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Ground beef is a staple among home cooks young and old, with good reason. It’s great for backyard BBQs and weeknight meals alike — it’s pretty easy to prepare and can be made into a variety of meals, including tacos, pasta and burgers. Unless you’re making patties, cooking beef typically involves browning smaller pieces and mixing them into whatever meal you’re making, whether that’s a casserole or tacos.
There are a handful of tricks to getting beef that’s juicy on the inside and crisp and brown on the outside, but one of the most important steps is to break up larger pieces to prevent uneven heating. You’ll want it to cook for a bit before breaking it up, but once you do, it’s important to try to get pieces that are roughly the same size so that they cook evenly. While many people settle for a wooden spatula, a meat chopper is a great tool to ensure consistent results every time.
What to Consider Before Buying a Meat Chopper
Meat choppers are spatulas with soft silicone or hard plastic blades at the end that somewhat resemble the blades of a boat or helicopter propeller. This gives the name “meat chopper” a clever double meaning, one that alludes to what it looks like and what it does. They’re typically made out of heat-resistant synthetic materials like silicone or nylon, and they’re used to mash up larger chunks of beef on the skillet into small pieces that will cook more thoroughly and consistently. Using a meat chopper instead of a spatula will allow you to work more quickly while getting more even results.
A meat chopper is a great tool for anyone who cooks beef on a regular basis, but it’s a handy thing to have in the kitchen even if you rarely or never eat beef. It can be used for mixing other ground meats like turkey, but it can be used as a stand-in for plenty of other tools. You can use it to mix instead of using a whisk, as a masher for fruits, or to scramble eggs. It’s the kind of seemingly niche kitchen tool that you’ll find yourself reaching for all the time.
How We Chose the Best Meat Choppers
Meat choppers are fairly simple tools, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. We looked at the materials used — our favorite options are made from silicone or nylon, which are durable and heat-resistant materials, which have the benefit of not scratching non-stick cookware. We also looked at additional features like hanging loops in the handles, which we counted as bonuses but not must-haves.
These are the best meat choppers to get.
1. OXO Good Grips Ground Meat Chopper
OXO is one of our favorite brands for the kitchen — their products are durable and work well. And, not for nothing, all of OXO’s kitchen gear is very stylish. The same goes for this meat chopper, which has a matte black finish with a red tip at the end of one of the blades. The contrasting tip is not just for looks — that blade is made from flexible silicone, and the other blades are harder nylon, giving you the flexibility of a silicone spatula with the sturdiness of a wooden one. The meat chopper has three wide blades for easy mixing and scraping, and the hole at the top of the handle makes it easy to hang on kitchen hooks. The chopper is made out of nylon and silicone, which is heat resistant and won’t scratch your cookware.
Pros: Stylish design. Durable silicone and nylon construction. Wide blades that make scraping food off the pan easy.
Cons: Some meat choppers have more blades, whereas this one only has three, meaning it may be less efficient to use.
2. PGYARD Meat Chopper
This meat chopper from PGYARD has a smartly designed pinwheel shape. Similar to the way the blades on a boat propeller are curved to more effectively turn water, the five curved blades of this meat chopper allow you to chop up the meat more quickly. It’s made out of sturdy hard nylon, which is heat-resistant, durable and won’t scratch cookware. The grip is soft and rounded for comfortable handling. This meat chopper is also dishwasher safe.
Pros: Beveled and curved five-blade pinwheel design makes for easier and quicker chopping compared to other options that only have three or four blades. Comfortable grip.
Cons: This option does not have a hole in the handle, so you can’t hang it if you have kitchen hooks.
3. Zulay Kitchen Ground Meat Chopper
The ground meat chopper from Zulay is made out of sturdy nylon, which is heat-resistant, food-safe and won’t scratch your cookware. It has cross-shaped blades for quickly chopping up meat. The beveled tips give this chopper an edge in cutting into and breaking up bigger pieces of meat. The long comfortable handle has an extended cutout which is ideal for hanging from kitchen hooks. This chopper can also be used as a masher for soft fruits and vegetables, pie shell crumbs, and as a stirrer for concentrated juices.
Pros: Made from sturdy food-safe nylon. Available in red and black. Beveled tips make it effective at digging into and cutting up pieces of food.
Cons: Meat tends to get stuck in the corners of the blades.