There are so many kitchen appliances available that sometimes it makes your head spin trying to figure out which tool is the right one for the job. Or maybe you do like I do and start with one but switch to another.
Choosing the right tool is easier if you know what different appliances are designed for. Here’s a summary of three commonly used kitchen tools and their primary purpose:
Blenders (Immersion, Countertop). These are usually used for liquids. You might use a blender when you’re making a beverage, pureeing soup, or mixing up a sauce. You can use the blenders for other purposes, like making crumbs, but other tools do a better job.
Choppers (hand powered choppers, small electric choppers, and larger food processors). These are usually used to chop foods or puree thicker liquids, like dips. The larger choppers can also make small batches of bread dough or pie dough. Both the small electric chopper and the food processor are excellent at making crumbs.
Mixers (wire whisk, handheld mixer, stand-up mixer). These are usually used for foods that need to be “mixed up” like cookie dough batter, cake mix, muffin batter, etc. The stand-up mixers can also be used to make bread dough, pie dough, meatloaf, and meatballs. And you can shred chicken with both the handheld mixer and stand-up mixer.
While the above tools are designed for specific functions, they are also interchangeable for many functions. For example, you can make cookie crumbs in your blender, your chopper and even with your mixer. You can make a smoothie in your blender, your food processor and even carefully with your mixer. But some tools are definitely more suited to certain foods than others. For example:
- Baby Food – blender or any size food processor
- Bread dough – stand-up mixer
- Brownies – hand held mixer
- Carrots – small electric chopper
- Cheese, shredded – food processor w/shredding blade (you can use the stand-up mixer if you have the shredding attachment)
- Chicken, shredded – stand-up mixer or hand held mixer
- Cookie dough – stand-up mixer
- Cool Whip, folded – wire whisk or wooden spoon, gently – NEVER use an electric mixer
- Crumbs – small electric chopper or food processor, depending on the amount
- Hummus or other dip – food processor
- Tomatoes, crushed – blender
- Meatballs – stand-up mixer
- Meatloaf – stand-up mixer
- Meringue – stand-up mixer (You can use your hand held mixer but it’s SO MUCH easier in the stand-up mixer. The mixer does all the work!)
- Muffins – hand held mixer or wooden spoon
- Nuts – hand powered chopper or small electric chopper (be careful, though, because it can pulverize the nuts. I think the hand powered chopper does a better job.)
- Onion – small electric chopper
- Pie dough – stand-up mixer or food processor
- Potatoes, mashed – stand-up mixer or hand held mixer
- Pudding, instant – wire whisk (the electric mixer can cause it to splatter)
- Smoothie – blender
So the next time you head to the kitchen to cook something, remember the purpose for each of these groups of tools and you’ll know just which one to choose.