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Vidalia/other onion choppers [Moved from General Topics]

n
noya Jul 19, 2007 07:59 AM

Chopped some onions last night--so painful on my eyes. I can barely stand it--should I get one of those onion choppers? Anyone have a review?

TIA!

  1. n
    Nyleve Jul 20, 2007 07:12 AM

    Here is the solution. Place your cutting board on the front burner of your stove. Turn on the burner directly behind it. Chop to your heart's delight. For some reason, the heat draws the onion fumes away from you and there's no teary eyes. I may have my scientific explanation wrong, but I do know that this works.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Nyleve
      Davwud Jul 20, 2007 08:49 AM

      Supposedly a lit candle beside your cutting board will do the same thing.

      DT

      1. re: Davwud
        r
        rexsreine Jul 20, 2007 10:47 AM

        I'm going to buck the trend here. My post is also about dicing, not tear control. We bought one ("Nicer Dicer"). Okay, it seems hokey. I don't mind chopping with a knife, but I love those perfect little squares of tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, onions, etc. Seems I can never do them quite like I want. The chopper really does do a good job of them. I can make a visually-pleasing salad of peppers, cukes, jicama, and onions in no time. It does take a little time to learn how to use the thing efficiently and I have to "whack" it harder than my husband does (he has more hand and arm strength) but I like it enough to consider buying the more expensive metal version of it that recently came out. You may want to check that out.

        1. re: rexsreine
          Davwud Jul 20, 2007 01:23 PM

          No thanks.

          I'll go back to my earlier comment. It's faster to take out my chefs knife, chop an onion and clean it.

          I really don't care if all my veggies are a uniform size either. It's one thing I find totally over rated.

          Sorry

          DT
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          1. re: rexsreine
            alkapal Jul 23, 2007 04:49 PM

            Ditto on bucking the trend.. I know how to use my Henckel's chef's knife quite well. The chopper, however, is so quick, and makes a tedious job fun. Faster means fewer tears! I got it on rec from my sister, at Target for about 20 bucks. Similar thing at QVC with more slicing blades for a bit more.

            1. re: alkapal
              r
              rexsreine Jul 24, 2007 09:47 AM

              Looks like alkapal and I are the only ones here who've had fun with this little kitchen toy. I'm also somewhat obsessive/compulsive and take pleasure in those lovely little, even squares...Made gazpacho the other day and thought it looked so nice with the uniform veggies. Had too many green peppers and turned them into dice that went into the freezer - done in no time. Not for everybody, obviously...

              1. re: rexsreine
                alkapal Jul 24, 2007 11:32 AM

                Amen, sista! I used to tell my husband (when chopping lots of onions to make Indian dishes) that it was a labor of love to chop onions. Now, Love's labor's lost! (Ha, I couldn't resist that one.) Go choppers, go!!

                1. re: alkapal
                  Davwud Jul 24, 2007 12:43 PM

                  Yawn

                  I'd much rather have different size pieces of pepper so that sometimes I just get a hit of it while other times I get a little crunch with it.

                  I can still chop faster with my kitchen knife if you account for assembly and disassembly. Oh, and volume.

                  DT

                  1. re: Davwud
                    alkapal Jul 24, 2007 12:51 PM

                    ok, you win. you are the choppin' man! Query: are you faster than Martin Yan?

                    1. re: alkapal
                      Davwud Jul 25, 2007 01:45 PM

                      I'm not sure anyone is.
                      I'm just faster than my chopper gadget. You may be faster with your chopper. I'm only going on my own personal experience.

                      DT

      2. k
        KevinB Jul 20, 2007 03:13 AM

        Get a good mandolin. It should have a number of inserts so that you can select the size of chopped onion you want, and should allow you to dial in the thickness as well. Take off the outside peel, cut the onion in half, and put on the safety handle. You can then slice the whole half onion in about 30 seconds. Since most of the onion falls under the mandolin, your eyes get a little more protection. If you transfer each half to a bowl when done, and cover lightly with some plastic wrap, you should be able to do three or four onions in about 5-6 minutes with no tears.

        1. l
          LRunkle Jul 19, 2007 07:39 PM

          My eyes are very sensative to onions but I have had excellent luck dicing them with the cutting board on a cold area of the cooktop witht the exhaust fan going. Rarely notice the fumes.

          1. c
            cecilia Jul 19, 2007 07:08 PM

            use googles. I have one pair specifically for chopping onions. I tried freezing, candle, matches, you name it. Nothing worked. I am an extreme case though. I can't even have a plate of chopped onion on the counter.

            1. l
              LabRat Jul 19, 2007 11:53 AM

              A very sharp knife is the best way to keep from crying while cutting onions. The tearing is caused by sulfur containing compounds being released when the onions cells are ruptured, floating up to your eyes and mixing with moisture to create sulfuric acid. Your body them starts producing tears to wash away the irritant. A sharp knife damages far fewer cells than a less sharp one and releases less sulfur compounds.

              2 Replies
              1. re: LabRat
                scubadoo97 Jul 19, 2007 01:56 PM

                I can tell you that even with a sharp knives, mine are razor sharp, it still get's to my eyes. I would never recommend one of these choppers except if one is not able to use a knife due to arthritis or other medical problem then it is at least one method to dice. Nothing beats good knife skills and there is little clean up with a board and knife.

                1. re: scubadoo97
                  r
                  renov8r Jul 20, 2007 10:24 AM

                  eye protection works for me too -- I will either grab one of my worksite sets of sealed goggles or just strap on swim goggles.

              2. LNG212 Jul 19, 2007 11:10 AM

                I put my onion in the freezer for about a minute or 2 (or run quickly under very cold water) and it seems to help with the "onion eyes" issue. Like other posters have said, don't buy the gimmick. Get a good sharp chef's knife and work quickly. :)

                1. s
                  swsidejim Jul 19, 2007 10:13 AM

                  no,

                  use a chefs knife, I find those chopping contraptions kind of a gimmick for those not trained to use a knife, and look like they might not turn out a product that is consistent in size.

                  1. Davwud Jul 19, 2007 10:10 AM

                    I had one and found it quicker to pull out a knife and chop and onion. Especially if you need any real quantity of chopped onion.
                    You'd probably be better off finding a solution to the watery eyes rather than a different method of chopping onion.
                    I don't have one. I don't have much of a problem with onion fumes.

                    DT

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