I know, it should be a no-brainer, right? You just pull out the sharpest knife you have, and you start crashing it straight down on an unsuspecting vegetable on a cutting board until it is a fraction of the size you started with.
However, there is a bit more science involved in the actual chopping of a carrot, onion, potato, or whatever vegetable you pulled out of the garden or the supermarket produce department.
There Are Two Ways To Chop Vegetables
Chopping vegetables is a kitchen chore that can be accomplished in one of two different ways.
They are – and these are my terms to keep it easy to understand – old-school (with a knife) and high-tech (without a knife).
Let me explain both of these a little further for you.
Slice And Dice With A Knife
Step 1 – Prep
Your first move is to cut the vegetable in half that you will chop into smaller pieces.
Step 2 – Slicing The Halves
Place each half of the vegetable (potato, onion, etc.) cut-side down and slice it lengthwise in parallel cuts and no more than a quarter-inch apart.
Step 3 – Horizontal Cuts
Now you cut the sliced vegetable in pieces at the thickness you desire and parallel to the board.
Step 4 – Right Angle Cuts
The final step is to cut the vegetable again with right angle cuts making the pieces as big as you need.
Sounds pretty basic, right?
I’m usually a bit more aggressive with my chopping, where I will adopt a karate stance in the kitchen with one foot back behind the other for additional support. Then I hold the cutting knife out in front of me at about eye level. My other hand is behind me at about the same level.
I take a deep breath, yell something along the lines of “Hi-Yah!” and slam the knife down into the vegetable I am trying to slice and dice by hand.
It’s rather effective, except there are times that cut pieces of carrots or cucumbers end up flying around the kitchen.
I should point out that although my antics may sound amusing, and I’m sure the neighbor has something on YouTube with me doing this that I have yet to have found.
Although I do find chopping vegetables to be fun, if I could just snap my fingers and the vegetables would chop themselves, I’d make more meals and toss out the take-out food menus attached to the fridge door.
This all brings me to the high-tech portion of this post.
Chopping Vegetables Without a Knife
For me, high-tech refers to the fact that there is some sort of gadgetry involved.
In this case, it is the birthday gift I received earlier this year, a Vegetable Chopper.
First, I was not quite sure what to make of it. Without giving it much thought, I classified it under one of these useless kitchen gadgets that nobody really needs.
But now I can’t be more happier that this Vegetable Chopper showed up with my name on it.
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I said it was high-tech. This thing is as high-tech as they come. There are virtually just a few easy steps to chopping carrots or onions or what-have-you.
- Clean the vegetables.
- Cut them in half.
- Choose the blade depending on the size and shape of the cut you want.
- Place the vegetable on the blade under the lid.
- Press down on the lid. The pressure pushes the vegetable through the blade system into a collection container below.
In the video below, you can see how easy and fast this gadget actually is.
It’s as easy as that.I no longer need to use a cutting board or knife to chop, slice, or julienne something for a meal. It also means that I won’t have bits of carrot or turnips flying through the air and bouncing off of kitchen appliances before hitting the floor, so there is no mess to clean up.
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My First Attempt
I have to tell you what happened when I used the Vegetable Chopper for the first time.
I placed a good-sized potato under the lid after I had peeled it. I then took my normal stance, and when I yelled, “Hi-Yah!” the hand I would normally have had a knife in came crashing down on the lid of the chopper and forced the spud into French fry pieces. I looked around immediately for flying pieces and could not see any. It disoriented me.
Then I couldn’t see the finished product on the counter until I realized it was all caught and held in the container below the blades. Everyone in the family got a good laugh out of that!
I shared that story for you to make a point. Don’t forget to read the instructions that come with your chopper. You may learn something you didn’t know about the product.
For me, I found that I can’t do my karate chop anymore. I can still yell “Hi-Yah!” but now I stand over the chopper and yell just as I’m about to push that vegetable through the blades.
Hey, I have to make this fun, or I may just look for another kitchen chore to do that isn’t so bad.
The Benefits Of The Vegetable Chopper
For me, this gadget has saved me a ton of extra work and cleaning. This is the gadget if you want to cut and chop fast. Also, works great for making a fruit salad.
It also caused me to toss out all the take-out menus as I am more prepared to spend a few minutes at the sink with this chopper.
If you are one of those kitchen cooks who use knives for everything, I urge you to take a look at alternatives. Your arms, hands, fingers, back, and family will be glad you did. Good luck!
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