The question which always worries us is which is better, a food processor or a blender. Over the last few years the food processor has had a rival – a multi-functional blender which due to the different attachments can do the same things and takes less space in your kitchen. But when we talk about more serious help in the cooking process, the two devices aren’t equal. It’s like comparing a car with a trailer and a truck. That’s why we’ve taken three different food processors to find out the situations when we need extra help in our kitchen.
Any food processor has a motorized drive shaft which can work in different speed modes. Depending on the task different attachments can be fastened to it. There are two main types of the food processors: compact and multi-functional. The first type is cheaper than the second. But the second type has bigger potential. The first type is easy to store, while the second can replace several home appliances at once. We’ve examined three multi-functional food processors with a great number of “different skills”.
Electrolux EKM 4200: High Standards
Design. The thing is really beautiful. It’s attracts your attention. It’s solid, heavy and reliable. Such home appliances are often seen on TV cooking programs for a beautiful shot. To make the cooking process more convenient and, perhaps, more exciting, designers invented LED lightning which illuminates the bowl and lets you see what is happening with the pastry at the moment.
Potential. The basis of the home appliance is a planetary mixer which can whip, knead paste or mash potatoes. There are two bowls of different size and ten speed modes which help you to set the food processor due to your needs. In addition you’ll get a meat-mincing attachment and a multi slicer with four removable blades.
In Practice. At first sight the set of functions may seem strange. The mixer is combined with a mincing machine. But taking into account its big size and weight and its high price, you’ll think it should cut bread and extract juice too.
The first task for the EKM 4200 was to whip yolks and whites for a tiramisu. That time I needed only two eggs. Such amount of the ingredients was too small for the huge bowl and it seemed to me that the whisk didn’t even touch it. But the movements of the home appliance are so accurate that even the minimum of ingredients can’t stay untouched. Due to this fact you should always be attentive. As the bowl should be right on its place. Otherwise, when you turn it on, you’ll get, at the least, a lot of noise in the kitchen.
The meat-mincing attachment and a multi slicer are set in front of the home appliance, right on its top. Due to such a position the machine can throw pieces of meat and vegetables at high speeds. That’s why you’d better put a high bowls under the attachments and use at a medium speed. The multi slicer has four removable blades, which can replace both thick and fine grater, and two types of cutters for chopping. The food processor makes vegetable cutting rather well and helps you to prepare the necessary stuff for some soup or salad in no time.
But personally I was very interested in the meat mincing function. To tell you the truth, the high position of the attachment confused me a little. It seemed to me that I couldn’t push the meat through it because it could break down. That’s why I didn’t even try to push it, but the kitchen appliance managed to do it quickly without my help. The makers fixed a special plane blade there and, perhaps, due to it the meat was minced almost completely. In the set you’ll find two punch discs and you can make soft or coarse minced meat.
Kenwood MultiPro Classic FDM 781 BA: A Hot Thing
Design. At first sight the model looks very compact. Its basis is a square motorized unit with a round display for changing speed modes. On its top you can put either a high glass blender bowl (a heavy one) or a medium plastic bowl, into which different blades and attachments can be set. But if you put all the elements together, you definitely see that you need a single drawer or box to store it.
Potential. As the blender bowl is made not of a simple glass, but a heat-resistant one, you can make not only various kinds of cocktails, sauces and smoothies, but hot cream soups or anything else that is also hot and needs shaking as well. Medium plastic bowl serves for grating, cutting, chopping and mixing with the help of two whisks. The food processor can also knead paste and crumb hard foodstuff with the sharp knife.
In Practice. You feel at once that it’s a powerful and reliable thing. It works in a proper way, with a clear soft sound. It’s very convenient to put the two bowls into one place. It lets you save the space of your working place and take only those elements which you need right at the moment. For space saving grating and chopping discs are combined. If you set it on one side, it will grate, if you put it on the other side, it will chop or slice. By the way, the bowls are very capacious. The plastic one with removable blades can contain to3 liters of food and water.
The main thing which can worry the future owner is the heavy weight of the blender bowl. If you want to buy the model for your grandparents, you should take into account their physical abilities. Will it be easy for them to lift such a heavy bowl full of ingredients?
Vitek VT-1616 PR: Jack of All Trades
Design. The design is the weak side of the model. VT -1616 PR is made of grey plastic. Bowls are also plastic, but transparent. Designers tried to decorate it with a flower, but they failed to get rid of plainness. But they also saved the plainness in the interface and made it easy to use by marking all the elements with special signs.
Potential. Vitek VT-1610 is as plain as it’s functional. Due to the variety of different blades and attachments it seems to be able to do everything. It can grate, chop and cut vegetables, make smoothies and shake cocktails, mince meat, extract juice from citrus plants and other fruit, knead paste of different consistencies.
In Practice. I had to get used to this model. Firstly, you can’t understand at once in what situations and for what purposes you need to use all the blades and attachments. Secondly, the safe system of the home appliance is set in such a way that it won’t work until you take all the safety precautions. If you aren’t going to use the blender, you should shut the place where it’s put with a safety cover. Moreover, you should set all the covers and elements until they engage. So, if the food processor doesn’t work at the first try, don’t worry. Probably you’ve forgotten to shut something in a proper way. You’ll defiantly appreciate the makers’ foresight to create units for every blade and attachment. So, they don’t make a mess and you don’t cut your finger with them while looking for something in a drawer.
The home appliance helped me to cut vegetables for a stew, extract some juice and knead some paste. For the latter it’s said to use a special pulsating mode, but personally for me there was no need in it. The paste for pancakes was ready in four minutes. It was smooth and without lumps. To cut and chop vegetables is an easy task for the home appliance. As all the blades and attachments are rather sharp and there is nothing to complain about. Vitek VT-1610 can offer its customers 6 different attachments which can be stored right in the framework of the food processor.
In conclusion. The main difference between the food processor and a blender is the fact that the first one doesn’t demand your attention all the time. It can knead paste, puree something, whip eggs and lots of other things by itself. So, if you cook often and a lot, if you want to have your hands free and optimize the process, you’d better choose a food processor rather than a multi-functional blender. And choosing the very model, you should take into account the number of functions you want it to complete. For those who love pastry and minced meat Electrolux EKM 4200 will be ideal. Those who cook a lot will be glad to get Kenwood MultiProClassic FDM 781 BA. And the perfect variant for the usual family which needs to complete lots of different tasks in the kitchen is Vitek VT-1616 PR.
The Comparison Table of Characteristics for the Given Home Appliances
|The name of the model||The price||The capacity||The number of speed modes||The number of functions||Peculiarities|
|Vitek VT-1616 PR||101$||750 W||10+ Pulse mode||grating;
slicing French fries
-A section for storing attachments
|Kenwood MultiPro Classic FDM 781 BA||253$||1000 W||8||blenderp;
|-A bowl made of heat-resistant glass
– 3 liter volume of the main bowl
|– all-metal structure
– LED lightning
– a special plane blade in the mincing machine