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Food Processor vs. Blender

I know what a food processor can do that a blender cannot; what can a blender do that a food processor cannot? If I opted for a 14-c. food processor, could it handle smoothies without sloshing liquid out from between the lid and the canister? (Though I anticipate the results would be less smooth.) Or should I eventually buy replacements for BOTH these broken appliances?

What economical yet reliable food processors and/or blenders do you recommend?

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  1. I have a 30 year old Cuisinart that still works it's heart out (except for a slight leak) and do not want to invest $400 into a Vitamix as I don't think I need it. All I use my $20 blender for is to make smoothies in the morning but it needs to be replaced. I have often wondered the same thing you are asking. Do I need to spend more on a blender or should I just go to Target and see what's on sale for $20-30?

    1 Reply
    1. re: sandiasingh

      I don't make industrial smoothies (just frozen fruit, yogurt, milk, flax seed) and find my stick blender works just fine. Gave my blender away a while ago.

    2. I just took my blender off the kitchen counter to stash away in the cabinet; my Cuisinart processor can handle any food I throw in it. The blender, often lumpy and weird with solids; I did use to puree my tomatoes for sauce with it but now have a "wand" that is a lot less trouble to clean. The blender was great for tropical drinks, that was really the only thing it excelled at. And as the years pass, I make less and less of those. I would imagine the processor would do a fine job, although not as great a presentation as the stainless industrial Waring. I wouldn't buy another at this point.

      2 Replies
      1. re: coll

        Good to know, coll. I forgot about the stick blender. I do use it fairly often and it is awesome. I think when the time comes, I'll just pick up an inexpensive blender at Target.

        1. re: sandiasingh

          The trouble with the inexpensive ones ($30 vs $100) is they don't have enough torque to get the job done right. I went through two cheap ones before I realized that! Very happy with my Kitchenaid now.

      2. an appliance is only good for you if you use it... i use BOTH my high speed blender and my food processor. A food processor will not crush ice. a blender will make some jobs easier because it will do things faster, such as smoothies and pesto - but only a well designed blender! some blenders are just garbage, and can't even crush ice well. Go to america's test kitchen's youtube video about blenders - they have a couple of recommendations that are not that expensive and, while they are definitely not a vitamix, they did do a good job. (and if you can't trust ATK, who then???) If you need to make smoothies, you can do it in a food processor with frozen fruit, but ice will eventually wear the blades, or get stuck.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rmarisco

          We don't used crushed ice so that would not be an issue for us. I will check the ATK video. I find their product reviews pretty reliable. Thank you--good advice.

          1. re: sandiasingh

            also, having JUST gone into the kitchen to use my high speed blender, i remembered that you can't make frozen or heated items with a regular blender or food processor: it is great for raw vegan banana "ice cream", and also for heating soups if you are eating raw vegan and want raw but warm liquids.

            again, if you are not eating this way, your results may vary ;)) (and you'll be happy with a lower-end model!)

        2. I find most things can be done with a stick blender and food processor. Got a blender for our wedding because the saleswoman made me put something on the list. We walked around for hours trying to find something to add and we still have not take. It out of the box.

          1. A friend of mine swear by her NINJA. Personally I don't think that either are 100 percent interchangeable.

            1. We keep a blender for only two things (that the Cuisinart can't do): 1) Making mustard (seed is soaked overnight then blended for five minutes or longer until the mustard "makes"---in the C this never happens but the B makes the mustard turn creamy. 2) Making frozen fruit drinks of the alcoholic persuasion eg pina colada, strawberry daiquiri etc. In the B the drinks come out like snow, most welcome in August.