This weeks Kitchen Tip Tuesday is a product review. I'll try not to sound like an infomercial, but I really love this thing!
What is it? It's an onion chopper! The Progressive International Onion Chopper to be exact. I got a chance to use my grandma's when I was in Utah earlier this year and it's really pretty spiffy.
You first peel your onion and cut it into thick slices (1/2"-3/4" thick). Pop it onto the cutting grid, bring the lid down and press. Viola! Nice uniformly sized onion chunks. There's even handy measuring lines along the side of the chopper.
The reviews for this chopper on Amazon range from "this is a horrible piece of garbage and should never have been invented" to "THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER INVENTED." I think it's on the better side of good, but there are a few tricks to making it work for you. First off, fresher onions seem to work better than old onions. The user guide says you can just cut the onion in half, but I find that it works a lot better if you slice the onion into thirds or fourths (if it's a mega huge onion, more slices may be needed).
The chopper is dishwasher safe (big plus) and comes with a nifty little cleaning tool. I recommend you don't lose this, it's a huge help. I think it would be awful to clean without it.
I probably wouldn't use this if I was chopping more than two or three onions at once since a food processor would be faster, but for smaller chopping jobs it's great. I've also had success cutting zucchini, firm tomatoes (uh, make sure they're firm, they'll turn into tomato puree otherwise), cucumbers and carrots. I've had mixed success with bell peppers. If they're fresh, it works great. If they'd been previously frozen, not quite so great.
If you're really handy and less clumsy with a knife than I am then this tool may not be for you. However, if you stink at cutting onions into nice little dices I think it's a good investment. The model I have only has one size of blade, but I think their "Vidalia" chopper has a larger grid blade included.
I also have the garnish slicer made by this company and it died the first time we used it. It seemed like there was a flaw somewhere that caused the blade to bend and cut into the plastic. Progressive International advertises that their products have a lifetime guarantee so we contacted them... and waited... and waited... I'd about given up hope, but finally (almost 6 weeks later) one of their customer service representatives got in touch and mailed out new parts to replace the bad ones. So, the customer service was very slow, but they do seem to stand behind their products and I think that's a good thing.
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