We spent over 40 hours researching spiralizers to bring you the overall best one for your kitchen. While we feel confident with our recommendation of the OXO Good Grips as the best overall addition to your kitchen. If having less mess in preparation, and more options are what you’re looking for, the Mueller might be a better choice for you.
As we become more educated about health and wellness, incorporating plant-based eating into our diet is on every plan and roadmap to living longer, with more vitality, increased energy – and perhaps decreased weight! The spiralizer is a kitchen addition that will allow you to get those daily fruit and vegetable servings – and do it with flair and creativity.
Spiralizer Buying Guide
What is a Spiralizer?
You may be asking ‘what is a spiralizer?’ A spiralizer is a kitchen tool that takes a whole vegetable, or fruit, and spiralizes it into a noodle using (most often) manual power to twist it through a blade, resulting in a variety of noodle shapes and sizes. It has gained popularity as the low carb movement takes hold, and as everyone is looking for a substitution for pasta, and so it seemed a zucchini quickly became a ‘zoodle.’ We all know that more fruits and vegetables are good for any diet, but finding a way to make that easy, well, isn’t always easy.
How We Selected
To get started, we researched how people are using spiralizers in their cooking – hello, Pinterest search for spiralizer recipes. The popular Paleo diet eliminates a lot of carbs and grain options, so the small blade that makes a spaghetti type of “noodle” was important to have available on every model that we’d test since pasta substitution is key in most of these recipes. Next in our research, we turned to food bloggers who had so many great ideas, with many being solely focused on JUST SPIRALIZING, and finally, we researched the data that Consumer Reports had put out regarding spiralizers. What we found were articles that focused on the benefits of healthy eating and incorporating plant-based foods into your diet, but not a direct recommendation.
There are hand-held, vertical handle, horizontal handle, those with containers, without containers, and an endless option of blades and add-on features. The blade options can allow you to grate, shred, spiralize, make ribbons, and create other diverse types of noodles – think fettuccine, spaghetti, and so on. If you are going to go with a countertop option, you will want to consider looking for suction on the bottom of the unit, because we found that they do move around a lot, and they don’t stay put even if you get them to at first.
We narrowed it down by making price the initial decisive factor, with the handle style being second, and blade options next. Now with our criteria narrowed down to a budget range of $25-50, tabletop model, and a few blade options, we were down to three selections.
The most popular models seem to be the horizontal style, and at first glance, they all look relatively similar, so we narrowed it down to two models, the Spiralizer brand (model of the same name) and the OXO Good Grips Tabletop Spiralizer. Both offered a variety of blade options, with the suction cups for stability on both as well.
We then chose the Mueller option so that we could test the vertical push down type, and this also had an additional feature of a container and double the cutting options, with eight blades, a mandoline slicer, and a juicer.
Finally, we wanted to try out a hand-held option, which falls into a more budget-friendly price range, so we chose the OXO Good Grips Handheld Spiralizer to test out that functionality. With recipes in hand, we wanted to see how easy it was to whip up something healthy and quick – for both the adult testers on site and the kids at home that we want to get eating more vegetables! There are options that were out of our budget range that we saw when researching, but we had to ask ourselves, does it make THAT much of a difference? We decided that keeping the options within the range of most of the models offered was best. As with any kitchen gadget, the quality of ingredients that you use will ultimately have an enormous impact on your overall like or dislike of not only the process of using a kitchen item but the result – a tasty meal!
How We Tested
We purchased several pounds of vegetables that could be used in the spiralizer with different recipes, utilizing all the blade options that we had with each model. Cucumbers, apples, potatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, carrots, and beets…we wanted different shapes, sizes, textures, and as much variety as we could find. When in doubt, spiralize it! The ease of use was tested with all models because that’s probably going to prevail over everything once you have it in hand! It’s frustrating to purchase a kitchen gadget that ends up just taking up space because it’s too challenging to use. Because we know if it’s not easy to assemble and prepare food with, it will stay in the box, so we made our primary test a time based one of setup and use.
