The Best Kitchen Tools for Chopping and Slicing

November  9, 2013

There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: It's time to tackle what kitchen tools you need in your arsenal.

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A mortar and pestle makes a great pesto, and we know it's possible to whip cream with a fork, but sometimes we're looking for a less intensive table-top workout. With multiple helpful prep gadgets at our disposal, why not use them to our advantage? A food processor is quite useful, and we couldn't live without our favorite knives, but we also don't want to overcrowd our kitchens -- which tools should we give priority to? 

This week on the Hotline, CorinnaB professed her love for her food processor, but wondered if she should purchase anything to round out her collection. Are mandolins, food choppers, or spice grinders necessary to complement? Our community of resident experts weighed in:

  • A mandolin might not be necessary, ChefJune uses her food processors for all slicing tasks.
  • If you do pick up a mandoline -- for perfectly thin slices fennel and zucchini like Asherl -- according to aargersi, it doesn't need to be an expensive model, just be careful and wear protective gloves.
  • Multiple members of the community recommend having dedicated spice grinders. Electric coffee grinders work well too, just be sure to clean it regularly.
  • ChefOno insists on a microplane for whole nutmeg (We're partial to this oak grater).
  • Pierino is partial to the mezzaluna; a knife with a curved sharp blade that rocks back and forth -- it can make short work of herbs.

What are your preferred kitchen gadgets for chopping and slicing? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Lactose intolerant cheese lover, who will walk blocks for a good cup of coffee. Recently escaped the corporate world, after discovering her favorite part of the job was ordering catering.