Using Blender as Food Processor Safely: All You Need to Know
Have you been wondering whether you can use your blender as a food processor? The straight answer is “sometimes you can, depending on a few factors”. In some recipes, you can actually get better results by using a blender rather than a food processor.
We have drawn from our personal experience and a bit of research on what other people have to say concerning the matter.
This article is intended as the definitive piece on the subject, so we’ll do our best to be objective and practical. We hope this is useful to you!
Food Processors Are Just Blenders on Steroids
What’s so special about a food processor that sets it apart from a blender?
These modern gadgets feature replaceable accessories such as blades and disks that you can change to suit the task at hand. They also tend to include wider and shorter bowls which lend themselves better to holding chopped solids rather than blended liquids.
Here’s a relevant video that nicely compares and contrasts food processors and blenders.
The food processor was devised as an evolution of the ubiquitous blender; so naturally, it can do things the older gadget simply can’t… especially when it comes to slicing and dicing vegetables, rather than spinning them into a uniform paste.
In any case, with a little ingenuity, you can still use your blender as a makeshift food processor... as you're about to see.
How To Use A Blender as a Food Processor
To begin with, let’s overview the little things you should do if you want to succeed in processing food with a blender:
Work in small batches so you can better control how finely cut each ingredient gets
Experiment with the speed settings on your blender until you determine the ideal setting for each ingredient
It’s wise to work on ingredients separately, in order to achieve some measure of control concerning the desired consistency
To achieve a chopping effect, use the lowest setting and turn on the blender in quick bursts or use the pulse function if available
Watch the amount of liquid in the blender; you’ll usually need a little to give traction to the blades, but too much liquid will create a paste and defeat the purpose
Remember that not all blenders are the same; the sturdiness and shape of the blades, as well as the size and shape of the cup, will drastically impact the results you can achieve
Keep experimenting with different settings, recipes and blending times until you get the desired texture, consistency and perfect cut for each ingredient
Generally, you'll get best results in terms of flavor by blending raw ingredients, since cooked food will tend to form a uniform paste almost instantly
A Few Things You Need To Avoid
There are also some precautions to keep in mind, and some scenarios where substituting a food processor for a blender just won’t work right:
Don’t try to use your blender to make really thick heavy dough for pastries or bread, since that will likely produce poor results and might even damage your blender. (There are blenders that are capable of making dough.)
Don’t put all the ingredients in at once, unless you’re just trying to make a homogenous sauce or puree (also, read next section for a hint to help you do these right)
You’ll get better results if you roughly cut down vegetables in manageable chunks rather than throwing the whole thing into the blender
Avoid blending mushy ingredients that would be outright liquefied, such as tomatoes or other juicy fruits
Do not try to blend really hard items such as meats and fibrous vegetables, unless you’re confident your blender has the power to handle it
Be careful about blending hot ingredients that might splatter and burn you
Avoid filling your blender to the brim; choose instead to work in stages
Slicing is a function that comes easily to food processors, but it’s just not possible to achieve with a blender
Scenarios Where the Blender Can Actually Work Better than a Food Processor
Even though food processors are fashionable items with a price tag usually much higher than a blender, truth is that in some scenarios you will actually be best served by using a blender – even for recipes that might be marked as requiring a food processor.
Here are some typical examples:
Making pesto, hummus, sauces, gravy or similar foods that feature chunky bits over a homogeneous paste.
Creating deliciously consistent salad dressings or soups. You can also get some interesting results making ice cream and sorbet.
In foods like the above, you can get perfect results much faster by using a blender rather than a food processor.
Here’s a hint to achieve outstanding flavour. For each recipe decide which ingredients should be cut in larger pieces for texture, and chop these down to size first and set aside.
Blend the ingredients that will make the base of the recipe, until it’s really nice and smooth. Then just stir in the chopped ingredients with a spoon, and you’ll get a rich, creamy texture which clearly conveys the best of both worlds (food processing and blending).
So Whats Our Answer, Can You Use a Blender as a Food Processor? Yes, But Be Careful!
It might be sensible to point out that what you’ve read here is basically a life hack – meaning we can’t easily produce scientific evidence to substantiate our views.
What you’ve just read builds on real world experience of people who have been using their blenders as a food processor.
If you damage your blender or ruin your cooking when trying to implement this advice, we hold no liability. Be smart and careful, and everything should work out fine!