Consumers frequently attempt to use a food processor in lieu of a blender, or vice versa. Wouldn’t it be fantastically easier to have just one kitchen gadget for all your chopping, mixing, and blending needs? Unfortunately, each machine is designed to perform its own unique tasks, and having one pull double-duty may not always be an option.
A food processor is defined as “an electric appliance with interchangeable blades within a closed container into which food is inserted for slicing, shredding, mincing, chopping, pureeing, or otherwise processing at high speed.” This just means an appliance that is designed to turn larger chunks of food into smaller chunks.
A couple characteristics of a food-pro are a stocky design and a low wattage motor. A motor for a food processor commonly runs from 450 to 700 watts. While this is a typical number found in less expensive blenders, it simply does not hold a candle to the professional grade blenders now residing in many homes.
Blenders like the Vitamix 1710 can cost as much as $600, but has a 1500 watt motor. The lower the wattage of the blender, the more likely you will need to have a second appliance available for your chopping needs. Some people do find good use in a food processor though.
So if my blender has more power than your run-of-mill food-pro, why bother with another machine? A weaker motor may not seem appealing, but it actually is ideal for the appliance’s purposes. The regularly interchangeable steel plates are the cream of the crop for chopping and cutting consistently uniform veggies. But a blender may be so strong that it atomizes your food into a pulp without a second thought. With a food processor, you would get shredded Coleslaw, whereas a blender would give you Cabbage water.
Food processors do great when mixing dry ingredients, but can not really compare to a blender’s ability to mix liquids. Since a blender’s main job is to blend liquids, even low end blenders can hold quarts of fluid and mix the ingredients together well.
Not much space needs to be free when using the blender. But when using a food processor, if you overfill it, liquid will spill out. This can make quite a mess, and also runs the risk of ruining the motor of the food processor if liquid penetrates inside.
But food processors do get around one major pain: cavitation. As explained by blender experts, cavitation often occurs when an air pocket forms around the blades, shoving the contents to the sides of the blender. Reaching the desired consistency is a challenge if the ingredients are too cold, too dry, or too stringy. Also, blending mostly dry ingredients is likely to form a powder, instead of the creamy consistency you would expect from say, nut butters. So to avoid cavitation, a food processor would be the best choice.
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