The advancement of science and technology has made a difference on how kitchen tasks are carried out. Today we heavily rely on machines to help us get by almost any kitchen task. This has to a large extent relieved the pressure when working in the kitchen, and helped engage individuals who would otherwise not be seen near a kitchen. There are many kitchen appliances to choose from and this is just great as it is intimidating. While it good to have a choice, too many choices make it difficult for you to make the right decision. There is often conflict on the functions of various appliances, and when to buy or use what.
In this article, we focus on educating you on the differences between juicers, mixers, grinders and food processors. Some of these appliances can be used interchangeably without a doubt, but we will focus on the basic differences to allow you make a sober buying decision.
If you want to get the difference between juicer and blender click here:
Juicer Vs Blender: 10 Aspects Compare to Help You Decide
Juicing is the process of separating the liquid part of fruits or vegetables from the solid, skin and pulp. The result, which is called juice, is a thin and concentrated liquid containing relevant vitamins, minerals and nutrients. To accomplish this, you will need a juicer or juice extractor. While there are other ways of making juice from fresh produce, a juicer remains the top choice because of the benefits it offers.
It is argued that juicing allows your body to absorb nutrients from fruits and vegetables better when compared to eating them whole. The elimination of fibers from the juice allows the digestive system to absorb more nutrients faster. Additionally, juicing allows for more freedom to experiment with various ingredient combinations. This way you get to enjoy a wide variety of nutrients from up to 5 different ingredients. It also makes easy to consume more veggies and fruits as you are drinking rather than eating.
To know if a juicer is a perfect pick for you, it is important that you understand how they work. The main types of juicers include; centrifugal juicers, cold press/masticating juicer and triturating juicers.
Want to know how to pick a juicer? See the article: Juicer Buying Guide – A Comparison of Juicer Types, Styles & Features
This type of juicer extracts juice with the help of a spinning blade that presses the contents against a strainer. The liquid part which is juice drains off to a set container and the pulp is ejected to a different one. Centrifugal juicers are most popular due to their low price. While they do the job well enough, they have some drawbacks. The blades spin very fast which creates some heat that may destroy important nutrients. So if you are primarily juicing for health benefits, this is not a good buy for you.
Cold press/ slow juicer /masticating juicer
This works by crushing and pressing ingredients to separate liquid from the pulp. They are usually slow but very efficient as they give high juice yields compared to centrifugal juicers and also retain all important nutrients. For this reason, they are highly preferred and recommended by health enthusiasts. The only reason why this type of juicer is not so popular is that it is very expensive and most models are bulky.
They are also referred to as twin gear juicers. They are the ‘holy grail’ of juicing. Triturating juicers use two augers to crush and grind whatever produce you put in to give maximum extraction. This juicer extracts all the juice from your ingredients and leaves the pulp dry. Since their operation is also slow, the juice has little or no oxidation. The unique operation also makes them highly efficient for juicing vegetable and greens when compared to the other two types of juicers. The drawback to twin gear juices is their high-end price range.
Another deciding factor when it comes to juicing is to consider how much commitment you are willing to put into it. Juicers can be really slow or time consuming as you have to prep the ingredients. This may involve cutting, slicing and peeling them before feeding them to the machine for juicing. Can you spend 5-10 minutes to make only 500ml of juice? How much can you part with for a juicer? Are you ready for the care and maintenance demands that come with a juicer? Just by answering some of these questions you get to know if you really need a juicer or not.
If you are repetitively stirring, whisking and beating up different ingredients in your kitchen, a mixer will come in handy. This small kitchen tool comes fitted with a gear that helps it rotate a set of beaters in a bowl or container to give you good results with wearing your arm off. It is commonly used in baking but you will once in a while use it for other cooking tasks too. There are generally two types of mixers, hand mixers and stand mixers.
It comes with a fixed stand and mixing bowl. Common mixing attachments it includes are the balloon whisk, beater and dough hook. Stand mixers are a good investment for avid bakers as they make their job a lot easier. You can turn them on and occupy yourself with another task as you wait for your mixture to be ready.
There are 2 main types of electric stand mixers: mixer with tilt-head and mixer with bowl-lift. The first allows the head of the machine to tilt up, so that you can change attachments or remove the mixing bowl. The second type is mostly for professional use and is designed with a curved arm-like surface where you snap the bowl onto, and lift it toward the mixing attachment with help of a lever.
