A lot of people shy away from home cooking because of the amount of time and effort it entails. Actually, both can be cut by more than half with the help of simple kitchen tools and gadgets. Finely chopping vegetables, for instance, can be really tedious.
There are some tools that make manual work less painful. For instance, the hand chopper above is one of my best friends in the kitchen. Biba Caggiano and Nigella Lawson use this kind of chopper in their TV cooking shows.
Actually, it was in Biba Caggiano’s show where I first saw one.
While food processors and electric choppers can be really helpful, unless you’re chopping a lot of veggies, cleaning your electric appliances might actually mean more work. You save time and effort with the hand chopping but then you use up what you saved with the washing and cleaning required. Besides, there is nothing like the feel of food in your hands.
If I’m cooking for a lot of people, like when we’re having a dinner party at home, I use my Thunderstick Pro. But when there’s just myself at home, I prefer to hand chop everything. Also, there’s the matter of control. You have better control with size and texture when you hand chop, especially when making salads of chopping herbs for garnish.
Some cooks prefer an all-purpose kitchen knife. Personally, I have been using a Chinese style cleaver, not the Western style chef’s knife, since I first learned to cook. And the cleaver is much too heavy in my hand for chopping vegetables. It’s great for cutting meat, especially when chopping chicken through the bones. But if just veggies, the weight of the cleaver can be unnecessarily tiring for my hand. So, I switch to my vegetable chopper.