Blogging good information on kitchen tools and gadgets!

I Have A Nut To Grind With You

I received an email asking what device will most effectively chop nuts.

First, let’s look at the easiest way to chop nuts without adding another tool to the cabinet.

The fastest, best way to chop nuts is with a knife on a cutting board. Depending on the intended size of end product, you can smack the nuts with the flat blade portion of a chef’s knife, then invert the blade and chop until you reach the size you seek.

Another low tech method involves smashing the nuts in a Ziploc bag or tea towel. You simply put the nuts in the bag or towel to contain the nut pieces as they break. You can then smash the nuts with a skillet or meat mallet. If you use a Ziploc bag, make sure you press out the majority of the air in the bag before smashing it. If you don’t, you risk popping the bag and making a mess.

The next option I would suggest is to use a tool you probably already have in your kitchen – your food processor. The key to effectively chopping nuts in a food processor is to pulse the blade in a quick on and off fashion. You need to pay close attention to the bowl to make sure you aren’t turning the nuts into paste or “flour”. Also don’t overload the bowl with nuts – too many nuts in the bowl means some will become paste before the rest are chopped. I have tried to use topside mounted disks, for example a slicing blade, to chop or slice nuts, but the nuts tend to bounce around inside the feeder tube and never really achieve the result I am seeking.

If none of these methods appeal, there are a couple of tools available for chopping nuts that do a good job – it does mean adding another tool to your collection.

The first and simplest is the Progressive Nut Grinder. It features an enclosed top loading chamber, a manual crank and a bottom collection bowl with volume measurements on the side. It will hold about a cup of chopped nuts. I like it because it is easy to use, effective, reliable and doesn’t create a mess.

Progressive Nut Chopper

Another option, is the table clamped food grinder from Universal. It reminds me of the old style cast iron meat grinder. In fact they look so similar that many people confuse the two when seen on a shelf. The difference is the grinding blade, which will be displayed on the outside of the box. The food grinder is an exposed convex exposed blade. This tool will do a lot of nuts easily, but it is heavy, bulky and a bit more involved to clean. On the positive side this durable, rugged tool will grind other types of food making it a multi-tasker in the kitchen.

Universal Food Grinder

There are also manual tools like a twist and chop, but I do not recommend using it for anything but soft nuts like walnuts and even then, walnuts can get stuck on the blades. Additionally, they can only chop small amounts of nuts and will produce uneven, unsatisfactory results.

Kuhn Rikon Twist and Chop

There are also pump style food choppers that will work just fine on a variety of nuts. These tools are cylindrical in shape and have a top hand pump. You simply push down on on the pump and a spring kicks it back upward; the better models rotate the blades as you pump. Some of these models also have measuring marks on the collection bin.

Zyliss Food Chopper

Oxo Mini Chopper

Though many tools can be used for multiple tasks, there are some that I don’t think work well for chopping nuts. This includes rotary cylinder graters that are very effective for cheese, but aren’t so good for nuts. “Salad shooters” and the Kitchen Aid attachment also fall into this category.

Zyliss Grater Set

KitchenAid Slicer Shredder Attachment

I am also not fond of using box graters for this purpose either. They are ineffective for use with nuts and rough on the fingers if you are not careful.

If your goal is slivered or sliced nuts, then I would suggest you buy them already cut. You can hold nuts and slice or julienne them with a knife, but it takes lots of patience and time.

In the end, if you choose not to use your knife, I would say smash them in a bag or towel using a skillet. It is just so simple. After that, I like the Progressive nut grinder.

Special Note:

- If you are going to roast the nuts, roast them before chopping. You will get a better tasting finished product.

———————————————————————-


———————————————————————-

Share Button

16 Responses to “I Have A Nut To Grind With You”

  1. Linda

    Chopping nuts: My favorite way is to use the old fashioned grinder that you hand-crank. Works well and does not turn the nuts to dust or mush.

  2. Andrew C. Smith

    Hello there, I am glad that I ran into your site. I spend a lot of time online reading about various topics. It is always nice to find a site with such valuable information. I will bookmark this page and look forward to reading some of your future posts. Thanks and God bless.

  3. Christian

    What a great blog! It’s a pity that i can’t find your rss address. If you can offer rss subscription service, i can track your blog easier!

  4. KitchenBoy

    @Chrisitan – I am sorry about the RSS feed problem. I recently updated to the newest version of WordPress and the RSS feed has been finicky. It works through some channels but not others. I am trying to figure it out and hopefully will have it working consistently soon.

    ***Update – the RSS feeds are working fine now. The problem was found and fixed. ***

    If you have Twitter, you can follow my updates there. Just click the Twitter Icon at the top right of the page.

    Or if you have a Facebook account, you can follow my updates via the group, Fans of Kitchenboy.net.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kitchenboynet/323662130980502

    Thanks for reading.
    KitchenBoy

  5. nokia

    Hi. Very nice Blog. Not really what i have searched over in Google, but thanks for the information.

  6. Beyer

    Good Morning, your webpage design is really cool. I like how all the elements have been arranged, and how the page is structured so that it is appropriate.

  7. Alman

    I rarly comment on blogs but I really like yours. Its hard to find good bloggers these days …

  8. Steve

    Hey dude, Steve here… Keep ‘em coming… you are doing a great job with this blog, inspiring many newbies like me… – Steve

  9. Telefony

    just to ask what analytics you use to track your surfers, i am going now on this blog adventure thing and using hitstatcounter.com not sure if its the best but it is free. cheers in advance.

  10. KitchenBoy

    @Telefony – I use WordPress.com Site Stats. It is built into the blog dashboard making it easier to review and track stats while doing other administrative functions.

  11. chase

    I was just talking with my friend about this today at the resturant. Don’t remember how we got on the topic really, they brought it up. I do recall having a wonderful chicken salad with cranberries on it. But I digress…

  12. Christina H

    Good write-up, I have book marked this website so with any luck , I’ll be back in the future!

  13. Maranda Madler

    I suppose a share of eggheads tend to view this way.

  14. Mitchell Simbeck

    Immediately after looking around your web site I book marked and I recently emailed my brother to show him your info.

  15. Liz Rodeo

    I wanted to say Thank You for providing this information, you’re doing a great job with the site – if you get a chance would you help me make some changes to my site? I’ll pay you for your help, you can find the link to my site in my name. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS