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Mixer vs Blender, what are their differences, and when to use each appliance? Do you really need both? Can you use them interchangeably? Let’s find out.

Mixer vs blender, is one more superior to the other?

Mixers and blenders seem to do the same job, but while there are instances when you can use either one, it’s important that you know their key differences.

mixer vs blender

I’m sure the last thing you want is a broken mixer, blender, or ruined food.

Let’s take a look at the difference between a blender and a mixer. Do you really need to have both common kitchen appliances, or can you make do with just one?

After all, we want the easiest and most efficient experience in the kitchen.

What Is the Difference Between Blender and Mixer?

To give you a quick mixer vs blender comparison, a mixer will whip, beat, and knead, while a blender will chop, puree, and crush. 

mixer vs blender

Blenders

A blender, like this super popular Ninja countertop blender is best for, well, blending. We can put fruits, vegetables, and ice cubes in our blenders to make smoothies and shakes, but we can also use them to puree various ingredients to make soups and sauces. 

The blender can turn solids items into liquids thanks to its powerful electric motor that turns sharp blades at high speeds.

However, anyone who owns a blender knows that moisture is the secret to getting the perfect blend. You need to add water, milk, or stock to the blender container.

We’ll discuss blender uses and functions in more detail later.

Pros of blenders

  • Comes in a variety of prices
  • Helpful for making smoothies, shakes, soups, and sauces
  • Different types for various needs (countertop for basic blending, immersion blender for purees, and personal blenders for smoothies on the go)

Cons of blenders

  • Might struggle with tough ingredients
  • Not for kneading or whipping 

Mixers

If you love baking, you probably already have a mixer at home. It can be a hand mixer or a stand mixer like this KitchenAid Artisan.

As the name implies, we use a mixer to mix or combine ingredients together. Unlike a blender that relies on high-speed sharp blades, a hand mixer rotates beaters to mix even dense ingredients effortlessly.

If it’s a stand mixer, it can also come with common attachments like a wire whip for whipping egg whites into perfect stiff peaks or a dough hook for kneading thick, dense dough effortlessly. 

Depending on the brand, it’s even possible to use the stand mixer for making ice cream or pasta using different attachment options.

Pros of mixers

  • Versatile using different attachments
  • Large capacity
  • Also has a handheld type for easier handling

Cons of mixers

  • Can be expensive, and some attachments are sold separately
  • Don’t have blades, so it can’t blend, chop, or puree
blender or mixer

Blender or Mixer: When Can You Use Either One And When You Shouldn’t

Now that we quickly answered the question, “What is the difference between blender and mixer?”, let’s find out the appropriate type of appliance for each specific task. 

 Is there a blending and mixing difference? What is a mixer used for in cooking?

When To Use A Blender

  • Blending: Think smoothies, blended drinks, shakes, or even cocktails! 
  • Crushing: Besides crushed ice, you can also crush nuts, seeds, and other types of produce in an electric blender. 
  • Chopping: Even if you don’t own a food processor, you can chop your ingredients using high-performance blenders with the correct setting. 
  • Pureeing: Make puree or even baby food easily and quickly using a blender. 
mixer vs blender uses

When Not To Use A Blender

  • Kneading: Sorry, you can’t really work your dough inside a blender.
  • Beating: Need to beat egg whites? Don’t use a blender because it will just overmix them. 
  • Whipping: The blender’s sharp blades are designed for cutting, not whipping. However, with the right technique, it’s possible to whip cream in a blender (we’ll discuss this later, so keep on reading!)

When To Use A Mixer

  • Kneading: If you love making bread, there’s no denying that a mixer is a must-have in your kitchen. Its mechanism and paddle attachment will save you some serious effort in kneading bread dough. 
  • Beating: Sure, you can just manually whisk your eggs, but you can work on more ingredients with less effort and time with an electric mixer.
  • Whipping: The mixer’s attachments are perfect for getting the perfect whipped consistency on cream and egg whites! 
  • Creaming: Thanks to mixers, you don’t need to tire out your arm muscles to cream butter and sugar perfectly to make indulgent treats like our peach cobbler pound cake.

When Not To Use A Mixer

  • Cutting: The mixer has no blades that can help you cut ingredients.
  • Chopping: Again, the lack of sharp blades means the mixer can’t chop the ingredients. 
  • Pureeing: Because the mixer only has attachments meant to, well, mix ingredients, it can’t be used to puree or blend foods since it can’t break down the solid ingredients. 
  • Liquefying: You can only liquefy and emulsify ingredients if they’re continuously cut and sliced by blades until no chunks remain. 
  • Crushing: Nope, you’ll just break your mixer. 

Can a blender be used as a mixer?

So can I use a blender instead of a mixer? To some extent, yes, there are instances where you can use either appliance.

For example, a blender can possibly mix ingredients if the recipe uses dry and wet ingredients. However, remember to use the pulse function, not the blend setting.

Can you whip cream in a regular blender? Remember earlier when we mentioned you could make whipped cream in a blender? 

The technique is to start at a low speed and blend for a few seconds until soft peaks form.  Be careful not to over-blend, so I still suggest using a mixer for fluffy cream. 

Can a blender be used as a mixer

The blender mixer difference

What about frosting? Well, the blender uses blades, so they’ll be too harsh in mixing frosting ingredients. 

