Blade is reversible
Larger vegetables don’t fit
Spiral cuts are very small
Not as efficient with hard vegetables
We readied the kitchen for the Zyliss Vegetable Spiralizer by stocking up on zucchini and other spiral-worthy vegetables. We spiraled and ribboned, we assembled and disassembled, and we cleaned up after each test, just to see whether we wanted to keep this gadget in the kitchen. Read on for all of our findings.
Setup Process: Easy peasy
Setting this up for use is simple. We just had to decide whether we wanted spiral cuts or ribbons, then attach the blade in the right position by twisting it onto the holder. Since it’s reversible, there are no separate blades to keep track of, but it also means that if you want to change from spirals to ribbons for a different recipe, you’ll need to wash the blade between uses.
One thing we liked was that this spiralizer doesn’t cut around a core, so the entire vegetable gets spiralized except a thin slice that the pusher holds.
Performance: Great for thin cuts
Operation of this spiralizer was pretty obvious. Food to be spiralized went into the holder, the pusher followed the food—stabbing the food with its little spikes to hold it firmly—and then it was just a matter of gripping the body of the spiralizer to snug it around the pusher. The pusher and the body are both threaded, so turning the pusher starts a screwing action that pushes the food through the blades at a constant rate.
When we spiralized zucchini, the zoodles were very small—the size of angel hair pasta, or possibly a bit smaller.
Since the pusher follows the threads on the holder, there’s no need to push while turning. However, in order for the pusher to engage with the threads on the holder, we had to grip the holder tightly. We wouldn’t call it difficult, but someone with poor grip strength might have trouble.
Before we got the hang of using the spiralizer, sometimes we ended up chewing the end of the vegetables with the pusher’s teeth. Once we figured out that the teeth needed to be very firmly inserted and we had to grip the holder tightly, we had more consistent results.
Long vegetables can be spiralized without the pusher if they’re long enough to hold, but we found that using the pusher was actually easier, so when we spiralized longer vegetables, we cut them to fit the holder.
When we spiralized zucchini, the zoodles were very small—the size of angel hair pasta, or possibly a bit smaller. We actually would have preferred a larger cut since the thin threads tended to clump together.
We used the ribbon cut on zucchini and cucumber, and both worked well, giving us long, thin ribbons. We ran a knife through them on a cutting board to give us smaller pieces and added the vegetables to a salad. They would also be great for a quick pickle, since the pieces were so thin. The spiralizer did a little less well with harder vegetables like parsnips. It worked, but it wasn’t as fast and fun as cutting zucchini.
While we didn’t get grated or spiralized butter, we did get thin ribbons that are perfect for making pastry.
On a whim, we decided to try cutting butter. While that might seem odd, thin pieces of butter are ideal for making flaky pie dough, biscuits, or even rough puff pastry. While we didn’t get grated or spiralized butter, we did get thin ribbons that are perfect for making pastry. Since the butter was protected from our hot hands by the holder, it stayed cold and firm.
Design: Narrow holder limits vegetable size
The interior of the holder is fairly narrow at just under 2 inches in diameter, so it can’t handle larger foods unless they’re trimmed to fit. Even some of our zucchinis were too large, and none of our average-sized potatoes fit. While we didn’t mind trimming a potato for testing, we doubt we’d bother for everyday cooking.
This spiralizer doesn’t cut around a core, so the entire vegetable gets spiralized except a thin slice that the pusher holds.
Vegetables that are too small don’t work well, since there’s not enough vegetable for the spikes on the holder to grab securely.
For storage, the pusher fits into the holder but it doesn’t snap in, so it can wander out of the holder if it’s stored in a busy drawer. Still, it should stay fairly compact.
Features: Just one
This simple device has just one notable feature—the reversible blade holder for cutting ribbons on one side and spiral cuts on the other.
Cleaning: Dishwasher safe
The entire spiralizer is dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to clean. However, we noticed that sometimes food got caught in the corners of the cutting blades, and it seemed prudent to use a brush to remove them. Once we got that far, it made sense to keep cleaning by hand. Still, it’s good to know that the pieces are dishwasher safe for busy days.
At just over $20, the price for the Zyliss Vegetable Spiralizer is reasonable for a hand-held spiralizer. There are plenty that are less expensive, and plenty that are more expensive, so the price seems about right for a brand-name product.
Competition: Several quality options
OXO Good Grips 3-Blade Hand-Held Spiralizer: If someone is looking for a hand-held spiralizer, the OXO Good Grips 3-Blade Hand-Held Spiralizer (view on Amazon), which we also tested, is fair competition for the Zyliss that we tested. The OXO offers two different sizes of spirals, both larger than the cuts from the Zyliss, along with a ribbon-cutting function. The OXO can handle larger vegetables than the Zyliss, as well. While we liked the fact that the Zyliss did a great job shaving butter, when it comes to using it as a vegetable spiralizer, we’ll give the nod to the OXO.
KitchenAid Spiralizer Plus: If you’re intent on swapping zoodles for most of your pasta, a hand-held spiralizer may be too tiring. If you already have a KitchenAid stand mixer, the KitchenAid Spiralizer Plus attachment (view on Amazon), that we tested does nearly hands-off spiralizing, and it also peels and slices. While the KitchenAid spiralizer is more expensive, we love all the extras it can do and would recommend it to anyone who has a mixer.
OXO Good Grips 3-Blade Tabletop Spiralizer: The OXO Good Grips 3-Blade Tabletop Spiralizer (view on Amazon), offers crank-operated spiralizing that’s less work than the Zyliss we tested, but of course, it takes more space to store. We’d suggest this one to anyone who wants to do a lot of spiralizing but who doesn’t have a stand mixer to accommodate the KitchenAid attachment.
While we would have preferred larger spiral cuts, some cooks might be looking for very thin zoodles, in which case the Zyliss Vegetable Spiralizer is a solid option. Our biggest pro was that we were suitably impressed at the way it handled the task it wasn’t made for: shaving butter for pastry.
- Product Name Vegetable Spiralizer
- Product Brand Zyliss
- MPN E900025U
- Price $22.99
- Weight 0.41 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 2.36 x 5.51 x 2.36 in.
- Material Plastic with stainless steel cutters
- Warranty 5 years