Blender or food processor?

Discussion in 'Whats Cooking? Food, Drink, & Gear' started by LostHighway, Nov 12, 2019.

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  1. Nov 12, 2019 #1

    LostHighway

    LostHighway

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    I'm in the unusual position of having a wife who hates small appliances (usage doesn't justify storage space) . We have had a countertop blender but the last one died months ago. I'm vacillating between getting another countertop blender or a food processor during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. We have a plethora of knives, a mandoline, and a collection of graters as well as a stand mixer, and an immersion blender. I've never owned a food processor so I'm not entirely sure what we would gain from one? I've used a blender in the past for making batches of pesto and salsa, occasional mixed drinks and a few other uses. I'm familiar with the arguments for a motar & pestle for pesto but since we tend to only make it once or twice a season in large batches that seems like the wrong tool for the job. The motar we own is way too small and giant 10"/25cm+ one seems to violate the "too much storage space for too little use" rule not to mention the weight..
    If a blender which one? It seems to come down to the expensive VitaMix (refurb but still expensive) or a $100 ballpark KitchenAid or Cuisinart.
    If a food processor it seems to be a choice between the not ruinously expensive Cuisinart DFP-14 or the nearly twice as expensive Breville BFP800.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  2. Nov 12, 2019 #2

    WildBoar

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    Blender = Vitamix for us. And while you can make pesto, etc. in it, food processors are easier to extract from. And also food processors let you put in more chunks o' stuff with less chance of some getting perched above the blades.

    Food Processor = Cuisinart is perfectly fine for typical home use. We use it a bit for reducing onions to liquid/ pulp for some sauces, pesto, pestata, etc. And some of the extra blades allow slicing, dicing, etc. should someone not be good with a knife. What they do not do well is blend for soups and make drinks.

    So while there can be a lot of overlap, each can do a couple things the other cannot.
     
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  3. Nov 12, 2019 #3

    Kgp

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    Food processor is much more versatile. However, if you plan on lots of smoothies, cream soup, etc. get a Vita Mix. If you have knives and mandolin, you can duplicate a lot of what food processor can do. Mostly, it will save time if you have lots to chop or grate. There are usually good deals on refurbed Vita Mix. Lifeisnoyoke.com is great resource for them.
    Ken
     
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  4. Nov 12, 2019 #4

    crockerculinary

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    Blender only does one thing- purée. Yes you can get smooth purées or not so smooth purées, but that’s about it. Sure it can do some things like emulsifications, but all these things are easy to replicate with a good immersion blender. food processor is better all around and has more versatility imo. The wide bowl allows for a lot more textural possibilities from pretty smooth to pretty uniformly chunky- salsas, falafel, hummus, textured or smooth soups, etc. also good for doughs. And processors come with the attachments usually. Most here probably aren’t as interested but grating and cutting wheels-cheese graters, shredded carrots, slicing mushrooms, shaving ice, and so much more!!

    TLDR- except for the smoothest of purées, a processor can do much of what a blender can, but most blenders would struggle or fail with much of what a processor can.
     
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  5. Nov 12, 2019 #5

    Michi

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    Seeing that you have an immersion blender already, I’d go for a food processor. Much more versatile than Vitamix, and can handle tougher jobs, too.
     
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  6. Nov 12, 2019 #6

    Paraffin

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    We donated our blender years ago because we were only using it for the occasional crushed ice, which is easy enough to do with cubes wrapped in a towel and a hammer, Old School style. If we did a lot of smoothies or mixed drinks we might have kept it, but we're just not into that.

    I'm not a big fan of food processors for things I can do with knife cuts, but they have their place. We have two: a full-size Cuisinart and a baby Cuisinart. The large one is good for things like pureeing a portion of corn chowder to smooth it out. The small one gets used for small-quantity prep of anything vegetable or wet, like a quick salsa prep.

    It may seem like overkill to have two processors, but the larger one is a pain in the ass to store and clean up afterwards. The baby one gets a lot more use, and it's very easy to clean with just 3 parts -- bowl, lid, and blade, and fewer crevices to clean out like the larger one. But it's too small for things like soup puree jobs. So in the traditional KKF spirit, I'll suggest you really need two food processors. :)
     
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  7. Nov 12, 2019 #7

    WildBoar

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    Hmmm, that doesn't sound right. While I agree you need the two different sizes, you also need various blade materials and profiles for each of those two sizes. XHP/ AEB-L for when you know you will not be able to clean it right away. White #2 for when you need it sharp as heck, but are only doing small batches. Devin's Mystery Steel because, well, why the heck wouldn't you? And some blades should be lasers, some workhorses, etc. Stay away from the ones with damascus blades and custom wood handles for now though, as they are money pits. I'll save the discussion on the merits of various container materials for another post...



