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|Brieftons QuickPush Chopper|
|Chef Aid Onion Holder|
|Russell Hobbs Desire Mini Chopper|
|KUUK Veg and Fruit Dicer|
|Uten Kitchen Mini Chopper|
Onions; we love them in our salads! Of course, we do because they give us that lovely, tangy and sharp flavour that adds to the taste. You might grow your own – it’s not difficult if you have space – or buy them at your local greengrocers, but you can’t not have an onion to hand if you are preparing a meal! I like them fried, just for a little while to make them crispy, or even raw, but the fact remains I like them!
So, this brings us to the age-old question: why does chopping an onion make you cry? Well, it’s down to the chemicals within the onion itself. It has one chemical, in particular, that has a complex name we won’t get into which, when it comes into contact with the air, becomes an acid that irritates the eyes. This chemical is usually kept sealed inside the bulb and is released only when we cut into it. That’s today’s chemistry and biology lesson over!
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Now, of course, that brings us naturally to the next question: how do you chop an onion without crying? There are many suggested ‘cures’ for the problem: one is very simple – use a sharp knife. This does have some merits, as the chemicals are released when the cells in the onion are crushed, so a sharp cut may not have as much effect. Some people suggest chilling the onion for 15 minutes before cutting, while others suggest the rather difficult – but ultimately successful – method of cutting the onion under water. Whistling, chewing bread, boiling a kettle – all are suggested methods, but we have a better one: buy an onion cutter! These clever, simple and surprisingly cheap kitchen implements usually cut other vegetables, too, so you get value for money – and no tears. What are they, and how do they work? Let’s have a look at the best onion cutters (electric and manual)
Best Onion Cutters and Onion Choppers
We begin our review of these quite wonderful onion cutters with one that sets the scene as a pretty much standard design. It takes the form of a box with a hinged lid, with blades within, and you simply place the onion in the box, close the lid, and it chops! The simplicity of the action is impressive, and it does a very good job indeed. It can chop, dice and slice – you get different blades for each action – and you also get a cleaning tool so it is very simple to keep clean.
While this model is dishwasher safe, it comes with the recommendation that hand-washing is better, and as it is very easy to wash, we see no reason why you would not. It also comes with advice on which fruits and vegetables to peel before washing, and which to boil beforehand. It’s a very neat device which does the job it is designed for very well, and one that will be a welcome addition to any kitchen. You also get a few recipe books as part of the package, so that’s a bonus, but at a little less than £20, it is quite expensive compared to some.
So, how do you hold an onion? It’s not really a question you ask very often but, in fact, this clever – and very cheap – little device makes you wonder why! It could be said that it solves a problem that doesn’t exist, but in fact we believe you will find one of these very useful indeed. It’s not an onion cutter as such – you have to do the cutting with a suitably sharp knife – but there is no doubt at all that it makes the process of cutting onions a lot easier, although it doesn’t solve the crying problem!
What is it? It’s a very simple, small device in the form of a comb, with a series of forks and a plastic handle. You simply spear the onion so it is held still, and slice away with your knife. It does help you make very fine cuts, and it keeps that horrible onion smell off your skin. All in all, it’s a clever if very simple little thing, and one that – at around £2.50 – won’t even make a dent in your pocket money!
Among the world of kitchen implements, few names carry such resonance as Russell Hobbs; this truly is a giant of the kitchen, and one that has been in the business for many decades. When it comes to onion choppers, they have really pushed the boat out with this one. For a start, it’s an electric onion chopper, so if you’re very lazy, it’s probably for you. It takes the form of a 1-litre glass bowl with metal cutting blades powered by an electric motor in the lid. It has safety features so you can’t cut your fingers off.
You put the onions – skinned of course – into the bowl, shut the lid and switch on, and your onions are cut to shreds in no time at all. You can fit 500ml of food in the bowl – you need the other space for the movement – and it doesn’t just cut onions, but just about any vegetable and most fruit. It’s effective, fast and actually quite fun, and it will be used widely, especially if you are cooking for a family. You have to spend a little under £25 for this one, though, so while not expensive, it’s not the cheapest either.
Why do you need a vegetable dicer? The truth is you don’t; a knife can do the job. But, we could ask the same thing about many other kitchen implements that we don’t actually need, but that do a job we appreciate, and make things easy. When it comes to chopping onions, one of these – from KUUK, not a name brand but with an extensive range – may well do the job. It’s pretty much identical to the first one we reviewed, and works in the same way, with a box design and a hinged lid.
The vegetable is fully enclosed – perfect for chopping onions – when it is cut, so you won’t get the crying problem, and it is very efficient and quick to use. You simply close the lid over the onion, and when you open it, you have a fully, neatly chopped vegetable! This one is made from plastic so is dishwasher safe and also easy to clean by hand, and at no more than nine quid, we reckon it’s a bit of a bargain.
Now this is a clever item, and a nice take on the vegetable cutting theme. It’s from the name brand Uten, who have a wide range of kitchen implements, and it is a very neat design that does a good job. It comes in the form of a bowl with a lid that has blades on it – nice sharp metal blades that are perfect for chopping veg – and while you would usually expect an electric motor to do the job, this one you operate by hand. If that sounds dangerous, it’s not; it’s simply very innovative.
You pull a cord that manually operates the blades – the bowl has slip-free feet for better stance – and it turns the blades, chopping the veg in the process. This is a very effective device – the current one has been further upgraded to include an extra blade – that will chop all manner of vegetables and fruit as you want, and it does so without much effort. You will also get change from £10 with this one, so it’s good value.
We always appreciate it when someone takes a simple, proven design, and adds their own touch to it, and this is one of those examples. It’s a simple box-cutter type – as the first one on the list – but it is a slightly different design, and we think it looks rather cool! It comes with two different sizes of quality, sharp stainless-steel blades, and is very easy to use; as with the others, you enclose the onion, and bring the lid down, and it cuts simply and efficiently.
