My eyes are very sensitive to the vapours given off when chopping onions and it always makes them sting and weep, I used to wear a pair of swimming goggles to stop this happening which seems a bit excessive however since buying this manual chopper I have found it to be less of a problem, while it is sold as an onion chopper it will also chop other vegetables as well such as small or halved potatoes and carrots. To operate I first peel and then halve the onion, this is the only time really that my eyes are at risk, then you pop the half into Mr Alligator and then press down firmly and voila you have a lovely chopped onion.
You do not have to be shy when giving it a good press and the first couple of times I was a little feint hearted however now I have the technique the gadget works wonderfully well. In addition if you want nice even slices of carrots for dipping then this device will also do the job for you and it is great for preparing other veg as well.
It is about 4 inches in height and 11 inches long and is made from a very hard white plastic with the cutting area at one end and a perspex cover that rise up from it and houses the finished sliced onion. This area has a green base and there is some green trim on the hinged end and it houses the cutting blades. There is a sliding little bit of plastic that moves between the blades after cutting to get any bits of residual food out to help with the cleaning of the device. When you have sliced the onion you turn the device upside down and all of the onion collects in the perspex lid which you then remove ready to use the sliced onions or whatever other vegetable you have prepared.
Afterwards I have found it pretty easy to clean and then just leave it to dry naturally as it would be a bit fiddly to leave a cloth, it is also dish washer compatable as well.
I paid just under £20 for mine which is about average for this product, it is a nice little device and as it does not require electircity you can take it away on a camping trip as well. This is the main reason I did not buy a similarly priced electrical one.
I've been making a lot of soups and stews lately, partly as a bit of a health kick, and partly because they are so cheap to make and I can make large batches and freeze them for use later. One of the stape ingredients of many of my soups is onions, but I can't stand actually chopping them. I've tried not cutting the root off, sucking a spoon whilst chopping them, but no matter what I always end up with stinging, watery eyes when I chop onions.
When I saw this Alligator onion chopper on Amazon I knew I wanted it. I paid £20 for my gadget from Amazon, which probably sounds a lot, but it has really helped me to keep my sensitive eyes happy and I definitely think it's worth the money I paid for it with some vouchers.
The gadget has two 'jaws' hinged at one end, which with the green finishes to parts of the device does give it quite an 'alligator' feel. To use, you place an onion between the jaws and push the top jaw down - this forces the onion through a waiting set of blades and chops the onion into little bits. The thing I like is that the chopped bits come through into a covered plastic box section, meaning the fumes from chopping the onion can't get out and into my eyes. After it's chopped, you can turn the device upside down so the onion falls into the plastic container, and then transfer the onions to the frying pan, all without having to touch them.
When I first used this I worried a bit that the top jaw wouldn't be strong enough to cut down on the onion, but it's held strongly, and the blades are sharp enough to easily cut through the onions without massive amounts of pressure being put on it. I do find that this works best with smaller onions, as the force needed to push down is obviously much less than when you use a giant onion for example.
I've used this for other fruits and vegetables too, but I'm careful to use ones that aren't too large or too hard. I've found cucumbers, small potatoes, heads of brocolli and cauliflower, tomatoes, celery (foul but my husband likes it) and things like that easy enough to cut with this chopper. I've even sliced the odd boiled egg in it for when I've been making egg mayo.
Overall, for the price I paid, and the fact I no longer have to have, sore, runny eyes due to chopping onions, I think this was a very good buy, and it's a kitchen gadget that I use every few days. It's easy to clean too, so I can't really find any fault with it. You might not be able to chop the hardest of large veg with it, but that's not what it's designed for so you can't really mark it down for that.
As a semi-professional chef, one thing I hate doing is chopping onions. Not only do they irritate the eyes, but they can be an absolute nuisance to chop accurately. We do not own these onion choppers at the restaurant I work at, however I am very happy to use it for home cooking!
This product chops onions perfectly well. Some onion choppers out there (especially the cheap ones) feel weak and it will feel like a struggle to get through the onion. This shouldn't be the case, and thankfully this onion chopper delivers well. It feels sturdy and well built, and the stainless steel blades never fail to cut through the whole onion.