What’s also ironic is sometimes, the blender speed is too fast or too slow to be used in place of a mixer.

If you mix flour and cocoa powder, for example, the rotation of the blades will just cause a mess, but if you try to cream butter and sugar in a blender, the blades will underperform, and you won’t get the ideal light consistency.

Some recipes, especially baked goods, won’t work in the blender since adding liquid will change their moisture content and ruin their texture, taste, and structure. Remember that blenders rely on a liquid in the mixture to “blend” ingredients together!

And, of course, the blender has no paddle to mix the dough. It’s just too thick and sticky!

blender mixer difference

Are Food Processors Blenders Or Mixers?

Is there a difference between mixer and food processor? Yes, because a food processor is not a mixer nor a blender. 

The best way to describe a food processor is it’s right between a blender and a mixer. Like a blender, it can chop ingredients because of its blades. 

The blades spin at a high speed, so they can mince and chop efficiently, turning solid food into smaller chunks.

And with the correct blade, some food processors can even knead the dough like a mixer!

Can I use a mixer instead of a food processor?

It’s possible to use a mixer instead of a food processor. For example, the KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer has a power hub, which you can use for different attachments that are capable of doing what a food processor can (e.g., slicing and shredding.)

Food processor vs blender vs mixer

Both food processors and blenders use a powerful motor that works the blades. However, you need a food processor if you want a chunky result, while a blender is better for achieving a silky smooth mixture, like when making a strawberry smoothie bowl

On the other hand, a mixer does not use blades, so it can’t cut ingredients. It uses beaters to whip, knead, and beat delicate ingredients into the right consistency, like in this dalgona matcha latte

Is a Mixer and a Blender the Same Thing?

Is blender and mixer the same? They’re not the same because they blend and mix ingredients differently. Here are the different kinds of blenders and mixers to further appreciate their differences:

Types of blenders

Both types of blenders use blades to blend, chop, puree, and emulsify. 

  • Countertop blenders: A standalone appliance with a jar where you can put the ingredients. 
  • Immersion blenders: A handheld device you can use on containers, pots, bottles, and bowls. 

Types of mixers

Both types of mixers can mix, whip, and beat ingredients. 

  • Stand mixers: A countertop appliance with interchangeable attachments for various uses. 
  • Hand mixer: A handheld device that’s easier to maneuver over small to medium-sized batches of mixtures. 

Is It Worth Having a Mixer?

It’s worth having a mixer since it can do some tasks that a blender and a food processor can’t.

Specifically, if you often make baked goods and other recipes that require you to work on delicate ingredients, incorporate air in the mixture, or mix to achieve a certain consistency, then a mixer is a must-have. 

As mentioned earlier, some mixers are even compatible with attachments, so they can do more than just mixing.

You can make pasta, mashed potatoes, ground meat, or even spiral vegetables like what we have here in this Asian cucumber salad.

Is a Hand Blender as Good as a Mixer?

Hand mixer vs immersion blender

Besides comparing stand mixers and countertop blenders, you might also wonder if there are differences between the handheld versions of blenders and mixers: the immersion blender and a hand mixer.

An immersion blender, also known as a hand blender or stick blender, uses blades for blending, chopping, and pureeing like a countertop blender, while a hand mixer uses a whisk or two beaters to mix ingredients or to incorporate air into the batter.

You can sometimes use a hand mixer in place of an immersion blender if the ingredients are wet and dry.

However, you can’t use a hand mixer to cut or chop since it doesn’t have blades like an immersion blender.

mixer vs blender

FAQ About Mixer vs Blender

Which is better blender or mixer?

It really depends on the task at hand. A blender is better for jobs like chopping and liquefying, while a mixer is better for whipping and kneading. 

Can I use blender instead of mixer for cake?

You can use a blender for cake batter, but you won’t get the best results. The downsides? The blender’s blades will affect the consistency of the batter, you risk overmixing the ingredients, and the batter itself might be too thick for the blender.

Can a mixer be used as a blender?

If your stand mixer has the right attachment, you can use it as a blender. Some stand mixer accessories can slice and shred! 

Why should I get a hand mixer?

A hand mixer is perfect if you don’t have the space for a stand mixer and you often make small batches of recipes. They’re also easy to maneuver because they’re handheld, and you’re not limited with the capacity since you can use them on any container. 

Can you use a mixer or blender instead of a food processor?

You can sometimes use a mixer or a blender instead of a food processor, but it depends on the ingredients and your end goal. If you need to break down the ingredients into a smooth consistency, use a blender or install an attachment to the mixer that can do the same job as a food processor (e.g., slicing.)

How to blend without a blender?

You can use a hand blender, food processor, or food chopper to blend ingredients if you don’t have a countertop blender.

mixer vs blender differences

Final Thoughts

Which one is better for you: mixer vs blender?

The key is to decide depending on what you often make in the kitchen.

A blender is the best choice if you often need to crush, chop, or puree. But for home cooks who love baking, you can easily achieve the perfect consistency on your batter and knead dough effortlessly with a mixer. 

https://youtu.be/PheGoR-3bKA

What about a food processor? Personally, I think you can get by with just having a mixer and a blender. 

Blenders nowadays are equipped with smart settings for different tasks, and some modern mixers can be used with a range of accessories for various culinary functions. 

Want to learn more about the differences between mixers and blenders? Here are more fantastic reads:

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