Onion and vegetable chopper

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There are a lot of vegetables that I remember hating as a child.  At that time, my mum could not get me to eat onions regardless of whether or not they were cooked or raw.  She tried hiding them under each spoonful of meat so that I wouldn’t see them when I went to take the next bite.  But I became such an expert over the years at picking out every last piece of onion from any dish that was served to me.  I developed the patience and dexterity to pick aside all the onions from my meal and put them on the edge of my plate to be discarded later.

Now that I’ve truly grown in my culinary sense of adventure, I frequently cook with onions.  However, I still have the habit of picking them out every once in a while!  Of all the steps needed to prepare my recipes, the task that I dreaded was chopping onions.  It was so much of a nuisance to have stinging, watery eyes, and sometimes a runny nose from preparing onions for cooking.  It was always so potent.  I tried wearing lab safety goggles, having the windows open, having a fan blow the vapors away from me, cutting in batches with breaks in between, and cutting them under water.  Yes, and I also tried asking my husband to chop the onions for me while I waited.  The safety goggles, open windows, and fan didn’t work.  Taking cutting breaks helped minimize the severity of my symptoms, but it was also like delaying the inevitable and took me too long to prepare onions.  Cutting under water helped, but then I had to deal with wet onions and use a lot of unnecessary water.  Asking my husband to do it for me also helped, but then it wasn’t comforting to see him suffer the consequences on my behalf!

When my husband and I get engaged, we experienced the joys of creating a wedding gift registry at a specialty kitchen shop.  It was then when I first saw the Vidalia Chop Wizard onion chopper, which I could immediately see as the solution to all the unwanted side effects of preparing onions.  I put it on our registry without hesitation, and we received it.  I’ve enjoyed this Onion Chopper for two years, and it served me well with two blade options for coarsely chopping and finely chopping.  I shed no tears cutting onions with the Onion Chopper and felt no burning vapors because this product reduces the amount of contact you have with the onions.  The only issue I had with this product was that a considerable amount of pressure was needed to cut the onion if the onion was rather large.  I worked around this issue by first cutting the onion into quarters if the onion was quite large before using the Onion Chopper.  Small onions should still be cut in half first.  Shallots are okay to cut whole.  My Onion Chopper broke at the hinge after two years of frequent use when I tried to cut a large onion without cutting it into quarters first.  I used all my weight to push down onto the chopper and it broke at the hinges.

I prepared my onions the regular way for a short period of time after that, but I was actively seeking a replacement.  I came across the Progressive International GPC-4000 Fruit and Vegetable Chopper, which is a similar design but with 3 blade options and a better, sturdier construction.

onion chopper  Vegetable Chopper

With the 3 blade options, I could chop, dice, and slice vegetables.  I liked having those options, as well as a storage box to contain all the pieces together.  It was also more convenient to have the measurements printed upright on the side of the container.

vegetable slicer  onion slicer

Basically, I’ve tried cutting a variety of food items with it, and it’s quick and easy every time.  It has a plastic blade on the side of each blade option, which allows you to cut longer vegetables without needing to pre-cut the length first.  So with one push, you can dice cucumbers and trim the length at the same time.

 

The dicing blade can also be used for hard vegetables like carrots.  However, if the base of the fruit is too large, I would recommend cutting it in half first.  You will know if the vegetable needs to be cut into smaller pieces first if you need a substantial amount of force to push down on the chopper.

best vegetable slicer  carrot chopper  dicing larger carrot

When you are chopping onions, be sure to cut the onion in half and peel it first.  If the onion is too large, cut it into quarters first.  While it is true that your eyes may sting from peeling and quartering the onion, your contact with the onions are substantially minimized when using this Onion Chopper.

best onion chopper  best onion slicer

I found that this Vegetable Chopper works great on soft foods like eggs.  I got perfect results for my salads when slicing a soft boiled egg:

egg slicer  egg chopper

and a hard boiled egg:

best vegetable chopper  best egg slicer

 

     

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5 Responses to Onion and vegetable chopper
  1. Grace
    February 8, 2012 | 12:34 pm

    another very useful post! I was wondering how easy the chopper is to clean? Out of curiosity, I went to read more product reviews online. Most people love it, but others complain it still requires too much force to cut through harder vegetables and that the blades are not very sharp. What are your thoughts on this from your first-hand experience?

    • Dr. Grace
      February 8, 2012 | 9:40 pm

      Hi Grace! Good question about cleaning. The chopper comes with a comb pick that goes through the square slots to pick out any food particles that get stuck after chopping. After using the comb, I either wash by hand or put it in the dishwasher. It’s as easy as that. I have never had problems with food staining. Yes, from this post I mentioned that some harder vegetables would require too much force such as a large onion or the base of a carrot. So whenever I need to chop those, I cut them into quarters (or just smaller pieces) first and then use the chopper. If you find that you have to put all your weight onto the chopper just to cut one item, then that’s too much force. I find that cutting my vegetables down to size to minimize the force I need to use the chopper is still more efficient than chopping the entire vegetable by hand. It is still less potent than cutting an onion by hand, since the chopper will still minimize your contact with the onion even if you have to quarter it first. I find it a valuable tool especially since it works wonders on slicing small fruits and berries perfectly, and saves to much time compared to cutting them by hand one at a time!

  2. JJ
    April 26, 2012 | 4:22 pm

    There’s a video at Progressive International’s website which suggests that hard items such as sweet potatoes should be zapped in a microwave for a couple of minutes before chopping.

    My chief interest is for slicing pre-cooked orange peel for marmalade. I pressure-cook the fruit, scrape out the flesh and pass it through a sieve, and have been laboriously hand-cutting the peel. It’s no hassle to cut lengths of peel to the correct width to produce the right length pieces (my mother doesn’t like them _too_ long!), but I do like the shreds quite fine, ideally 1/16th inch. I guess the slices from this device are 1/8th – 3/16ths?

    If you could check I’d be very grateful; also to know the symbols and text on the slicer insert.

    • Dr. Grace
      May 3, 2012 | 12:23 am

      Thanks for the tip! I haven’t tried microwaving items before chopping them on the onion chopper. I could imagine that might be okay for some recipes, but less desirable for others.
      Great that you make your own marmalade! So, basically, there are 3 different inserts for this onion chopper. The orange one is a dicer blade, and its makes 6 mm (about 1/4 inch) dices. There are no symbols or text on the orange blade. The green blade is a chopper blade, and its blades are 12 mm (just under 1/2 inch) apart. It also doesn’t have any symbols or text on it. The white blade is the slicer blade. It also makes 6 mm slices (about 1/4 inch). The white blade reads, “This Blade for Soft Foods Only: eggs, mushrooms, olives, strawberries, kiwis, peaches, nectarines.” And the white blade has the outlines of a mushroom, a strawberry, an egg, and a peach. So it seems that perhaps these blades make slices that are too thick for your tastes? I hope this helps! Let me know if you need anything else!

  3. JJ
    May 24, 2012 | 5:41 pm

    Many thanks for the additional information!

    I’ve used a dicer for a few batches of marmalade and it’s an easy process, so I hope the manufacturers will provide a slicer for narrower strips. I used to be able to get a Danish brand of marmalade, with diced peel, but strips are better.

    A double-bladed hachoir/mezzaluna gets blocked but herb scissors seem to work OK. I’ll borrow a mandoline to try, and I have an old Spong 730 to play with (it’s like a mincer, but with slicer and grater blades). The Spong was actually designed for the job, but I’m not sure there’s enough control with it.

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