What Is A Vegetable Spiralizer: A Guide For The Unfamiliar

What Is A Vegetable Spiralizer: A Guide For The Unfamiliar

Preserving your health is one of the most important things you can do, so it makes sense to do whatever you can to ensure that your body is healthy.

One of the best ways that you can keep yourself healthy is to improve your diet. Do not fall under the misconception that this is difficult to accomplish; it simply requires some smart cooking.

Even if you are an inexperienced cook, you do not have to cook overly complicated recipes; you only have to cook tasty ones. There are many tools at your disposal so that you can make use of more ingredients and implement them into your cooking more naturally than otherwise.

Dishes made with vegetable spiralizer.

Fruits and vegetables are some of the more healthy ingredients that you can use in your meals. A meal without vegetables is very likely an unbalanced and unhealthy meal. If you are trying to find ways to implement these ingredients into your daily cooking, you have a few options.

One of these options is a vegetable spiralizer. If you are not acquainted with what a vegetable spiralizer is, this coming section should help explain them.

What Is A Vegetable Spiralizer

A vegetable spiralizer, also known as a spiral slicer or a vegetable pasta spiralizer, is a kitchen tool which is used to cut fruits and vegetables into spiralling slices. These slices can either be used for their aesthetic value (in a fruit salad, for example) or to more easily integrate vegetables into a meal (such as in the case of zucchini pasta).

Types Of Vegetable Spiralizer

There are many different types of vegetable spiralizer that you can purchase, so we will go over some of them in the coming paragraph. This will let use avoid any confusion later on in the article, as well as better informing you about the kinds of spiralizers and how they work.

Manual Or Handheld Vegetable Spiralizers

These models of vegetable spiralizer tend to be the most affordable ones, but they also take practice regarding technique. They are not that much harder to use, but they do take more attention than many other types of spiral cutter because you can cut your hand if you are not paying attention.

Manual Or Handheld Vegetable Spiralizers

The technique which is typically used with manual vegetable spiralizers is rather simple, in some instances, it is more simple than other types of spiralizer. All you have to do is hold the spiralizer still in one hand and use the other hand to simultaneously push your fruit or vegetable into the spiralizer while twisting it.

These spiralizers are also very reliable as they do not have moving parts. Some models feature a detachable or separate piece which features teeth on one side and a handle on the other. This allows you to keep cutting your vegetable into spirals when it is too small to hold with your fingers safely.

Handheld spiralizers are the best choice if you do not mind putting a little bit of extra effort into your spiral cutting. Keep in mind that these may not be the best choice if you are looking to spiral cut a large number of fruits and vegetables since your fingers and hands will grow more tired over time.

Horizontal Vegetable Spiralizers

Horizontal spiral cutters are typically in the middle of the pack when it comes to quality and price point. You will find that they are also more common than the highly similar vertical models. Horizontal spiralizers tend to make use of a gear and handle system to cut your fruits and vegetables.

Horizontal Vegetable Spiralizers

They are arranged so that the blade is at one side of the spiralizer and one handle is positioned behind your vegetable holder (a toothed piece into which you push your piece of food). This handle is used to rotate the vegetable and in some cases, also push it along the track so that it goes further into the blade.

On other models, there is a separate handle which can be used for the lateral movement of the vegetable, allowing you to control the speed more precisely. Unfortunately, models such as these tend to require more experience as you can ruin the consistency of your ribbons if you do not maintain a constant speed turning both handles.

Another advantage to horizontal spiralizers is that they tend to be less expensive than their electronic counterparts. They also take far less work than handheld models. One of the disadvantages of horizontal spiralizers is they tend to need suction bases since they are pushed sideways by the forces exerted upon them while they are in use.

Vertical Vegetable Spiralizers

Vertical spiralizers also tend to be in the same mid range regarding quality and price as horizontal models. They function in much the same way, though they typically only have one handle as gravity does the work that the lateral handle would do in a horizontal vegetable spiralizer.

Vertical Vegetable Spiralizers

Most vertical vegetable spiralizers tend to feature a reservoir positioned underneath the blades or room for a bowl. This makes it so that your spirals don't end up falling on your countertop while you are using your spiral cutter. This solves the issue of horizontal spiralizers being somewhat inaccurate in regards to where the pieces end up once they have been cut.

Vertical spiral cutters tend to be a little easier to use than their horizontal counterparts since it is less common to find multiple handles that must be used in a combined fashion. They require a little more work than electric models, which tend to accomplish most of the work automatically.

Fortunately, they are in a much lower price range than electric models, since they do not need to include a motor and other electrical components which tend to bump up the price noticeably. They are also similarly priced to horizontal models since they are almost the same regarding design.

