on May 14, 2013
EDIT, Vegetable Pesto Report: okay, this one took a bit longer (five minutes of button-hits), as I was experimenting. If you hold down the pulse button, it will whine. So, just don't hold it down, hit it. I way overdid the red onion; so after adding frozen minced carrots, celery, basil, Parmesan (powdered already), romaine lettuce, lots of olive oil garlic and even some bean soup, cracked pepper, touch of lime and vinegar, got over a quart of nicely minced sauce. Yay.
EDIT, the Celery Chopping Report. I lopped off the top 1/3 of a celery stalk, leaves and all, and dumped it into this Oster baby. 10 'hits' on the button, and all was minced fine, great fragrance. No strings! Hint: use a pastry brush to remove what clings to the bowl. Then just rinse it out (fill bowl while blade inside, put on top, swish around, done).
EDIT, the Carrot Chopping Report: 20 hits on the pulse button, to coarsely chop six carrots I simply broke in half prior to putting them in the bowl. 40 hits, to finely mince them. Very happy camper!
PS: I left the chopped carrots in the bowl for several hours, before emptying out. NO CARROT STAIN! Yay! Just rinsed the bowl and top, finis!
EDIT, the Onion Chopping Report: oh yeah, this baby's a keeper. I wanna give it five stars, but haven't tested longevity. This is the first time I've used a food processor which I actually enjoy.
First, the thing is quiet. It makes a low-frequency bursting sound, not that high-pitched whine so common in the Salad Shooter and food processors. Sounds like LL Bean boots stamping or scraping on pavement. Very powerful.
And baby, you'd better only pulse for a second, if you want chopped rather than minced onions. ONE instaneous pulse on a quartered onion, might be all you need for chopped. If you put two medium Spanish onions in there (and you can really put four), not all will be chopped. So as with any other processor, don't overload, lest the big pieces stay on top. Empty frequently.
IGNORE the Oster's instructions on use, which usually recommend 15 seconds or more for onions and other items. Nope! You don't need but one or two pulses, for chopping, and not even that many seconds. Test it yourself, rather than assume the instructions are gospel. Example: I put a whole peeled medium Spanish Onion (prof. baseball-sized) into the chopper, and it took 14 'hits' of the pulse button, to fully chop it coarsely. I mean 'hits'. You don't have to hold the top down: just hit it, then see if you like the result.
So here's the difference with this baby: you can easily shake it, since the whole thing is light: so the big pieces you want still chopped, can be tapped to go on bottom (those ridges inside the bowl, help push the food down). I overloaded the bowl with two medium Spanish Yellow onions which I had to quarter only in order to remove the skins (could have fit four quartered onions, really, but that would make more big loose pieces) -- so part of one onion, remained at the top.
To correct, I but lifted this light, cute chopper, shook it sideways, tapped the side with the big pieces on top. The big pieces rolled to the bottom, and I pulsed for an instant more. Yay.
Wow, I've NEVER been happy with a chopper, until now. And I've tried the mandolin thingy, did the Shooter, long ago did the La Machine; did the traditional Waring blender thing, too. But until now, I didn't like any of them. This Oster is a charmer. Yeah, baby!
Cleanup: Easiest way -- because the bowl has NO hole, thank you God! -- is to squirt some dish detergent in the bowl, while the blade is still in it. Then fill with hot water, put the top on. Shake or swirl. Turn it upside down, there is almost no leakage. Then, rinse. Fun! So I'd advise you to hand wash, though the instructions say all but the motor, can go into the dishwasher (presumably top-shelf only). I think that auto dishwasher will make the plastic bowl too brittle, and will wreck the finish and the blades' sharpness.
By the way, the motorized top won't work unless you twist-lock it in place (look at the motor edges, match to the top plastic's indentations). This is great, since you can still leave the motor in the outlet, when you remove it from the bowl. MUCH SUPERIOR DESIGN, versus those processors with the huge motorized bases.
Now, where do I put it? Inside a bigger mixing bowl, of course! Yay. Yay. Yay. Yay.
Original review, follows below.
