Cooking

A Cut Above: Slicing Gadgets

Prep dinner in a flash with grape and tomato cutters
Best Tomato Slicers

I'm a big fan of anything that cuts down on the amount of prep time for a recipe. When faced with a mountain of produce to slice and dice, I'll confess: I dream of takeout instead.

OXO has recently come out with two new (and very similar) gadgets that can help save time but only in a few limited instances. Both tools are designed to make cutting grapes and small tomatoes easier. There's no question that they take the hassle out of dealing with small, roundish things, but let's take a look at how they're different and which one is better.

Grape & Tomato Cutter ($10)
This plunger-like tool cuts the fruits or veggies into quarters. Simply pop in a grape or tomato (one at a time, unfortunately) into the chamber, press down and you'll end up with four neatly sliced pieces of fruit. I like this one for ease of use, and for the fact that it's actually kind of fun. The blades are inside for safety. If you have kids who are old enough to help in the kitchen, but too young to handle a knife, this is the perfect tool for them.

Grape & Small Tomato Slicing Guide ($13)
While I originally found this one a little bit more difficult to use, in the end, it proved the more useful of the two. I tried it out with grapes on the bigger side, so it took a bit of wiggling to get them in the chamber and ready to slice. Once stacked, simply use a serrated knife (not included) to cut down the middle, and violà, you end up with a cup full of sliced fruit in seconds. I'm much more likely to need tomatoes or grapes simply cut in half as opposed to quarters. Plus, this one allows you to cut several grapes, tomatoes or pitted olives all at once, which is what really saves time.

Final thoughts: Most of us normally eat our tomatoes and grapes whole. But sometimes you want them cut up. For a salad, say, or a tomato tart. Or pasta tossed with cut cherry tomatoes or grape-infused sangria. I'm excited to use the cutter for pitted cherries to add to homemade ice cream.

Michael Hung's Fermented Chile Vinegar

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