Pros: Does a great job on garlic
Cons: Everything else about it
Among the countless kitchen tools on the market today claiming to make our lives easier by helping us slice, dice, sliver, press, and chop a variety of vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients, the manual food chopper is just one. Unfortunately, the KitchenAid Food Chopper doesn't quite live up to the claims a busy cook would hope it makes.
I consider myself to be a pretty darn good home cook. I'm rather skilled with a knife and I can blow through 10 pounds of onions with my Shun Ken Onion knife in just under 10 minutes. Supposedly, it's just this kind of knife chopping business that the food chopper is supposed to save us from.
Well, it doesn't.
It would probably take me 3 times as long to chop 10 pounds of onions with this chopper and in the end, I'd have a nice case of repetetive motion disorder to show for it.
Every food you wish to chop in this tiny chopper (the opening where you must fit the food is a mere 4.2 inches in diameter) must first be chopped small enough to fit it under there! That means: quartering onions, halving mushrooms, literally chopping carrots...you get the idea. Well, if you're going to bother dragging out a knife and cutting board to chop the food small enough to fit it into the chopper, why not add a few extra knife strokes and save yourself a whole lot of frustration?
Food, even in the smallest amounts, repeatedly jams up the 5 flimsy metal blades in this chopper. Rather than clean-cut chopping, there's more of a gnashing that goes on inside this thing. As a result, onions come out virtually pureed and sopping wet with water. Carrots might as well be grated. Peanuts go in and peanut butter comes out. And chocolate--umm--let's not go there.
I have even attempted chopping chicken to small bits for use in croquettes and hard cheeses, too. None of it works.
The chopper is very difficult to clean. You must remove the blade from the rest of the chopper and rinse it. Often, tiny bits of onion or garlic get stuck up inside the chopper and you have to tediously try to remove them. You're lucky if you don't slice your hand open trying to wash this thing off. The product is advertised as dishwasher safe.
Assembly and ease of use
The chopper is as difficult to put together as it is to take apart for cleaning, which discourages me from using it right off the bat. A non-slip rubber grip attaches to the bottom of the chopper, making it entirely self-contained. (Yet, a cutting board is still necessary for preparing ingredients to chop.)
At least it's great for garlic
The only thing I can seem to get a good result on is garlic. I very often use 6...7...even 8 cloves of garlic at a time. With this thing, it's just a breeze to blow through the cloves, chopping and mashing them finely enough to melt right into my sauces and soups.
But that means this thing is no more than a great big garlic press.
That in mind, please, please save your money. Buy a garlic press. Or buy a really good chef's knife. But just don't buy this gimmicky hunk of junk!