Chef’n are based in Seattle and are renowned because of their wonderfully designed and well thought out products which solve almost all of your kitchen related troubles, the product from them that I’m reviewing today, the VeggiChop, is the kitchen gadget I’ve been waiting on for my whole life; it is a manual food processor which is fun, easy and satisfying to use which also aids your personal battle to save the environment.
What’s in the box?
Inside the elegant and wonderfully designed box you will find:
- An A4 instruction leaflet which is printed in 4 different languages; English, French, German and Spanish
- The cutting bowl
- The cutting rotor
- The lid
- A useful storage lid which fits over the bowl and keeps food fresh if you don’t use all of what you’ve chopped
How The VeggiChop Works
The process of working the VeggiChop could not be any simpler, to operate it you simply take hold of the ergonomically designed handle and pull; in a process similar to a starting a chainsaw.
The VeggiChop’s Build Quality
Chef’n really surprised me with the build quality of the VeggiChop, not only is it ergonomically designed, it is also made from high quality materials and has features which make chopping a breeze.
The Cutting Bowl; Where The Chopping Happens
The cutting bowl is wonderfully and elegantly designed; it is made from the very strong and scratch resistant plastic polycarbonate which looks like it is glass it is so clear. The bowl has a single peg in the center of the bottom, it is approximately 5 mm tall and 2 mm wide; this is where the cutting rotor fits on. At the sides of the bowl there are small ‘walls’ that are raised to grip large fruit or vegetable stopping the cutting rotor from spinning endlessly with whatever you’re cutting stuck on the blade, this is a really clever feature. The bottom of the cutting bowl has a circle of silicone which is extremely grippy making it even more pleasurable to use the VeggiChop.
The Cutting Rotor; Where The Blades Are Located
The cutting rotor is fitted in the center of the bowl on a 5 mm peg and has a centimeter deep hexagon shaped indentation which fits onto the centimeter long hex peg on the lid. The cutting rotor’s main material is molded polycarbonate, mine had some minor molding imperfections which were purely aesthetic, the blades are extremely sharp and are made from stainless steel. As with the bowl, the cutting rotor also has a really awesome feature; it features a ‘scraper’ which scrapes up your diced food from the bottom, this keeps the size of pieces even and prevents the accumulation of un-chopped food on the bottom of the bowl.
The Lid; Where The Magic Happens
The VeggiChop’s lid is one of the most crucial parts of the whole product, and also the most complicated. The lid’s internals feature a spring-loaded gearing system; spring-loaded to pull the cord back in after a pull of the handle. Interestingly, you have to pull the handle with a certain force to engage the gears which transfer the power to the hexagon protrusion which in turn drives the cutting rotor. The outside of the lid is the part that is inspiringly well thought out. The ‘handle’ that you hold to pull and chop up your food is comfortable in your hand and easy to grip onto. The actual lid has a silicone grip which you hold onto while pulling the handle, this helps the base to grip the work surface and not bounce around. The lid turns onto the bowl to lock in. The mechanism inside the lid is patented.
The VeggiChop In The Wild
I have conducted numerous tests throughout the reviewing process, I used it to chop everything from onions to oranges and even ice.
With the VeggiChop you have complete control over the fineness of your food which is something you can’t say for electric food processors which have minimal control. Chef’n even include the number of pulls for each size of chop on the instruction leaflet, they are as follows:
For a coarse chop: 5 or 6 pulls
For a medium chop: 7 to 12 pulls
For a fine shop: 13 to 20 pulls
The leaflet says that more than 20 pulls will result in a purée but I found this figure depended on the type of fruit or vegetable I was chopping.
Impressed with the product thus far I saw on the video that it says that the VeggiChop can even chop ice which I found completely unbelievable so I decided to try it out myself; I froze some water into ice and broke it up into roughly 1.5 inch pieces. I placed the 5 pieces of ice into the VeggiChop and at this point I was expecting that it would break, after only a few pulls of the handle I couldn’t believe my eyes: The ice had started to break up. I continued and after around 30 pulls it was completely broken up and I thought to myself “So this is how snow is made” because it resembled snow. I can’t express how impressed I am with the quality of the VeggiChop.
When I make tomato sauce for pizzas I use local organic ones, so I boil them to remove the skin then put them in a food processor. However, this time I put a quarter of them in the fairly small VeggiChop and pulled the handle and the results were very pleasing and the contents of the VeggiChop were chopped finely. An improvement I would like to see in a future iteration of the VeggiChop is it being waterproof, but this product is a chopper rather than a food processor, but when chopping tomatoes, it would be beneficial as they have a high liquid content.
Cleaning Of The VeggiChop
The VeggiChop is wonderful to clean, the cutting rotor and cutting bowl are both top rack dishwasher safe. The lid, however is only possible to clean using a damp cloth because it is not a watertight unit, which can be exasperating.
All in all, I absolutely love the VeggiChop; it’s the best cooking gadget I’ve ever used. I particularly love the included storage lid, how easy it is to clean and the precise control over the fineness of the chop. I don’t like how the lid is not a sealed unit thus not easy to clean, how it does not have a watertight seal and how it’s a little on the small size.
I would love if Chef’n developed a VeggiChop Pro with a larger capacity, a water tight seal and easier cleaning of the lid; possibly even multiple rotors for whisking and mixing.
I’m sure you will love the VeggiChop as much as I did, it is available here.