Food processor as blender substitute?

Bob_BDecember 10, 2011

Greetings and happy holidays to all!

Question: Can I use a food processor (a small one I use to grate cheese and make bread crumbs) as a substitute for a blender? I don't have a blender, and am wondering if a processor will grind things up just as finely.


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Nope.....but it really depends on what you are making. A FP works best on paste while a blender works best on things more liquid.
You really need both.....

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 4:30PM
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I want to grind dry chili peppers that have been soaked and softened and incorporate them with tomatoes, etc., into an enchilada sauce. My guess was that a food processor would work in this case.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 5:59PM
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I don't own a blender and use the fp for everything. It is difficult only when I have too small a volume to chop, like a couple of garlic cloves, when I might use my mini fp. I even use the fp for liquids like in a blender - you just have to be super careful to not overload it or it will pour out the top of the bowl when you start it. (the voice of experience here). I even use it to make blended cocktails with ice, which is not a recommended use, but just as long as I don't put too much liquid, it works great.

It will work perfectly for what you are intending. It chops ever bit as fine as a blender and is actually easier to control. With a blender sometimes the things at the bottom get whirled to a powder and the top stuff is barely chopped.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 6:18PM
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Since you have a small food processor, it should work better than a blender for what you are doing. Another option is to put the chilies through a food mill or strainer to remove the skins and any seeds that may have remained. I prefer this method because I like to get rid of the skins rather than puree them.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 6:49PM
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I make a hot pepper jam...preserves....whatever! LOL!
And it uses habaneras....and I want them very fine so no one gets a hot bite....just a uniform Ah-hui!
I find the hot pepper doesn't really get powder fine in the I shop some stuff in the cuisinart and puree the habs in the blender.
But I do think the FP will work fine in your case...

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 7:17PM
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Not knowing which FP you have, can't tell.

In general, it all depends on one factor, the differential speed between the blades and food particles.

A food processor operates at relatively low rotational speed (1,000 rpm, +-) to avoid pureeing the food. The shape of the FP container also tends to be round to avoid "turbulence" to facilitate slicing the food without chopping. The slow speed allows gearing down of the motor speed; therefore a low-powered motor can be used, as low as 150 watts.

A blender operates at very high speed (20,000 rpm +-); furthermore, the shape of the container tends to be not round to slow down the food particles to achieve higher differential speed between the blades and food particles. Because no gearing is used to gain mechanical advantage, and the blades are direct-coupled to the motor shaft, a much higher power motor is used, as high as 1,600 watts.

There are machines combinations designed to have abilities to do all three functions. Namely, mixer, blender, and FP

For what you need, you may want to look into a stick (hand) blender or a small coffee grinder.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 8:07AM
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DC....I don't know what kind of FP you have....I have never seen one with a "slow speed"....and A FP is designed to puree foods. A blender is designed to liquify.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 10:39AM
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First, I think you missed something. I stated that it is "relative". A FP is significantly slower in RPM relative to a blender.

A FP can use an induction motor, which is very slow for blending, a blender has to use a universal (AC/DC) motor to achieve high starting torque and high speed. A hand blender uses a DC motor with a permanent magnet to eliminate field windings to make the diameter small. A DC motor is also very high speed and high starting torque.

A slow induction motor in a FP can be geared up in speed to run attachments to achieve pureeing, and a universal motor speed can be slowed down using paulsed width modulation (PWM) electronics to do food processing.

