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Spiralizer: My New Toy

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Master Chef
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    Posted: 29 January 2016 at 12:26
Long before spiralizing became the mode, I lusted for a curly fry cutter. Unfortunately, there was no way a commercial cutter would be cost effective. With spiral cut veggies the in thing, there are now numerous versions of spiral cutters available, ranging in price from less than $15 to more than $150.

After looking at several makes and models, I decided on the Briefton’s 5-Blade Spiralizer. I’ve played with it for about a month, now, and have no reason to regret that choice.

There are a few very minor problems. Let’s get those out of the way first.

The 5-blade model uses the same chassis as the original 3-blade model. Which means it can self-store only three blades---one in the cutting position and two in the built-in storage compartment. Those last two sort of lock in place, while you’re using the machine. However, when moving or cleaning it they have a tendency to slip out.

I would much rather have a separate storage box, either as part of the purchase package or as an accessory. One that accommodates all five blades would be welcome. If Briefton’s is planning additional assessor blades, a couple of extra storage slots would be nice as well.

Other than a learning curve as to which blade works best with any particular vegetable, there are no real problems with the cutters. However, one of the “new” blades is identified as “Angel Hair.” Supposedly ideal for making really thin strands. However, the actual size of the Angel Hair is 2mm, compared to the standard small blade which is 3mm. Frankly, I’m too near-sighted at that distance to tell the finished spiral-cut veggies apart. Carrots spiral-cut using both blades were all but indistinguishable in size.

More to the point: The actual width of the spirals often depends on the width of the veggie itself. So it’s possible to cut, say, zucchini with the 3mm blade that actually is smaller than one cut with the Angel Hair blade. That’s not a hypothetical example. It actually happened to me.

In other words, the Angel Hair blade is an unnecessary affectation that really doesn’t contribute to the machine’s versatility. As we’ll see, a flat blade with a different thickness-of-cut than the standard would be a more effective difference.

The slicing blade does the job it’s designed for. However, you are locked-in to the one thickness. Several sized blades, that produced different thicknesses-of-cut, as is found on many food processors, would be more useful.

Speaking of sizes, one thing to keep in mind is that the width of the spirals is determined partly by the choice of shredding blade, and partly by the diameter and density of the specific vegetable. For example, when first testing the blades, I used parsnips as one of the choices. They fed beautifully through the curly fry blade. More recently, with parsnips that were considerable thicker than the first batch, the curly fry blade didn’t work as well, producing chips and shards rather than strands. Changing to the 6mm blade resolved that problem. This is part of the learning curve referred to above, however, and not a fault of the machine.

Initially I questioned the push bar that’s part of the vegetable feed. The idea is that you push on it with your off-hand while spinning the turning wheel with your strong hand. I had, at first, set the unit horizontally on my work surface. Arranged that way, using the push bar is awkward at best. But I noticed that putting pressure on the feed unit alone seemed to strain the feed and the cutting blade.

Setting the unit on a diagonal (or vertically away from you, if you have the room) solved that. The push bar actually makes a lot of sense, as it takes the pressure off the turning wheel and handle.

There are some slight ambiguities in the instructions. But these clear up the first time you assemble and use the unit.

All of this sounds like criticisms. But, rather, they are merely aspects of using the spiralizer you should be aware of. Overall, the 5-Blade Spiralizer is well built and sturdy enough to do the job. The four suction-cup feet hold well on any slick surface (indeed, they almost don’t want to release from my Formica counter-top). And everything cleans up quickly with warm, soapy water and a scrub brush. I was concerned that there might be some staining. But even beet juice and residue cleaned up, with nary a mark or stain on any of the parts.

All in all, I really like this unit, and recommend it highly. If you’re thinking about getting a spiral cutter, you might take a look at this one at Amazon,

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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