Another problem I often have with chopping tools is the mess that they can cause. It is often easier to chop the vegetable/fruit yourself, reduce mess and save a lot of time. This product however has a box to collect the chopped pieces and the mess, so you wont have pieces of veg scattered around the worktop.
On top of these fantastic features, the chopper is also machine washable! This is a great bonus, because many of these tools aren't, and can be a huge hassle to clean due to the small cracks etc.
Not only will this chopper chop onions, but it will also do most other vegetables and fruit. For around £17, you can not go wrong with this! You will be buying a fine chopper for many different types of food, creating excellent, finely diced pieces. Throw it in the washing machine after and job done!
I wouldn't look elsewhere for a food chopper. Pay a low amount for a fantastic product.
This was a gift for my mum who hates chopping onions but is a prolific maker of curries, who often has to sweat down a whole heap of onions at a time.
I had seen something similar (probably by JML) and as I often turn to Amazon for kitchen bits and bobs came across this product which I deemed to be of greater quality and design. The Alligator is a robust little tool which can take a good bashing. This is the only Eddingtons product I have ever bought, I don't own one and so I had no previous experience to base my decision for buying this one over the similar products out there. I was glad to find out that it was well built, sturdy and thankfully sharp so did its job well.
I have not been tempted to buy one for myself not because I do not recommend the product but just because I do not find chopping onions a hard task, they don't make me cry so there is no discomfort in the job. Unlike my mum. Her eyes are gone as soon as she peals an onion. The appeal of the product for her extends beyond helping her hold back the tears as she is more than happy that the chopper will cut her onions into little pieces perfect sweating down to make the base of a curry.
I have seen her struggle with carrots but it will do them with a good bash or just cut the carrot up into smaller pieces. Potatoes are much the same and are best if cut in half.
I was happy in my choice of gift and it has made a big difference to my mum. Having now had a good bashing and proving itself as a reliable kitchen gadget it cannot get less than a full 5 stars.
Do you need an Alligator?
If you like steaming your vegetables (delicious!), then you will probably spend quite a lot of time and energy chopping them up. The Alligator is designed to cut that time right down. Some raw vegetables are really hard work to pare and slice, even with a good quality kitchen knife - with the Alligator, it's like having lots of friends with lots of knives - and much less danger!
What is it?
The Alligator is a manually operated chopper, that will reduce a halved vegetable into small batons with one operation, or dice it with two. It will accommodate anything up to 3 inches by 3 inches, so will deal with most vegetables. It is particularly billed as an onion chopper. Now that's something that will appeal if you've ever tried to do a really good job on an onion. Apart from the painful tears that raw onions give you, and the lasting onion smell on your fingers, it's hard to cut onions really well. They squirm, and you always have to compromise on the last few bits. Not the case with the Alligator! Peel and halve your onion, feed it to those gaping jaws, give the machine a good firm chop, and Bob's your uncle! To start with, you need to have a bit of courage to use it properly - rather like using a paper guillotine, there's no point in being faint-hearted about this gadget. Stick it in a give it a good chop!
The Alligator is (in old money) 11 inches long by 4¼
wide, and 1½ inches tall without the collecting box, of 4 inches tall including that, so it's fairly easy to store. It consists of four parts. The main body is made of hard perspex and hinged at one end. The base is mainly flat, but the business part is a rectangular honeycomb (if that makes sense) of mainly cuboidal columns, arranged like Russian soldiers on a state parade, in a square, 16 by 14, but with rounded corners. This rectangle measures approximately 3¼ by 3½ inches, and the soldier-like columns are about 10 mm high and 4mm by 4mm in section. (In case you wondered, I like both imperial and metric units). The top of the unit has a matching mesh grid of metal that does the cutting. The metal grid fits into the gaps between the soldiers, and the vegetable sits on top of them. Part number three is a little plastic mesh device that sits at the foot of the columns. You slide it up after chopping your veg to get any remaining bits out. The fourth part is the collecting box. It's made of clear perspex and clips upside down above the chopping area. When you've chopped, you just turn everything upside down, and take the money.