My understanding is that the primary use of a FP is for slicing, shredding and chopping.
I use my blender for pureeing and liquifying. It also depends on what you mean by Puree. Mashed potato can be called puree. I can also use my hand mixer to make mash potato, but I will not call a hand mixer a puree machine.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 12:03PM
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Clearing away some of the non essential parameters such as how the motor is wound....
Generally speaking a food processor is designed to make small pieces out of big pieces ....either by grating, slicing or chopping. A blender requires some liquid to allow the food in the container to mix, but will eventually make smaller pieces than the food processor.
Your little food chopper will work fine for your sauce.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 2:46PM
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For those considering a new FP, the KA 13-Cup I purchased a few weeks ago does have a "Slow" speed. I've used it to make pumpkin/apple muffins as a trial, something I'd never do in my old FP because of over working the gluten. It worked great. It also has a lever on the front to adjust the thickness of slicing - no more changing discs. The lid has a silicon seal so no more leaking & the blade doesn't fall out either. Comes with a mini-work bowl. Nifty.

The mini-FP are handy gadgets. I think it will work fine for the OPs purpose.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 3:43PM
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DC :
I understand what you said in your first Thread.
I appreciate your technical, on hands knowledge and experience.

Can you or anyone else recommend a Model that I can get for my Daughter.

She makes Crab Cakes to sell.

Have bought her a couple things to make it easier for her but was thinking of a FP,
that will do Various Chopping chores.

She doesn't use fillers but chops Vegetables, like to the size of of a BB Pellet or Lentil and larger.

It does not have to be a large capacity FP.

I would like Make and Model number if possible and
a T and T experience.

I have seen some on Amazon, from $49 to $79 on Sale.

Here is one
Cuisinart DLC-4CHB Mini-Prep Plus 4-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel
Buy new: $90.00 $39.96

18 new from $39.96 1 used from $44.00

Get it by Tuesday, Dec 13 if you order in the next 24 hours and choose one-day shipping.
(164)Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.

Thanks, LOU

No Technical confrontations, please.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 4:18PM
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Posted by Lindac "Clearing away some of the non essential parameters such as how the motor is wound.... "

In other words, you agree with all what I have said regarding the capabilities of a FP vs. a blender.

I would like to add that I have also found a blender can do more than just blending liquid. A blender can work very well with dry foods. I grind coffee beans, make tomato powder, make bread crumbs, peanut butter, all kinds of seasonings, rice flour, wheat flour, confectioner sugar, powdered salt ----------------------.

Yes, thanks for reminding me, I do have this annoying habit of looking into non-essential information when it comes to appliance selection.

The most important component in a blender and FP is the motor.

An induction motor is a synchronous motor which means it is a constant speed motor and a line frequency dependent motor. When voltage drops, the speed will remain the same but power is reduced until the rotor stalls. Therefore, it is important to select a sophisticated electronic speed control if an appliance has an induction motor.

A universal motor's and a DC PM motor's speeds are voltage dependent, however if the speed control is achieve by means of reducing the voltage or by modifying the field coil windings, the torque (power) is also reduced. A speed control using PWM overcomes that.

An induction motor's life expectance is significantly longer than either a universal motor or a DC PM motor, unless the technology of brushless rotor is used.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 4:26PM
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Lou, Interesting FP the Cuisinart DLC-4CHB Mini-Prep.

My "non-essential" brain tells me right away that this FP probably has a universal motor. It is more difficult to make a reversible induction motor.

Being a universal motor operated FP, it probably operates at high speed. I would assume it blends better than chops. You will need a fine touch when chopping or you will be making smoothy instead.

Sounds like a good thing to buy.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 5:30PM
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Bob, as to your original question, I think the food processor will work just fine, I make marinades and sauces in mine regularly.

It's the big KitchenAid and it doesn't have a "slow" speed, just "off", "on" and "pulse". Works great, though, except when I'm trying to get uniform pieces and if I go one second too long my vegetables are pureed. I'm guessing that in your sauce, you don't care about either of those things.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 5:42PM
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dcarch, you're better than me, because I've tried the blender and the food processor and I've found that it's pretty much impossible to use either one to make a usable confectioner's sugar for frosting.

My blender is an old Osterizer, still going strong, and the food processor is a big KitchenAid, and either one will make granulated sugar into "super fine" or "bar sugar", but neither one make it into powdered sugar, no matter how long I process.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 9:11PM
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