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Spiralizer: My New Toy

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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, http://www.amazon.com/Brieftons-5-Blade-Spiralizer-Vegetable-Gluten-Free/dp/B00WKENSDA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454095197&sr=8-1&keywords=briefton+5-blade+spiralizer


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2018 at 15:52
Brieftons is constantly making improvements to it's Spiralizer, and I thought I'd share the latest incarnation of the unit with you.

Brieftons is one of those rare companies that actually listens to its customers, and the new unit---which includes 7 blades (the original had 3, which then went to five), a catch container with a leak-proof lid, and a storage caddy for the blades---incorporates many suggestions I and other users had made.

You can see the new Spiralizer here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077H84K13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2018 at 03:19
I just pulled the trigger on a spiralizer myself Brook....I got the Ninja kitchen system that includes a unit for that purpose. 
The model you have is certainly more cost effective, but I was in a spot where my kitchenaide processor went belly up and I haven't had a working blender in years, so I decided to go for it.

Got to play with the spiralizer yesterday, making some quick pickles with cucumber ribbons, daikon, carrot and red onion noodles. I used my tried and true Thai cucumber sauce recipe for the pickle.....very tasty.
So far I am quite impressed with the quality and engineering involved in the Ninja...no doubt I'll be back with more comments as I continue to play with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2018 at 08:04
I was so turned off with the Ninja Pro blender I'd gotten years ago that I never even looked at their offering, Dave. When I reviewed the Ninja at a different site, it was almost completely negative---something I'd never done before or since.

I'm glad it's working out for you.

At base, I really believe the only meaningful differences between a state-of-the-art spiralizer, and a simple hand-turner, is speed and ease of use. The end results will be the same.

Spiralizers, as you know, are an ideal tool for making pickles with a twist. When you have a chance, try making pickled beet ribbons with it. Incredible! And, if you're serving guests, they're really impressed with the shape.

IIRC, Ron has one of those hand-turn units. Maybe he'll chime in with some comments.

Have you ever posted the Thai cucumber sauce recipe? I don't seem to recall seeing it. And, given the nature of our search engine.......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 April 2018 at 02:57
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 April 2018 at 03:58
Thanks, Dave.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 April 2018 at 14:00
Housekeeping note: Dave - I fixed the photo in your link above, but in doing so, the format of the original post was compromised. I think I repaired the recipe, but can you please take a quick look to make sure it is complete?

as for the spiralizer, we have been very happy with ours, although it is a quite-simple hand-held one. you just turn the chosen produce in it, like using a hand-held pencil sharpener, and that's all there is to it. Only two blades, for big or small spirals, but they work well enough. I'd like to experiment more with it, so this revival of the post is a good reminder.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2018 at 01:56
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

Housekeeping note: Dave - I fixed the photo in your link above, but in doing so, the format of the original post was compromised. I think I repaired the recipe, but can you please take a quick look to make sure it is complete?

as for the spiralizer, we have been very happy with ours, although it is a quite-simple hand-held one. you just turn the chosen produce in it, like using a hand-held pencil sharpener, and that's all there is to it. Only two blades, for big or small spirals, but they work well enough. I'd like to experiment more with it, so this revival of the post is a good reminder.

The photo showed up fine for me Ron, but I'm using the chrome browser which has a fix for all the photobucket crap.
Recipe looks fine as well.
Go ahead...play with your food!
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