Dunno about you, but I can't see using some doo-dad to chop veggies unless I've got to do a bunch of them. Else chopping by hand, is just fine. I got this Oster thingy (just arrived today), as an alternative to the Presto Professional Salad shooter, which I also bought here in Amazon (see my review), and which I've grown to dislike. Shooter sounds like an airplane, and is hard to clean. Shooter can't chop anything with a slickness or residue (so never use the Presto for celery, onions, okra, etc).
So after looking at practically every other kind of 'food processor', I finally settled on this chopper: because all it does, IS chop. Moreover, the 'mouth' is bigger than the widemouth processors. Yay.
Primarily, I want it for chopping onions, which I chop and then freeze, in bulk; or, to make onion soup. Could stick two medium whole Spanish Yellow onions into the chopper, side-by-side. Double-Yay. So for big onions or apples, figure one large piece sliced in two.
So this Oster is much bigger than it looks (else the picture is accurate). Dimensions reported in the product description, are correct. Capacity is more like 8 cups, not four: the four cup line is about 1/3 down from the chopper bowl top; the top is curved, so you can chop a lot more than 4 cups, certainly.
The picture seems to show a clouding at both sides, which made me think the top had egg-shaped inserts at either end; but that is not true. (I don't know why the picture shows the two egg-shape shadows.)
The motor sits in a molded plastic sleeve, which is also the top (all one piece, no seams). The drive shaft holding the two blades, is a separate piece, and the motor fits over it. So theoretically, while chopping, that little hole through which the two connect, is the only possibility of food escaping. The top itself, sets inside the oblong bowl, so that too reduces or eliminates the likelihood of pieces escaping, during chopping. If you're liquifying, obviously you must be careful.
It's a pulse operation only. The internal ridges are there, I'm sure, to keep food from sticking to the sides.
The blades are thin: one blade's a little higher than the other, which I had hoped would be true.
The chopping bowl is a cheap hard crystalline plastic which might easily crack (you know, like plastic boxes from 20 years ago). I'd not put this in a dishwasher, for that reason. They really need to change the plastic material for the bowl, to something with more 'give'. However, it appears as though I could just run the machine without the bowl (i.e., using the top, but over some other bowl. Will try that, and report back later.
There is much to like about the Oster 4-Cup Chopper:
The top/motor is a gorgeous garnet red and the whole thing is just well, pretty. It won't be the end of the world if space constraints mean it has to live on the counter.
It's reasonably easy to clean. Though it's top rack dishwasher safe (except for the motor) it's the work of a moment to wash in the sink. More about that below.
Here's what's to love about this gadget:
It's BIG. It can handle a couple of large onions at a time. Peel, cut in eighths and no more tears. The whole onion operation takes less than a minute.
It's powerful. I chunked up some large carrots--the kind you could use for stair stringers--and the Oster made them into lovely soup bits in five seconds. There was only one unshredded bit in the bowl.
There's no struggle to lock the top to the bottom, the way there is with the Cuisinart. The clear top fits easily on the bottom container, the motor goes on top of the clear top and if it won't immediately start, you just twist it around until it's seated.
Here's the best part:
The design is genius. The body of the chopper is in two pieces, so the motor never comes in contact with the food. A quick wipe and cleanup of the motor is done. Even though there are ridges in the container portion of the chopper, it's fast and simple to slosh some hot soapy water around, give it a scrub with whatever you use to wash dishes, rinse and dry--or reuse. The chopping blades are attached to a longish center shaft which makes an admirable handle for washing them. The blades are deadly sharp, and unless you do something really stupid, it'll be hard to injure yourself.
This Oster Chopper is fast replacing my big Cuisinart for everything except pasta and bread dough, and because it's so light and easy to use and clean, I'm chopping a lot more than I ever did with my heavy food processor.
It's a win, and for the price should be in every kitchen.
Edited on 9/17/13:
I pulled the chopper out last night to make a quick salsa. It wouldn't come on to save its life. Frustrated, I dumped everything into the Cuisinart. This morning, I discovered I'd tried to seat the motor sideways. Duh! If you're having trouble with yours, try placing the motor crosswise from the way it looks like it should go.
I'm so glad this reliable little gadget is still as wonderful as it ever was. Why couldn't I get it right last night? No idea, except I was under pressure to get dinner on the table before midnight. Imagine!
