You could be wondering, can you use a food processor as a blender?
When you come across a new blender-friendly recipe that you have to try but only have a food processor on-hand, it can be tempting to try to use one appliance in place of the other.
There are specific applications where blenders and food processors are interchangeable, but they have several differences.
In this guide, we’ll discuss whether you can use a food processor in place of a blender, as well as some great tips and tricks for substituting appliances.
How Do Blenders Work?
The first step to figuring out whether you can use a food processor instead of a blender is to understand how mixers work.
When they are powered on, blenders and their blades create a vortex within the ingredients that pulls the more cumbersome items down to the bottom so that they can be pureed or liquefied.
By doing so, all of the items can be entirely broken down into the ideal texture and blended among the other ingredients.
This process has proven to be the most efficient for making soups, smoothies, and even weekend margaritas since most blenders can work with any material.
Some of the high powered blenders on the market can even break down electronics, such as iPhones, so you can guarantee they’ll be incredibly useful for liquefying your ingredients.
How Do Food Processors Work?
Even though you might assume that the two appliances are similar in the sense that they have high-speed blades, they work quite differently from one another.
Food processors, in comparison to blenders, have blades at varying heights, which allows the device to chop up large ingredients into smaller pieces.
Instead of creating a vortex, the bowl of the food processor is wide and flat, allowing the design to work with various types of materials with ease.
With all of that said, food processors seemingly work best with dry or semi-wet materials compared to liquids.
Can You Use a Food Processor as a Blender?
Substituting a blender for a food processor is all dependent on the meal you’re trying to create.
For example, you can create fantastic dips, such as salsa, and often soups with a food processor as long as you have a high powered device.
1. Buy the Right Food Processor
The first step is to make sure you have a food processor that can handle the same jobs that your blender can manage.
Since there are advancements in technology every year, you can guarantee these appliances are far more useful than they have ever been.
You can find food processors with an incredible array of settings that allow you to chop, dice, knead, and puree an assortment of ingredients.
However, the more power your food processor has, the more expensive it is likely to be, but it can be well worth the investment if it saves you from having to buy a blender, as well.
A few of the essential features to look for include:
The wattage of your food processor will be the number one feature to determine how powerful it is.
Some of the low to mid-range blenders on the market have wattages ranging from 700 to 800, while the high-powered models are typically 1000 watts or higher.
You can easily find food processors with 700+ watts, which should allow you to work through a multitude of ingredients.
When dealing with different ingredients, you’ll need the appropriate accessories for the job, for example, you wouldn’t try to knead the dough with a cutting attachment.
If you have to puree ingredients or attempt to liquefy them, you want incredibly sharp cutting blades that can dice the elements into their smallest possible shape.
Otherwise, you’ll never be able to get the pieces small enough to where they will begin to blend.
Large Work Bowl
You’ll likely have to continually add an emulsifier, such as milk or water, to your mixture to get it to the same consistency you could achieve with a blender.
This process shows that you would need a relatively large work bowl to ensure that there isn’t any likelihood of overflow so that your kitchen can be kept as clean as possible.
It can be a great idea to opt for a work bowl that can hold more than 10 cups of ingredients so that you can have an easier time adding as much liquid as necessary.
Most food processors are available with two main settings: off-and-on and pulse.
When you select “On,” the processor will chop or blend continuously until you turn it off, and with “Pulse,” it sends a short burst to cut ingredients in a matter of seconds quickly.
If you are trying to achieve a similar texture to what your blender can make, though, you would want a couple of other settings, as well.
If you can find a food processor with a “Puree” setting, you’ll have a far easier time reducing your ingredients to a liquid consistency.
Also, it’s a good idea to opt for a model with variable speed control since you can decide on how fast you want the blades to move to work through the ingredients in the bowl.
With most items, you’ll be able to choose a high speed to help achieve the perfect consistency for a soup or a beverage.
2. Use the Juicer Attachment
Did you know that plenty of food processors have a specialized attachment referred to as a “juicer?”
Juicers are a fantastic addition to help make the appliance more similar to a blender, as it will allow you to extract liquids from an assortment of fruits and vegetables with minimal effort.
Instead of attempting to blend whole ingredients into a softer texture, you can simply extract the juice and use it for your recipes.
One of the most considerable advantages to using this attachment is that it takes all of the work out of creating soups and beverages.
With just the juicing attachment alone, you’ll be more likely to use your food processor similarly to how you would use your blender.