    :D
     
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  8. Nov 13, 2019 #8

    nutmeg

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    A used Thermomix TM21 would be my choice for about $100.
    It combines blender and food processor.
     
  9. Nov 13, 2019 #9

    ian

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    Kinda surprised to see so many food processor advocates. We have one, but my wife is the only one who uses it. I feel like I can do most things I'd want to do with a food processor with a blender or a knife, and with greater control. But all the comments above are making me think....
     
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  10. Nov 13, 2019 #10

    WildBoar

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    Our food processor gets a good workout making lots of batches of pesto in the summer, and batches of hummus all year round. Neither of those work well in a blender. But again, we have/ use both, as they each have things they excel at.
     
  11. Nov 13, 2019 #11

    stringer

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    We have a VitaMix, a small Cuisinart, and an immersion blender. The VitaMix is way better for making margaritas and pina coladas. The food processor and immersion blender get used far more often for pretty much everything else.
     
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  12. Nov 13, 2019 #12

    WildBoar

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    Maybe a good way to summarize: Here at KKF, we like to slice and dice. A lot! So we don't need no stinkin' food processor!

    Er, except maybe when we're on our 5th or 6th pina colada, and we still need to prep a pile of stuff for dinner. At that point maybe use of a food processor would be recommended by OSHA... :D
     
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  13. Nov 13, 2019 #13

    Midsummer

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    I am a big fan of getting the tool to fit your need. So figure out what you want to prepare and then choose the tool . Good luck!
     
  14. Nov 13, 2019 #14

    Midsummer

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    Use those knives!
     
  15. Nov 13, 2019 #15

    Michi

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    But will it blend? ;)
     
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  16. Nov 13, 2019 #16

    ian

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    The food processor? Interesting experiment, although a bit cannibalistic. Maybe we can lobby the vitamix people to try it.
     
  17. Nov 14, 2019 #17

    stringer

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    You should get it for what you would use it for. I consider the VitaMix to be a soup and beverage tool. The immersion blender does everything it can do from a culinary perspective but it's way more versatile since it works with any vessel.

    The food processor can be used to slice and dice. I don't use it to slice and dice. But some stuff the food processor is just better at. I use it to make a big batch of cauliflower rice every week. It's great for pesto, marinara, hummus, curries, marinades, salsas, salad dressings, aioli, bread dough, pasta dough, whipped cream, whipped butter, chopped garlic, baba ghanoush, muhamarra, mayonnaise, hollandaise...... Off the top of my head. The VitaMix does very few of these things as good/better than the food processor. And it's much louder.
     
  18. Nov 14, 2019 #18

    Michi

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    I second that. Once you have an immersion blender, there isn't really anything you would do significantly better with a VitaMix, IMO. And an immersion blender takes up less space and much easier to clean.

    The food processor does lots of things that I really would prefer not to do by hand. In particular, grinding enough chocolate or cheese by hand for a fondue is a real pain, but is over in a matter of seconds with a food processor. I also use mine for hummus, for sausage making when the recipe calls for really fine filling (such as for Leberkäse, Knackwurst, or Vienna sausage), Romesco, bulk slicing of potatoes, etc, etc.

    The combination of stick blender and food processor is hard to beat, IMO.
     
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  19. Nov 14, 2019 #19

    madelinez

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    Interested in this topic, I use a nutri ninja blender occasionally for making Mexican sauces (red onion, tomato, garlic, coriander, pinto bean powder, etc) but I have to add a lot of oil to get it to puree nicely. I would love something that could do it without the extra oil as well as make almond butter or pesto. Without the excessive oil everything just sticks above the blades.
     
  20. Nov 14, 2019 #20

    rickbern

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    I’d propose that a stick blender and a one liter granite mortar and pestle is both more versatile and more delicious. I know the op isn’t interested in this but I find the M&P indispensable. And easier to clean!
     
  21. Nov 14, 2019 #21

    ACHiPo

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    It seems like every time I use the immersion blender a good portion of what I'm blending ends up on the walls. I like it for some things, but I LOVE my Vitamix. The Vitamix makes homemade mayo a piece of cake, not to mention smoothies, etc. I break out the Cuisinart food processor only for holiday to grind up giblets, onions, and celery for gravy and stuffing.

    Different strokes...
     
