We are big on morning smoothies here, so we regularly use blenders. Similarly, lots of families love to bake, and so they use mixers a lot. Both of these machines seem to do similar tasks, but are they the same thing? In this Blender vs. Mixer review, you’ll learn that these two machines are certainly not the same, and a food processor is another breed! The core mission of this article is to define each one and what they do.
By the end of the review, we’ll awaken you to the subtle yet defining differences of these appliances, and you’ll be able to get the best out of them in your daily kitchen tasks.
What is a Blender?
A blender is a kitchen appliance that primarily turns solid foods into liquids using rotating electronic blades that spin rapidly. This process occurs in an airtight container (usually made of glass) and happens almost instantaneously. Blenders are used for making smoothies and thick juices, and they perform best for liquid-based drinks and recipes.
See our favorite blender, aka the best blendtec blender here.
What is a Mixer?
Contrastingly, a mixer is an appliance that combines ingredients without breaking them down. They are typically used to make bases such as bread or cookie dough, where you don’t want the components to be broken down.
Another classic mixer example is mixing cake batters and beating eggs. These tasks require a more delicate touch that a blender cannot achieve.
How are they different?
Both blenders and mixers are designed for food preparation and tackle both liquid and solid food items. Blenders turn solids into liquids for consumption via drinking. For example, you can use them to turn fruits and vegetables into delicious smoothies or dairy-based drinks. Often, these incorporate ice cubes in the process.
At face value, you can see that mixers are not designed for the same ingredient-crushing tasks as the blender. Instead, the rotating whisks or dough hook on the mixer are designed for preparing smooth and delicate ingredients. These include pizza dough, whipped cream, and cake batter.
Essentially, the foods in a mixer retain a more solid structure. Compared to when blended, making it easier for them to be baked in the oven upon completion.
How are they similar?
Blenders and mixers can be used for some of the same tasks, such as making ice cream. This is because foods like ice cream are bound to be frozen afterward, meaning it won’t matter to what extent the ingredients are broken down by the blender or mixed up with the mixer.
Another task that both the blender and mixer can accomplish is shredding chicken. This is primarily because of the softer texture it brings with it. On that note, you can use both kitchen appliances to make homemade mayonnaise or churn butter.
Ultimately, as long as the ingredients are soft enough and the end result is not completely liquid, then the mixer can work just as well as the blender.
What’s better about a Blender?
A countertop blender is far better for making soup, smoothies, and fruit juice. The nature of the device is to provide drinks or liquid-based foods for consumption. The sharp blades of a blender cut down the solid foods into a liquid state.
As such, blenders are much better for breaking down tough foods such as fruits and vegetables and turning them into an edible solution for those who cannot chew or are on a smoothie-based diet.
What’s better about a Mixer?
Mixers are best if you wish to blend foods delicately, retaining their core structure. A good example is kneading dough for cookies. Since cookies often come with chocolate chips or fruit pieces inside.
The mixer ensures not to break these ingredients down but simply absorbs them into the dough, making it ideal for baking upon completion.
Who should get a Blender and why?
A blender would suit anyone who plans to make milkshakes, smoothies, or fruit juice. The powerful motors and razor-sharp blades break down food to a micro level for immediate consumption. Blenders are also great for blending soups, baby food, or to crush ice. In addition, their power makes them ideal for turning solid foods into liquid beverages.
Who should get a Mixer and why?
A mixer is best for those who enjoy baking goods such as pizza, cake, or cookies. The smooth whisks and steady rotational speed make them ideal for kneading dough. The mixer is also for you if you want to make solid foods like mashed potatoes.
Perhaps the winner has been spoiled, but a blender has a far greater blending power than a mixer. They are, well, blenders! The primary function of these appliances is to blend ingredients. They become a single mixture.
While a mixer has some blending power, the rotation rate is slower. As such, mixers are not ideal for breaking down tough ingredients like fruits and vegetables. They are better for dealing with flour, eggs, and soft chicken or potatoes. As such, the blender is the clear winner regarding blending power.
