If kitchens were equipped with unlimited counter space, we would have every appliance we could dream of -- from panini presses to yogurt makers. But the sad fact is that free counter space is lacking in more kitchens than not. So when it comes to kitchen appliances, we have to be choosy.
A good place to start is with two appliances that seem to do the same thing: the blender and the food processor. They both have quick-moving blades and lighten our work in the kitchen, but do you really need both? As similar as they seem, these two appliances perform rather specific jobs. Find out what they are below.
Blender: Pureeing Soups
Just like for smoothies and shakes, if you want a perfectly pureed soup the blender is the way to go. It'll blend soup to a velvety consistency that can't be achieved with the food processor.
Food Processor: Making Dough
Kneading pie crust and cookie dough is a job better suited for the food processor. The pulse option on food processors makes it easy to cut butter into flour when making pie crust as well as for quickly incorporating flour into cookie dough.
Blender: Chopping Ice
While a food processor can chop ice, a blender is better suited for it. The shape, size and thickness of a blender's blades are made for chopping such hard objects whereas the blade of a food processor will dull after too much contact with ice.
Food Processor: Chopping Nuts
The food processor is just the kitchen appliance for chopping ingredients like nuts. No more chasing pieces of almonds across the kitchen. When you chop your nuts in a food processor, it's done in one easy container.
Blender: Smoothies And Shakes
A blender is made for making smoothies and shakes. It's what it does best. Liquid ingredients are easily incorporated and smoothly pureed in a blender. While a food processor could get the job done, the results would be inferior.
Food Processor: Grating Cheese
Don't spend the extra money on pre-grated cheese. If you have a food processor with the right attachments, you can grate your own cheese in a less than a minute. The quality is far superior when cheese is freshly grated.
Blender: Salad Dressings
The blender's small and compact base makes it a perfect appliance for making homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes.
Food Processor: Chopping Vegetables
Make quick work of chopping your vegetables with a food processor. While a blender would make a mess of veggies (and try to puree them), a food processor -- with the appropriate attachment -- can chop them better than most home cooks can do with a kitchen knife.
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