We opened each box to make sure all parts were there, then removed protective labeling, washed the parts in warm soapy water, and prepared a 2-inch piece of potato.
Our timer started with the items out, and ready to go, but not all assembled. This test was our second go-round of assembly, so your initial setup time may take a bit longer. We timed how long it took to setup and spiralize a 2″ potato. Below are the results in seconds.
OXO Good Grips
Here are some pictures of the actual test.
|Number of Blades||3||5||4||1-3|
Each packaged unit comes with an instruction book. Here’s what we found to be universal among every single model: the instruction books are terrible. We ended up going online to find videos by each of the manufacturing companies, and those did show how to assemble and use their products, but that’s not always easy to do when you are mid-recipe. So, therefore, our second BIG insider tip, is to familiarize yourself with your spiralizer before you go to use it. And be warned, they make it look super easy in these videos, which is not always the case. You will feel clumsy; we know we did. But practice makes perfect, and we found that the more we tested, the easier it was, so don’t get discouraged.
Spiralizing Best Practices
Here is our advice for ALL spiralizers, regardless of the model that you choose. We found that each of the models had things that you’ll want to know ahead of time so that you can successfully use the product with as much output as possible, and as little frustration as possible too!
- Works best with firm fruits & vegetables, at least 1.5” in diameter
- Once you spiralize or cut watery produce (zucchini, cucumber) take a bit to let strain or pat with a paper towel so that your recipe doesn’t get too wet once assembled
- Before spiralizing, be sure at least one end of the produce has been cut flat to maintain a good grip in the spiralizer
- Don’t forget to wash and peel food before spiralizing (if end recipes calls for peeling)
- Get a cleaning brush for the blades, food is easily stuck whether you use a dishwasher or not, and those blades are SHARP!
- The size of your produce should be cut to remain only as long as the unit itself – overextending creates an unbalanced situation and won’t allow you to maintain movement of the spiralizer.
- Circular fruits and vegetables provide a continuous string or spiral, but if you have an odd shaped item, it will cut but into singular pieces. For example, a butternut squash is likely too large for all units, so it may not provide a long string, or noodle, easily.
What We Liked
- Most manufacturers have videos on their YouTube channels that provide clear instructions on the safe and efficient operation of the product, watch those BEFORE you begin. It’s worth the 10 minutes it will take.
- Increased fruits and vegetables in your meals – and a seemingly endless amount of ways to use them in recipes!
What We Didn’t Like
- Manuals are not concise or clear with any of the models that we tested. We suggest that you watch manufacturer videos on any product that you choose for complete setup and use instructions. They will make it appear easy – don’t feel bad when you are much clumsier than the demonstrator!
- None of the suction cups worked well on a wood or laminate countertop. They held somewhat but needed to be wet to get any grip at all. They slid around a lot and lost their grip even on a surface that initially gripped well. You will need two hands to get a good spiral.
- Consider your produce – carrots are not a great idea to spiralize, there is too much waste, and they don’t maneuver through easily
- There will be a food left over that isn’t spiralized, and some may consider this also unnecessary waste. The middle is cored out when spiralizing, so you’ll lose a bit of the produce when you add this method to your recipes.
Spiralizers are a wonderful way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into yours, and your family’s diet. They create variety and a fun way to spruce up your meals. We lead busy lives and want efficiency, so choosing a product that will fit in your kitchen space, will be easy to clean, and matches your budget is important.
While grains will also have a place on our plate, it’s important to get the boost that comes from the fiber in plant-based foods, and finding a way to make that fun – especially with kids in a family – is not always easy to do. A spiralizer will help you to do just that. And who isn’t always looking for fun and fortifying ways to make use of any overabundance of those versatile vegetables from our summer garden crops? Traditional pasta will always be a treasured part of our plate, but sometimes, you want variety, and a spiralizer can give you just that – and did we mention it can make you look like a seasoned chef with the fancy food you’ll create?