3. Add Softening Ingredients
When it comes to creating dishes, you might have to take a couple of extra steps to make a specific appliance work like another.
If you want to make specific liquids for a dish that would require a blender, soaking and softening them beforehand can help your food processor turn them into a liquid form.
For example, making cashew milk can be done in a food processor as long as you take the time to pre-soak the nuts.
This point is also valid when it comes to using butter, as soft butter or melted butter will combine more effortlessly in a food processor if it isn’t incredibly solid.
To help make your food processor operate more like a blender, consider boiling or soaking your ingredients so that they are far easier to puree.
4. Add Plenty of Fluid
Using emulsifiers or adding a lot of fluid to your ingredients while they are in your food processor will increase your chances of being able to blend everything perfectly.
Even though blenders help items obtain the perfect liquid texture, if you add milk, water, or oil, to softened ingredients, they are likely to turn into a liquid, as well, when combined in a food processor.
Many home cooks find this to be the most natural step when making soups, as you have full control over the consistency of the ingredients since you can add more or less fluid as necessary.
However, you’ll want to take special care not to overfill your food processor with fluid, as they aren’t sealed as well as blenders are.
5. Sharpen the Blades
The sharper the blades of your food processor are, the easier it will be for the appliance to work through the ingredients to a more liquid-like texture.
Sharpening your food processor blades is something to do regularly over your years of owning one, regardless of what you intend on using it for.
Otherwise, the appliance will be using too much power for lackluster results, leading to poorly chopped and diced ingredients.
6. Defrost Frozen Ingredients
Even though it’s tempting to put frozen ingredients in your food processor to be blended, the slower speed of the blades will simply chop the ingredients instead of pulverizing them.
It’s always a good idea to defrost any frozen fruits, vegetables, or meats, to have a better chance of turning them into liquid.
Remember, the softer the materials are, the more likely they will be to turn into a liquid-like texture.
The Benefits of a Blender
It could be possible to achieve a similar consistency with your food processor as you would with your blender, but for many recipes, you could be better off buying both appliances.
You’ll want to consider the benefits of a blender to see just how useful they can be when it comes to making meals with smooth consistencies.
1. Effortless Blending
The sole purpose of a blender is to pulverize things so that they are smooth, which means it will take far less time than if you were to try to use a food processor.
Substituting a blender for a food processor requires a lot of patience, and you’ll have to watch over your mixture to make sure it’s achieving the perfect texture.
Whereas with a blender, you can choose the appropriate settings and let the appliance do all of the work for you, allowing you to multitask in the kitchen.
Not to mention everything will be done faster, helping you to make your morning smoothies or afternoon soups with far less effort.
2. Different Types
You’ll find you’ll have more control with blenders since there are different types to choose from, including stand blenders and hand blenders.
If you want to add your ingredients to a device and let it do the work for you, you’ll appreciate stand blenders.
Whereas if you prefer to have a more hands-on approach to making beverages and soups, you might prefer a hand blender that you have to hold manually.
With this type of versatility, you have far more control over the consistency of your meals so you can make the most out of your time.
3. High-Powered Blenders
With the new availability of high-powered blenders, you have the option to make combining ingredients even more convenient.
These appliances are specifically designed to pulverize incredibly hearty ingredients with far less effort, such as making cashew milk without ever having to soak the cashews beforehand.
Not only do they make blending more accessible, but they also make mixing ten times easier than if you were to use a food processor.
Our recommendation would be to invest in a high-quality blender so that you can get the most out of your recipes instead of trying to use a food processor instead.
4. Better Versatility
As the owner of a blender, you’ll find it’s far more versatile than a food processor, especially since it can do all of the tasks of a processor as well as a blender.
Most homeowners will find it easier to have a blender instead, as it can chop, puree, and dice an assortment of ingredients.
With its heightened versatility, you’ll get the most out of your time and effort so that you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with family.
5. Liquid Resistance
The primary objective of any blender is to work with liquids, which means all of the parts will be highly resistant and protected against fluids.
Food processors, on the other hand, aren’t as protected; for example, their lids aren’t sealed as efficiently as blenders are.
To help prevent making a mess in the kitchen, you’ll surely prefer the design of a blender, especially when it comes to making juices and smoothies.
Can you use a food processor as a blender?
Yes, in certain situations, you can easily substitute one appliance for the other, especially if you take the time to prepare your ingredients accurately.
By ensuring items aren’t frozen and are as soft as possible to be pureed and combined, you have a higher likelihood of successfully pulverizing with your food processor.