A food chopper affords you the ability to turn large, nutritious food items into small, nutritious food items. In other words, it allows the user to easily chop up food items for a variety of dishes that include the following:
Manual Food Choppers
A manual food chopper is exactly what it sounds like. It is a food chopper that does not run on either batteries or electricity via a plug. As such, food choppers are perfect for off-grid living, camping, and quick, in-home recipes that call for specific types of chopped foods. Because they are manual, they allow you to easily grab the chopper and chop the ingredients without having to be anchored to a particular wall socket.
For people who want to get in shape or adhere to a healthy eating regimen, food choppers are indispensable because they represent an easy way to manage portions and create variety. Because they successfully chop or dice foods as well as mince, you can use one for just about any recipe.
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Different Types of Manual Food Choppers
- Pull String
This type of chopper turns a circular blade via the power generated when you give a quick pull on a cord. These are good choppers for crisp foods, such as peppers, cucumbers, and radishes. They also perform admirably against potatoes and nuts. Because you have to pull a string with one hand, it is necessary to hold the chopper in place with your other hand.
A chopper equipped with a plunger requires you to push downward on a spindle, which is connected to the blades. The plunger of some units is connected to a wheel, which spins the blades, allowing for a variety of chopping styles. Others are attached to a fixed blade, which presses the food into the blade. Although you can operate plunger-style choppers with one hand, they are often light. As such, you will probably have better results if you hold it with your other hand while you chop.
Some units are equipped with a grid-style blade that is attached to a top plank. With the plank lifted, you place your food on a flat chopping surface. Once the food is in place, you simply compress the plank, and the food is chopped.
This type of unit works very well with whole onions, potatoes, or apples. Because the chopped pieces fall immediately into a measured bowl, there is very little mess, and you can easily load your next food item for quick chopping.
The Best Manual Food Choppers
This chopper by Mueller is a compression-style chopper that is able to handle an entire onion, apple, or other hard vegetable or fruit. For speed and ease of use, all you have to do is place the food on the surface and compress. If you want to be absolutely sure that the food remains stable on the chopping surface, all you have to do is cut a small section off one side to create a flat edge. If you lay this edge on the surface, the durable blades chop effortlessly through any food without bones.
This chopper comes with unique grids that can cut large wedges, fries, or small cubes. The blades are stainless steel, ensuring a smooth cut, and the large bowl holds up to 32 ounces. Because of the bowl’s shape, food empties completely. A cleaning brush is included for your convenience, and you can place the entire unit in your dishwasher with no worries.
To back up the quality of this chopper, it comes with a lifetime warranty. As such, you can be sure every cut is perfect.
- handles large food items
- includes four grid-style blades
- lifetime warranty
- long foods like celery or carrots might need to be cut in half for proper placement
This chopper is made of stainless steel. As such, it is solid and capable of handling any food items you need for your dinner, snack, or salad. It features a compression-style plunger, which chops right through standard foods with ease while also handling tougher foods like smoked cheeses.
The chopper blade twists as you plunge, ensuring you end up with chopped segments that work with any recipe. However, the best part of this chopper is that the top can be removed from the base for use on a chopping block. Finally, all components can be placed in the dishwasher.
- stainless steel
- large receptacle
- can use the chopper with a cutting board
- comes in only one color
If you use a food chopper regularly, you will be happy to discover that the KitchenAid KFC351 operates as a complete food processor. As a food chopper, it chops all types of foods, including garlic, which can be tough for any chopper. However, it can also dice and pulverize food into sauces, making it especially useful for homemade soups or dips.
To operate it, all you have to do is load the bowl, which can handle up to 3.5 cups. With the bowl loaded, all you have to do is squeeze the bowl’s handle, and the blades engage. You can set the chopper to chop or puree. For ease of use, the chopping bowl is shaped with a small spout for pouring smoothies, salsa, or dips.
- handles up to 3.5 cups of food
- multiple functions
- handles tough foods, such as garlic
- cord-wrap style with squeeze handle
- has an oil receptacle for making hummus or other sauces and dips
- two speeds
- multiple colors available
- With over 6,000 four- and five-star reviews, it is difficult to find fault with this chopper
This chopper features a pull-style mechanism that enables the food chopper to also work as a miniature food processor. As such, it can make salsa, smoothies, and a variety of dips. That said, it also works well as a standard food chopper and can handle clunky potatoes and dense onions with ease.
It comes with a 25-ounce bowl, which makes it perfect for large or small recipes. The handle pulls easily from the top, and it has been designed for ergonomic operation that ensures comfort as you chop.
One of the best features is the internal arm that sweeps food away from the sides, making the bowl easy to empty and clean. Finally, the user’s guide illustrates how a certain number of pulls will dice or chop food into certain sizes. As such, the food is guaranteed to come out in uniform sizes for demanding dishes.
