We love staying up to date on the latest and greatest in kitchen tools and equipment, but we never want to forget about our reliable favorites. Here is one of mine: the KitchenAid Chef Series 3-Cup Chopper. I have had this for years, and I thought I lost it this weekend!
I bought this 3-cup chopper years ago. I have had it for at least 5 years, but I think it has actually been much longer than that. (7 years? 8? My memory has a gap here!) It was my first real small appliance purchase. I couldn't afford a full-size food processor, and I had no room for one anyway. But I was making curries and spice pastes, and I wanted a food chopper to help grind ingredients finer than I could get them with my mortar and pestle.
This chopper was less than $40, and it has been worth every penny. It's extremely simple and basic: One chopping blade, and one speed. You have to hold the Pulse button down to make the chopper blend; there's no hands-free action.
I have made everything in this: Hummus and other dips, salsa, pie dough. I have ground nuts, spices, and bread crumbs. I have blended small batches of soup, and made the infamous one-ingredient banana ice cream (pictured above and below).
Recently I have been tempted to upgrade to a large food processor. It's difficult to do a full batch of pasta or pie crust in this 3-cup bowl, and I'd love to be able to shred vegetables in a food processor. But every time I think about it I pull back. This little chopper is just so light, so small, and so reliable. Yes, it has its limitations, but it works so well for so many things. It's a true multitasking gadget. It's genuinely useful, and it has hung in there for years and years.
I did think that I had lost it this weekend, though! I made a batch of pasta in it, and pushed it just a little too hard. I thought I had a puff of flour hanging in the air — but it was smoke! The motor was literally burning. I thought for sure I had sent it to the Great Small Electrics Heaven in the Sky, but lo and behold, when I plugged it in the next day, it still ran. It sounded a little weary, but still kicking. Thank goodness. I don't know what I'd do without it!
Overall, this chopper does a great job on all the things you'd want a small chopper to do. It has its limitations: The small size, and the one speed. It is easy to clean, but the lid's locking mechanism tends to get grimy inside, and it's impossible to clean it out. The chopper also gets a little stuck on big chunks of bread or cheese, and if the bowl is relatively empty, as with a spice paste, sometimes it just doesn't work well.
Having said all that, it's a fabulous tool and obviously highly reliable. Two thumbs up. It's a keeper, in my kitchen. I hope it sticks around a while longer.
• Find it: KitchenAid Chef Series Food Chopper, $38.20 at Amazon
More on Food Processors:
• Top Ten Ways to Use Your Food Processor
• Do You Have Any Tips for Storing Food Processor Blades?
• Product Review: Cuisinart Elite Die-Cast Food Processor
• Is Cuisinart the Best Food Processor?
• Good Question: What Size Food Processor Should I Buy?
• Video: Manual Food Processor from Chef'n
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf.
(Images: Faith Durand)