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We all know we should cook dinners from scratch and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to stay healthy.
But after a long day, sometimes all that prep work of chopping and dicing seems like way too much effort, and we just order ourselves a pizza instead!
And, of course, there are those for whom chopping fruits and veggies is a physical impossibility. Some people genuinely don't have the strength or energy to stand long enough to prepare dinner.
A food chopper could make a huge difference in your eating habits.
These handy gadgets take what could have been a half-hour chore and help you get it done in a couple of minutes. So getting a veg-heavy meal on the table doesn't seem like too much of an ordeal.
Studies show that 80% of Americans eat less than the recommended daily amount of vegetables and fruit. However, a food chopper could make it more convenient for you to prepare and enjoy these foods.
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To help you find the best food chopper for your needs, we researched the market. Our product matrix, above, contains our top five picks in the food chopper realm. If you’d like to learn more about food choppers, please continue reading our buying guide, below.
Food choppers come in two distinct varieties: manual and electric. Let's look at both and examine their strengths and weaknesses.
These are food choppers that are operated by hand — no power outlet needed. They normally require a downward pushing motion to work, but some varieties, like the Chef'n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper, have a pull cord.
Manual food choppers don't need electricity to work, so you can take them camping or RVing.
They're good for small kitchens where you don't have many free power sockets.
They're more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient than electric choppers.
Manual food choppers are also usually cheaper than electric food choppers.
Some manual food choppers require a fair amount of strength and dexterity to use.
Manual choppers aren't as powerful as their electric counterparts and may take longer to get everything chopped.
The Chef’n VeggieChop is a hand-powered food chopper. To operate it, you pull a cord and the unit spins and chops simultaneously.
Electric food choppers are similar to mini-food processors, but they’re more basic and don't have as many functions.
Electric food choppers work at the press of a button, so they're easy for people with arthritis and other mobility issues to use.
They're quick and powerful.
Some electric food choppers can also purée and make pesto and other sauces.
Electric food choppers are less portable, as they require connection with a wall socket.
The KitchenAid chopper is an electrically powered model with two speed settings: chop and purée.
We already know that some food choppers are manual; obviously, these are quite different from food processors. But what about electric food choppers? Aren't they just tiny food processors? And is there any reason to have both?
We can't deny that electric food choppers are similar to food processors, but some differences do exist.
Food processors are multi-purpose machines. Yes, they can chop food, but that’s not their only job. Food choppers, on the other hand, are specially designed to chop food, so they do it perfectly.
When it comes to food choppers, there are a surprising number of things to keep in mind. Below are some of the main considerations you should factor into your purchasing decision, such as electric or manual, ease of use and speed settings.
One of the first things to decide is whether you want an electric or a manual food chopper.
If you want to be able to use it when camping or traveling, or you simply don't want another electrical appliance, a manual food chopper is probably right for you.
If power and ease of operation are at the top of your list, an electric food chopper is probably the way to go.
Electric food choppers tend to be more versatile than manual ones. They can make purées and sauces, as well as to grind nuts and coffee.
Some food choppers can prepare very little at one time; others have a much larger capacity. At 3.5 cups, the electric KitchenAid KFC3511WH has the largest capacity of all our top picks.
The hand-powered Chef’n VeggiChop can hold about three cups at a time, but owners recommend that you chop a smaller amount than that in one session.
If you're cooking for just one or two people, you might not need a large-capacity chopper. But if you want to chop a lot of food, the job would certainly go faster with an electric chopper.
Manual food choppers like the Vidalia Chop Wizard tend to have a smaller capacity than their electric counterparts. After all, they’re not inherently powerful enough to chop a large volume at once.
We've all had kitchen gadgets and appliances that are so awkward to clean that we eventually give up using them.
Some food choppers are simple to clean thoroughly, whereas others are a bit more of a chore.
You may need to check customer reviews if ease of cleaning is especially important to you. For instance, customers have stated that the Ninja Express Chop is particularly easy to take apart and clean. Just a quick rinse of the bowl and blades and you're ready to go. And the bowl is dishwasher safe!
Dishwasher safe food choppers make cleanup a breeze. But not every food chopper can go in the dishwasher, so you'll need to check the product specifications.
All of the products listed in our product should be simple to use for an able-bodied adult. However, if you're looking for something that can be operated with no more than the press of a button, we recommend an electric chopper such as the Ninja Express Chop or the KitchenAid KFC3511WH.
Varieties that are operated with a pull cord, like the Chef'n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper, are also fairly easy to use, even with limited manual dexterity.
If you have a disability or condition that causes dexterity issues or limits your strength, manual choppers may be too difficult to use. An electric chopper is probably your best bet. Or if you’re set on a manual chopper, look for the pull-cord variety.
BPA is a substance found in plastics that can leach into your food. Human exposure to BPA has potentially been linked to some health issues.
We can't say whether having a BPA-free food chopper would make a difference in your overall health, but if it's something that concerns you, you may want to avoid it.
Some food choppers, including the KitchenAid KFC3511WH, are advertised as being BPA-free. If it’s not clear in the advertising, however, you may want to contact the manufacturer to find out for sure.
Although the FDA has declared BPA safe in low doses, it has been linked to health concerns, including high blood pressure and issues in the brain. As such, many people try to avoid products that contain it.
Most electric food chopper have two speed settings: high and low. This is all you really need. The high speed will allow you to purée ingredients or quickly achieve a fine dice. The low speed will give you a chunkier chop.
Given that you are the power source, manual food choppers don't have speed settings.
If you're looking for a food chopper in a trendy color — or you want it to match your kitchen — the KitchenAid is probably your best choice, with 17 colors from Boysenberry to Watermelon.
The majority of other food choppers simply come in a single basic color like black, white, or silver.
If you want to involve the kids in meal prep, look for a food chopper without exposed blades.
You needn’t break the bank when it comes to buying a food chopper. Even if you go for a big-name electric food chopper like the KitchenAid, it will only set you back between $30 and $50, depending on the color.
However, if you want a basic but effective manual chopper, you can pick up a decent one for about $15.
Q. Can you chop anything in a food chopper?
A. You can't chop every food in a food chopper, but most products are fairly versatile. They tend to be best suited for chopping fruits and veggies, but some choppers can pulverize softer produce, such as tomatoes or stone fruit, rather than chopping it.
Some brands can also chop bread (for breadcrumbs), cheese, nuts, and cooked meat.
The most powerful models are good for making dips and sauces, such as pesto, hummus, salsa, and guacamole. Some can even make nut butters and grind coffee.
Q. Are food choppers dishwasher safe?
A. Not all food choppers are dishwasher safe, but many are. While we wouldn't necessarily recommend choosing your chopper based on this feature alone, it's definitely an added bonus, especially if the unit has nooks and crannies that are tough to clean by hand.
Q. What are the benefits of using a food chopper?
A. These are just some of the benefits of using a food chopper: