Before trying to use your blender as a food processor, you must know what are the key differences between the two and what they could or couldn’t blend or process.
Understanding if a blender be used as a food processor depends upon the type of ingredients and the requirements of the end product from these two machines. In most cases, both of these machines will provide an almost similar end product.
By similar I mean the consistency and the texture of the blending and processing for those ingredients will be the same. While for some ingredients, the resulting products could be very different.
Food Processor Vs Blender?
As described by comparing blenders with food processors and juicers, we have clearly declared the functionalities of these two kitchen staples.
Blender smashes ingredients with blades rotating at very high speeds. The food processor either slice/chop with rotating sharper blades or simply mix stuff like making dough. More details on the comparison of these machines could be read in the article linked above.
What is the difference between a food processor and a blender?
A food processor has a large bowl with wide blades that are very sharp and intended to chop or slice.
The size of the bowl is larger than the countertop blender to spread the ingredients away from the blades to avoid the chopped or sliced ingredients to get back over the blades.
Food processors are ideal for shredding and cutting a large amount of raw food to speed up the cooking process.
A food processor cannot do the task of blending. You can juice in a food processor but you cannot make thick consistent smoothies.
Blenders on the other hand are made for emulsifying and tearing apart all the ingredients and mixing them very well. The container of a blender is typically longer with a smaller diameter.
The reason for that is to bring the ingredients back over the blades many times during the blending to achieve fine crushing and consistency with fine texture. You could never make a smooth and creamy smoothie in a food processor.
Can a blender work as a food processor?
Yes, a blender can work as a food processor in lots of tasks. These may include chopping, shredding and slicing. Not all blenders can do all of these tasks, but most of them do.
For example, You can replace Vitamix with a food processor in almost any processing task except slicing. This is because the Vitamix blender blades are not sharp(these are deliberately left a little dull to enhance emulsification and smooth blending).
Other blenders such as Ninja Kitchen System blender and food processor combo models have a food processor attachment. The food processor pitcher attachments can easily fit on the motor base of the Ninja blender.
Smaller blenders such as nutribullet or Nutri Ninja are not too good to be used as food processors.
Few immersion blenders have processor bowls where you can attach the motor part of the stick blender to use it for processing food.
Do I need a food processor if I have a blender?
It depends. If you regularly make food recipes which involve a large amount of chopping, mixing or slicing. You would be needing a food processor because a blender can not handle large amounts of food to process in its container. If you are going to grate or chop in Vitamix for example, you can only have a handful of veggies per batch. It will take time and effort to do multiple batches of food processing in a blender. So it will be better to have a food processor in that case.
You don’t need a food processor if most of your recipes need pastes, purees, dips and emulsified ingredients, or if you regularly make drinks and smoothies. A blender can cover all these along with small batches of most food processing tasks such as drop chopping or grating. So, if you only need to process food say once a month, it’s not advised to have two different machines. A blender can cover most of your kitchen tasks.
Can a Ninja blender be used as a food processor?
Ninja blenders are most suitable as food processors for 2 main reasons.
One, they are versatile. Most Ninja models such as Mega Kitchen and Kitchen System series have food processor pitchers along with regular blending containers.
Two, the blade assembly of most Ninja blenders have stacked blades. They are sharp and act just like food processors to slice and chop.
Regular Ninja blenders cannot knead well because they require plastic blade assemblies that come with food processing bowls.
Is it okay to use a blender instead of a food processor?
There is no harm in using a blender in place of a food processor. Blenders can do many tasks to overlap the functions of a food processor. Food processing is not a heavy duty task that could possibly damage a blender. The only thing you need to keep in mind is the nature of ingredients you put in a blender to process it. Not all blenders are really good to be used as food processors.
Can you use any blender as a food processor?
Not every blender is a good replacement for a food processor. Some blenders are good at one processing task. While others are intended to do another. Overall, you will have to make sure to add the right ingredients in the right blender to obtain desired results. If you want sliced product, Ninja blenders are good at it. If you want dicing and chopping, Vitamix are best for it.
Can a Vitamix blender be used as a food processor?
Yes, Vitamix are great alternative to food processors. Every Vitamix is good enough but if you get a fully loaded model with advance features and auto presets, you will never need a processor or grinder in your kitchen. The Vitamix will work as a food processor and as a grinder.
Can my Nutribullet be used as a food processor?
Not really, nutribullet personal blenders are not really good at processing food. The smaller size and blade design cannot handle dry ingredients for chopping or slicing. The large countertop models by nutribullet might be able to achieve some of the tasks, but the bullet blenders are not a replacement for food processors.
Can a hand blender be used as a food processor?
Hand blenders by itself cannot work as a food processor. However, if you have an immersion blender from good brand such as braun you will get a food processor attachment. It will have its own blade assembly and you will only need to attach the motor part of the hand blender to the processing bowl to turn a hand blender into a food processor.
Can you use a low-grade blender in place of a food processor?
Ninja blenders are cheaper and can be used as food processors. Low grade blenders should be avoided in anyway.
Can a food processor also be used as a blender?
The main function of a blender is to smash ingredients into smaller chunks and mix them to have a consistent, well mixed, smooth product. It could be smoothies where you mix a variety of ingredients to make a drink, it could be dips, pastes or soups which are thicker products with uniform texture.
A food processor cannot, unfortunately, achieve such emulsification, consistency and mixing.
The biggest reason for that being the design and the size of blades and container. The blades of a food processor are sharper than the blender which does not smash ingredients to tear them down to make them the smoothest. The large pitchers do not let the ingredients to get crushed and emulsified well, thus making it difficult to blend stuff well.
What can I use if I don’t have a food processor?
Don’t worry if you don’t have a food processor. There are alternative methods and machines to get the same products as a food processor. If you want chopped food, you can use a sharp knife and a cutting board. If you want to grate or shred cheese and veggies, you can use shredding box and do it manually. If you want to knead, you can use your hands. A blender can also be one of the best alternative to food processor.
Doing these tasks with other than a food processor can take extra time, but you can do it fine.
Can a blender be used as a food processor for any recipe?
Food processors are intended to do slicing, chopping, shredding, dicing and kneading. Know, if you want to perform these tasks in a blender, first you make sure the blender you have is capable of carrying out those functions in first place.
Can I use a blender instead of a food processor for Macarons?
Whipped egg is the primary component of Macarons recipe. And you can whip eggs easily in a blender. So yes, you can use a blender in place of a food processor to whip eggs for Macarons.
Can I use a blender instead of a food processor for the pastry?
You need to knead dough to make pastries or shortcrust. A blender, particularly a Vitamix blender can work best to knead pastry dough or pie dough. You don’t need a food processor any more for making delicious pastries at home.
Can you use a blender as a food processor for salsa?
Both Vitamix and Ninja blenders have proved to be the best machines beside food processors to make salsa recipe. Blenders make thick and consistent end product with every ingredient of the salsa recipe well mixed in creamy product.
Can you use a blender instead of a food processor for cauliflower?
Yes, blenders can chop cauliflower. The consistency of the cauliflower chopped in a blender could never match with that of a food processor, but it is acceptable. However, there are few better ways to use blenders to chop vegetables and get the perfectly processed end product with similar just as a food processor.
Is it possible to use a blender instead of a food processor for the dough?
A blender with large pitcher can knead dough. You will have some tough time doing it in blenders like Vitamix or Ninja because you need to constantly mix the non mixed flour and liquid.
You have to watch videos to use blender fo kneading dough to avoid hard dough or leaving the dough extra thin and liquidly.