The blender may break down tougher ingredients, but the mixer can produce a greater variety of foods that can either be eaten straight away or baked as per a specific recipe. Ultimately, blenders are designed to create drinks or liquid-based foods for immediate consumption. Mixers are used more to make bases as part of different cooking and baking processes.
From preparing pizza dough to pastries and whipping eggs or making egg whites, the possibilities are almost endless when you use a mixer. Contrastingly, blenders are restricted to smoothies, juices, and soups.
There are a few exceptions like shredding chicken, though you may get results that are too fine for your intended purpose. Thus, the mixer is the clear winner when it comes to being the more versatile of the kitchen appliances.
Ease of use
Naturally, the more versatile the appliance is, the more often you need to modify it for different tasks. For instance, the mixer requires different dough hooks and whisks based on whether you are beating eggs or kneading dough. Contrastingly, the blender simply uses its classic, razor-sharp blades.
These rotate at rapid speeds to break down anything that stands in its way, making it a simpler device.
When to use a blender
Essentially, you should only use a blender if you intend to break down your ingredients to a micro level. This means smoothies and juices are on the menu for blenders.
You wouldn’t want to use a blender for chicken and sweet corn soup as this could compromise the ingredients and texture, but the blender works perfectly for a tomato-based soup or purely vegetable soup (1).
In addition to these exclusive uses, the blender can achieve some of the mixer’s tasks. For example, you can shred chicken with a blender or even churn butter, as these tasks do not require a delicate touch. Basically, you can use a blender whenever the primary aim is to break down or shred your ingredients, and the best results come for liquid-based recipes.
When to use a mixer
The mixer is the best option for preparing oven-baked goods. This includes tasks like kneading dough and beating eggs, the primary tasks of any cake, cookie, or pizza recipe. However, you would not want to use a mixer for breaking down fruits and vegetables. The result would be a “separated finish” that doesn’t truly combine the ingredients.
The mixer can, however, perform the same job as the blender in some instances. In addition to dough and eggs, other foods such as mashed potatoes and baby food can also be made with a kitchen mixer.
The main difference between the mixer and blender is that one combines ingredients harmoniously while the other breaks them down and combines them aggressively, resulting in a single substance.
What to know about buying a blender
There are many different blenders on the market, and you must know what each one does before purchasing. For instance, the hand blender (also called a stick blender) is designed to give you more control over how you blend your ingredients.
These are typically cheaper than the typical in-built blenders. Although, they are a little more difficult to use and may cause more of a mess without a secure lid attached.
If you are looking for a blender that can do more mixer-related tasks, then definitely consider the hand blenders. This type of device, also called an immersion blender, lets you control how much your items are broken down and combined. While they can’t be used for kneading dough, they can be used for whipped cream and delicate purees.
What to know about buying a mixer
There’s a range of hand mixer options. Like the stick blenders, they offer more control over kneading. The stand mixer can stand on your kitchen countertop. You can typically let them run while you go to do other tasks.
These hand mixers are available in various price ranges, giving you abundant options with or without bonus accessories.
Generally speaking, there is not much price difference between blenders and mixers, as both can be found at all kinds of price points. The critical thing to remember is whether they feature your desired perks and functionalities to fulfill your needs. For instance, you should check if your mixer comes with the various whisks and dough hooks you are after.
Blender vs Mixer FAQ
Can I use a blender instead of a mixer?
In some instances, you can use a blender instead of a mixer, though the options you have in this regard are strictly limited. Some common tasks between blenders and mixers include churning butter, shredding chicken, and making ice cream.
Is hand blender and mixer same?
Blenders are intended for making smoothies and fruit juices, while mixers are designed for kneading dough and whipping eggs for baking. A hand blender is designed for breaking down solid foods into liquid. A mixer is made for combining ingredients without breaking down their core structure.
(1) – https://ifood.tv/soup/corn-soup/about