Comparing Commercial Blenders, Food Processors, Mixers and Grinders

As a foodservice pro, you’re probably quite familiar with the commercial grinder, blender, mixer and food processor. But if you’ve ever wondered why there are so many commercial appliances, especially ones with overlapping features, we’re here to dive into each appliance for an in-depth review. This way, you’ll know exactly when to use each commercial appliance to craft delicious, quality meals for your guests as efficiently and effectively as possible. 

We understand the importance of these appliances to efficiently operate foodservice kitchens and why you will find a large variety of commercial food processing equipment on our site.

Why These Appliances Are Must Haves In Commercial Kitchens

When you first start comparing blenders, food processors, mixers and grinders, you might be wondering why a commercial kitchen needs all these appliances. The truth is, they do overlap in terms of certain tasks, but there are key differences that you’ll notice if you use these commercial kitchen appliances regularly. 

The fact of the matter is that commercial kitchens need to be efficient. This means finding ways to speed up more manual tasks whenever possible and these types of appliances do exactly that. Sure, you could chop vegetables and knead dough manually, but a food processor and a mixer will do these tasks in half the time or less. And when table twelve is anxiously waiting on their dinner order, seconds count. 

The Importance Of Using The Right Appliance

Another fact that you’ll come across when comparing blenders, food processors, mixers and grinders is that it’s important to match the task to the appliance. While blenders and food processors can do many of the same things, that doesn’t mean you can ditch one or use them interchangeably. 

You’re never going to get a great smoothie from a food processor, or finely grated carrots from a blender. Professional chefs use each appliance for the purpose it's designed for to ensure quality results. While it’s true that real estate is precious in a commercial kitchen, making space for these critical appliances is a smart choice. 

Using the right appliance for each task will not only net you better results, but keep your equipment in better shape for the long run. After all, using an appliance for more than what it’s intended can dull the blades, jam the interior parts and shorten its lifespan. 

While using these appliances interchangeably can work for the amateur home cook, professional commercial kitchens should use the right appliance for each task for the sake of efficiency and quality results. 

Comparing Blenders, Food processors, Mixers and Grinders: The Uses and Benefits of Each

Each of these commercial appliances has a best use and benefits to using each depending on the task at hand. We’ll dive into each of them so that you get the most out of your commercial appliances. 

Commercial Countertop Blenders

Best used for: combining ingredients with a liquid base

The commercial countertop blenders can blend very effectively, but it requires liquid to push the ingredients towards the blades. This makes it great for smoothies, milkshakes, soups, cocktails, sauces, and more. Recipes that call for liquid or soft ingredients will work best for blenders. They’re designed to create a vortex that pulls ingredients down to the center blades and often have different buttons/settings to blend at different speeds based on the ingredients. One drawback of blenders is that they have limited capacity because the blades have limited reach, so you may have to blend in batches. 

For more information on how to choose a blender, check out our Commercial Countertop Blenders Buying Guide.

Countertop commercial blenders

Commercial Immersion Blenders

Best used for: convenient, quick blending in pots, bowls, containers and jars 

Commercial immersion blenders are designed to quickly and conveniently blend items without transferring them to another container, like you would with a blender or food processor. An immersion blender is a handheld device so it’s easier to store, clean, and bring out as needed - although some commercial versions are quite large (processing up to 200 qt at a time). Immersion blenders are ideal for creating creamy soups, dressings, and sauces in the pot (or bowl or container) without the need to transfer product multiple times. 

For more details on what to look for, check out our Commercial Immersion Blenders Buying Guide.

Commercial immersion blenders

Commercial Food Processors

Best used for: chopping, slicing, shredding, dicing and emulsifying 

An incredibly useful kitchen appliance, commercial food processors can very quickly chop, slice, dice, grate and puree a wide range of ingredients. They generally have a larger capacity than countertop blenders, but also have more pieces to clean and store. Food processors tend to have a range of settings to properly process ingredients so that you can get exactly the texture you’re looking for. You can use food processors for everything from vegetables to nuts, dough, and more. 

For help on choosing the right one for your operation, check out our Commercial Food Processors Buying Guide.

Commercial food processors

Commercial Mixers (Stand and Floor)

Best used for: mixing large volumes of batter, doughs, icings, whipping cream or eggs, kneading dough  

Commercial mixers are a must-have in busy kitchens that have a lot of prep work. They cut down manual tasks significantly and you have a variety of options to suit your specific needs. You also can choose between stand and floor models, depending on how heavy duty your mixing needs are and batch sizes

Commercial mixers are able to mix, whip and knead with the right attachments and are invaluable in bakeries and foodservice kitchens that prepare foods from scratch. 

Commercial countertop and floor mixer

Commercial Grinders

Best used for: grinding and mincing meat and ingredients

Commercial kitchens can save money by grinding their own meat, and a commercial grinders allows them to do just that. Commercial grinders are available in different sizes, depending on how much meat you’re looking to grind each hour. Many grinders also have attachments to stuff meat into sausage casings. For commercial kitchens that use plenty of ground meat or prefer to make custom blends, a commercial grinder is a staple appliance. 

Another type of commercial grinder is a spice grinder, these small but mighty units are specifically designed to finely grind spices allowing operators to purchase for cost effective whole spices and blend as required.

Yet another type of commercial grinder is a coffee grinder.  Again, specifically designed to grind coffee beans.

Meat grinder, spice grinder and coffee grinder


Why Food Processing Equipment is Important 

Once you get into the features and benefits of each of the commercial grinder, blender, mixers and food processors, it becomes pretty clear how important each is and what they can each bring to the table. Some of the appliances like blenders, food processors, and immersion blenders have some overlap, but there are clear benefits to having each and situations where using the wrong appliance could affect the overall quality and consistency of the meal. 

Making consistent, delicious food for large volumes of people takes serious appliances. Commercial appliances are designed to speed up your workflows, create consistent, reliable dishes, and help you create memorable meals for your guests. 

Using the wrong appliances for various kitchen tasks might work in a pinch, but it’s not sustainable for the long term. Figuring out which appliances are helpful in your commercial kitchen will save you a ton of time and labour in the long run, and help your kitchen do what it does best: make food taste great.  

Written by River Street Writing

Line up of commercial mixers, blenders and food processors