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Slap-style Choppers

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 | Tags: ,

Chopping in the kitchen can be a pain. New slap-style choppers claim to take some of the hard work out of all that slicing and dicing, but are they really worth the money and the counter-space? We put some to the test to see if they earn the A & K Stamp of Approval.

The Basics

  • Slap-style choppers are hand-operated, spring-loaded counter top appliances meant to make quick work of chopping a variety of ingredients.

  • There are many different styles and sizes, but they generally work the same way: chopping through downward pressure to chop food into coarse or fine pieces.

  • Choppers sell themselves as being perfect for:

    • chopping onions, celery, garlic, and carrots for general cooking needs

    • chopping soft herbs and spices. (Some choppers are designed to handle hard spices too.)

    • making salsas, condiments, dips, or dressings

    • chopping nuts

    • making bread and cracker crumbs.

What to Look For

If you think a slap-style chopper will work for you over a food processor or a chef’s knife, consider these shopping tips:

  • Think about what you’ll use it for and purchase one with an appropriate-sized bowl.

  • Stainless steel blades are more durable and hygienic than other materials.

  • Make sure it comes apart easily for cleaning and that parts can at least go in the top rack of the dishwasher.

Other Considerations

  • You are limited by the bowl size, so you still have to do some amount of chopping and food prep to get the ingredients ready for the chopper. (On the other hand, with a food processor, you can leave pieces much larger.)

  • If you already have a food processor, you likely won’t need a slap-style chopper since they pretty much do the same thing.

  • Slap-style choppers are a great option for people who have trouble handling knives.

TEST CRITERIA

We took four choppers to Gorilla Food, an underground raw food bar where the chopping never stops, where we got Aaron, a raw food enthusiast, to help us test them out.

  • Slap Chop (as seen on TV): $19.99
. . Amazon.ca Amazon.com
  • OXO Good Grips Chopper: $25
. . Amazon.ca Amazon.com
  • Kuhn Rikon Swiss Chopper (stainless steel body): $45
. . CityChef.ca Amazon.com
  • Norpro Deluxe Nut & Vegetable Chopper: $17.99
. . Amazon.ca Amazon.com

(Note: prices listed above are approximate and in Canadian dollars)

Manual Chop Test

  • The Slap Chop worked well but hard pieces got stuck in the blades. It was easy to open and clean, just like the infomercial says.

  • The Norpro gave us uneven chunks, and some pancakes instead of diced pieces. It was smaller than the Slap Chop, and felt like it was not as good quality.

  • OXO Good Grips gave us good cut pieces and worked well.

  • The Kuhn Rikon also gave us nicely cut pieces in consistent sizes. You don’t have to hit it as hard as the others. It also felt the sturdiest.

Extreme Motorized Chop Test

Since these choppers take a beating due to the nature of their design, we invited our resident physicist, Robin Coop, to slap them silly with his custom-made, motorized machine. His goal, see how hard he can push them until something breaks.

After about a year’s worth of onion chopping in just a few minutes, our physicist says he was impressed with them all for standing up to his “chopzilla” test.

OUR TOP PICK

Overall, we and our tester Aaron agreed that the choppers are faster than using a knife, although a knife is faster to clean. Out of the four we tested, we all preferred the Kuhn Rikon Swiss Chopper, even though it was the most expensive of our products. 

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