Could a simple manual nut chopper work faster and better than a chef's knife or food processor?
Published Aug. 1, 2011. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 12: Chocolate Torte
Could a simple manual nut chopper work faster and better than a chef's knife or food processor? We pitted five chopper, from $7 crank-style jars to almost $30 mills, against our favorite food processor (the KitchenAid 750) and timed ourselves chopping pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts. The highest-priced-chopper fared the worst, procesing nuts into gritty, mushy bits, but only one did much better. Its sharp stainless-steel tines pushed the nuts through slats that gave us a coarse texture as we turned the handle in one direction, a slightly finer texture in the other. It is the only manual nut chopper worth buying. Not only that, but chopping with our chef's knife actually took twice as long for worse results, plus we had to corral scooting nuts. Nor did we love the food processor. In thirty 1-second pulses, it pulverized some nuts, left others whole, and coated all in a fine, sticky nut dust.
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