or purees. Make sure not to add any juices to the blender.
Use the pulse mode to make coarse foods such as bread crumbs. If your blender doesn’t have a pulse setting, run the appliance on high speed for thirty seconds, stop, and repeat as needed. For pastes, set the blender to puree and blend your mixture until it’s smooth.
Remember that you need to make your food in smaller batches with a blender instead of adding it all at once like you would with a food processor. Most blenders don’t hold as much stuff and can have a more challenging time blending large amounts of ingredients.
Food Processor Tasks That a Blender Can’t Do
While you can make different foods with a blender without a food processor, blenders cannot perform certain food processor functions. For example, they cannot shred, chop, slice, or grate food. You also can’t use your blender for kneading dough, which is something only a food processor can do correctly.
Should You Get a Blender, Food Processor, or Both?
Every beginner or pro chef can improve their kitchen experiences by having both appliances since they serve specific functions. You can easily find good blender-processor combos online or at your local appliance stores. But if getting both is not ideal, which appliance you should get depends on what food you intend to work with for your recipe.
Blenders can make various food items, like smoothies, kinds of nut butter, sauces, pastes, and soups. Food processors can also make similar food items like butter and condiments, but they also let you mince and chop veggies, shred cheese, and even create and knead dough.
When you only use a blender, you can’t perform some functions, such as chopping or shredding.
Food processors don’t do a good job making milkshakes, purees, or soups, but you can make chunkier liquids such as pesto.
Can You Use Other Items in Place of a Food Processor?
Along with a blender, you can use many other kitchen appliances and tools instead of a food processor. These devices include:
- A mortar and pestle
- Rolling pins with plastic bags
- Pots and pans to soften food while cooking
Choosing the appliances you use relies on what tasks you perform. For instance, a mixer can combine items like flour, nut butter, and sugar to make a dough. In contrast, choppers and knives can help you chop veggies and fruits and even make baby food. To get shredded or grated foods, you can utilize a grater.
If you want to make mincemeat or nut butter, a grinder is an ideal choice. It tends to be bulkier than a food processor, but it does better with foods and powders. If you want a more specific device than a mixer, you can swing for a mortar and pestle instead to grind your foods.
To crush items like chickpeas and biscuits, you can put the foods in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them inside the bag. If you don’t own a food processor or a blender but need to make pastes or purees, you can cook your food in pots or pans until it softens. That allows you to mix or puree foods by hand with ease.
Is Getting a Food Processor Worthwhile?
Food processors are essential for some kitchens. Many recipes require multiple food processes, like chopping, mincing, grating, or shredding. In that case, a food processor can drastically lower your preparation time. Chopping veggies manually can take a few minutes, but a food processor cuts everything in seconds.
Also, food processors make cooking much safer. Rather than using a sharp knife that can accidentally cut you, all you need to do is put the veggies or other foods in the food processor, keeping your fingers safe from the blades.
There are also a wider variety of recipes you can make with a food processor, like doughs, cakes, crusts, salads, veggie or meat dishes, or bread crumbs. So, is getting a food processor worthwhile? Ultimately, that’s up to you. We think a blender does many things right, but a food processor is ideal for more functions and safer processes.
What about Using a Food Processor as a Blender?
After learning that we can use a blender the same way as a food processor, you might be wondering if the reverse is true. And it is, to a degree.
Even the best food processor cannot handle liquids the same way that a blender can. You can make shakes and smoothies in a blender if you follow the correct steps. Anything that is too liquid, like pancake or crepe batter or smooth sauces, must be made in a blender.
So, can you use a blender as a food processor? Yes, depending on what you want to make and how you do it. Still, you can’t use a blender for everything a food processor does, so you should know the differences. If you want to learn more about other home equipment, click here.