Electric Vegetable Spiralizers

The highest end models of vegetable spiralizers tend to be of the electric type. They can be in several different styles depending on their source of power. The most common variant tends to feature a built in electric motor which provides power to the spiralizer, turning it without need for user input besides setting either the speed or turning it on.

Electric Vegetable Spiralizers

Variants with included electric motors either feature plugs for wall outlets or onboard batteries which may be recharged using either a base or a cord. Models which feature a self contained power source tend to be a little more maneuverable than other types of vegetable spiralizers, making them ideal for those who value mobility

Electric spiralizers can also be used in combination with other appliances in the form of attachments. Since spiralizers are a bit of a niche product, many manufacturers do not see the need to manufacture an entirely separate device, and instead create a spiral cutter attachment for their food processors.

These types of electric spiralizers tend to be powered by the appliance which they are attached to. While they require the food processor with which they are compatible in order to function, they eliminate the need for an extra kitchen implement, helping you cut down on the clutter in your kitchen.

Electric spiralizers tend to be the most convenient models to use since you do not have to do any manual work to cut your vegetables. This is offset by the price, of course, as they are also the most expensive models of spiral cutter that you will find available.

Spiralizer Features And Specifications

Here's some notable features and specifications of spiralizers.

Material

The material out of which your spiralizers are constructed is certainly an important consideration. As with any other type of product which will be used in your food, it helps to ensure that none of the materials can pose any harm to you through the leaching of chemicals or otherwise.

KitchenAid KSM1APC Spiralizer Attachment with Peel

For example, if you are purchasing a spiralizer which features plastic in its construction, you will want to ensure that the plastics are free of any BPAs. BPAs are a compound which can result in cancer and other diseases if you ingest it. It is the reason that there was an uproar over plastic water bottles about a decade ago.

However, the materials which are used in your spiralizer are about more than just ensuring that you remain in good health, although that is the most important consideration. For example, if your spiral cutter is made of subpar materials, it will very likely not last you as long as a model which has been made with proper materials.

Strong, reliable materials which can be used in the manufacture of your spiralizer can include hard plastics, stainless steel and a host of other materials.

Most reputable manufacturers would never manufacture of a model of spiralizer which features dangerous materials. Unfortunately, some may create a product which can fail easily as a method of cutting down on material costs.

Other than reliability and health, you will want to invest in a model of spiralizer which is resistant to rust and corrosion. Due to a large amount of water in fruits and vegetables, spiralizers are particularly susceptible to corrosive damage. This is why many spiral cutters are manufactured using stainless steel, which is more resistant to rust than other types of metals.

Blade Quality

Since most of the work in a spiralizer is accomplished by the blade, it is important to ensure that you purchase one with excellent blade quality. Not only does a high-quality blade ensure that you get an easy and consistent cut, but it will also take a much longer amount of time to grow dull.

KitchenAid KSM1APC

A high-quality blade will typically be sharper than a blade of lower quality, so the process of spiralizing your vegetable will go far more smoothly. Lower quality blades are vulnerable to hitching and other forms of stoppages. This slows down your spiralizing but it also makes it so that your slices are more inconsistent.

Many spiralizers feature blades which cannot be sharpened. This means that their performance will gradually degrade over time until you either purchase replacement blades (if possible) or purchase a whole new spiralizer. As you can see, this aspect affects the longevity of your spiral cutter as well as the cutting quality.

As always, there is also the health concern. If your spiralizer's blade is made of poor quality metal, there are several risks which you will be subjected to. For example, your food may be contaminated by rust, or a piece of the blade may even break and end up in your food.

Blade quality is a very important consideration in a vegetable spiralizer for many reasons, some which may not be evident at first. When it comes to appliances and tools which are used for food preparation in your kitchen, especially for cutting, you do not want to make any sacrifices regarding quality or safety.

Number Of Blades

This is a characteristic of a spiralizer which depends more so on the customer than on anything else. The number of blades that you decide to opt for will depend highly on your intended use for your spiralizer. If you hope to use your spiralizer more often than most other customers would, you may need some replacement blades.

Spiralizer blades.

Keep in mind that replacement blades, in this case, are simply copies of the same default blade which can be used with your vegetable spiralizer. We will be discussing different blade types in our coming section. Multiple blades of the same type will typically result in a spiralizer which is far more reliable and long lasting.

It is typically a good choice to include several blades with an electric vegetable spiralizer since it will work far faster than another type of spiral cutter. This faster method of operation may result in greater efficiency when spiralizing but it also results in a blade which ends up dull a lot sooner.

Besides the dulling of blades, which makes your spiralizer work less effectively, extra blades also help in the event of a broken or lost blade, as your spiralizer will not be able to function without one.

Keep in mind that some types of spiralizers do not feature replaceable blades, but this is usually confined to manual spiralizers. Manufacturing and selling replacement blades for spiralizers which are meant to be affordable and low end is quite simply not cost effective for the companies which make these products.

