Here’s the deal: you love pasta. You love the delicious variety in pasta sauces, and the many different ways to prepare it. You love the different shapes and sizes it comes in and the act of wrapping it around your fork before demolishing it with glee.
But mixed up with that love is the guilty feeling that your pasta habit isn’t great for your health. You know you should really try to eat carbs less often, but giving up pasta also means giving up eating pasta with cream sauce, vodka sauce, marinara sauce, pasta carbonara, pasta puttanesca – the whole long list of delicious sauces and ways of preparing pasta.
Or does it? With spiral vegetable slicers, you can enjoy your go-to pasta sauces on “pasta” made with veggies rather than carbs. Problem solved.
Should You Buy a Spiralizer?
Vegetable noodles have become extremely popular in recent years as more and more people make an effort to increase the amount of vegetables they eat while cutting down on carbs.
Spiral vegetable slicers are most commonly associated with their most popular creation — the zoodle, or zucchini noodles — but can also be used for making noodle-style food from a variety of vegetables, including (but not limited to):
- Sweet Potatoes
- Broccoli Stalks
- Butternut Squash
While you can technically make vegetable noodles without a special product designed for the purpose, it’s much easier and safer with one.
You don’t want to cut your fingers trying to thinly slice a zucchini just so, or end up with zoodles of the wrong size and texture. And only certain products can create the spirals that make the vegetable noodles feel more like pasta.
If you’re considering a spiral vegetable slicer, but not sure if it’s right for you, there are a couple of categories of people that can count on it being a good purchase:
- If you love pasta, but want to cut down on carbohydrates in your diet.
- If you want a creative way to introduce more veggies into your diet.
If either or both of those sounds like you, then our buyer’s guide will help you identify the right spiral vegetable slicer to add to your kitchen.
Types of Spiral Vegetable Slicers
Spiral vegetable slicers come in two main forms. Both of these types will produce spiral vegetable noodles, but they work a little differently and each come with their own set of pros and cons.
Electric & Tabletop Spiralizer
Many of the most popular spiralizers are tabletop models. These usually have suction cups on the bottom to keep them in place on the countertop as you use them and a crank you use to feed the vegetable into the machine.
These often produce some of the best spirals and get praise from customers for being easy to use. You can also find some higher-end electric spiralizers, although these are not nearly as popular as the crank models.
The main downsides of these, in comparison to handheld models, is that they cost more, and they take up more space. They usually cost somewhere in the range of $20-$40 and come with a few different parts that need to be stored.
If you have limited space in your kitchen for a new appliance or prioritize cost over ease of use in your kitchen gadgets, then a tabletop spiralizer may not be the best choice for you. But, if you want a high-quality product that makes the job easier, then the extra cost may be worth it.
- Popular and well reviewed.
- Easy to use.
- More expensive than hourglass spiralizers.
- Require more counter space.
Hourglass & Handheld Spiralizer
You can also choose to go with a handheld spiralizer. Often in the shape of an hourglass, a hand spiralizer will be a bit more manual to use, so you’ll have to put in more work and strength to operate.
The design and use of a handheld version is simple. You put your vegetable inside the spiralizer and then turn it to produce the spiral pasta. They’re a little harder to use than tabletop spiralizers, but many reviewers still find them to be easy enough for their purposes.
They’re a very affordable option, usually costing around $5-$15. And they don’t take up much space – you can usually fit them into a kitchen drawer.
On the downside, many reviewers of these products mentioned wasting more of the vegetable because of what’s left behind after you create the spiral pasta. And these have more limitations on the types of vegetables you can use, since the veggies usually have to be fairly wide for it to work. If you want a more affordable solution that you can throw in the drawer, an hourglass spiralizer will be your best bet.
- Don’t take up much space.
- Intuitive to use, but require work.
- Waste more of the vegetable than tabletop models.
- Only work with some veggies.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Spiralizer
You may be surprised by how many brands have jumped on the zoodler bandwagon and started to produce their own spiral vegetable slicer. The good news is that means you have lots of options, but it also means it takes a little more work and knowledge to figure out which option is best for you. Here are some of the main factors to consider that will help you figure that out.
