Both stand mixers and food processors are handy kitchen appliances, but which one do you need? There is a small amount of crossover. For example, you can knead dough in both food processors and stand mixers. However, a food processor and stand mixer generally handle different tasks.
Food processors are primarily used for chopping and shredding, whereas stand mixers come into their own for mixing and whipping. If you're a keen cook, you may find you want both.
Food processors are designed for chopping, shredding and slicing ingredients, plus they're capable of simple mixing tasks, such as cake batter or shortcrust pastry. Some also have dough hooks for kneading.
They usually come with standard S-blades for chopping, mincing and dicing, plus discs that can shred and slice ingredients.
Thanks to its powerful 1,000-watt motor, this processor is great for kneading dough and pureeing ingredients, as well as the usual chopping, slicing and shredding. The 72-ounce bowl uniformly processes up to 9 cups of ingredients but works just as well with small quantities.
This high-end food processor has a large 11-cup capacity and a wide chute, so you don't have to pre-chop most ingredients. It offers a range of discs and blades for chopping, slicing and shredding.
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With a 10-cup capacity, this food processor is generously-sized but still affordable. It comes with standard S-blades for chopping, plus a disk for slicing and shredding.
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Stand mixers are used for mixing, beating and whipping ingredients, as well as for kneading dough. They take the work out of processes that can be labor-intensive, such as whipping egg whites or aquafaba to stiff peaks.
While they're usually used for baking purposes, they can perform other functions, such as whipping up creamy mashed potatoes or mixing up large batches of guacamole.
Sure, they're somewhat pricey, but KitchenAid mixers are enduringly popular for a good reason. Not only do they look great, but they're extremely durable and reliable, plus they're compatible with a range of useful accessories, from pasta makers to juicers.
With a whisk, flat mixing paddle and dough hook, this powerful stand mixer is a versatile choice. It has 12 speeds, so you can control how you mix ingredients with precision.
This option is great for those looking for a reasonably priced mixer that won't disappoint. It has a moderately powerful motor, although it doesn't pack as much of a punch as high-end options. It includes a beater, dough hook and whisk attachments.
The main difference between these two appliances is the tasks that they're designed to complete. There are a handful of things you can do with either, such as mixing pastry dough. However, food processors are primarily for food prep, and stand mixers are primarily for baking tasks.
If you're looking to chop, slice and mince ingredients, a food processor is what you need. However, a stand mixer is more your speed if you want to whip heavy cream or beat light and fluffy buttercream.
Since what each does is quite different, with just a small amount of overlap, it may be obvious which is right for you. However, if you want to be able to perform all these kitchen tasks, you'll need one of each.
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.