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Replacement for food processor and blender that don't get enough use

Our kitchen is a mess so we have to get rid of stuff to make space for, you know, useful things.

I've had an older blender and food processor that I break out on occasion when I'm making mushroom gravy, vegetable lasagna filling or pesto but they're bulky and don't get as much use as they should. Is there a piece of equipment I should invest in that can replace these guys and maybe even encourage me to cook more?

(We have a baby coming in a few months, and I'd really like to cook beyond the lasagnas and stir fries that comprise most of my at-home cooking.)

We're vegetarians if that means anything. Thanks!

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  1. Do you have an immersion blender? I use that so much, more so than the regular blender or food processor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wyogal

      Agree, my immersion blender is a 90% substitute for a blender or food processor, functionally if not theoretically speaking.

    2. It puzzles me why you'd want to put out money for something that is not a comparable substitute. A blender's main function is to liquefy, and emulsify. Your food processor can do that as well. At the very least Keep the processor. IMO a stick blender is not in the same league. Good luck.

        1. I have this immersion blender/chopper/whisk set and it comes in handy. http://amzn.com/B000GHF3V8

          With a baby on the way, however, you may want to hang on to your appliances if you plan on making any of your own purées and baby food!

          4 Replies
          1. re: ohmyyum

            Very good point! Both will be quite handy with feeding a little one.

            1. re: ohmyyum

              My first thought as well. A good book on making your own baby food is a wise investment -- otherwise you end up spending the equivalent of $5/lb for carrots.

              1. re: ohmyyum

                I never even thought about making my own baby food--that's a fantastic idea. The immersion blender sounds like a good idea--but the combo ideas below also sound good. Have you tried using the immersion blender to make sauce?

                1. re: pcaps

                  I don't make sauces with a blender, but I love my immersion blender for blending soups. And it does small jobs really well, too. So for example, I make (and you could make for your baby) five-minute applesauce: peel and core an apple and cut it in chunks; put it in a container with a little water and microwave for two-three minutes (until soft); blend with immersion blender. You'll find you use it more because it's easier to reach for, easier to clean, and you don't have to transfer hot liquids from the pot to the blender or food processor.

              2. I agree with the immersion blender. I find I tend to use it more than the blender, plus it is easier to clean. I also have no space for the blender in my small kitchen or any of its cupboards, so I store it in a cupboard in one of the spare rooms.

                1. I've had this little Back To Basics set for three years and love it:

                  http://www.amazon.com/Back-Basics-BPE...

                  I use it for smoothies, hummus, pesto, sauces, mustard, (cooked) squash and/or veggies for soups/purees, raw gazpachos, marinades/dressings, frozen drinks... you name it.

                  It looks underpowered next to my 20-year-old big blender, but the little one gets used several times a week and I haven't pulled the big one out for a couple of years. It's great for day-to-day use and has been quite sturdy. I wouldn't grind nut butters in it (those go in food processor).

                  1. I too use my immersion blender far more often than my countertop blender, which gets used only rarely now for chopped ice and/or bar drinks. I now consider the stick bender a must-have. Ditto for a cheap little mandoline that gets more use than the food processor. Yet I wasn't willing to give up the processor completely either.

                    If it's mostly just the two (or 2½) of you that you're cooking for, I'd definitely consider one of the blenders that comes with a smallish food processor attachment.

                    One caveat- especially with a baby coming, be sure you pay attention to to finding one that runs pretty quietly! My Oster blender/processor has been quite reliable but it's hideously noisy. I'm not talking vacuum cleaner loud here- that little monster is ear-ringing, circular saw loud. Even with a folded kitchen towel underneath it I can't use the thing late at night for the sake of my neighbors.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: eclecticsynergy

                      it never even occurred to me to be noise conscious--thanks!

                      1. re: pcaps

                        (hint, don't worry about the noise, babies get used to it. They also get used to quiet, and that can be worse. My kids sleep through anything. whew)

                    2. It is not clear from your post whether you have two devices, a blender and a food processor, or whether you have one device which functions as a blender and as a food processor, depending on attachments.

                      I agree with the people who have said that a stick blender would take much less space and solve most of your problems.

                      However, there is another possibility. Some of the stick blenders allow you to remove the blade part of the stick and then attach the the motor of the stick blender to a plastic container into which a blade or assortment of blades, can be inserted, creating a sort of impromptu food processor.

                      One of the instructors in a cooking class which I attend, likes this arrangement pretty well, much to my surprise. It takes a lot less space to store the stick blender and this attachment than to have a separate blender and food processor.

                      However, Consumer Reports has not thought well of these hybrid arrangements in the past, saying that they do not cut or process as well as machines solely dedicated to one function. Still, if space is at a premium and you don't use the processor or blender that much, a stick blender might be the way to go.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: gfr1111

                        If you're in the bay area, can you tell me the cooking class you're attending? i do have both a food processor and blender now, but either the immersion blender or the combo blender/processor sounds like the way to go.

                      2. I have used my blender much less since I got an immersion blender. Since most of my blender usage was to puree soups or quickly emulsify dressings the immersion blender has been perfect. It can not do the job for smoothies or slushier mixed drinks.

                        My food processor is infrequently used. But there are certain times when it is the only appliance which can do the job. If you already have it perhaps you can store it in another room and free up kitchen space.

                        For chopping large quantity of herbs I find a mezzaluna works well. A mandolin is very handy for quick, consistent slicing of vegetables and some fruits. A food processor is superior for pesto, tapenade and some doughs.

                        Much really just depends upon your cooking style and habits.

                        1. How about something like this?
                          http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_...

                          There are quite a few different versions made by different manufacturers so you might want to check out some reviews. I have a blender, food processor and an immersion blender, but I use the food processor the most. I use the food processor for making pie crust, chopping veggies and grating cheese. I pretty much only use the blender for making smoothies where I need something that can pulverize ice cubes. The immersion blender I use very rarely, generally for something like getting lumps out of gravy.It really depends on the kind of cooking you do.

                          1. I have a Ninja Master Prep Pro, which is something of a blender/food processor hybrid. http://www.target.com/p/ninja-master-...

                            I use it quite often, even though I also have a Vitamix blender and Cuisinart food processor.