With the release of my new cookbook, Zoodles, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from readers about how to pick the right spiralizer model. Today, we’re going to break down each model and talk about the pro’s and con’s so you can pick the right spiralizer model for you!
Spiralizers fall into two categories: the hand-crank models and the hourglass models. Based on my experience, I recommend the hand-crank models for users of all levels. Even though the initial cost investment of hand-crank models is slightly higher and they take up more room in the kitchen, these models produce the best noodles and give you the most variety compared to the hourglass models.
I’ve had my Paderno Spiralizer since 2009 and at that time, the 3-blade model was the only one available so this is the one I still own and use as my primary spiralizer. You can see a quick video of how it works here:
- The Paderno is BPA-free, lasts a long time, and comes with multiple blades (you now have the option of the 3 or 4-blade model) so there are a variety of pastas you can make.
- Hand-crank models remove the core of the vegetable as you spiralize, which is helpful for zucchini in particular since this part of the vegetable contains the most moisture and seeds. (By removing the core, it results in less-watery pasta compared to the hourglass model.)
- This model is very quick and easy to use. I love that I can create veggie noodles for an entire dish in under 2 minutes!
- You can use this model with a variety of produce (think: cabbage, apples, butternut squash, etc) and, since it has suction cups on the base, you’re able to have more control when spiralizing so you can spiralize even tough vegetables (e.g. celeriac) without worrying about slicing your finger on the blade.
- Hand-crank models like the Paderno do take up more storage space in the kitchen compared to the smaller hourglass model, but it’s about the size of a medium toaster so even in a small kitchen you can make room for it.
- The Paderno also costs more than the hourglass models (ranging from $28 – $44), but I personally think this is worth it given its lifespan.
In addition to a lot of points from above, the Inspiralizer model also has a few unique features of its own. I particularly like that you can change the blades by turning a handle (instead of having to pull the blades in and out individually) and there’s also a safety cover that protects your fingers from the blades when it’s not in use. The Inspiralizer also has counter clamps that help to keep it in place so you can spiralize tough fruits and vegetables easier. The con of this particular model is that it’s much pricer than the others (it currently runs around $50).
Hourglass models are shaped like a, well, hourglass, and function like a hand-held pencil sharpener. The most popular of these models is the Vegetti. Here are my thoughts:
- Hourglass models are small and take up very little storage space.
- Hourglass models are affordable as most range from $10 – $20.
And, sadly, those are the only good things I have to say about these models…
- The hourglass model only comes with two sizes of blades so there is less variety in the pasta you can produce.
- Since hourglass models do not remove the core of the vegetable, if you are spiralizing a vegetable with a high water-content (like zucchini) the noodles that are produced are very watery and break apart easily.
- Hourglass models takes a bit of time and manpower to yield enough noodles for a recipe. This is especially challenging if you are trying to prepare multiple servings of a dish at once.
- If you are spiralizing large vegetables (e.g. butternut squash, jicama, etc), you will have to pre-cut these vegetables so they can fit into the hourglass model.
- Hard vegetables tend to get stuck easily in the hourglass model so if you plan on spiralizing butternut squash or sweet potatoes, you wouldn’t be able to do that with this model.
- The worst thing about these models is safety. Every time I have used one of the hourglass models (regardless of brand), I have cut myself. Since you are using your hand to turn the vegetable and crank it through the blade, your hand gets very close to the blade and it’s way too easy to slice your finger.
In short, I think most people would be much happier with one of the hand-crank models compared to the hourglass models. My recommendation is either the Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Slicer (either the 3 or 4-blade model) or The Inspiralizer.
What’s your favorite spiralizer? Leave a comment below!
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