Most people have to consider price when buying a new kitchen product. In general, a spiralizer of any type will set you back less than $50, so depending on your budget, you may have room to be picky. If you’re hoping to spend less then $20, then you still have plenty of hourglass spiralizer options.
The spiralizers that cost more usually provide something in return – either convenience, more blade options so you can make different types of vegetable pasta, longevity, or higher quality results. If you plan to use your zoodler frequently, then paying a little more may well be worth it.
There are so many types of kitchen appliances and gadgets available these days, that it’s easy to quickly reach the point where there’s no more room to store your stuff. No one wants to add clutter to this space, so it’s imperative that you consider where you’re going to store it when it’s not in use.
If you don’t have counter or cabinet space to spare, then looking for a spiralizer that’s on the smaller size, such as a handheld model or mixing attachment, will make fitting it into your life easier.
For tabletop models that are a little bigger, pay attention to how many parts they have and consider what effect that will have on where and how you can store them. If keeping up with multiple blades and a vegetable holder sounds like it could be a challenge, then consider going for for a handheld model that has fewer parts or a tabletop model designed to make storage easier.
Ease of Use
This is one of the main differences between the spiralizers available. Tabletop zoodlers are largely considered to be easier to use than handheld ones, which require a little more arm strength and work. Some types of tabletop models are designed to be easier to use than others though.
If this is a top priority for you, read up on how different models work and peruse the reviews to see what people say about their experiences. This is particularly worth doing if you have arthritis or any other mobility issue that could make using some spiral vegetable slicers difficult.
Ease of Cleaning
With any kitchen tools, the fun and excitement of using them always comes with the letdown of having to deal with cleaning them. And, spiralizers can be a pain to clean. This is especially true when they have a lot of parts, and more of a concern any time you use vegetables prone to staining (beets are probably the worst offender for this).
No matter which zoodler you go with, cleaning is likely to be inconvenient, but some models will make it easier than others. Some will even have parts that are dishwasher safe, so you can pass most of the work onto the machine.
If cleaning is your least favorite part of cooking, then make sure you consider what will be involved in cleaning your spiralizer after each use before making a decision about which to buy.
Quality of Results
A number of factors can influence how well the results of your spiral vegetable slicers turn out. The first thing to consider is how the noodles themselves are. You want vegetable noodles that have just the right texture and thickness, and a nice spiral shape is always a good bonus.
In addition, you want to think about blade quality. Blades that go dull quickly won’t produce the same quality of noodles over time, and spiralizers that have different blade options will give you more varieties of zoodles to try to figure out what you like best.
Finally, think about waste. If a good chunk of every veggie you turn into spiral noodles gets tossed because the zoodler only turns part of it into noodles, then you’ll be getting less food for your money (and be contributing to the larger issue of food waste we have in the United States). Look for a spiralizer that uses most of the vegetable so you get your money’s worth from your groceries.
Ideally, you want a zoodler you can count on for years, even if you use it frequently. To identify which spiralizers are likely to last the longest, check the reviews.
Even though some of these cost only $5, people tend to complain if their product falls apart on them relatively quickly. Of course, keep in mind the old adage of “you get what you paid for” as you browse your options.
You should also keep an eye out for any warranties different models offer. If a brand backs their product with a strong warranty, you can usually count on it lasting for longer with fewer issues.
Type of Zoodles
If you want the option to try out different shapes and thicknesses of vegetable noodles, then a tabletop spiralizer that come with different blade types will give you some variety to work with. If you have some idea already of what you like your vegetable noodles to be like, then look for a spiral vegetable slicer that provides the type you enjoy.
A lot of customers will be happy with any vegetable noodles a spiralizer produces, but if you’re little picky and want the option to get your zoodles just right, or perhaps you have a certain recipe in mind that requires a particular shape, then choose a product you know will work best for you.