Sometimes you want to use a chopper but don't want to drag out the big food processor- nor wash all the parts afterwards, when you just have a few things to process. I got a smaller version chopper by another manufacturer which I love, but it only holds 1 cup, so using it meant I had to do batches to get the quantity I needed. When I saw that this had a 4 cup capacity, I was very interested! It came in yesterday and I got right to work with it.
It does a very nice job of chopping. Depending on the result you want, you might have to pulse it rather than hold down the top. It does not have more than one speed, but pulsing effectively handles that. My smaller, older one did have two speeds but I found I pretty much always used the higher one, so that doesn't bother me. This chopper is not especially quiet - but it's not so loud it becomes annoying.
One of my favorite things about this chopper is the way the motor sits atop the bowl with an additional piece of molded plastic between the motor and the bowl. On my older, smaller chopper the motorized top sat directly over the bowl, meaning it was far more difficult to clean. With this, the bowl, bowl top and blade are all easily washable, and also can be put in the dishwasher. My older one came with a separate lid to put over the bowl for storage, but I never used it... this one does not have the ability to be used for storage. That's no issue for me.
While this will never replace a full-featured food processor, I find that I use this a lot more than the FP, because it's faster, easier and less work to clean up. And it's the 'right' size bowl. Be aware that the blade is extremely sharp and handle it with caution. Because it's a chopper and not a multi-tasking processor, it is much lighter. As I get older, lifting and moving the Big Processor becomes more difficult.
* works very well for all types of chopping and blending
* Easy to clean
* 4-cup bowl is a great size, accomodates a good amount
* Small footprint means you can leave it on the countertop, unlike a full-featured food processor, which means quick and easy access
* a little noisy
From my point of view, the only con- a bit noisy- is irrelevant since the Pros vastly outweigh it. I recommend it!
on April 18, 2013
Like most people, I dread getting out a large food processor unless I have a large amount of food prep to do. Using power choppers has provided mixed results for me in the past. Some are under powered; others spin too fast and produce mush instead of finely chopped onions. I need something that is powerful but gentle, very sharp, easy to get the chopped food out of, and extremely easy to clean and reassemble. I had settled on the KitchenAid 3.5 cup food chopper, which produced excellent chopping results and was very quiet. However, I found that chopper wasn't the easiest to get all of your chopped food out of, and it could be somewhat cumbersome to remove and re-attach the cup and blade from the motor pedestal. I was excited when given the opportunity to test and review the Oster Top Chop 4-cup chopper. Maybe this would be that perfect kitchen helper that I have been looking for.
The Oster Top Chop is a well-built, easy to assemble chopper, which has a bigger foot print than one might imagine. Don't know why, but somehow I assumed this would be a smaller device. But a big footprint means it should hold a lot of food, and boy does it ever. I consider this my perfect salsa making gadget, as I can fit all of the ingredients I need, to chop and blend up a sizable portion of delicious salsa. The blades of this Oster chopper are extremely sharp, and have cut through everything I have tried it on with ease. Although I find that my KitchenAid chopper is a little better at chopping onion, as that model produces no mush in any vegetables whatsoever, the Oster does a respectable job as well, and at half the price of the KitchenAid model. The Oster chopper is fairly easy to empty, although I just cannot understand why they have those vertical plastic protrusions inside of the bowl. They don't cause a big problem, but food does get caught on them, and it takes a little extra effort to scrap out the food around them. I'm no engineer, so maybe those ridges are a vital design feature, needed to provide better chopping results. To me they just seem useless and frustrating. Still, the Oster is much easier to empty than my KitchenAid chopper is, and it reassembles very easy as well. My only other complaint would be that this chopper is rather noisy. I wouldn't expect whisper levels from a device like this, but after testing several different makes and models of choppers over the years, I think the Oster Top Chop is certainly one of the loudest.
I really don't know what else to say about this chopper. It is powerful, sharp, easy to clean and reassemble, and is the perfect size to prepare food items for a small family. It is a bit louder than many other food choppers on the market today, and getting rid of those ridges, inside the chopping bowl, would make is much easier to scrape out all of those little food bits. Still, I think one would be hard pressed to find a better food chopper for the money. I give it 4 stars, as a great but not perfect product, and would highly recommend it to anyone that is sick of cutting everything by hand in the kitchen.