Since a lot of people make the grave mistake of confusing kitchen appliances like juicers, blenders, mixers and food processors to be the same device, we have taken it upon ourselves to tell you about the difference between food processor and mixer in this article.
We all know how kitchen appliances have become an irreplaceable part of our kitchen.
The advancement of science and technology has allowed us to witness the efficiency and versatility of these kitchen appliances.
With food processors and mixers being two of the most commonly used kitchen appliances, we thought it is important to know the purpose and differences between these kitchen appliances; so that if you are planning on buying one, you can make the right choice according to your needs.
If you are determined to finally overcome this common confusion, you are also welcome to read our other articles on kitchen appliances, including the one on the difference between blender and juicer, the difference between masticating and centrifugal juicers and more.
What is a Food Processor?
A food processor is one of the most used kitchen appliances in recent years.
It is a multipurpose kitchen tool that comes with a wide range of interchangeable blades and discs.
Because of these additional attachments, a food processor can easily be used for various purposes instead of manually preparing the food.
It has four basic components: a set of attachments that will include a variety of blades and other accessories, a powerful motor, a lid and a bowl.
The motor of a food processor is its heaviest part and thus, helps to give it stability.
But it also takes up a huge amount of power while running, about 1200-1300 watts; which makes food processors costly in general.
The lid comes with a feed tube that is attached to a plunger.
The bowl is usually made of transparent and durable plastic. It will also vary in size depending on the model of the food processor.
For example, the full-sized bowls have a capacity of retaining up to 9-13 cups. Whereas the compact-sized bowls have a capacity for 5 to 7.
You will find different types of food processors in the market. These appliances vary only slightly based on their use.
The most common ones are as follows:
Mini food processor: This food processor is the cheapest kind in the market.
Due to its compact size, it can be placed and/or carried anywhere easily.
It comes with a small bowl and thus, you can only process a small amount of food at a time.
This food processor has versatility and can be used to chop, mix, paste, slice, powder and grind food ingredients quickly.
This type of food processor is great for couples or small families.
Full-sized food processor: This processor has a large capacity of 7 to 20 cups and comes with various attachments and accessories including a larger variety of blades and discs.
The full-sized food processor is capable of handling any type of food preparation task and includes discs for slicing, shredding, and grating different fruits and vegetables.
It also includes a different blade for chopping, mixing, mincing and pureeing different ingredients.
This line of food processors are relatively expensive and will vary depending on the accompanying attachments and accessories.
With a budget of around $100, you will be able to purchase this food processor.
If you can afford the more expensive models, you will even get a dough hook along with the other attachments.
All-in-one food processor: The all-in-one food processor is the most convenient food processor you will find in the market.
This type of processor is mostly electrically operated and is equipped to handle any kind of food preparation tasks.
This is the most expensive food processor in the market but is also the most efficient.
Read Also: Difference Between a Blender & Juicer
Purpose of a Food Processor
The purpose of a food processor is many.
It is ideal for chopping, mincing, shredding, slicing, and grating various food ingredients as long as they are dry.
Thus, it is not suitable for making smoothies, shakes, juices or other food that include liquid ingredients.
If you want to juice your fruits and vegetables, a food processor is not the appliance for you.
A food processor can even be used for baking as it can also knead the dough.
Besides, this appliance can be used for blending hummus, emulsifying different kinds of dressings, making baby food, salsa, pie crust, purees, etc.
It helps to sufficiently reduce your need for manual labor in the kitchen by efficiently doing the work for you.
A food processor is capable of handling labor-intensive tasks, which makes this appliance a little pricey.
What is a Mixer?
A mixer is used to mix different food ingredients thoroughly to turn them into smooth pastes; and thus, the naming.
A mixer uses less power, about 1000 watts and also takes up a very limited space in your kitchen, making its portability easy.
It is also an affordable option and can be used with different kinds of food ingredients, both dry and liquid.
