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Old 07-12-2019, 11:41 PM
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Looking for a kitchen utensil to cut and mash berries


Iím looking for a kitchen gizmo that may or may not exist... Picture the six or eight blades of an apple corer/slicer on a stick like a restaurant sized potato masher. But to be durable, the fins need to be taller than the blades of the apple tool, and probably donít need to be very sharp. The overall length probably needs to be 18Ē or more.

What Iím trying to do is cut and mash strawberries and blueberries in a cambro. How we do it currently is to ďsliceĒ through the berries to the sides of the container, which is a bit dangerous and hard on the cambros as they get nicked up. The berries are often being worked while frozen, so the tool needs to be decently sturdy. Iíve had no luck at webstaurantstore, and the local Smart and Final had no clue.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:40 AM
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Any reason you don't just use a stick blender?
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:22 AM
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Any reason you don't just use a stick blender?
That needs electricity and would tend to liquefy the fruit.
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:25 AM
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If you are storing the berries frozen, can you just smash them up in the bag before you add them to the cambro (or at some point while they are still frozen)?
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:40 AM
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I'm intrigued but puzzled.

What's wrong with electricity?

What is the difference between "mashed" fruit and "liquified" fruit and wny does it matter in your situation?

How much fruit do you need to process - a cup a week, 10 gallons an hour?

What do you want to do with the fruit once it is properly processed?

You mention strawberries and blueberries - is that all you care about or could other fruit also be involved?

Finally, what is the cambro for?
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:23 AM
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Doesn't meet the OP's specification but our family has used dough blenders for generations to chop/mash fruits and berries.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:49 AM
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I kind have to go with CairoCarol here, more info please.

More to the point, what's wrong with using a stout potato masher?

Maybe something like this hamburger masher would work? It's meant for cooking ground beef but might serve your purpose?
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Last edited by Alpha Twit; 07-13-2019 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:06 PM
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Doesn't meet the OP's specification but our family has used dough blenders for generations to chop/mash fruits and berries.
Yeah, pastry cutter aka "dough blender" was my first thought.
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:20 PM
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Pampered Chef makes a tool called a Mix 'N Chop that will do what you want very well. It's tough enough to chop cooked chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. I use mine for that, as well as to smoosh berries into a muddle or break hamburger into pieces while it cooks in the pan.

Hope it suits.

Ninja'd by Alpha Twit -- hadn't clicked on his/her link before posting! I love mine.

Last edited by Aspenglow; 07-13-2019 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:33 AM
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That mix ‘n chop thing looks almost perfect. Just wish the handle was a bit longer.

What I’m up to is making mashed berries to make trifles at a pop-up location where we don’t have electricity to spare for any new appliance.

The cambro is for the efficiency of mixing and storing the fruit mix. We have dozens of them and no mixing bowls at all other than stand mixer bowls. And no, we can’t use the mixers. They’re already in nearly constant use.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:43 AM
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I can tell you exactly what my grandmother used, what my mother used, and what I use. Take an empty standard metal can. Use a can opener (handheld works best) and cut the rim off. Use a church key (sharp end) to put a hole in the other end. Voila! You have a semi-flexible tool that will cut strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc., quite efficiently in a glass bowl.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha Twit View Post
More to the point, what's wrong with using a stout potato masher?
I was going to recommend a Summer Wheat potato masher. But hey, whatever suits you.



Seriously- a regular strong ( stout ) hand held potato masher will give you a lovely coarse consistency.
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Old 07-18-2019, 12:33 AM
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Oh, we tried potato mashers. Things that may work OK with a pint of berries in a bowl don’t necessarily scale up when working with about ten pounds of berries in a two-gallon cambro.

I’ve ordered the longest-handled version of a mix-n-chop I could find, and will keep my fingers crossed for success.
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:22 AM
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Please let us know how it works out. I wish you good fortune.
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:47 AM
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Could you do the chopping ahead of time?

I was thinking that if the berries are all frozen, you might be able to toss them (still frozen) in a food processor for a few pulses and get a nice mix of solid chunks and smaller pieces. This could be done in a prep location, with the berries put back in the freezer until pop-up time.

You might want to then mash some of them after defrosting, but that would be a plain potato masher task since the chopping already happened.
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Old 07-23-2019, 12:33 PM
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How about a longer-handled pastry cutter, like this?

A mezzaluna might be close but only one blade (or occasionally 2). A hand-held pizza roller cutter seems close - I could swear I once saw something like that which had multiple blades, but my google-fu is failing me. And it doesn't have a long handle.

Oooh - this is close to what I was thinking of. Multiple blades, long-ish handle. It's plastic though, so I dunno how durable it would be.
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Old 07-23-2019, 12:48 PM
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If they're not frozen, should work great !!!!

Show pix!
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Old 07-23-2019, 01:03 PM
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How about one of these these? Squisher Thingy

You can control just how crushed you want the fruit.
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  #19  
Old 07-23-2019, 03:08 PM
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Just a note for those, like me, who don't know what a "Cambro" is, it is a brand name for large clear plastic commercial food storage containers. Sometimes you see them on America's Test Kitchen, in fact I think Cambro is the brand they recommend.

I guess the name has become as ubiquitous for these sizes of container as Tupperware used to be for smaller ones.
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:50 PM
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I know the things you are picturing, and they are hard to find nowadays: A metal-finned radial masher with a slightly sharpened bottom. But I'd suggest that at your volume what you really should be using is a sausage grinder with a super-coarse setting. The hand-crank ones usually have this. You'll get through it all with a lot less wear and tear on the staff, and if I'm understanding you correctly, exactly the texture you are looking for. If you have one for your mixer try just using it on the slowest setting without any extrusion screen.

Last edited by TruCelt; 07-23-2019 at 07:52 PM.
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