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Which is better for making hummus: Immersion Blender or Food Processor?

I'm looking for a holiday gift for my dad, and he wants to make his own hummus. I've read it can be done well with either an immersion blender or food processor, but is one (much) better than the other?

Based on my knowledge of both I feel like the food processor would be better at hummus, though based on the ease of cleaning the IB, I feel like it would be easier to use (& thus used more often :), he'd also make his own marinades/dressings, which I imagine the IB would be preferrable for. But since hummus is the #1, hands-down, things that needs to be made I'd really appreciate opinions from people who have tried both appliance (or either one).

For reference I'm looking at a Bamix immersion blender (or potentially the Cuisinart CSB-76 SmartStick but worried it might not hold up) or the Cuisinart DLC-10S Pro Classic 7C food processor.

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  1. it's easier to control the texture with an immersion blender. and in addition to being easier to clean, it also takes up far less storage space if that's a consideration. based on what you said, he's probably more likely to use something he can grab from the drawer as opposed to hauling the FP out of a cabinet, fiddling with the blade, locking the bowl into place, taking it apart to clean it...

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I second it. I used a food processor to make hummos for years, and I love the ease and the results of my immersion blender.

    2. mortar and pestle trumps all!

      but since i dont currently own one in my own kitchen.... i use a potato masher. i like my hummus super chunky

      2 Replies
      1. re: mattstolz

        Judging from the OP's question, I'm guessing his dad likes it creamy. I do, too.

        1. I'm for the food processor, but then I have a Bosch mixer that has a food processor attachment. I've used both immersion blender and food processor and I like the ease and speed of a food processor vs the constant up and down mashing motion and constant whacking the stuck chickpeas from the bottom of the immersion blender while trying to find that consistency that drives me nuts. Given a choice between an Immersion Blender and a potato masher, I'd seriously go with the potato masher. But that's just me.
          I think if you're worried about an Immersion blender not holding up, then go with the food processor.

          3 Replies
          1. re: freia

            I agree with freia about the immersion blender. Maybe I have an inferior model - it's a Braun. I find it really irritating to use some of the time. To get something very smooth takes lots of work. Mostly I don't mind little chunks - as in carrot or squash soup. I do, however, mind bits of garbanzo beans in my hummus. I go for the food processor. I wish it'd work in the blender, but it's just not wet enough to do anything but make a space for the blade to whirr round and round without coming in contact with hummus....too much stopping and pushing the hummus down so the blade can contact it.

            I sometimes wonder about putting more liquid in the garb mix and then letting it drain through cheesecloth til it gets to the right consistency.

            1. re: oakjoan

              I have an older Braun blender stick and it makes hummos as smooth as I used to make in my Cuisinart processor without all the cleanup. I hate chunks in hummos. I think I've read that newer ones aren't nearly as reliable, and if mine ever dies, I'll buy a Bamix.

              1. re: oakjoan

                I have a new Cuisinart and an old Braun -- the Cuisinart has way more power.

            2. Thanks for the input all! Much appreciated!

              1. Personally, I think a regular upright blender makes the creamiest, smoothest hummus, so I guess I'd vote neither.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ChristinaMason

                  +1 on the blender. Just add enough tahini to keep it moving.

                  1. re: pine time

                    +1, but -1 on the tahini :) The dry nut solids in the tahini, once they hit water, will swell and thicken the hummus, making it harder to blend.

                    The easiest way to keep it moving is to use a tall, vortex friendly blender, blending the right amount of hummus at a time (about 1/3 the carafe), and using still slightly hot chickpeas and a little bit of the hot cooking juice. If using canned chickpeas, warm them in saucepan with water.

                    Transfer the puree to a container, and, once it has cooled a bit, add the lemon juice, tahini and garlic. After it's been thoroughly chilled, it will be stiff enough to hold a knife straight up. On the other hand, if you blend chickpeas at room temp, and add enough water so they keep moving, by the time they cool, they'll be too loose.

                  2. re: ChristinaMason

                    Agree absolutely. For the creamiest hummus nothing but a conventional blender will do.

                  3. Good question! I will be making roasted red pepper hummus for a class party to be held in a few days. I plan on try our immersion blender for the process. Also I will be processing the hummus in a wide mouthed glass jar that has a great capacity to minimize the loss of hummus during cleanup.

                    We have a Braun immersion blender that works great when blending is done in stages, not overtaxing its capability.

                    1. If planning to make small batches (1 cup or less of beans), definitely go with the IB. For big batches, I like a FP.

                        1. Consistency seems better with a FP, plus the time it takes to mash and stir with the IB you can set up a FP and whip out a few batches and rinse it down before you have finished your 2nd or 3rd batch with a IB.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: RetiredChef

                            With a large enough bowl and the right amount of liquid, I get through a LOT of beans really fast with a simple, plastic Braun blender stick. Unless you're talking about commercial quantities? I use the blender stick for very large quantities of rutabaga puree for Thanksgiving, too, and my FIL always commented that he'd never had such creamy puree before. Honestly, I think it just comes down to what you're used to, have room and patience for. I've used both to make hummos for years and have never found any difference in quality or texture of the outcome.

                            1. re: RetiredChef

                              I have to agree with you. Unless you happen to like your hummus to have a fluffy, buttercream frosting texture (VERY non-authentic), a food processor is the way to go. You get a smooth consistency without all the air.

                            2. FP for sure. But then I can't stand thin watery hummus.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: rasputina

                                Me, neither, but it doesn't come out thin and watery with an immersion blender, IME. Thick and creamy, same as with the fp I used for years.

                              2. I have the Kitchen Aid immersion blender that has a small food processor attachment (big enough for one batch of hummos). It's one of my favorite, most versatile kitchen tools.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: sweetpotater

                                  If storage space is at a premium, and you don't need to make large batches, then an immersion blender with a food chopper/processor attachment gives you the best of both worlds.

                                  The chopper is better for items like nuts (Cuisinart even suggests reversing the blade for that), and for paste like items (e.g. pesto, remesco). The immersion part better for soupy things like a creamed soup or gazpacho. With one Mexican peanut sauce I started it in the chopper, and then switched to the immersion blender to make it smoother.

                                  Given the units I have, I would make the hummus in the chopper attachment.

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    I wind up making too much hummus for the small food processor attachment with my Cuisinart immersion blender. Plus, the thought of stripping those plastic wing thingees that drive my blade on my immersion blender doesn't appeal to me, so I just go right to my medium sized food processor. Like paulj says, it is a question of volume there, but don't forget about the longevity of your immersion blender :)

                                2. I made roasted red pepper hummus using our immersion blender. There was a problem. Trying to puree 2 cans of garbanzo beans without sufficient liquid overtaxed the blender. The blender still works, and the resulting hummus was great, but it was more of a mess than it would have been if I had used our food processor. From past experience, the processor would have done the job with less of a mess.

                                  1. I read recently that warm chickpeas result in a smoother hummus. So if you are looking for a smooth texture, use either freshly cooked chickpeas, or warm up the canned ones. I did try, and thought it made a difference.

                                    1. Definitely the IB because the processor can easily leave chunks, plus, as hasbeen mentioned, far easier to store, clean and grab quickly.