Zoodles, swoodles, and other noodle-fied vegetables are pretty trendy these days. And for good reason! Not just a clever name, spiralized vegetables are a healthier alternative to noodles and just a fun new way to eat more veggies. Sure, you can turn produce into noodles with a chef's knife or a julienne peeler, but that will take some time — so it does help to have a spiralizer.
Which one should you get? We put three different gadgets through the wringer and here's what we thought.
Before we get to the reviews, though, the first choice you'll probably want to make is between a handheld or countertop option. As you might expect, the former is smaller, cheaper, and easier to use and clean. The countertop versions, on the other hand, are more versatile, with multiple blades and the ability to do more than just make noodles (think: cauliflower rice).
Kaitlin writes: My mom bought me a Veggetti for my birthday after we both got hooked on a local restaurant's Thai Zoodle Salad. It seemed like it would be a lot of unnecessary work, but we were both hooked instantly.
- If you've used a pencil sharpener, you'll have no trouble using a Veggetti. It has two sides to allow for two different sizes of noodles, and a spiked hand guard to safely guide the final end of the vegetable into the blades.
- It's also quite small, which makes it easy to store. I keep mine in a drawer.
- Finally, it has the benefit of being pretty cheap, which makes it a great option for someone who's interested in trying it out, but not ready to invest in a countertop device.
- The thing that I like least about the Veggetti (apart from the name) is cleaning it. I thought that a toothbrush would be the secret to brushing zucchini out from the blades and the spikes in the hand guard, but it doesn't always work as well as I'd hope. Plus, it's time-consuming. The Veggetti is dishwasher-safe, but I hesitate to wash it in there because I'm afraid it will shorten the gadget's lifespan.
- The Veggetti is perfect for zucchini and yellow squash, but I'm afraid I'd break it — or cut myself — if I tried using it with a sturdier veggie like a carrot or a sweet potato. Personally, this suits me just fine — zoodles for days!
- Using it is a slow process compared to higher-end spiralizers. Because there's no mechanical aid, you have to twist and twist and twist for a long time. The upside? You can tone your arms while you cook.
The Bottom Line
Despite the cons, I'm really happy with the Vegetti and would recommend it to anyone who is curious about spiralizing. If you're not cooking for a crowd and you plan to stick with zoodles, I think you'll be very happy with it! I see no reason to upgrade from it.
Molly writes: Last week I received not one, but two spiralizers in the mail from Paderno World Cuisine — the 3-blade and the 4-blade. Both of the spiralizers were similar in form and design, but as a spiralizing rookie, I started off with the 3-blade to get my feet wet. Encouraged by my initial plunge into the spiralizing world, I was ready to try the 4-blade, and I have to say it was a dream.
- The spiralizer was very easy to assemble and allowed me to jump right in. It's sturdy with strong suction cups on the bottom that keep it in place on your counter while turning the handle.
- It can make noodles out of a wide array of veggies. I started with zucchini (which I now consider to be the gateway drug of the spiralize-able vegetables) and it was effortless! Potatoes were also no challenge for this wunder-machine (although my curly fries failed miserably — but only as a result of my own cooking ignorance; I most definitely used the wrong ratio of oil to heat to cooking time.) Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, turned into a lovely sautéed dish with some greens and feta cheese.
- With its smallest blade option, the Paderno 4-blade (unlike the 3-blade) can also handle thin cylindrical vegetables like carrots; I was able to make a beautiful carrot salad with noodles the size of angel hair pasta.
- The Paderno is not super compact, and even when disassembled it still takes up a bit of surface area. Devoting precious cabinet space to a device that has only one main function is difficult to come to terms with in my tiny New York apartment.
- Cleaning it was a bit difficult as well. I had some concerns about putting the blades in the dishwasher for fear of dulling them, but trying to get a sponge around those spikes and slicers proved to be both challenging and slightly dangerous.
- At nearly $40, this model is getting up there in price and I probably wouldn't have purchased it of my own accord.
The Bottom Line
Geraldine writes: A true kitchen minimalist, I am pretty adamantly opposed to unitaskers of all shapes and sizes, but especially ones with silly names. But if it gets people (from toddlers to zucchini-fearing boyfriends) to eat more veggies, well, that's definitely a check in the pro column for me.
Still, there's a difference between me, begrudgingly, being okay with spiralizers in general and having one in my home. A novice and a skeptic, I decided to start small — with the OXO Good Grips HandHeld Spiralizer.
- Leave it to OXO to create a spiralizer that's actually attractive. It's also mini enough to fit neatly into my drawer of kitchen tools — so I can keep my countertops the way I like them: nice and Spartan.
- Most importantly, though, it delivers what it promises: oodles of zoodles. It took me all of two minutes to figure how it works — without reading the instructions — and even without the "safety" hand guard, I didn't feel in danger of slicing off my finger tips. I cut off the ends of my zucchini and started twisting, and out came lovely, satisfying threads.
- This is definitely a one-trick pony. You can only produce one size of spaghetti-like noodles, and tougher veggies (I tried a carrot, too) don't work as well as softer ones. For best results, it's also a good idea to use a veggie with a diameter of at least an inch and a half.
- The "Good Grips" part of the spiralizer failed me. The spikes of the hand guard didn't really stick to the end of zucchini or the carrot top, so I ended up just using my hand. As a result, I ended up with some sizable nubs of leftover veggies. Luckily, my dog Charlie likes pretty much everything and is always willing to do his part to minimize food waste.
- As expected, those tiny little blades are a pain to clean. I soaked mine in soapy water for a while, then went at them with an old toothbrush. That seemed to do the trick, but, for good measure, I put it in the dishwasher just to be sure.
The Bottom Line
I'm on the fence about my new gadget. Yes, it's cute and compact and yes, it makes gorgeous zoodles. But how often will I really use it? Only time will tell, but it's quite possible that this unitasker will earn a place in my highly curated drawer of kitchen tools.
More on Spiralizers
Do you have a favorite spiralizer? Share in the comments!