Eventually forks, knives, the backs of spoons, and the mortar and pestle don’t cut it like a food processor or Vitamix can. When I lived in a small town in West Africa, my giant wooden mortar and pestle and I whipped out the finest fish nuggets, salsas, and sauce bases. I missed smoothies though, and I’ve decided the luxurious food processor or Vitamix is probably my first grab if my house was burning — Vitamix over food processor, if I had one. Here’s why:
Can a Vitamix replace a food processor?
A Vitamix can replace a food processor to make dough, nut butters, and chop vegetables, and if you’ve added the Vitamix food processor attachment, the Vitamix can also be used for slicing vegetables, chopping most fruits, or to grate/shred cheese like a food processor can.
The Vitamix blender and food processor are two different kitchen appliance glories that can make cooking easier and save you money (making food at home instead of dining out nearly always saves).
Here are the best uses for food processors and Vitamixes, their overlaps, and which cooking tasks either the Vitamix or food processor doesn’t work well for:
Best uses for a Vitamix blender
The Vitamix is a dial-controlled high-speed blender, best used to make hot, cold, and frozen soup or smoothie-consistency foods, and to combine doughs.
Some common Vitamix uses touted by Vitamix owners include:
- Cream soup
- Baby food
- Frozen desserts (my addiction one-ingredient banana ice cream)
- Cookie dough
- Bread dough, pizza dough
- Salad dressings
- Nut butter
- Ground coffee beans
The Vitamix’s super high blade speed is the answer to this machine’s silky-smooth products, taking blender functioning to the next level by powering through thick, hot, and dry just fine.
Best uses for a food processor
Since food processors don’t focus on blade speed, they’re best for slicing and chopping, grating or shredding, and combining or mixing dry and wet ingredients without blending them super-smooth. The best uses for a food processor include:
- Combine dry flour-like ingredients together
- Mix dough
- Chop vegetables and fruit
- Grate cheese
- Shredding vegetables
Food processor blades are super sharp and the machine can be controlled finely to make clean slices (use the slicing disc attachment) and chopped foods.
Vitamix vs food processor
The Vitamix is more durable and versatile than the food processor, and unless you have the extra Vitamix food processor attachment, food processors do a better job at slicing, chopping, and shredding.
Cleaning a Vitamix
The Vitamix is easier to clean and pour ingredients from, compared to a food processor.
Some find pouring mixtures from the Vitamix easier than from a food processor because the blade in the Vitamix stays put, whereas the food processor blade removes easily when the vase is inverted.
Cleaning the Vitamix is best done by partially filling the vase with water and soap, and setting to blend.
A food processor is often cleaned by hand, with blades removed. The food processor’s short vase helps your sleeves stay clean when reaching in to scrub.
Vitamix blenders last a long time, since they are made for commercial use. Food processors tend to be less durable since they are made from cheaper parts, intended for less-frequent use by consumers.
Uses for food processors and Vitamixes
While there are always new food processor machines and attachments on the market, pull out any blender or food processor that’s under your kitchen counter and use it to make some cooking steps faster and easier. Both food processors and Vitamixes can be used to simplify and improve cooking:
Combine dry ingredients
Use a food processor or Vitamix to combine flour-like ingredients. Use your kitchen appliance like a sieve to combine mixes that call for baking or soda powder, to avoid clumps in your dough.
A food processor whips up a chunky salsa, and a Vitamix works out a smoother salsa. Add salt, herbs, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic to whichever processor you’re using.
Make nut butter
Roast or add raw nuts or seeds to a Vitamix or food processor, and process until the nuts or seeds release oils and combine. A food processor is more likely to leave texture, whereas the Vitamix machine produces a smoother butter. Try almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter.
FAQ: Vitamix blender vs food processor
If you’re deciding whether to buy a Vitamix or a food processor, or are cooking and not sure which will do the job, here’s the bit-by-bit:
When to use a Vitamix blender
A Vitamix replaces a food processor when it comes to getting a smooth blend, and blending hot or thick foods.
When to use a food processor
If you have the option between a Vitamix blender without the additional Vitamix food processor attachment, and a regular food blender, and want a more beautiful product, use a food processor instead of a Vitamix blender for grating cheese, chopping vegetables and fruits, and shredding vegetables.
Can a food processor replace a Vitamix blender?
A food processor can replace a Vitamix blender (unless you’ve got that fancy Vitamix food processor attachment) to chop, grate, shred, and combine dry ingredients and most doughs. Both machines work well to combine light, dry ingredients, and doughs, and the food processor is a better chopper, grater, shredder.
Test the two machines with cabbage. Without the additional Vitamix food processor attachment, the Vitamix makes chopped cabbage, whereas the food processor’s thinly-sliced cabbage is neater for coleslaw. The Vitamix also tends to clump-up cheese and the food processor shreds with a loose, happy product.
Is a Vitamix blender better than other blenders?
A Vitamix blends smoother, more efficiently, and can work longer than many other, more economic blenders because it has a stronger motor that gets the job done better. For example, if your ingredients don’t hold as much liquid (like milling thick nut butters) or are steaming hot (like creaming vegetables straight from a boiling pot), a more economical blender may get stuck. A Vitamix usually powers through.
Can I make cookie dough in a Vitamix blender?
Both food processors and the Vitamix blender are powerful machines for making cookie dough, as well as other doughs like bread dough and pizza dough.
Can a Vitamix chop vegetables?
Vitamixes often replace food processors in the chopping category, but they don’t do as good a job without the Vitamix food processor attachment. The food processor is a pro chopper, shredder, and slicer, but the Vitamix can make do (but you’re better off shredding and slicing by hand if a Vitamix without that attachment is all you have).
Dry vegetables like celery, squash, and carrots are chopped better in the Vitamix than wetter vegetables like potatoes. Attack dry chopping with small batches of dry vegetables on low to medium blend speed, or go the wet chopping route with larger amounts of wetter vegetables (potatoes, cabbage) with a little water added, then drain the water away afterwards (save it for broth).
Is a Vitamix food processor attachment worth it?
If you already have a Vitamix, the extra money for the food processor attachment will give you the control of a regular food processor to chop, shred, and slice.
If you have both a Vitamix blender and a food processor, one joy of blending on all things blenders opines that meal prep will be a happier time with your now all-useful Vitamix with a food processor attachment living on your counter, and might as well do without the narrow-use food processor sitting under your counter.
Should You Buy A Vitamix?
If you’re deciding which kitchen appliance to purchase, Vitamix blenders, especially with the food processor attachment, will give you far more ability in the kitchen than a food processor will.
If you’re not prepared to dish out extra money for the Vitamix’s food processor attachment and you only care about making dough and chopping and slicing vegetables, and grating cheese, go with the more economical food processor.
If you have both of these appliances in your kitchen, don’t get rid of your food processor unless you’re going to buy the extra food processor attachment for your Vitamix — and you’ll keep the food processors club happy.