Best appliance to chop nuts?

funkyartDecember 15, 2012

I am making baklava this weekend-- and while I purchased chopped walnuts, the pistachios are whole and must be chopped. I usually chop by hand but it takes soooo long and due to an injury and surgery a year ago, one of my hands is 1/2 numb and not all that strong.

I was a fool and sold my very nice, very large cuisinart at a garage sale for $15 arggg. Not interested in spending the money to replace it right now.. has anyone used one of the minis to chop nuts? Looks like there's a kitchenaid chopper and a mini cuisinart both under $50. Are they big enough to be useful for other things? Would the $35-50 bucks be well spent?

This post was edited by funkyart on Sat, Dec 15, 12 at 8:45

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I use a small Braun coffee grinder for this chore and it's even less expensive.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 9:44AM
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hmm.. i have a spare braun coffee grinder. Do you have enough control to keep them from turning to paste? I'd have to do the 2lbs of pistachios in batches but I am down with that if it saves me from spending money!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 9:56AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Get one of those old-fashioned nut choppers: jar with wooden disk in bottom and top with attached chopping blades that you just push down on to chop nuts. I have my mother's old one, but have also seen them in new versions with rubber bottoms. There are lots on Amazon. I just watched a video that compared several and the Progressive International was deemed the winner ($11+ on Amazon). That one has a turn handle and looked really easy on the video.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 10:11AM
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Pampered Chef has a nice chopper that I use mostly for onions, but also use for nuts.

I have an old, cheapo nut grinder where the nuts are fed into a cup on the top, you crank a small handle, and the nuts go through the blades into the bottom. It "grinds" them a little finer than I like sometimes for cakes, etc. but is perfect for some recipes. I especially like the finely ground nuts to roll my cheese balls in and for some salads and candy making.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pampred Chef chopper

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 10:26AM
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Here is one similar to the old one I have - looks like you have the option of chopping coarser with this one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nut grinder

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 10:29AM
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I also use the Pampered Chef model, but I know that's not much help today!


    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 11:22AM
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The KA or Cuisinart would be good if it has a pulse option. That's key for chopping IMO. My mother has a mini chopper that works great on nuts. All it has is a button that you use to pulse. W/ hand/wrist issues, those would be better than manual choppers.

If you use the coffee grinder, don't use one that you actually use coffee in. Your nuts will taste like coffee! :)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 12:27PM
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I had a pampered chef chopper-- but I'd be darned if I can find it. That would be perfect--I am going to look for something similar or the nut chopper.

Ha staitlover, I did realize I'd used coffee in both my grinders!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 12:59PM
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I used to use (pre cuisinart) a rigid metal pastry cutter. It's best if you can find a bowl with the right curve to match the cutter, don't use too many at a time. Can't say I ever did pistachios, but it worked great for walnuts and pecans.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:32PM
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I use my mom's old manual one from the fifties, and it still works great! All metal top and blades, glass jar.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 4:32PM
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I have the pampered Chef one also that I use for times like this. There are tons of copy cat choppers just like it at Bed Bath and Beyond, and with a 20% coupon it would cost peanuts ;)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 4:36PM
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Just run the coffee grinder for a short time. Chops - no pasty nuts.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 4:41PM
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I fear the pastry cutter would give me the same issues the knife does.. my hand just can't grip and hold control through the multiple rounds required to chop 2 lb of pistachios. I didnt make it to a mall today-- couldnt stomach it. I will be near williams-sonoma tomorrow where I know I can get something-- perhaps not cheap, but I'll get something. Thanks everyone! Hope I get to the baklava baking after all this .. I am feeling very drained.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 8:48PM
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