These are hand-held electric mixers and are great for everyday light baking tasks such as mixing batter, whipping cream or beating eggs. They are quite affordable but include both basic and premium models. A good hand mixer should be light but still powerful and provide comfortable and secure grip. The controls need to be simple and easy to adjust with just your thumbs when in use. Avoid very heavy hand mixers as they are tiresome to hold and balance.
It is inevitable that you may need a mixer in your kitchen as the other alternative to mixing is using a manual means which are tiring and not very reliable. The problem now comes down to deciding whether to buy a hand mixer or stand mixer. Your budget, counter-space and needs may help you determine this. However, whatever type of mixer you choose, make sure it gives you great value for your money.
A grinder is a confusing kitchen appliance because of the wide range of tasks it can perform. It can be used to grind spices, mix raw and cooked meat, grinding veggies, among other tasks. They are available in both manual and electric models although the electric one is most preferred as it is quick and convenient. Different grinder models come with different cutting plate attachments that specify just how much you can do with it. The more versatile a grinder is, the better. However, if you are only restricted to certain tasks, say grinding nuts or seeds, it is better to find a specialty grinder. This guarantees more quality results and is also convenient as you do not have to keep changing parts.
Grinders are meant to replace tools like mincing knives, coconut scrapers and hand grinders. Therefore, if you are looking forward to maybe de-clutter your kitchen of such tools, then a multi-purpose grinder would be great for you. Note that grinders can be dry, wet or both, referring to the nature of foods they can process.
Grinders can be sold as individual units or attachments to other existing units. Your pick however depends on what you find most convenient for you. If you do not want to go all out in your budget but already own appliances such as a stand mixer or a blender, be glad because you can find grinder attachments to use with them, depending on the model and brand.
This is a great multi-tool to have in the kitchen as you can barely not find use for it. Food processors do so many things efficiently, they can slice, shred, puree, cut and even grind. Essentially, the replace tools like knives, graters, mixers, blender and pestle and mortar. They come in a variety of sizes and include various blades and discs that help it carry out its functions. With a food processor, the tiring and repetitive kitchen tasks are forgotten and cooking becomes enjoyable, easy and quick. A food processor is distinct with its wide and short bottle. When processing your foods, little or no liquid is necessary.
How does a food processor carry out its functions?
Chopping: This is made possible with the help of the S-shape blade, which is the main attachment in any processor. Once you put food in the processor and turn it on, the blade spins fast while chopping them into pieces. The cut sizes can be controlled by how long the processor remains running. The longer it runs, the smaller the pieces. Foods that can be chopped in the processor include tomatoes, onions and herbs. You can also grind meat with the chopping blade.
Slicing and Shredding: Foods in a processor are sliced when you drop them through the feeding tube and the blades below slice through. Depending on the model of the processor, you can adjust the slicing thickness. Some processors may also include a chipping blade to help prepare French fries.
Grating: The grating disk of a processor saves you from the cruel and dangerous task of manual grates that threatens your fingertips.
Kneading: With a dough hook or blade you can easily prepare your doughs for bread, tortillas e.t.c
Whisk: To help mix your ingredients is an emulsifying disk or whisk paddle or beaters. While these attachments do not give the same results as of that of a mixer, they ideal for small mixing tasks.
Blender: In order to carry out blending function, a processor needs to have a jug blender or blender canopy. The first accessory is just a jug attachment that fits onto the base of the processor in place or alongside the processor bowl. The second one refers to a special blending tool that can be used in the main food processing bowl. They are usually used together with chopping blades for effective performance.
Some people confuse quantity for quality. It is not unusual to find people go for a processor with the most functions thinking it is the best. This is however is not the case, when choosing a food processor, emphasize should be on the general quality of all parts. You are better off with a processor with 4 functions only, but delivers unrivaled performance.
Knowing the basic of each kitchen appliance is important to you make a right buying decision. It is clear that while some functions can be carried out in more than one appliance, there is always the way that gives the best results. So always make your decision based on the basic of each equipment. It may sound like a great deal to have a number of appliances combined in one but it is not. Every machine will perform at its best with its own motor and specialized blades made for the job.
Now with the understanding of what the four appliances are created for, you are able to decide on what you really need and what you don’t. There are times people buy appliances but end up storing them away to gather dust just because it did not offer the service they expected. So now that you know the differences between a juicer, mixer, grinder and food processor and their uses, you can bring out the chef in you and learn to prepare meals the easiest and fastest way while maintaining exceptional results.