Like most of America, I’m in a full-on love affair with avocados. Give 'em to me as a side of guacamole, fanned out on a salad, or served on toast—I like them in every way, shape, or form. The only thing I don't like? They're messy to prepare! After peeling, pitting, and chopping three or four of them, you and your kitchen are covered in green mush. I would know—I’ve spent my career as a chef chopping boxes and boxes of everyone's favorite fruit.
So when I heard about the gadget known as an avocado slicer, I had to know if owning one would make my life easier. I picked up Amazon’s top-rated avocado slicer–the appropriately green colored OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer ($9.89 on Amazon) and took it for a spin. If nothing else, it was an excuse to snack on avocado!
Avocado slicers have become increasingly popular in the last few years, but I was surprised at how many different options are out there! They all had similar functionality, so we chose one of the more popular brands, the OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer. It sits at number 12 on the Amazon Top 100 Best Selling Kitchen Gadgets list and has over 1,900 reviews.
The gadget is slightly larger than my hand and is made up of a few plastic blades that slice, pit, and chop an avocado. The serrated blade at the top slices through avocado flesh, the pitting tool in the center has sharp prongs that stick to the pit for easy removal, and a fan blade removes the flesh, cutting slices as it goes.
Most people use a chef's knife to slice avocados, but some worry about cutting their hands using this method. I’ve pitted hundreds (if not thousands) of avocados this way without spilling a drop of blood, so I promise it’s not as daunting as it seems.
After cutting and twisting the avocado apart into two halves, cradle the pit-in half in your hand. For safety, you can place a folded dish towel underneath the avocado, giving you an extra layer of protection. Grip a sharp knife by the butt end and gently tap the pit with the heel of the blade. If your knife is sharp, the edge easily embeds itself into the pit. Then, twist and pull—easy as, er, avocado pie!
When the halves are separated and pitted, you have two options. The easiest way to scoop out the flesh is with a large spoon. The cleaner, more presentable way takes a little bit more time (but I think it’s worth it). Quarter the avocado, peel the skin back to remove it, and slice the flesh on a cutting board. This is my favorite way to make beautiful chopped or sliced avocado for salads or open-face sandwiches.
The gadget works as advertised, but it fails to accomplish anything a knife can't do. The slicer's serrated plastic blade sliced through the avocado with ease, and the pitting tool worked on most—but not all—of the avocados. When I tried to remove the pits of a few overripe avocados, they became prematurely mashed. That's fine if you're trying to make guacamole, but not so ideal if you want those nice slices. By comparison, the pit on a similarly ripe avocado came out clean using the knife method.
The fan blade works is great for removing the flesh without making a mess, but it struggles to cut clean slices because the plastic simply isn't sharp enough. The riper avocados mashed together as the blade slid through the fruit, and the full slices it did make were more jagged than those made with the knife. Afterwards, cleaning the knife was a hundred times easier than scrubbing in between those plastic blades.
Hands down, this contest went to the knife. While the gadget is available for an affordable price, it didn't outperform the knife and thus failed to earn a place in my already over-cluttered gadget drawer. The knife was just as easy to use, but with better results.
To give the slicer a fair shake, I would recommend this for the avocado pitter alone to anyone who is simply made anxious by using a knife to pit an avocado. You still have to whack the pit to get it to stick, but the chances are less likely that you’ll cut your hand open if you slip. You need hands to cook, so if you're worried about cutting them then this gadget is your friend!