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Jul 30, 2013 03:32 PM

When to use a blender and when to use a food processor

I guess I never considered that there was much of a difference between using a food processor for chopping/pureeing and using a blender. My blender is stowed in back of a high-up cabinet and rarely used, and my food processor is my go-to workhorse. But the other day I was watching a food show on TV -- I think it might have been Masterchef -- where one of the judges commented that something on one of the plates should have been run through a blender. So my question is, what is the distinction between these kitchen appliances, and what are examples where one would produce a better result than the other? In fact, let's add the immersion blender to this question, too. I use the immersion blender for convenient pureeing, but aren't the blender and FP good at pureeing as well?

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  1. My blender makes a much more velvety puree than does the FP so I use the belnder for soups/sauces that I want to be absolutely smooth.
    On the other hand, I cannot imagine trying to make bread dough in the blender.

    I use the FP as a workhorse also. It grates large amounts of cheese, whirls my pasta dough and does a great job of overall kitchen scut work.

    When I am at the stove and making a hearty potage or country-style soup, I will use the imersion blender for an instant rough chop that does not dirty an additional item.
    Edit: I forgot to add - I make small amounts of fresh mayonnaise with the stick blender; a one egg batch.

    In terms of smoothness, I will put the blender at the top of the list, followed by the FP with my imersion blender in third place.
    NB: this is a highly subjective list. I do not stand for a long time with the stick blender, rather give it a pretty quick whirl.

    I also like a food mill, especially when I am pureeing a sauce made with whole tomatoes and/or bell peppers. It keeps the skins & seeds separate from the puree.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sherri

      Agree with this... Plus
      Smoothies with ice need a blender
      Chopping onions or other veggies need a FP (although a knife is my choice)
      And last... Quantity. I will make a small batch of something like hummus with my immersion blender, but get the FP out if making a big batch for a party.