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I can't believe I've only just invested in this wonderful little kitchen gadget. It's brilliant!
What it does
The pack promises that the tool will string and slice in one easy action. And that's pretty much what it does.
How it works
The slicer (which incidentally comes all the way from Australia) measures just over 5 inches in length. The pack warns the user to open the pack and use the tool with care because of the very sharp blades. The tool is white and feels quite sturdy. It has a small sharp cutting blade at the top which you use to cut off the top and tail of the bean. Below this blade is an expanding funnel mechanism which expands to accommodate different sizes of beans. You insert the bean into the funnel which has a spring action. The inside edges of the spring close around the outside of the bean. However I still push firmly to ensure that it has closed tightly. You then need to push the bean down firmly so that it engages with the cutting blades - the outer blades strip off the stringy sides and the inner blades result in beautifully narrow strips of runner bean. Once an inch or two of bean emerges from the other side of the slicer, you simply grasp the sliced end of the bean and pull it away from the cutter and hey presto you have a precisely cut bean.
If the bean is very thick, then the tool won't work. The bean buckles and just won't go through the funnel. However, this probably means that the bean is past its best so I'm not too worried about this. It really does make slicing beans a quick and easy job and there is very little waste.
I did notice that small amounts of bean can get stuck in the blades and this needs to be cleared before slicing any more beans. As the warnings on the pack clearly state, the blades are very sharp so you need to be careful when clearing any residue but I found I could do this safely with a wooden cocktail stick. You can wash it safely in the dishwasher.
Where to buy it
I got mine in Waitrose. There were some runner beans on the bargain shelf so I decided (there's some logic there somewhere!) to get them and a bean slicer. The slicer cost me £4.95, which is 4p cheaper than I see it sells for at Lakeland.
I love runner beans but find preparing them a real chore. Now it's just fun so it's definitely 5 stars from me.
I have had one of these little marvels for about 2 years since my mother-in-law bought one for me. My parents have an allotment and consequently I am forever preparing, eating and freezing runner beans! I have no idea where she bought it from but it they are available from most kitchenware shops.
This little tool has been an amazing addition to my kitchen and has saved me hours of preparation time. It is made of plastic and has one blade across the top and a row of blades on the side. The idea is to trim the ends off the beans with one blade and then push the runner bean through the plastic guide onto the other blades so that it trims the stringy edges and slices it at the same time. It works with most beans although is not great with the 'fatter' runners or any which are already past their best. With the longer runner beans you also need to chop them into smaller slices before cooking them otherwise you end up with runners which are like spaghetti!
The concept of this tool is brilliant however I think it could do with a bit of tweaking to make it a little more user friendly. It isn't very easy to clean but I have put it in the dishwasher with no adverse affects.
Regardless of it's negative points I would recommend this tool to any runner bean lovers, you won't regret it!
I've had a Krisk bean slicer for absolutely ages.....and it was only when reading another review on it that I realised how invaluable this item has proved to be to me over the years. Its one of those gadgets that sits in my kitchen drawer that I use several times a week, and yet, its only when its pointed out to me that I realise how reliant I am on little gadgets like this when preparing food.
I got my Krisk bean slicer for about £4 from the gadget shop several years ago, but I think since then it has become more popular and so I'm sure it can be purchased in many more outlets now.
The bean slicer is made of plastic with stainless steel blades encorporated into it. Its dimensions are 13 cm x 2.7 cm and it feels very sturdy to use. Like I said, I've had mine several years and its still in one piece and still being used several times a week with no problem at all. At the top of the device, there is a small opening in the plastic with one blade which sits horizontally across the opening, and a little further below this, there is another opening in the plastic which has four vertical blades running down inside of it.
The idea is for the top blades to remove the ends of the runner beans and then for the other opening to remove the stringy edges of the beans and then slice them into evenly sliced sections.
Using the bean slicer is easy. Basically, you firstly remover the ends of the beans with the upper blade. This blade is sharp and so it is simply a matter of threading the end of the bean through the hole and then applying a little pressure so that the blade removes the ends of the beans. The ends can then be discarded in the usual way.
Once the ends have been removed, it is a matter of pushing the bean through the second hole - and then pulling it out the other side so that the bean is sliced into sections and the stringy edges are removed. This opening is spring loaded and so it opens and closes according to the width of the bean in question and therefore is guaranteed to be a good fit.
I generally find that this works very well, and subsequently, I am left with a pile of sliced green beans which look uniform and appitising to eat. The stringly edges and the ends of the beans are always removed perfectly and accurately, which cuts down on the waste generated when trying to do this without the bean slicer. However, sometimes I do find that the bean gets stuck when slicing it and, when I attempt to pull it out the other side, the bean snaps. This particularly happens with the thicker beans and it can be quite annoying, although an infrequent occurrence.
I don't find the device that easy to clean because little bits of bean can be lodged inside the slicer part of the device. However, I have found that holding this under a forcefully running tap is generally all that is needed to remove any bits which have become stuck.
I highly recommend this device for those of you who don't wan to buy pre-sliced beans from the supermarket. I grow my own veggies and so for me, this is ideal.