A mixer usually lacks the accessories a food processor comes with. But if you can invest in a better model, like the bench top mixer, you will get some of the extra attachments.
There are different types of mixers, each with a unique function and build.
The most commonly used mixers are as follows:
Hand mixer: An affordable and portable option that can be used for whipping batters, meringue, pudding and other thin mixtures.
If you have a busy schedule and need fast results, this mixer can be a good choice for you.
Stand mixer: This mixer is more powerful than a hand mixer.
It has an attached dough hook that can be used to knead the dough.
It also comes with a wire whisk and a flat beater that work great for whipping cream, egg whites and mixing batters respectively.
Spiral mixer: The efficiency of this mixer makes it one of the most popular choices among cooks.
This mixer comes with a spiral-shaped blade that rotates powerful enough to mix dough of different concentrations quickly and seamlessly.
Purpose of a Mixer
Unlike a food processor, a mixer is capable of working with both wet and dry ingredients.
So you can easily use a mixer to make delicious smoothies and juices out of your fruits and vegetables.
Besides juicing, a mixer can also grind and is suitable for making batters, chutneys and grinding spices into a fine powder.
One drawback of a mixer is that it does not come with changeable blades like a food processor.
So, it has a limited field of use and cannot be used for chopping and/or slicing fruits and vegetables, making salsa, baby food, etc.
But a mixer is a great appliance for beginners or irregular cooks.
It is also very cheap and uses less power than a food processor.
A mixer has the most use in baking. It can be used for everything starting from kneading the dough to whisking the egg whites and/or cream, mixing batters etc.
Difference between Food Processor and Mixer
Now that you have a general idea about what a food processor and mixer are, and the purposes they serve, it is finally time to break free from the confusion of where the difference between these two appliances lies.
Below is a chart showing the difference between food processors and mixers, based on their features.
Not ideal for the liquid type of ingredients
Suitable for both dry and wet ingredients
Uses more power (more electricity bill)
Uses less power
Can be used for various purposes such as shedding, chopping, grating, etc.
Not very versatile.
Suitable for only juicing and grinding
Requires more space
Requires less space
Less costly than a food processor
Difficult to clean and maintain with multiple parts
Quick and easy to use and clean
Services / attachments
Which one is better: Food Processor vs. Mixer
Like almost every other kitchen appliance, this too is an unsettled debate.
And at the end of the day, choosing an appliance will depend on the consumer’s needs.
Both food processors and mixers have a variety of uses and can be great additions to your kitchen.
If you are a baking enthusiast, we would recommend getting a mixer as it works best in grinding different dry and wet ingredients together.
Getting a mixer will also be the more affordable option if you have a limited budget.
It will take up only a little space in your kitchen and even use less power to save you from a hefty electricity bill.
Although a mixer is not very versatile and can be used for only specific purposes, it is still an ideal kitchen appliance you can invest in.
Food processor, on the other hand, is designed to cater to several manual food preparation tasks, such as blending, chopping, grinding etc. and therefore, can be used to prepare different kinds of food.
But while buying a food processor gives you more room to play around with your food, it will also take up significant space in your kitchen as it has various parts.
This appliance also uses more electricity and is difficult to use and clean.
So as both mixer and food processor will have their pros and cons, it is up to you to decide which one you want.
Depending on what purpose you want the kitchen appliance to serve, you should spend your money accordingly.
Read Also: How to Extract Onion Juice
Whether you go for a food processor or a mixer, it is necessary to keep in mind that these appliances have different purposes.
Although they have quite a few similarities, a food processor and mixer vary greatly in terms of their functionality, use, structure, power usage, etc.
Different factors such as the customer’s budget, need, accommodation area, availability, etc. also play significant roles in the process of purchasing an appliance.
So as per your requirement, buying either one of the appliances (or both) from a renowned brand is recommended to ensure a good quality appliance.
Make sure to go through our article and the features of each of the devices before you settle for one.