Best Spiral Slicers of 2017
A spiral slicer gives you the opportunity to creatively add healthy fruits and vegetables to your diet. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best spiral slicer to enhance your healthy lifestyle.
Oodles of Noodles: A Spiral Slicer Can Help Your Family Eat More Vegetables
These days, nearly everyone is trying to eat healthier. Enter the vegetable noodle: a popular pasta alternative without all the calories and carbs.
With noodles made from zucchini, carrots, squash, parsnips, or other veggies, you can enjoy your favorite "pasta" dishes while simultaneously sneaking some extra vegetables into your diet.
While veggie noodles can be delicious, they're also tough to make without the right tools. They have to be cut in spirals, and that's not a task that you can easily pull off with a simple knife. For this reason, the spiral slicer is a handy addition to the kitchen.
A spiral slicer can cut any vegetable into spirals quickly and easily. What's more, you can use a spiral slicer not just for veggie noodles, but also for salads, curly fries, and attractive garnishes.
Because spiral slicers are specialized kitchen tools, it can be difficult to pick out the right one. There are different types, materials, and blade arrangements to choose from, which means you could easily choose the wrong slicer if you don't know what you're looking for.
At BestReviews, we conduct field and expert research to examine products inside and out. After extensive research on spiral slicers, we're happy to recommend the three choices at the top of this page.
If you're not quite ready to buy a spiral slicer and would like to learn more about these handy kitchen tools, please continue reading this shopping guide.
Reasons to Buy a Spiral Slicer
Why should you invest in a spiral slicer? Having this nifty tool on hand can help enhance your diet, your enjoyment of food, and your efficiency in the kitchen.
● A spiral slicer cuts vegetables quickly and easily, saving you time in the kitchen. If you're not very skilled at cutting and slicing vegetables, it can also save you from cuts and nicks.
● By cutting vegetables into thin spirals, you may find it easier to work them into your diet. It's also a great way to get kids to consume more veggies. Spirals are fun to eat.
● If you're trying to lose weight, a spiral slicer can be very helpful. You can create low-calorie meals while still piling your plate high with food. Even curly fries can fit into your diet if you slice them very thin and bake them in the oven instead of frying them.
● Because a spiral slicer can cut veggies into extremely thin ribbons, the veggies cook faster, whether you blanche or stir-fry them.
● You don't have to be a kid to appreciate the cool look of spiral-cut veggies. A spiral slicer can elevate your food presentation to the next level with fancy garnishes that are quick and easy to make.
Which Type of Spiral Slicer Should You Buy?
There are two basic types of spiral slicers: handheld and crank-style. Read on to discover which type is right for you.
Handheld Spiral Slicers
Handheld spiral slicers are compact and easily portable; most can fit in the palm of your hand. If you have a smaller kitchen, you might prefer this type of slicer because it takes up less room.
Handheld spiral slicers tend to cost less than crank-style spiral slicers, and the smaller number of slicing options is one reason for the lower price. Typically, you'll only be able to get two types of slices out of a handheld spiral slicer.
To use a handheld spiral slicer, you insert the vegetable in one end on a rotating disk with teeth. When you twist the mechanism, the blade slices your produce into ribbons. Notably, handheld spiral slicers don't work as quickly or as easily as crank-style spiral slicers. And if you suffer from arthritis in your hands, you might prefer to avoid the twisting action required by a handheld slicer.
Crank-Style Spiral Slicers
Crank-style spiral slicers are typically larger than handheld spiral slicers, and they cost a lot more. The crank-style slicer works quickly, allowing you to cut a large number of vegetables in a short period of time. You get lots of slicing options with crank-style spiral slicers, from angel hair-like noodles to wide, flat ribbons.
To use a crank-style spiral slicer, you must first anchor it to the countertop or whatever surface you're using. It works a lot like an old-fashioned pencil sharpener: You fix the vegetable to a disc that holds it in place and turn the crank. The veggie grinds against the blade and slices into ribbons.
