In every self-respecting kitchen, there is at least one tool for chopping food in plain view or somewhere in a door.
A blender, a mixer, a planetary mixer, a food processor, or a centrifuge certainly cannot be missing when cooking. So, which one is the best to choose in a blender and food processor? How do they differ? Are they interchangeable? And above all: Blender VS Food Processor!
So let’s see the characteristics of one and the other, the differences, and the possible uses of blender and food processor.
The Blender – An Ancient and Versatile Tool
The first patent of the blender dates back to 1933. It has been an extremely popular household appliance in Western countries since the 1950s, the son of the economic boom and one of the symbols – together with the washing machine – of the figure of the “modern” housewife, who uses electrical devices to facilitate your work at home.
The operation of this appliance is particularly simple: insert the ingredients to be blended inside the container (generally transparent) and start the motor. This, which is usually equipped with at least three speeds, activates a cross-shaped metal blade which – turning at very high speeds – grinds the food in the container.
The blender then mixes the ingredients and emulsifies them in fat. It is, therefore, suitable for vegetable and legume creams, for shredding nuts … and obviously for smoothies!
Depending on the model, it will also be possible to use it for other purposes: many state-of-the-art blenders have an ice-crushing function, while others can even be used to mix flour-based products.
A blender differs from the other depending on whether it is powered by AC, alternating current, or DC, direct current.
DC motors are very susceptible to overheating and are generally less powerful than AC motors: a medium quality DC blender is not suitable for long processes such as dough. It does not have enough power to chop all types of food.
AC motors, present in almost all professional instruments, do not fear overheating and – with the same power – consume much less energy than direct current ones.
Therefore, you can think of a more powerful tool without worrying about excessive consumption, which is why many AC blenders have the above functions, so much so that they are comparable to more specific tools such as mixers and chopper robots.
The Food Processor
The chopper has a much more recent history than the blender: it is marketed in Europe even after the first multifunction mixers, starting from the 90s, with the international diffusion of the products of the French company Moulinex.
Choppers are born to mince raw meat, which is impossible with a medium power blender. In contrast with blenders, the motor in a chopper is placed on top so that you can grind the food inside the container by applying light pressure with your hands. This, generally, is small and cylindrical.
It is used in particular, in addition to treating meat, to prepare raw vegetable pesto and grate dry foods, such as bread, aged cheese, biscuits, and coffee.
The result of the chopper essentially depends on the amount of water present in the food: the richer the foods we put in it, the more the result will be similar to a soup.
For example, with a food processor, it is possible to obtain breadcrumbs as much as fruit creams or splendid meat or fish tartare with a food processor.
Furthermore, almost all manufacturers of choppers supply a sort of alternative blade called “butterfly” among the accessories, which does not mince food but mounts them.
For a perfect Genoese pesto, for example, you will need to use them together: first, the blades to grind the dry components, then – once the olive oil has been added – the butterfly blade to emulsify the pesto.
Blender VS Food Processor – Difference in both
Once the characteristics and functions of the blender and chopper have been indicated, let’s move on to analyze the differences.
The blades of a food processor are longer and generally placed on the same plane to be parallel, like those of a mixer; those of a blender are usually much shorter and generally bent towards the top of the jug to reach a greater quantity of product.
Despite the individual products’ characteristics, it is difficult to come across a bulkier food processor than a blender. The first uses a small cylindrical container, generally low, while the second uses a jug that can reach several liters of capacity, which usually develops in height. This difference is often decisive in choosing between one and the other instrument.
How it Works
The chopper is designed for chopping in the shortest possible time and particular foods with a low water content (dried fruit, aromatic herbs, bread, coffee), which is why a large container is not needed. On the other hand, the blender does a more complex job: it mixes while chopping, which is why it is more suitable for processing more watery foods.
All blenders, or almost all, have an opening at the top that allows you to add ingredients during processing; this makes it suitable for preparations such as mayonnaise and cocktails, which can only be done with certain types of a food processors. In addition to almost never having such an opening, choppers generally do not have sufficiently large containers for preparations of this type.
It is easy to understand that blenders and food processors are not as similar as we might have thought. It follows that they will be indicated for different uses, respectively. So let’s see which tool to choose based on what we intend to do in the kitchen.
Blender and Food Processor: Which One is the Best?
The choice will therefore depend exclusively on its intended use of it.
First of all, they are not suitable for processing the same foods: the blender is not suitable for mincing dry foods such as coffee and cheese, nor for groping to homogenize fibrous ingredients such as meat and fish.
The food processor, on the other hand, suffers from the strong limitation of not being able to add ingredients while the machine is running: it will be almost impossible to think of making cocktails, milkshakes, or special sauces.
Furthermore, the considerably smaller dimensions (the container of a food processor is often very small) do not allow the processing of particularly liquid sauces. It can be used to the fullest extent in the initial stages of preparation, which in the blender would remain identical to themselves, regardless of the appliance’s power.
So let’s see which one to choose between the two, based on the intended use.
- What you prepare with the blender: cocktails, smoothies, milkshakes, creams, veloutés, baby food, cooked vegetable purée, desserts, ice cream, sauces, chickpea hummus, hazelnut cream, mayonnaise, fruit smoothies, gazpacho.
- What you work with the chopper: raw vegetable pests, meat and fish tartare, crepes, aged cheese, coffee, bread and biscuits, walnuts, almonds and other dried fruit, onions, flavored breadcrumbs, meat-based fillings.
So between the Blender VS Food Processor, the first thing to define when we have to choose between the food processor is the space we have available in the kitchen: the chopper, as already mentioned, is a smaller appliance.
Once the available budget has also been defined, which does not present major peculiarities in either case, the only criterion that can help us choose is precisely in use we intend to make of it.
The choice, in this case, will be dictated solely by our needs in the kitchen. Thus, it will depend on what we prepare most often and the quantity and type of accessories available.