Versatility

Versatility goes a long way in a product which is as specialized as a vegetable spiralizer. While you may only get a few uses a month out of your vegetable spiralizer, you will be able to use it for a wide variety of other culinary tasks if it features a good degree of versatility.

The perfect potato and apple peeling

Versatility can be the result of many features, but it is primarily due to several types of blades being either included or compatible with your vegetable spiralizer. Different types of blades can have more of an effect on your spiralizer than simply adjusting the thickness of the spirals which are cut.

For example, you can opt for an attachment which will make it easier to peel your fruits and vegetables, eliminating the need for a separate peeler. The best part about having a versatile spiralizer is that you can eliminate the need for a large number of other implements and tools in your kitchen.

As many cooks know, there are few things that are worse than a cluttered kitchen, so it helps to make it as clean and accessible as possible.

Besides peelers, you also have the option of attachments which make slices of your fruits and vegetables. When paired with an electric vegetable spiralizer, you will have a great way to slice a large number of vegetables and fruit in a short period of time.

How To Use A Vegetable Spiralizer

There are many ways to use a vegetable spiralizer thanks to the wide variety of types that there are. For this reason, we will go over the way to use each one of them. As we described earlier, a manual model of spiralizer is used by simultaneously pushing and twisting a peeled fruit or vegetable into the cutting blades.

Spiralized vegetable noodle bowls.

Horizontal and vertical spiralizers are used in a very similar manner. You place your fruit or vegetable into the holder on one end and rotate either one or two handles so that the food is simultaneously rotated and pushed into the spiralizer.

Finally, electric spiralizers are quite simple. You must first turn them on, and then push a vegetable or fruit into them. Keep in mind that you should always peel your vegetables first, unless intend to eat the skin as well.

Manufacturers

As you look for spiralizer, you’re going to find many options available, but keep in mind the quality. Here's our recommendation of manufactures that you can trust.

OXO

OXO is a manufacturer of cooking supplies as well as office supplies, which may seem like a rather strange combination. They are based in New York City, and they were founded in 1990. Do not let their relative lack of experience fool you; they are a rather effective manufacturer of spiralizers.

OXO Good Grips

OXO's Good Grips division is responsible for the manufacture of much of their kitchen appliances, including their spiralizers. They are known for making spiralizers that are highly versatile, with a large number of possible blades which may be attached. Their vegetable spiralizers are usually of the horizontal type.

KitchenAid

Of the manufacturers on this list, you will find that KitchenAid is one of the most famous examples. Due to their well known penchant for quality products, KitchenAid has a very good reputation for their stand mixers, an appliance without which most kitchens would not be complete.

Vegetable spiralizers are one of the many attachments which can be used for their stand mixers.

As their spiralizers are attachments for their stand mixers, you will find that KitchenAid has some of the more unique choices regarding functioning. While you do need to have one of their stand mixers for it to function, it saves you the trouble of having to purchase an entirely separate spiralizer.

Spiralizer

As you can tell by the name of this company, they specialize in the manufacture of spiralizers. An American company, they have devoted most of their product line to manufacturing a good variety of spiralizers.

Spiral Slicer Vegetable Spiralizer Bundle

For example, some of their most popular products are their five blade spiralizer as well as their four blade spiralizer. The degree of versatility of your spiralizer is dictated by the number of different blades with which it is included, so it is evident that they have a good selection of spiralizers which are all quite versatile.

Paderno World Cuisine

Paderno World Cuisine is a manufacturer of cookware and other cooking implements from Italy. Having existed since 1925, you will find that they have a good deal of experience in manufacturing high-quality products and this is certainly reflected in their vegetable spiralizers.

Paderno also has an American branch of their company known as Paderno USA which makes products for the American market. This allows Paderno to cut down on operating costs such as importation fees, etc. As a result of this, you get the quality of genuine Italian cookware without the cost or the hassle.

Safety Features

It is important to invest in a model of spiralizer which has a good deal of safety features. Since it is a cutting tool, a spiralizer can certainly injure you. There are typically guards around the blade to prevent you from accidentally cutting yourself on the edge. Some electric spiralizers come included with an automatic shutoff feature as well.

Maintenance And Cleaning

As with all other kitchen utensils, it is important to maintain a spiralizer properly. Improper maintenance can lead to the degradation of your tool and even pose a threat to your health. If your spiralizer is made of stainless steel, you should clean it as you would clean any other stainless steel kitchen tool.

Conclusion

If you didn't know what a spiralizer was when you started reading this article, you should certainly know by now. We hope that this article has been comprehensive and informative in explaining the usefulness of spiralizers.

Spiral vegetables in pie.

While they may seem like a niche product, spiralizers are an excellent choice for any cook who would like to improve the serving of their fruits and vegetables.

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