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 the cut the vegetable in half that you are going to 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.
It is not me in the video below, but it is quite an accurate representation of me chopping veggies.
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.
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.
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!
Read Also: How to Easily Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs. (This is genius)