For cooks with arthritis in their hands, a crank-style spiral slicer would probably be the better choice. Crank-style slicers require less manual labor, and they're gentler on the hands.
How Much Should I Spend on a Spiral Slicer?
Price varies based on the type, number of blades, and accessories included with the spiral slicer. In general, you can expect to spend anywhere between $10 and $50.
● Handheld spiral slicers are the most budget-friendly spiral slicers. You'll usually pay between $10 and $15 for a slicer of this type.
● Crank-style spiral slicers are more expensive. You'll usually pay between $25 and $50 for a slicer of this type. A slicer with more blades and accessories will hit the higher end of this price range.
Questions to Ask Before Buying a Spiral Slicer
In addition to deciding whether you'd prefer a handheld or crank-style spiral slicer, there are a few other questions to ask before settling on a particular spiral slicer.
● Is the spiral slicer BPA-free? Most spiral slicers consist of a plastic body that holds the vegetables and runs them against the blades. The best slicers use BPA-free plastic because BPA, otherwise known as Bisphenol A, is a potentially hazardous chemical that can sometimes leach into foods.
● Are the spiral slicer's blades made of stainless steel? We advise shoppers to buy a spiral slicer with blades made of food-grade stainless steel. Stainless-steel blades are sharp and durable enough to slice even the toughest vegetables, and they won't tarnish the way other metals can.
● How many blades does the spiral slicer have? Spiral slicers are available with as few as one and as many as four blades. If you plan to use the slicer to make basic vegetable noodles, one or two blades is usually enough. But a spiral slicer with three or four blades offers more versatility. You'll be able to cut regular noodle-like shapes as well as angel- hair strands and ribbons that are thick, flat, and wide.
● Does the spiral slicer come with blade storage? Spiral slicers that include more than one blade can be problematic if storage space isn't included. Some spiral slicers feature a built-in compartment where you can tuck away the blades. This is a highly convenient feature. If you were to store the blades elsewhere in your kitchen, you run the risk of misplacing them or inadvertently cutting yourself as you search a drawer for them.
● How easy (or hard) is the spiral slicer to clean? It's easy for bits of vegetable skin or flesh to get caught in parts of a spiral slicer. As such, it's important to keep the slicer clean. For the easiest cleaning, opt for a slicer that's dishwasher-safe. Some spiral slicers are entirely dishwasher-safe; others must be hand-washed.
Tips and Tricks for Spiral Slicing
● To clean a spiral slicer that isn't dishwasher-safe, it helps to use a long, thin scrub brush that allows you to remove any bits of vegetable skin and flesh that might be stuck in the blades or other crevices.
● For safety's sake, always make sure that crank-style spiral slicers are attached securely to the counter or tabletop before you begin slicing.
● Use fresh vegetables with a spiral slicer. You won't get crisp cuts if the produce is soft and limp.
● Straight, thick vegetables work the best with a spiral slicer. They produce the cleanest cuts.
● If you're using a spiral slicer to make noodles out of vegetables with a high water content, such as cucumbers, sandwich them between two pieces of paper towel and blot to remove the excess moisture after you've sliced them.
Spiral Slicer FAQ
Q. What vegetables can I cut with a spiral slicer?
A. Zucchini and carrots are probably the most common veggies cut with a spiral slicer, but you can also slice potatoes, cucumbers, beets, radishes, white radishes, turnips, parsnips, squash, sweet potatoes, yams, eggplants, and broccoli stalks.
Q. Do I need a spiral slicer if I have a food processor with a julienne blade?
A. A food processor can't cut veggies in long spirals, so it doesn't work well if you want to make veggie noodles. And a spiral slicer doesn't require electricity to run, which can make it more convenient than a food processor.
Q. Is there a risk of cutting your fingers with a spiral slicer?
A. A spiral slicer is actually very safe. With both handheld and crank-style spiral slicers, your fingers are kept at a distance from the blades, so you're much less likely to cut or nick your finger than you would be with a knife.