I finally splurged on the ever-popular, brand-spankin’ new Paderno Spiralizer after eyeing them forever when one of the members on my Low Carb page told me the new model was coming out. Whaaaaa?!? I couldn’t get the old model just a couple days before the latest and greatest was released into the wild.
So I hopped right to it and changed my order, all so I could bring y’all a 4-Blade Paderno Review. Wasn’t that thoughtful of me? :)
I love this thing! What, you want more? Okay…
While I never had the 3-blade model Paderno, I window-shopped for months and read probably hundreds of reviews. Complaints I saw most frequently about previous version and copycats related to taking up too much space, wasting too much of the vegetable (rendering 3/8 of an inch core unusable), and no place to catch the veggies. It was obvious the designers read the Amazon reviews on the 3-blade model and took feedback into account in designing the new model.
The instructions were so-so. The pictures were black and white and a little difficult to see–or maybe it’s just me, having old lady eyes. But I was expecting an instruction book and instead, there was this little pamphlet thing. I also felt a little stupid at first because it wasn’t immediately evident to me how you are supposed to open the thing up and put it all together. But with a little patience and referring to the instructions repeatedly, I was able to figure it out.
The plastic is reasonably heavy, although not super heavy-duty. I thought it would be a little heavier, but I wasn’t afraid I was going to break it with normal use. The lid is the zoodle-catcher. While it’s a great idea in theory, it doesn’t fit up against the feet snugly enough to work perfectly in actual use. But mostly it does it’s job and catches the majority of your spiraling output.
And of course, it is quite a pricier than the the Veggetti. I personally think it’s very much worth the difference in price, but if you’re on a very tight budget, cost may be a downside.
To use the spiralizer, you first have to kind of disassemble and reassemble it since everything is tucked away. After taking off the lid, you slide out the long arm thing that holds the veggies in place when you’re zoodling them, which is stored upside-down on top of the unit. You can then unlatch the top, to fold up the blade slot holder and remove the crank handle from it’s storage area inside. The top goes back on, featuring a track for putting that sliding arm right side up to do your actual Zoodle work. The spare blades are stored in a little compartment in front, with illustrations of which cut each blade does in red on the side. One blade stays in the fold-up slot even when it’s not in use.
I initially had a little trouble getting the handle on and off, but some of that was me being cautious because I didn’t want to break my new toy.
I also had some trouble getting the suction cups to hold it as well as I would have liked, making for some early sliding-the-thing-around, but with a little practice–maybe 10 or 15 minutes–it all went pretty smoothly. It wasn’t enough of an issue to bother me a whole bunch. I was able to use one hand to brace the gadget and the other to crank out spirals.
I tried the blades–including the accordion cut–and spiraled Zucchini, Daikon Radish, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes and Yellow Squash. I wanted a variety of sizes, shapes and degrees of firmness for test veggies. The spiralizer worked though everything I put in there without issue. I didn’t use my won skewer for the accordion cut because I didn’t have one. It wasn’t an issue.
The handle was easy to turn and the veggies fit easily onto the prongs, which evidently were made larger and sturdier from the previous model, and you can spiral it down to about 3/4 of an inch. The center piece left over is slightly fatter than one of the noodle blades but can easily be included for very little waste.
I did really like the fact that when not in use, this unit is entirely self contained. It doesn’t take up much room, which was one of my concerns over getting one previously. I’ve got a small kitchen and limited space to devote to my gadgetry.
I have used a Veggetti knockoff, and have had mixed results with it. If the vegetable is the right size (not too big) and the right shape (pretty darned straight), it can work. But it leaves a large cone in the middle and I found it rather clumsy to use. I was always afraid I was going to cut my fingers with it. I had zero safety concerns with the Paderno. It would be possible to cut yourself on it, but you’d have to actually slide your fingers across the blade to do it. It would require effort. I am clumsy, so this is pertinent to me.
Cleaning was also quick and easy. The blade just had to be dipped in a little dishwater and rinsed. A damp paper towel did a nice job of cleaning up the unit.
There were some minor inconveniences getting going and a short but distinct learning curve. For example, it took me a few minutes to realize how I was supposed to fasten one end of the veggie onto the core nub, and the instructions weren’t exactly the best I’ve seen. I tried to crank the handle backwards at first and to be honest, I felt a little dumb as I was initially figuring it all out.
So why am I giving it a thumbs up anyway? Because it didn’t take that long to master, it works very fast, and makes awesome Zoodles! I really liked how everything fits together so neatly, I tested with both soft and firm veggies, big and large, making thick and thin noodles, and it whipped up a huge pile of veggie pasta in just a few minutes. The cost was reasonable considering how much it will get used. And most of all? It’s fun! So I’m happy to recommend it.
Do you have one of these puppies? How do you like it?
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