10 Popular Zoodle Brands
While spiral vegetable slicers are a pretty specific type of product, there are a number of main brands in the space selling different variations on the theme. Gaining some familiarity with the reputation each of these brands has can help you make a more informed decision about which one to go with. We scanned the customer reviews for each one to get a feel for what actually customers think of their product. Here’s a summary of what they had to say.
The Inspiralizer creates long, curled vegetable noodles. Reviews of the product are mostly positive, but include some complaints. Top amongst them is that the product stains easily, so you have to be careful to wash it immediately after use and may still deal with stains even if you do. On the plus side, most customers find it easy to use and like the veggie pasta they get from it.
An extremely affordable zoodler option, the Kitchen Active hand spiralizer gets predominantly positive reviews from users. Customers like the veggie noodles it produces, but some complain that they end up wasting too much of the vegetable since it doesn’t create noodles from it all the way to the end. And some say it requires a lot of hand strength to get it to work. If affordability is more important to you than convenience, it may be a good choice. If you’d rather spend more for a tool that’s easy to use, another brand may work better for you.
With a bit of reluctance, we add KitchenAid to this list. KitchenAid does not offer a tabletop or hand spiralizer, like the other brands mentioned in this buying guide. However, they do have a spiralizer attachment that is compatible with all of their colorful stand mixers. As you would expect from KitchenAid, the reviews for this attachment are all very positive. While it operates differently and is a bit more expensive than other veggie spiral slicers listed here, the attachment may be the best choice for any one that regularly uses their stand mixer.
The Mueller Spiral Ultra earns great reviews from customers who say it’s easy to use, wastes less of a vegetable than other options, and creates tasty and beautiful vegetable noodles. Amongst many reviews, there are few complaints and several reviewers mention the extra convenience of a design that requires pushing the vegetables downward, so the spiralizer takes advantage of gravity to make things easier. For convenience and quality, Mueller’s spiralizer is a solid choice.
As one of the most well-known brands for kitchen gadgets and cooking tools, it’s probably no surprise that OXO makes this list. Featuring a popular countertop and handheld spiralizer that earn mostly rave reviews from customers, many of whom compare it favorably to other spiralizers they’ve tried. Customers praise it for being easy to use and making a wide variety of vegetables into perfect noodles. Amongst a large number of reviews, complaints are exceedingly rare. The customer consensus on this one is that it does the job especially well.
Paderno World Cuisine
The countertop spiralizer from Paderno is another one that gets largely positive reviews. People are thrilled with the variety of healthy meals they can make with it and many mention liking how convenient it is to store since the pieces fit inside each other. A handful of customers are less satisfied though, complaining about how hard it is to clean or difficulties they have using it. The overall consensus is mixed, but most customers are happy.
The Premium V hourglass zoodler is well liked for being a great value for the price, easy to use, and small enough to be easy to store. There are limits on what types of vegetables you can use based on how thick they are and some customers complained about parts of their veggies going to waste, but most customers were happy with what they got for the price.
SpiraLife sells an hourglass spiralizer that gets strong reviews from customers. A lot of customers talk about loving their SpiraLife zoodler. They say it’s easy to use, looks good on the counter, doesn’t take up much space, and does the job.
The hand-crank zoodler made by Spiralizer has plenty of fans. The company has since come out with a few other models to build-out their lineup. The reviews across all of their vegetable slicers are pretty good. Most reviewers happily give it five stars and say it’s easy to use, easy to clean, and well made. It’s another zoodler with a strong reputation that’s worth considering.
Veggetti makes both a handheld spiralizer and a tabletop model. A popular “As Seen On TV” product, both types of spiralizers earn pretty good reviews from customers. They say the products come at a good price, work well, are easy to use, and are easy to clean. The handheld model gets some complaints for wasting part of the veggie, but other than that, their reviews are pretty uniformly positive.
An easy, tasty path to a better diet awaits you. Spiralizers make eating healthy feel less like a chore and more like an adventure into trying new things. You can find loads of recipes to try with your spiralizer (some even come with recipe books) so you get the most out of it. One thing reviewers of spiralizers across the board seem to agree on is that it’s a great type of product to have on hand that allows for delicious meals and healthier eating.