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The spiralizer quickly turns produce into “pasta noodles” with a hand crank, kind of like a Play-doh maker for grownups.

You can find expensive models made from stainless steel, but if you’re careful with them the plastic versions work almost as well and are much less expensive.

You can find them in two basic models, vertical and horizontal. The chief advantage to the horizontal version is that it removes a small core from anything you’re slicing. This is helpful for things like apples or cucumbers, where you don’t want the seeds, but it’s a little wasteful for things like carrots or jicama, where you can use the whole veggie.

The top-down models have no waste, but you will get the soft seedy parts mixed in with your noodles. I also find them slightly easier to push and guide. One other advantage to the horizontal version is that there are 3 different blades for 3 different types of noodles: “linguini”, “spaghetti” and curly shavings.

How to use it


  • If the crank jams while turning, reverse direction and turn it the other way for a minute to free it up, then return to the original direction.
  • Spiralized “noodles” can be eaten raw or cooked. The best produce to use is firm, but not rock hard, like summer squash and cucumber. It also works with harder items like apples and jicama, but can jam a bit, so clear the blade at regular intervals while spiralizing. You can use very hard produce such as sweet potatoes, carrots and beets, but you may have to cut them into more manageable pieces and they will give the plastic spiralizer a workout. Soft items like ripe bananas don’t work as well because they won’t hold their shape.
  • Don’t jam the produce through the blades by pushing on the crank handle – use the lower lever made for that purpose.
  • Cut the “noodles” from very wide or very long pieces of fruit or vegetables or you can end up with very long strands.
  • Save the cores and any peels for making vegetable stock. You can freeze them in zip-closure freezer bags until you have enough for a batch

Where to find it

Horizontal Model: World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer (about $35 on Amazon)

Vertical Model:Benriner Cook Helper Slicer (about $44 on Amazon)


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