"Is there anything you absolutely need me to clean?" Boyfriend Javelin is standing at the kitchen sink, staring at the mess of dishes. Because there won't be enough to fill the dishwasher and he never runs an incomplete load. And he knows how much I hate washing my own kitchen tools. Even if I am the only one who uses them.
"I'll need my chopper thing," I say. I don't know what to call it but we both know exactly what I mean. It's the thing I use to chop pretty much everything. Except maybe cheese.
Boyfriend Javelin sighs, ever so softly, and gives me a big fake smile. "Anything else?" he asks. He hates cleaning the chopper thing almost as much as I love using it. He hates it so much, he even managed to sabotage the little cleaning pick that came with my chopper thing. He bent a tine. Not on purpose. Because who has it in for a cleaning pick?
I shake my head. "No, I think that's pretty much it." And I sigh a little too, just so he knows I still remember all those little crevices, all jammed with tiny bits of food. "I know it's a pain," I say. "But it really does cut down on time."
And it truly does. Boyfriend Javelin may complain about the cleaning (sometimes it can take him up to five minutes to thoroughly clean the chopper pieces before loading them into the dishwasher). But I use this chopper thing over and over and over, all year long, for so many, many things.
I use it when I make side salads. I use it when I make picnic foods like potato, egg, tuna and macaroni salads. I use it when I make applesauce. And when I make risottos. And when I make pot pies. Or when I dice potatoes. I seriously use my copper all the time.
Let's say I have a carrot I want to uniformly chop for a side salad:
Or let's say I want to finely chop an onion:
In fact, I've used my chopper so frequently, you've seen in on my blog in a whole slew of different recipes:
- Sweet and Tangy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
- Fresh Confetti Corn
- Eggplant Blush Pasta with Roasted Shrimp
- Roasted American Potato Salad
- Homemade Chicken Salad
- Baked Apple Sauce
- Fresh Homemade Marinara Sauce
- Lentil Marinara Sauce
Just so I'm clear: I've been paid NOTHING to write about this chopper, no one has approached me and I desire no compensation. I share because I love the tool. And I believe this tool is a true kitchen time-saver. Unless you rarely chop food. Or unless you've got mad knife skills (I wish I did).
But I can't take any credit for discovering this chopper. My friend Dan introduced me to this gadget a couple years ago. I was a little hesitant to buy one, but once I did, I fell in love. I've been using the same chopper now for two years without any problems with the design or durability. All the pieces are truly dishwasher safe. And despite how frequently I use my chopper, the blades are still sharp.
My gadget came with two interchangeable chopping plates and I really recommend owning both. I use both plates about equally and I wouldn't trade the added flexibility just to save a few bucks. If you're really looking to pinch pennies, you can sometimes find these choppers in thrift stores for anywhere from $5 to $15. Keep in mind, you can buy a brand new one for about $20 on Amazon.
The tool is most effective at saving time when you have a bunch of stuff to chop or when uniformity is critical. I can uniformly chop all the ingredients for a big batch of chicken pot pie filling in about 3 minutes - I'm not nearly that fast with a knife.
This gadget is also most effective with ingredients that do not easily mash - stay away from hardboiled eggs, tomatoes or crumbly cheeses (but bell pepper is just fine). This tool also cannot replace your knife. It does not trim, it does not peel, it does not julienne, it does not mince - and it is utterly useless with herbs.
Be nice to the poor soul enslaved to clean this chopper by thoroughly rinsing each piece of the gadget after use (and before the food pieces have a chance so dry in all the crevices). I find the kitchen sink sprayer works particularly well for removing these stray bits. If you're feeling extra nice, you might even use the pick tool. In which case, you would be nicer than me.
What I love:
- Uniform dice
- Easy to use
- Compact design
- Collection basket to avoid messes
- Easy assembly/disassembly
What Boyfriend Javelin hates:
- A pain to clean
- Lots of little crevices
- Catches and retains water in the dishwasher