Someone recently asked me which spiral slicer I would recommend.
After many experiments, I now use the BenRiner Cook’s Help.
My first spiralizer was a Spirooli. It made thick “noodles”, and I did not know any better, so they were good enough. (World Cuisine makes a machine that is exactly like the Spirooli). The “noodles” that the Spirooli (and the World Cuisine spiralizer) make are similar in texture to Japanese soba noodles. Those noodles were good enough, but I heard that I could have “angel-hair” noodles , and I wanted that kind of pasta.
I found the Saladacco (it broke early on, I’d say within 4 months or dedicated use—it is not very durable).
I saw the Ben-Riner Pro Turning Slicer, which seemed to do what I wanted, but the price was way far from anything I would consider. When a Japanese friend saw the gadget on sale for $25, I dashed to the store to get one. Although it did pretty much what I wanted (it made thick noodles like the Spirooli, and it also made thinner noodles, but the contraption was the devil to clean (I guess Japanese people have more spare time than I do to devote to unscrewing food prep machines to clean them, and then screwing them back together.
A Japanese friend finally told me about the BenRiner Cook’s Help machine. It turns out that many Japanese restaurants actually use this gadget to make the daikon “fluff” that you can see on sushi plates. I found one for around $50 (forgive me, I don’t remember exactly how much) on the Internet, and, since it was cheaper than anything in New York Japanese stores, I bought it – and fell in love!
The Cook’s Help is similar in construction to the Joyce Chen, but it doesn’t have a cup to catch the noodles. The good thing is that it doesn’t jam, because there is not cup. You put a plate under it, and clear the plate when there is too much there.
Cleaning it isn’t too hard — you could follow the Japanese instructions and spend your life unscrewing parts and screwing them back together– or you could get a good toothbrush to clean it all out and go on with your life (I have a dedicated toothbrush for this purpose!)
If you are looking at getting a spiralizer that is durable and easy to clean, I highly recommend the BenRiner Cook’s Help. I haven’t been able to break it yet (I’ve had mine for over 3 years now), and it is not terribly hard to clean. (The Joyce Chen spiralizer, and similar ones, break easily, and, so, the money you save in buying them is lost the minute they break – mine broke within 4 months of use).