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Blenders and food processors are two different electrical appliances. Both have been invented to perform some specific functions. But there are some functions where both overlap together. Beginner chefs who are new to the cooking business make big mistakes of considering devices as the same. Both have similar structural looks but still carry major differences on the basis of their function, size, and food processing abilities.
Here in this article both have been briefly described and in the end, this article will argue Can you use a blender as a food processor? This will help you to decide and meet your kitchen needs.
Table of Contents
The blenders were invented with a special function of mixing different liquids together.
Average size of a common blender is 8-20 inches in height, weight ranges between 5- 20 pounds.
On switching on the power button, it creates a gyre that ultimately pulls the ingredients inside the jar to the center and mixes it thoroughly hence making blending possible. Different types of soups and smoothies are the prominent foods that are prepared using a blender. Probably blenders are the best appliance when it comes to blitzing the added contents into the finest mixture. Blenders are used for making dips. You can use blenders to crush ice and make frozen coffee with the help of it. Certain foods items like nuts and coffee beans can be ground by using a blender. Despite having so much flexibility in functions, it has some limitations such as you can’t use it for chopping and slicing purposes as compared to a food processor.
Blenders are available in two different types depending on their size. Some have big jars which prepare your food in one go, others are mini sized reservoirs hence prepare your food in multiple chunks. Blenders are very simple and easier to use. An Interesting fact is that you can turn the blending cup into a travel mug. Blenders are available in different price ranges as low as $25 to a maximum sum of $500. If you want to prepare foods like smoothies or soup, go for stick and hand types of blenders. These can make your job easier. But this variety of blenders can make you tired while holding these for a long time. Higher the cost, finer the qualities and processing abilities.
Can you use a Blender instead of a Food Processor?
This whole article starts with a question if a common household blender can be used as a food processor then the answer to this question is ; YES, it can be used depending on the food which you want to process in it. There are plenty of dishes that you might be thinking of processing in your blender but still it has limitations. If you own a perfectly working blender in your kitchen then it can help you get your job done to that of a food processor.
In the absence of a food processor, use your blender in chopping fruits and vegetables for your meals and shakes. Here tamper in the blender plays a key role. In order to cut vegetables smoothly and evenly set and run your blender on the very lowest setting. Using tamper keep pushing the vegetables downwards to get evenly cut pieces of vegetables and fruits.
You can use your blender to make crumbs of bread. This is very simple and easier to achieve with your kitchen’s blender. All you need is to take 2-3 slices of bread, make its pieces. Add all pieces into the blender. Now here you have two options either to run for 30 seconds by using the pulse option of blender or just manually run it for 35-40 seconds. Both will result in bread crumbs having fine consistency and texture.
Firstly don’t give solid food to Babies. If at all you are recommended by doctors to feed them during weaning days. Then you should make sure to feed them solids which are finely crushed and softened. For this purpose a food processor is used. If you don’t have a food processor then you can use a blender for the same purpose. All you need is to take fresh vegetables and cook these first. Then
pour 1-2 cups of cooked vegetables into the jar. Set its setting on the highest speed given for your unit. End result will be the finest quality and smoothly prepared food for the baby.
You want a fine consistency in your cheese and have no food processor? No need to worry. You can use blender to carry out this simpler function. Take a plate of hardened cheese. Using a chef’s knife, dice it into 1-2 inches chunks. Pour it into your blender and run it higher speed for at least 40 seconds until you get smooth consistency as per your requirements.
People usually use food processors to make pesto in the kitchens. Don’t worry if you don’t have a food processor in your home. The Blenders can serve the purpose. Pesto making at home should be more preferable than going to fatty stores and buying it.
- Cheese ¾ cup
- Basil 1 ½ cup
- Pine nuts ¼ cup
- Olive oil ¾ cup
- Garlic 3 cloves
Add all these ingredients one by one into the jar. Mix them thoroughly manually. Turn on the blender, set it to medium speed, keep vigilance until this mixture is turned into a smooth textured pesto sauce.
Who can deny the importance of fine textured ice pieces for a perfect night party. Food processors are used for crushing big chunks of ice into smoothly cut pieces. Common household blenders can also be used for the above mentioned purpose. All you need is a blender in your home which is working perfectly. Take some 4-5 cubes of ice. Place it down into the jar. Keep it running on higher speeds. End result will be the evenly crushed pieces of ice. Which you can use for any of your purposes.
For this purpose blenders are important machines to serve but still there is one limitation to it that is, you’ll be needing a big industrial scale blender. Commonly used household blenders are unable to serve the purpose. Reasons are its sharpened blades and slender shape.
Since it has been well established fact that you can use your household common blender replacing a food processor. Hence if you already have a unit in your kitchen that’s good and good but if you don’t have then you need to buy it from the market or online shop. It can cost you roughly from $25 to $500.
Some brands give you accessories along with the unit. But in some cases you need to buy its accessories separately. A common blender may have the following parts as accessories.
- Serving cups
- Ice crushing blades
- A tamper stick
Usually a blender has a built-in mechanism of speed settings. It has three different speed levels of processing the food. An exception to this rule is also there such as highly expensive devices that come with more than 5 speed settings serving more purposes.
Principle of its speed setting is that if you need to get evenly and smooth textured food at the end then keep it to the lowest speed. One other hand for pureed food, run it at maximum speed.
If you are a new buyer and have never used the blender previously in your kitchen then you must read it’s manuals and instructions first.
Never add ingredients all together into the jar if you are a new user. Instead add things into it one by one or chunk by chunk. In this way you can save your ingredients from being wasted.
Also remember not to put it on higher speed firstly. Instead keep it running on the lower speed.
One more limiting feature of a common blender is that it is small as compared to a food processor hence you can’t process bulk quantities of food in it same as like of a food processor. So a general principle is that you should be processing ¼ of the food which you used to process in a food processor. So process your food in batches.
This article on using blenders as a food processor has strongly argued that if you don’t have higher budgets to buy a food processor for your kitchen then you can go for the commonly used blender because it can also serve the same purpose provided that you need to learn how to use it wisely.
Mostly blenders are used for a limited range of food processing from making smoothies to the preparation of soups for your guests. But still it can be used in making bread crumbs, pesto, crushing ice cubes and making foods for the babies. Price can be varied depending on the brand and associated accessories with the unit.
Different speed levels allows you a variety of choices in processing the products.
So the conclusion is that you can use your commonly used household blenders to serve the purpose of a food processor. Despite some of its limitations, you can take a variety of functions from it.
Davide Mazzaferro is one of the famous Italian cafeteria trainers and writers on the coffee machines and kitchen equipment. He is heaving wide knowledge on the coffee machines, coffee beans, restaurants, and kitchen equipment. Davide Mazzaferro is a former trainer in Italian barista school and Aicaf Accademia Italiana Maestri del caffè. Right now he is working with M.T. Group as a technical assistant of restaurant and bar equipment.