The Difference Between Blenders And Food Processors, According To Bobby Flay

When it comes to countertop kitchen appliances, a blender and a food processor are two of the most popular found in your average household — and both have a wide variety of uses. Take a blender, for starters. While most commonly used for smoothies and drinks (frozen margaritas, anyone?), a blender is also great for making sauces, salad dressing, homemade nut butter, and even flour (via Jessica Gavin). Then there's a food processor. It's a game-changer for dicing, mincing, and pureeing anything from onions to garlic. 

Both blenders and food processors serve similar functions — so it makes sense that you might wonder if you can use them interchangeably. After all, they look somewhat alike and they both have blades for chopping and blending, right? It seems like the answer would be yes, but according to Bobby Flay, it's actually "it depends." During an episode of the father-daughter podcast "Always Hungry with Bobby Flay and Sophie Flay," the Food Network star explained what he considers the key difference between a food processor and a blender. It's a distinction some people may have never known.

The appliances don't exactly work the same

If you asked Bobby Flay if a blender and food processor are more similar than they are different, he would tell you absolutely not. At least, that's what Flay told his daughter, Sophie, who asked a similar question in an episode of "Always Hungry with Bobby Flay and Sophie Flay." "Just think about it for a second," the celebrity chef said. "A blender is incredibly powerful from the bottom up. And a food processor will actually cut and mix things in a circle. It does things very differently." He went on to explain that sometimes a blender just has too much power for the task at hand.

Bon Appétit says that because a blender doesn't have the sharpest blades, it's best used for something that "needs to be silky smooth and uniformly puréed." On the other hand, a food processor is ideal for dishes that are chunkier, like pesto or chopped nuts. It's not recommended to use your food processor for anything that has a lot of liquid — experts warn it will seep out the sides and cause quite the mess.