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Old 02-05-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
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What type of knife is best for chopping nuts?

I've been using my 8" chef's knife to chop nuts such as walnuts and brazil nuts but was wondering if there's a better knife for this purpose - something a little less cumbersome.

Any suggestions?

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Old 02-05-2012, 02:18 PM   #2
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"Best" is kind of a nebulous concept, KG, because there are so many variables, including type of nut, quantity, and how fine you want them---not to mention your comfort level using any particular tool.

For small quantities I put the nuts in a plastic bag and use my meat mallet to break them up. If I need them chopped really fine, I use a rolling pin.

Otherwise I just use my chef's knife. Don't find it awkward at all.

For really large quantities I use the food processor.

If you chop nuts often, you might want to check one of those choppers with the hand-driven, rotating blades. They're cheap enough (about 20 bucks, as I recall), quick to clean, and work well for many chopping tasks.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:21 PM   #3
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mezzaluna
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:35 PM   #4
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If you don't want to use a knife, you might consider one of these for under $10.

Shop Progressive Nut Chopper at CHEFS.

I just saw it on America's Test Kitchen this morning, where it was recommended.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
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I like this one:
Amazon.com: OXO Good Grips Chopper: Kitchen & Dining
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:47 PM   #6
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Those are what I was talking about, Steve & PF.

I don't care for them much myself, cuz there's not much I can't do with my knives. On the other hand, Friend Wife loves them, and uses them for, among other things, nuts, onions, garlic, and even some fresh herbs.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HistoricFoodie View Post
Those are what I was talking about, Steve & PF.

I don't care for them much myself, cuz there's not much I can't do with my knives. On the other hand, Friend Wife loves them, and uses them for, among other things, nuts, onions, garlic, and even some fresh herbs.
I just cannot handle a knife for chopping finely any more. My arthritis is worse by the month. If I could still chop, I would be using a 6 inch chef's, the longest blade I could ever wield safely.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:30 PM   #8
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Which is why we have different ways of accomplishing the same task, PF. Everybody has their own needs and comfort level.

I even know people who whip out the food processer to chop a small onion. To me that makes no sense. But it works for them, and that's what counts.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:33 PM   #9
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Food processor o
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justplainbill
mezzaluna
What do you think of this one?

http://www.target.com/p/Giada-De-Lau...e/-/A-11992443
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:35 PM   #11
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:41 PM   #12
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Typical celebrity chef marketing ploy, KF. That is not a mezzaluna.

A mezzaluna is a highly curved blade with a handle on each end. You rock it back and forth, over the food, to chop it. They come in both single and double-bladed versions.

If you get one, go for the double blade. A single bladed mezzaluna is even more awkward then your knife.

There is a learning curve involved, developling the feel for a mezzaluna. And, in general, you need a good-sized work surface. But once you become comfortable with one it's about the fastest manual way of chopping things.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HistoricFoodie
Typical celebrity chef marketing ploy, KF. That is not a mezzaluna.

A mezzaluna is a highly curved blade with a handle on each end. You rock it back and forth, over the food, to chop it. They come in both single and double-bladed versions.

If you get one, go for the double blade. A single bladed mezzaluna is even more awkward then your knife.

There is a learning curve involved, developling the feel for a mezzaluna. And, in general, you need a good-sized work surface. But once you become comfortable with one it's about the fastest manual way of chopping things.
Is there a particular brand that you like?
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by kitchengoddess8 View Post
What do you think of this one?

Giada De Laurentiis
I prefer a single blade (easier to clean and sharpen) with a single looped handle mounted on the top of the blade.
http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:A...ugDNK3yFFcTSQd
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justplainbill
I prefer a single blade (easier to clean and sharpen) with a single looped handle mounted on the top of the blade.
http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:A...ugDNK3yFFcTSQd
Do you find it easy to use? What kinds of foods can you chop with it?
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
If you don't want to use a knife, you might consider one of these for under $10.

Shop Progressive Nut Chopper at CHEFS.

I just saw it on America's Test Kitchen this morning, where it was recommended.
I have this chopper - it works very well.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:05 PM   #17
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Only trouble with that style, JustPlainBill, is that you just about have to use it with a wooden bowl. They're not that effective on a flat cutting board.

My Mom used one for years, and I still have it (along with the bowl she used). For me it's too much trouble to dig out a wooden bowl, and then have to clean it as well.

KG, the thing to understand is that it's just a round knife. You can chop anything with it that can be chopped with any other knife. If you don't mind using a wooden bowl, it might be the best choice for you.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merstar

I have this chopper - it works very well.
Thank you Steve and Merstar. This could make nut chopping a whole lot easier for me.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:17 PM   #19
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Food Processor.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:23 PM   #20
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I like to chop nuts with an 8" chefs knife. I start slow and then rock. I can see the advantage of one of those choppers - it would keep pieces nuts from flying around. But, I'm lazy and a chefs knife takes next to no effort to wash.
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