Food Processor vs Blender
It might seem like food processors and blenders are pretty much the same thing. Not quite.
While the two do have some similarities, each does have its own intended and ideal purposes.
If these two kitchen appliances were tornados, the blender would be an F0 and a food processor would probably fall closer to an F2. This is due to a combination of things, including the shape of the blades and the shape of the bowls.
What is a Blender
For the blender, the blades are usually more like the petals of a wilting flower. Two blades point up and two point down. They are triangular in shape. Sometimes there are more and sometimes there are less, but the average is four petal-like blades.
As far as the shape of the bowls, they are more pitcher shaped for a blender. They are tall and narrow. This creates more lateral movement to, well, blend stuff.
That’s the whole point of blenders, whether you’re trying to make smoothies, batter, or mixing powdered ingredients.
In addition to that, most blenders only come with one bowl.
What a Blender is Good For
Blenders are intended for making things like smoothies, milkshakes, and other such drinks. They are also good for mixing liquid batters, like those for pancakes, waffles, and brownies.
Basically, anything that doesn’t require a lot of crushing or grinding of the ingredients.
The blades of blenders are more suited for mixing than for crushing. They are ideal for mixing liquids or soft fruits, things you would put in a smoothie.
That being said, there are blenders powerful enough to crush ice relatively well. Doing this will dull, and possibly bend, the blades faster, however.
What is a Food Processor
In the case of food processors, the blades are whatever you need them to be for whatever you’re trying to prepare.
All you have to do is switch out the S-blade for a plastic dough blade, a shredder plate, or slicing plate. Whatever you need.
Some food processors do have attachments or specialized blades for mixing, but their main purpose is to chop, crush, or cream whatever you feed into them.
Food processors often have a range of different bowl sizes available. In some cases, these bowls act like nesting dolls when in storage and when in use. Other models allow you to just pick a bowl size and lock it into the base unit of the food processor.
The bowls for food processors can also vary in shape. Some are tall while others are stout. Some of them have their own special blades or plates that are specifically for that size bowl.
Some models of food processors actually offer inverted bowls where the “lid” screws on then locks into the base. These types of bowls are often designed for crushing nuts, or they are designed to function more like a blender, again with the appropriate blades.
What a Food Processor is Good For
Food processors are intended for a very wide range of purposes. They are more like the work horse of mixing kitchen appliances. They chop, cut, mince, puree, and much more.
Want delicious homemade salsa? Get a food processor.
Want to finely chop garlic or fresh herbs without the hassle of a manual knife? Get a food processor.
Want to make that creamy vegetable soup perfectly smooth? Get a food processor.
The range of tasks that can be completed with a food processor is due, in part, to the range of available blades, plates, and other attachments.
This is very different from blenders, which don’t allow for much variation in the blades. They also don’t come available with any sort of shredding or slicing plates like food processors.
So there is some overlap with these two kitchen appliances. There are also some key differences to keep in mind.
If you are going to be doing a lot of food prep or if you need something with a little more oomph, a food processor is the way to go. The same can be said if you are looking for the greater variety of purposes.
If instead you are looking for something that can mix shakes and smoothies and you don’t want to do a lot of food prep, a blender might be just fine.