The base is fitted with a silicone gripper, ensuring it does not slide as you prepare your favorite dishes, and the food chopper comes with a 60-month guarantee.
- contains no BPA
- non-slip base
- large bowl
- 60-month guarantee
- compact design makes it perfect for RVs or tiny homes
- equipped with dual blades that handle large food items
- blends and chops
- might have to cut large items like carrots, celery, or potatoes to fit the bowl
Another compression-style chopper, the Brieftons chopper makes quick work of large foods, such as apples or onions. However, because of the blades, it can handle tomatoes without crushing or mashing them.
It comes with three different types of blades, and the steel is 420-grade. As such, it is the most durable steel available, and it can handle foods that others might not be able to cut.
The large bowl can hold up to eight cups, making it large enough to handle food for an entire family. Moreover, the bowl comes with a tight-seal lid, allowing you to place the bowl in the refrigerator for easy storage.
- three blades for different sizes of squares or fries
- 420-grade steel
- bowl holds up to eight cups
- bowl serves as a food-storage container
- powerful compression can handle all food types
- only comes in one style
Buying Guide: What You Want in Your Manual Food Chopper
In terms of convenience and comfort, food choppers allow you to prepare your food faster and more comfortably than if you had to use a knife. If you have arthritis or if using a knife hurts your knuckles, a food chopper eliminates this type of discomfort. As an added bonus, a chopper helps contain foods that are being chopped. This becomes very important when you are chopping certain foods, such as onions or hot peppers, which have fumes or harsh oils.
Additionally, the bowl should be able to hold two cups or more. Such bowls will allow you to make larger portions for high-volume recipes.
In addition to size, you will want to find a chopper that has easy-to-read measurements along the outside of the cup. This is important because you want to be able to easily determine the volume of chopped food when you are done chopping.
For ease of use, these measurements should come in increments of ounces. However, many recipes call for volumes of a quarter cup or a half cup, so you should look for bowls with both increments clearly printed or emblazoned on the outside of the cup.
Because you will be doing a lot of chopping, you want to look for one that can withstand the chopping without having the blades break or bend. Things to look for in a quality food chopper include the following.
– lid that snaps firmly in place or locks and unlocks with a twist of the cap
– firm spindle that holds the blades
– food-grade plastic cups without any harmful chemicals, such as BPA
– sturdy blades that can handle all sorts of harder vegetables, such as onions, beets or potatoes
- Ease of use
In terms of usability, you should look for a chopper that easily locks and unlocks. Some units have a curved cup that can actually cause food particles to stick inside the cup, causing you to have to fish them out.
With this in mind, you should look for one with a cup that is either straight or only slightly curved because this shape will allow food to easily empty. That said, some of the best food choppers have cleaning blades or sweeping arms that can help scrape food away from the sides of the bowl.
- Ease of cleaning
In terms of washing, you should either find one that is dishwasher safe or find one that has a large enough cup for you to get your hand in for manual washing. Avoid choppers that require you to use a spindle sponge as these types of sponges might not reach food particles that are tucked in the bottom of the cup.
Additionally, you should look for a chopper that comes apart easily, allowing you to wash the cup, blades, and bottom frame. In the same way a chopper should come apart easily, it should also allow you to easily assemble it. Finally, once it is assembled, it should feel solid and capable.
- Blade types
Some blades for manual food choppers chop downward while other types of blades are curved and spin horizontally as you depress the lever or turn a handle.
Different blade shapes will handle different types of food. For instance, an inclined or angled blade will be able to cut larger food items without crushing the food. Curved blades accomplish the same type of cut as an angled blade, but because they are curved and are large enough to fill an entire cup, they can often handle larger portions of food.
In terms of blade type, a smooth blade will often work for firm foods, such as peppers, radishes, or potatoes. However, for softer foods, you will want one that also includes serrated blades. Serrated blades cut in tiny increments, allowing tomatoes, for instance, to be cleanly cut.
- Blade quality
For the sharpest cutting experience, blades should be made of stainless steel.
- Accessories and functionality
The best manual food choppers do more than just chop foods. For instance, if you get a good one, it will come with graters that shave the food as you depress the handle. Additionally, quality choppers also come with grid blades that allow for square cutting. Some choppers can operate as food processors. As such, they can make sauces or smoothies.
Choppers with bowls of varying sizes can make food preparation much faster as you can simply chop the food and empty the bowl into a pot, knowing the quantity is exactly what the recipes requires. Other accessories include discs that are designed to make veggie fries or sticks. Some manual food choppers can even be fitted with a whip, allowing you to easily whip eggs or frosting.
The best choppers will have warranties that cover all parts. Some offer a 90-day warranty while others come with a 12-month warranty. You should ensure the one you purchase protects your investment long enough to test the quality across a variety of dishes.