So, why is this one better than the others of a similar type? It simply feels and looks more durable, and is certainly more stylish, so will look great in your kitchen, and it seems to do the job more effectively. We like the manual cutters for the reason they don’t need power and are easy to clean, so this one gets the nod. It’s not the cheapest at around £15, but it is good, so well worth a second look.
We have been amazed at the many different takes on the onion chopper theme; who would have thought that there could be so many different ideas about how to chop a vegetable? We’ve seen a wide variety of different ideas, and this is yet another one! It looks like a big, wide bottle, and operates the blades by way of you pushing down a large plunger on the top. You can use it with a cap on the base, to keep the veg in, or on a chopping board – it’s up to you!
This one is well made, looks quite neat and is effective, and it does chop onions very well. It makes things much easier when preparing salads, for example, and will be much used should you choose to buy one. It’s dishwasher safe so easy to clean, and all in all, we like it, as it does the job it is made for. At less than £8 it is also very good value, so well worth a look.
If, like me, you like your kitchen gadgets to look the part, you will like this one from Duronic, a brand with a range of goods that are of a high quality. This one comes with a very stylish stainless-steel finish so will fit easily in any kitchen, and has a glass bowl into which the vegetables go for chopping. It operates via a powerful electric motor that drives sharp cutting blades, and is very effective in use.
Does it have any downsides? We can’t see a single one, and it can be used for chopping anything from onions to fruit, plus a full range of other vegetables. It has a rubber base for stability, plus a turbo button so you get extra cutting power, and you will find it very easy to use, and surprisingly effective. If there is one possible drawback, it’s that it has quite a small capacity, so may not be great for large quantities, but it’s only fifteen quid so good value.
This machine from Ninja, who have a range of similar kitchen products, is powered by mains electricity, and offers 200watts of power which is more than sufficient for chopping any vegetables. It can also mince and puree thanks to a clever pulse motion from the blades, and the blades themselves are specially designed by the maker for maximum efficiency. It’s easy to use – it has a one touch operation – and is a very useful item for any kitchen.
The chopper comes with two handy bowls with lids, they are stackable too so take up very little room, and they can be sealed and used for storage as well as for the chopping process. It’s a neat design and is not too large that it will take up a lot of space; indeed, you could put it away in a cupboard with ease. With a capacity of 0.5 litres in each bowl you have plenty of capability. All in all, while not the cheapest, this is a decent model that is worth looking at.
Have you ever wondered how trendy bistros get those twisty slices of vegetable that look so good on the plate? They use one of these! Our final instalment is something slightly different; it’s a spiralizer, so rather than chopping or dicing your veg, will turn them out as neat strips so you can decorate your dish and amaze your friends! However, it does come with alternative chopping and mincing fitments, so you can chop your onions as usual.
Three different stainless steel blades provide effortless chopping power – it’s manually operated so you don’t need mains power – and it is very effective, and the end product is delivered direct into a bowl at the front of the device. Make no mistake this one is designed to be practical so doesn’t score in the style stakes, but we like the way it works and the end result. Certainly worth a second look at under £20.
That’s our list of ten clever and interesting onion choppers, and we are amazed at the variety of style among these options. Before we go on to talk about the selections, let’s have a quick reminder of what you need to look for.
How It Works
As we have seen, the problem of crying when cutting onions is caused by chemicals; while this is one reason to invest in an onion cutter, it’s not the only one. These devices make cutting up onions – and sometimes other vegetables, fruits, and even cheese – much easier, and will be much-used when you decide to buy one – which you will, when you have read this review!
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But, before we go on, what do you actually know about onions? Did you know that they have been cultivated for more than 7000 years? That’s a long time! Or, in fact, that the wild onion – from which we can only presume the present-day cultivated version emerged – is actually extinct? That’s true: there are no genuine wild onions, anywhere in the world, and those that may grow wild have been seeded by cultivated onions! For this reason, nobody knows where in the world the onion originated, although we do know they were actually revered in Ancient Egypt, and were widely used in Chinese and Persian cuisine many thousands of years ago.
The onion cutter, however, is a much more recent invention, and comes in many forms. You will find one to be very useful, and we guarantee it will make life much easier whether you are chopping onions or any other food. They are easy to use, no matter which version you choose, and will make your salads much more delightful! So, let’s have a detailed look at some of the best onion cutters on the market, and see if we can help you find the right one for you, at the right price, and enjoy tear-free chopping from now on!
Features to Consider
As we have said, there is a surprising variety among onion choppers! We thought it would be a case of simply choosing one from a list of very similar items, but we could not have been more wrong! Here’s a quick look at what you need to consider when buying one of these.
Mains or Manual – the big question: do you want one that does the job for you, or do you want to push a plunger, shut a lid or pull a cord to shred your veg? There are many different forms of operation here, so consider carefully.
Style or Function – some of these are designed purely for function, others have a sense of style built in. If you like your kitchen implements to look good, there are some that are more handsome than others.
That’s rally all there is to it when choosing a device to chop your onions, so all that remains now is for us to wrap things up.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
So, now you’re convinced you want an onion cutter – and who doesn’t – you have the difficult choice of making a decision which one is for you. There’s plenty of choice and, to be fair, each of those above does a good job in its own way. If you want a powered device, we recommend the Russell Hobbs model; it’s from a great brand that guarantees quality, and while the most expensive of these, is clearly the best. For manual cutters, the choice is yours, but we recommend you choose one that is effective and efficient, and not just the cheapest!
So, off you go and buy your onion chopper, and we hope you enjoy a lifetime of food preparation without having to cry!