Deciding whether to use a food processor or a blender depends on what the cook wants to do. A food processor is used to chop, slice, shred, grind or puree food, while a blender is typically used to liquefy food or blend ingredients together in a liquid form.
In addition to the basic functions a food processor performs, some models can also knead dough, mix batter and grind meats and vegetables depending on the blade or attachment that is used. Food processors can also perform the same basic functions as a blender by liquefying fruits and vegetables into juice. Food processors typically come with a shredding disk to grate foods, such as cheese or carrots, and a slicing disk to slice fruits and vegetables evenly. This is accomplished by pushing the food through a feed tube located at the top of the appliance.
A blender typically features a lid that must be removed in order to place food in the appliance, and it must be stopped whenever more food is added, unlike a food processor. Some blenders include a small feed tube that allows cooks to drop food in while the appliance continues to run. There are also immersion blenders which are constructed of a long handle with blades at the end. The blades spin and chop as they liquefy or stir the ingredients inside of a container.