  22. Nov 14, 2019 #22

    CoteRotie

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  23. Nov 14, 2019 #23

    ACHiPo

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    That would definitely give me a different experience than my Braun! Reminds me of Crocodile Dundee—“That’s not an immersion blender! This is an immersion blender!”
     
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  24. Nov 15, 2019 #24

    gman

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    well this thread isn't going the way i thought it would....

    i have a breville blender that gets used several times a week (and performs at level with vitamix, imo), 3 microplane graters in different sizes, a mortal and pestle, and a hand mixer, but all my slicing and chopping gets done by hand. sometimes i think i need to get a stand mixer, but it's never occurred to me to get a food processor.
     
  25. Nov 15, 2019 #25

    AT5760

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    Anymore, my food processor gets used only for pastry dough. But that alone makes it worth the cost. +1 for the stick blender.
     
  26. Nov 15, 2019 #26

    Michi

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    A container with tallish sides helps with the stick blender. I don’t find mine (Braun) all that messy though: no splashing, provided there is enough food to allow submerging the head.

    Regardless, you have my permission to like your VitaMix instead; I’m feeling generous today ;)
     
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  27. Nov 18, 2019 #27

    rstl87

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    Agreed with what has been posted. I have a Cuisinart food processor and an immersion blender and manage to do whatever I need with these two.
     
  28. Nov 18, 2019 #28

    aboynamedsuita

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    Mini cuisinart (food processor)- I mostly use for pesto
    Bamix pro (immersion blender)- good for soups and béarnaise the lazy way
    vitamix cia pro (“blender”)- used the most out of the 3, the new vitamix have a wider container bottom, so should be easier to clean and resolves some concerns with narrow containers, but I’ve never had issues with the current model.
     
  29. Nov 21, 2019 #29

    mille162

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    I love my vitamix, have had 3, push them to their limits. I had several other top rated blenders before it and after upgrading to the vitamix, they really don’t compare. Makes mayonnaise in 2 minutes, perfect everytime, but so can a lot of other blending tools. The biggest recipe others can’t replicate is alternative “milks”. I use it to make hemp milk once a week, no other blender device comes close to it’s performance. For purees, it gets it damn near silky smooth, no need for a pass through the sieve for most items (butternut squash soup once a month). I also have a wand I use for rougher purees done quick in the pot. At $30 on clearance at Homegoods, the All-clad wired wand is a deal. At $100ish, I’m buying another Bamix.

    I’ve had a few Breville products, looks great, performs basic tasks well, but all have failed when pushed. Handheld wand batteries quickly lost capacity and died completely. Wireless was great for working in tight kitchen, and much cleaner, but replaced it 3x’s before going to simplier (and better performing) wired version. Blender was ok for ice chunks but my vitamix makes snowballs in summer. On breville, lobster bisque needed mortar/pestle for shells, vitamix did not, vitmaix was good out of the mixer, breville needed a pass through the sieve. The Ninja blender came closest to vitamix but was limited to overheating and would perform at basically 90% vitamix. Vitamix has a cooking feature but honestly never used it, not sure who ever would as it’s just not efficient. The latest digital versions are much quieter than the last version (reason for my last upgrade).

    Had several Cuisenarts, always had problems with leaking containers. Sold one model to buy the next latest/newest/largest. Biggest use was for making olive tapenade. Great control over size of the product, always perfect results despite the overall mess. Never used for shredding carrot or cheese or the other 100 uses the box of attachments are promoted for. Tried to use for lobster bisque, the handheld blender did a better job.

    So, all that said, here are my recommendations.

    1. Buy a handheld wand
    2. Decide what you need to use it for
    A: purees/smooth: vitamix
    B: controlled size, rougher chops, “pulsed” needs: food processor

    3: bits the bullet and buy both
     
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  30. Nov 21, 2019 #30

    stringer

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    If you really want to be the biggest baller on the block then you need to get a commercial Robot Coupe Turbo Immersion Blender. At work my giant commercial food processor broke two years ago. I could replace it or borrow from another kitchen but I don't really care. I have a VitaMix but I almost never use it unless I do really need that perfect puree. Otherwise it stays locked in a cabinet so pieces don't get lost or broken. But most of the time. I just use one of the big stick for all my blending needs. You gotta be pushing some volume to justify it, but if you are pushing volume nothing does what one of these things can do. They have smaller ones too. Like a 10" compact version that I have my eye on if my 12 year old kitchen aid ever dies. And whichever one you get, don't wrap the cord tight or it will wear out faster.

     
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