Thursday, December 18, 2008

Vidalia Chop Wizard - Four and 1/2 Stars

Unpaid product review/endorsement

You have probably seen this little Vidalia Chop Wizard chopper gadget in the stores about this time of year and figured it was another one of those "yeah, right" as seen on tv gadgets that doesn't really live up to it's claims. Well last Christmas I decided to get one for myself as a stocking stuffer. The cost is just under $20.

This little gadget actually works. In this case I cut the ends off of a medium onion and split it in half from top to bottom, peeled away the skin and stuck the cut side down on the blade. If you pull the bulby center of the onion out, it seems to make the onion more flexible and forces it through the blade a bit easier.

Make sure that the lid is fully seated on the hinges and place both hands on the lid, pushing down quickly and firmly, forcing the onion through the blades and into the bowl underneath. You don't want to be a brute and be super forceful with this - remember its hinges and shell are just plastic! I think it probably helps to put pressure on the hinges with one hand and pushing more with the other hand - sort of equalizing the pressure? I'm just speculatin' here though.

And when you stand it up on it's side, there's a handy measurement ruler to let you know how many cups you have chopped.

I used it tonight to chop the onion, celery, green pepper and even the garlic for the etoufee recipe I was making. It comes with 2 blades and I accidentally used the larger chopper blade instead of the dicer blade because I didn't think to change it out till I had already chopped, but that's okay. I like veggies.

I really love this gadget. I think it does an excellent job and it takes virtually no time and is just easy breezy. And no tears! The other day when I was hand choppin' one of these onions, I was pourin' tears. Trouble is I'm so used to either hand chopping or using the food processor that I forget I have it. As mentioned, when I do use it, I also forget to change out the blades. But, it really does a great job!

I would give it 5 stars, except that when I use it I almost always cringe worrying over the plastic parts or that I'm going to crack the hinges. It's not intended for heavy duty chopping, but of course I tend to push things. But apparently I live on the edge. On larger onions, the instructions advise quartering them before chopping.

The other reason I backed off a half a star is that the little grooves that hold the stuff in place over the blades, tend to get food in them and can be a pain to clean. It comes with a little tool that looks sort of like a comb, if you can remember where you put it when you need it which I never can. But, I discovered a stiff toothbrush (set aside strictly for kitchen use of course) comes in real handy cleaning the grooves out, so it's not really that big of a headache.

The blades are very sharp so supervise children if they are helping you. Can be used for onions, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini for stir fry, potatoes for stews, eggs for egg salad, tomatoes for salsa or pasta salads, apples, pears, strawberries and pineapples for fruit salads.

So if you (1) remember that it's made of plastic and not steel, and if (2) unlike my husband (who is like a bull in a china shop) you're not too rough on things and (3) you remember this is for quick small jobs and don't try to treat this thing like it's a food processor, it should hold up for you and you'll probably be happy with this chopper. Sure comes in handy and speeds up the process when you just need just a bit of chopping done. Or you're too lazy like me tonight.


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