As I said, you need to be quite firm in how you use the Alligator. Once you have got used to it (it doesn't take long) then it becomes a friend! Cleaning is pretty easy - vegetables don't make a vast amount of mess, and you can reach everywhere with water. If you have a dishwasher, that's best, as it is not easy to dry with a conventional tea-towel.
It's very smart. You can get it in white, or white and green. I would recommend the latter, as I think it is more attractive.
Here is where you have to think whether you really need one. If you only chop vegetables occasionally, then this would be a luxury item you could do without. I bought this in my local shop for £19.95, having first seen one owned by another family member. I was convinced that I would find it cheaper on the internet, and surprised to learn then that I could not beat it, once delivery charges were factored in. When I last looked, though, it was on www.originalcookware.co.uk for £17.97 with free delivery, so you might get lucky. Amazon have it at £19.95, but without the collecting box (£23.39 with it) and with postage of £3.50.
Eddington's Alligator onion chopper, another much coveted kitchen gadget that I cam across whilst browsing on Amazon. I ought to know better by now but my curiosity always gets the better of me and before I knew it that button was pressed and the Eddington's onion chopper was wending it's way towards me.
I have countless kitchen gadgets, some have been good investments and others have been consigned to the `never to be used again` corner in the cupboard after the first time of using.
Onions are tasty, we love them, fried, roast or boiled, in soups, stews and casseroles but peeling and chopping them makes me weep. I have tried various ways of chopping them and I have even done some underwater chopping sessions but I still end up weeping.
By all accounts I have the latest Eddington's alligator onion chopper, my gadget has an overhead clear plastic cover which catches the chopped vegetables as they pass through the blades, it was a few pounds dearer ( £22) but you are able to collect the chopped vegetables quite easily.
Eddington's have named the gadget well, when you lift the top from the bottom you are looking at what could be an alligators jaw. The base part is made of green plastic and there is a plinth to rest your onion on. Once you have peeled and halved your onion then put one of the halves directly onto the plinth. Then you need to pull the top of the chopper down and close it's jaws, before I go any further I will say that this action requires strength!
At first I was wary of pressing the plastic lid down too hard because it felt like the gadget was going to snap in half under the pressure but once you get the knack it gets easier every time.
Once you have pressed the jaws together then the blades will have completely chopped the onion. The Alligator makes quite a tidy job and the onion will be finely chopped.
You then turn the gadget upside down and let the chopped onion fall into the plastic box that acts as a cover, you can then transfer the chopped onion straight into the pan.
Unfortunately you can only dice in the one size, the blades can't be altered.
Possibly Eddington's would say that they have marketed this kitchen gadget as a time saving device, I don't think that it is very time saving but it does do the job well.
If you had weak wrists or duff joints then it would be more or less impossible for you to apply the amount of pressure that is needed to `close those jaws`.
I have found that the smaller the piece of vegetable that you use the easier it is to close the jaws.
Don't think that the Eddington's Alligator is only for chopping onions, you can use it for many types of salad and vegetables. It dices vegetables for stews and casseroles but I will tell you that it goes on strike at the thought of chopping a swede or a turnip.
But carrots, peppers, mushrooms, cheese, cucumber - they all chop well.
The Alligator is easy to clean, it may look fiddly but it couldn't be simpler. The whole gadget is made of plastic and it washes out well.
If you are going to cook a large casserole or stew then there is a lot of chopping involved and that can be tedious, use the Alligator and it seems far easier.
The Eddington's alligator is a good invention in my opinion, I agree that you have to practise to perfect the art and as time goes on you will discover what you can and what you can't chop.
Although the gadget seems to feel flimsy it must be pretty robust because mine is still intact and I have often had to apply quite a lot of pressure to chop through tougher vegetables.
You may well have a gadget-aholic in your family and this is one gadget that could make a useful gift, take it from me it does work well. Whether the chopping process is made quicker by using the Alligator is slightly questionable but I am happy to use mine.