While blenders are typically used for liquid-based recipes – think sauces, cashew creams, and soups – food processors are often used for anything from fruit puree to vegetable cubes. As someone who doesn’t have the best knife skills and even starts crying hysterically every time I cut an onion, I’ve found that a food processor is a total game changer. I mean, she saved me a lot of time (and, okay, tears). But if you’re looking for an appliance that can do double duty, there are models that have interchangeable blender and food processor accessories. That’s right, a device that can save you a lot of money And space in your closet.
The two appliances may seem radically different in nature, but they are both designed to save you A lot of time and footwork. So what will it be? A blender, a food processor or a combination appliance? And once you’ve made that decision, which model is actually worth adding to your cart? To help, I reached out to some professional chefs to share their thoughts. These professionals rule any kitchen they walk into, and if these appliances can make cooking easier, they’re poised to become your kitchen’s workhorse too.
1. Breville BBL620SIL the Fresh and Furious counter-top blender,
278.60 $ 198.49
There’s a reason Elle Simone Scott refers to Breville’s Fresh & Furious counter-top blender as her “weapon of choice”. Think of this choice as your standard blender with some food processing features. “I love that his abilities range from delicate green smoothies to almond butter,” explains the food stylist and executive editor of America’s Test Kitchen. “I live in a small apartment, so the fact that it is reasonably quiet and compact is ideal.” With an efficient mixing system and an automatic 60 second timer, Fresh & Furious simplifies the food preparation process.
2. Cuisinart Mini PREP Food Processor, $ 34.99
Small food processors can make a big impact – ask cookbook author Molly Baz, who prefers Cuisinart’s Mini Prep food processor. “I use it for smaller batches that a standard food processor can’t really handle, due to its large size: sauces, vinaigrettes, marinades, rubs, aioli, pesto, grated cheese, chopped nuts and so on,” she shares. . “There is rarely a day in my kitchen when I can’t get it out.” Clocked at 2.6 cups, this option is perfect for compact kitchens.
3. Cuisinart 14-Cup Custom Food Processor, $ 249.95
As the founder and chef of Edy’s Grocer, a Brooklyn-based market and caterer offering world-class Lebanese food, Edouard Massih is no stranger to the power of an excellent food processor. “We make 20 meze at home and have over 500 containers a week,” he shares. To do it all, Massih enlists Cuisinart’s 14-cup food processor, which tastes like a food processor with blending capabilities for smooth, creamy sauces. “I’ve been using Cuisinart food processors for so long now, and I’ve adapted it to Edy’s Grocer,” he shares. “Whenever we make a large amount of hummus, muhammara or baba ghanoush, we have two Cuisinart food processors running and they do their job. It really is the best; I’ve had it for so many years now and it’s still doing the best job ever. “
4. Vitamix 5200 Blender, $ 389
If you’re willing to invest, the Vitamix 5200 offers both a blender and a food processor thanks to its food processor accessory. This will make the already expensive blender even more expensive, but it will pay for itself over time. “The advantage of the Vitamix brand is that it is durable, blends smoother than any hand-held blender, and can also blend harsh ingredients,” explains Kelly Scott of Kelly’s Clean Kitchen. “I personally have the Vitamix Professional Series 750 because I expected it to be better than the [5200 Standard]but I would prefer the basic one because it is cheaper and does just as well!
So, what makes the Vitamix 5200 Blender worthy of the hype? “This model is equipped with simple manual controls: an on / off switch, a variable speed knob from 1 to 10 and a high speed switch that goes up to 11,” says Jesse Miner, a vegan personal chef who relied on this gadget for more 15 years. “I use my Vitamix 5200 every day to effortlessly blend refreshing smoothies, savory sauces and the softest cashew cream you’ve ever tasted.”
5. Shark Ninja Express Chop, $ 30.19
While blenders and food processors can be an invaluable addition to your kitchen, they can also cost a ton. Fortunately, Chef Jamika Pessoa’s best choice is super cheap. “Once you turn on the Express Chop, don’t blink, otherwise you will miss it: everything you put in it gets cut quickly”, shares Pessoa, who has already worked with the brand. “The blade is super fast and efficient. No huge chunks or having to scramble multiple times. It flashes quickly with a single touch and the job is done with ease. Another thing he loves? This model is incredibly easy to clean, simplifying the cooking process from start to finish.
What is the difference between a blender and a food processor?
While blenders and food processors may look similar, they actually serve different purposes. Simply put, a blender is typically used for liquid-based ingredients, whether it’s a frothy smoothie, drizzle sauce, or dip. (Psst… a blender is also great for crushing ice and blending drinks.) But wait, can’t a food processor also blend? Yup, And it can also slice, dice, grate and shred your ingredients. As a general rule, recipes that call for a straw or dipping device, such as potato chips, are best suited for blenders. Meanwhile, meals that use forks and spoons can usually work well with a food processor.
But before picking one over the other, it’s worth noting that some devices can do both, either with built-in functions or with separate attachments. This way, you can have the best of both worlds in one gadget.
Do you prefer a blender, food processor, or a combination of the two? Let us know below!
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