Food Choppers

Published May 1, 2010. From Cook's Illustrated.

Chopping a pile of vegetables can be wearisome work even for cooks with sharp knife skills, so the idea of a helper tool sounded appealing.

Overview:

Chopping a pile of vegetables can be wearisome work even for cooks with sharp knife skills, so the idea of a helper tool sounded appealing. With the hope that a food chopper could rival the precise, even cuts of good knife work, we hacked through assorted vegetables, herbs, and nuts with five manual models ranging in price from $20 to $45. The results were miserable. All models failed at chopping carrots and celery into even dice, producing anything from rough chunks to fine bits. Even worse, the hard and fibrous textures of these veggies, respectively, got caught in the blades, grinding chopping to a halt. Delicate herbs fared no better; some were bruised while others were minced to a pulp. Onions, furthermore, wound up flattened and crushed. Most managed to chop almonds into reasonably uniform bits—but mainly because their containers kept the nuts from jumping all over the counter. Since we’re not willing to pay $20 or more for a tool that can perform only one narrow function, we’ll stick with our chef’s knife.

Chopping a pile of vegetables can be wearisome work even for cooks with sharp knife skills, so the idea of a helper tool sounded appealing. With the hope that a food chopper could rival the precise, even cuts of good knife work, we hacked through assorted vegetables, herbs, and nuts with five manual models ranging in price from $20 to $45. The results were miserable. All models failed at chopping carrots and celery into even dice, producing anything from rough chunks to fine bits. Even worse, the hard and fibrous textures of these veggies, respectively, got caught in the blades, grinding chopping to a halt. Delicate herbs fared no better; some were bruised while others were minced to a pulp. Onions, furthermore, wound up flattened and crushed. Most managed to chop almonds into reasonably uniform bits—but mainly because their containers kept the nuts from jumping all over the counter. Since we’re not willing to pay $20 or more for a tool that can perform only one narrow function, we’ll stick with our chef’s knife.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Not Recommended

    Zyliss “Easy Chop” Food Chopper

    This plastic model fared marginally better at nuts compared with other choppers, but nothing else was as “easy” as advertised.

    • Nuts ★★
    • Herbs
    • Vegetables

    $19.99

  • Not Recommended

    Chef’n VeggiChop Vegetable Chopper

    The only model that does not require “slapping” or pushing, this chopper mimics a small hand-powered food processor. Unfortunately, it can’t even chop a carrot or a nut.

    • Nuts
    • Herbs
    • Vegetables

    $26.95

  • Not Recommended

    OXO Good Grips Chopper

    This herb bruiser left battered parsley leaves and a grassy stain on our cutting board.

    • Nuts ★★
    • Herbs
    • Vegetables

    $19.99

  • Not Recommended

    Slap Chop from Ontel

    Half an onion was too big for this device, while a quarter of an onion caused the blades to stop rotating.

    • Nuts ★★
    • Herbs
    • Vegetables

    $19.99

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