The lines can often be blurred, but there are substantial differences between the Big Four liquefiers, as juicers, blenders, Ninjas, and food processors will be referred to from here on. Those most likely to notice such differences are the buyers who recognize that each have limits and advantages that the others do not. For those not so informed about the differences between the Big Four, there’s no need to despair, as this quick guide will offer a comprehensive explanation of their differences with the intent of helping you out and ensuring you enjoy whatever you eventually opt for.
Of the four, these are among the most advanced, but they also manage to incorporate a number of features that make them easy to use, so first timers shouldn’t feel intimidated. Their capabilities can vary quite a bit, especially given that there are two types: centrifugal juicers and slow masticating juicers. The fundamental difference between these two is the speed at which they process their foods, with centrifugal types reaching high speeds up to 14000 revolutions per minute and slow masticating juicers processing as slow as 43rpm. The faster the processing rate, the quicker the job is done, but less efficiently so.
Slow masticating juicers produce higher yields and pass on the same nutrients found in raw materials to their liquid form. Motor capacities can range from anywhere between 150W to 1200W or greater, with masticating juicers featuring the bottom range and centrifugal juicers powered by the highest capacity motors. Features common to all types include a feed chute, often narrow, a processing chamber, and strainers that help filter out the pulp from the juice.
Apart from juices, these can also be used to produce a wide range of other products from different types of ingredients. These include creams, baby food, sorbets, and many other things, again all depending on individual products. A number of items often accompany the main piece, such as juice jugs, and more accessories are available for purchase to improve consumers’ experiences.
Before there were juicers, there were blenders, and their versatile use is well established. While they do come in many shapes and sizes, their designs are usually straightforward, and as a result, they are as easy to understand as they are to use. By simply placing ingredients into the jar of a blender with the appropriate amount of water, processing begins by turning the motor on, usually a simple affair involving the turn of a knob or the press of a button.
Blades then begin turning the ingredients into a liquefied pulp that is easy to strain or drink as is. This process can allow for harder food types that make tougher end products such as smoothies. Though it depends on how tough a particular blender is, they can also be good for crushing ice. Capacities differ, as should have been inferred by now, and that is clear in the many different motor capacities to be found, including those as low as 300W and as high as 1500W. Jars can be detached for added convenience, although some blenders come as a single piece.
In what can only be considered an acrobatic feat, as the company’s name implies, Ninja products are an honest attempt at blending not just the ingredients placed into them, but all of what the Big Four achieve. That isn’t done in any one single product, but with their different blenders and food processors, they successfully achieve that all-encompassing quality. Their blenders offer sheer power, as evidenced by the ability to crush ice, done in the most sophisticated way available. The wealth of features in any of their products is found in the numerous control buttons that allow one to adjust processing speeds and adapt an appliance to perform one of the many different functions offered.
Their extraction and fusion products are no different in the advanced features they offer, easily adjusted by one of many buttons, and these add even more diversity to what can be done with raw ingredients. High capacity motors and quality materials create the ultimate processors that can juice, make smoothies, make soups, and make purees, among other things. They still offer the same basic structure as other blenders do, involving a large jar that sits atop the housing, a strong bottom piece that shelters the motor, and all other features that put processing to work.
Food processors, simply put, are just like the other three except that they are specifically designed not to shy away from the tough jobs, and as such, they are often designed to be specifically used for such tasks. Yet another derivative of the blender, the structure features the same basic two-piece assembly, though most have feeding chutes akin to those found in juicers, rather than the openness offered by blenders. As can be expected, variety is to be found in different sizes, all depending on how much you want to get done. The tough jobs include slicing and dicing, something not all of the Big Four can offer users, and it doesn’t stop there.
Included in its wide range of use is the ability to make dough and whip eggs. Such diverse functionality requires a number of different built-in features such as blades, discs, whips, and juicers, all of which are found in the standard quality food processor. Strength aids all the many features to deliver the capacity expected from food processors and allow them to offer something unique to the Big Four.
How They Compare
The obvious question to ask would be which of them would come out the winner if they were pitted against each other. The best way to answer that question would be to do just that, but it is well known that there are pros and cons of owning either. By compartmentalizing their functions and seeing which offers what, a final decision can be made.
Juicers: Advantageous for the simple reason that, despite the fact that they do offer a number of different uses, nothing will extract juice faster and more efficiently than a juicer. The best juicers will guarantee the healthiest output and the least amount of waste from what they take out. They are also easy to use and the variety they come in is something everyone will find handy. Where they fail and others succeed is in how much they can process, as even the most capable juicers are not as capable as some of the other Big Four.
Blenders: There is nothing better to use to make a mix of ingredients, such as cocktails, than a good old traditional blender. Despite all the variations that have sprung from this great invention, it is still relevant in its simplest form, helped by the many technological features that give it an edge. Diversity, however, isn’t to be expected from a blender and this is where it allows room for any one of its offspring to shine.
Ninjas: Though they comprise of juicers, blenders, and extractors, Ninja products are on a league of their own and so deserve reserved mention. They also offer unique designs and added capability that can’t be found anywhere else, such as with their extractors. It is the wealth of products that makes them excel, and as such, a necessary categorical addition.
Food Processors: Tough and built to handle tough, there really is nothing like a food processor, at least with regards to taking a certain material and turning it into something else with the same ease a juicer takes a fruit or vegetable and turns it into juice. There is a lot that goes into the making of a food processor, but since it deals with quantity better than anything else, it can’t be expected to produce highly efficient results.
The best way to think of all of the Big Four is as a family tree, with the maternal blender allowing all the others their existence. Evolution is also a constant, with each and every juicer, blender, and food processor constantly making improvements that make them both more efficient and flexible. While this only makes it harder to distinguish one from the other, the differences, as made clear from the above comparisons, are still substantial. That said, a winner was promised, but only individual consumers can decide which one of the four comes out on top. All the differences cancel themselves out to make it a matter of preferences.
Make no mistake, however, that the competition will remain tight, and that’s a good thing. The more the Big Four clash with each other and blur the lines, the more innovation will be made, resulting in even better quality products than what can already be found.