You might recall that I mentioned picking up an extra gadget when I finally bought nonstick skillets. The Chef’n Twist had just come in that day, and I have been contemplating a spiral slicer for a long time. Alas, it wasn’t a hard sell for the sales folks at Sur La Table when they spotted me checking it out.
I finally found time to try it out today…
The Chef’n Twist is a handheld spiralizer with three blades for thick ribbon, thin spaghetti, and shoestring slices. The top piece has prongs to secure the vegetable. The bottom section has a long handle which makes it easy to hold while twisting the top. It’s compact and easy to use, but how well does it work?
Well, I picked three veggies to try: carrot, cucumber, and sweet potato. The carrot was first up. I watched a few demo videos before starting, so I had a pretty good idea of how the spiralizer should work and how the slices should look. The demos all started by cutting the vegetable in half. This made sense with the Chef’n Twist, since the top doesn’t extend much further than that.
It took me a minute to get the pressure right, but the shoestring attachment worked pretty well once I got going. I didn’t expect it to create a funky little core, but I guess that makes sense. It didn’t matter with the carrot, but it’s a consideration when spiraling other foods.
With the other half of the carrot, I tried the ribbon cutter. It wasn’t quite as successful. I found it hard to get the pressure right to create a continuous ribbon and not get little ribbon chips. Not exactly the look I would be going for if creating ribbons for a salad.
Next up, the cucumber. As a much softer vegetable, it was super easy to spiral. It went right through the ribbon and thin spaghetti blades. That ribbon is almost continuous! (Yes, I peeled that half first.)
The thin spaghetti needed to be manually separated a bit, but looked just like noodles when done. My guess is that the experience with a zucchini – probably the most popular veggie noodle – would be very similar. I just don’t like zucchini.
I was most excited about the sweet potato, but found it the most troublesome to spiral. First of all, my sweet potato was pretty giant. I had to quarter it lengthwise just to fit it in the Twist. This is where my note about the core comes into play. When you quarter a vegetable to fit it in the gadget, that means the vegetable’s natural core is not going to be at the center of the spiral. Not a huge consideration for the sweet potato, but still a bit weird. I ran a piece through all three blades:
The shape made by quartering the sweet potato made some of the spirals a strange shape. The ribbons (far right) looked like weird veggie chips. The shoestring cut (far left) was probably most successful, but there were a lot of short pieces. The thin spaghetti (center) was a pretty big fail because of the original shape. Since it wasn’t a circle, the thin strips weren’t evenly distributed. So, they didn’t separate from each other very well.
VERDICT: Not a fan. If you’re interested in mainly making zucchini noodles, this might be an option. Given that I would prefer to spiral larger, rounder vegetables like sweet potatoes, I’m not convinced it’s the gadget for me. I think I would end up creating a lot of waste when cutting the perfect size pieces to spiral.
The gold standard in the veggie noodle world seems to be the Paderno Spiralizer. I haven’t tried one, but after my experience with the Chef’n Twist, I think I will. I specifically didn’t want a larger contraption that I would need to find space for in our small kitchen. Alas, I think it’s that size that makes it more suited to the kinds of spiralizing I’d like to do. With suction cups to hold the main section to the counter, and a larger rotating crank, I also think it might be easier to operate with denser veggies like sweet potatoes. So…further investigation required – follow-up post to come…