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First Look: Veggie Bullet

Have you seen ads for the Veggie Bullet yet? It’s from the makers of NutriBullet and Magic Bullet and it promises to make food prep “quicker and easier than ever before”. If the company behind it plans to market it the same way as its other cult products, it’s likely you’ll be hearing about it soon.

We put it through some of the tests that we put food processors through. It did a good job slicing carrots and was OK at making breadcrumbs and grating cheese. But because you can't use it to knead dough or emulsify mayonnaise, we didn't score it against other food processors. Instead, I give it a whirl in my kitchen for 5 nights.

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Day 1: Cauliflower rice

My food processor does a fine job of making cauliflower rice. I can’t fault it. You just pop big chunks of cauliflower in the bowl and it’s all blitzed to the same consistency. The Veggie Bullet does it a little differently. You put cauli chunks down the chute, it pushes them over the shredding blade, out the shooter attachment and into the bowl you’ve put underneath it.

Cauliflower rice with burnt ends on the stalks. Don’t judge me, judge the Veggie Bullet.
Cauliflower rice with burnt ends on the stalks. Don’t judge me, judge the Veggie Bullet.

I guess the idea of doing it this way is you can just keep adding more and more cauliflower and putting new bowls under the shooter so you’ve got heaps of rice. If you’re an organised person that preps meals and freezes them, this could come in handy. However, for me creating just enough for tonight’s dinner, it means more dishes than I’d usually have.

The Veggie Bullet spits cauli out at impressive speed but the stalks come out in long shreds rather than being rice-like and their pointy ends burn when I roast the rice. We’re not off to a good start, Veggie Bullet.

Day 2: Chicken salad

Wow, the Veggie Bullet’s recipe for chicken salad sure knows how to make an easy dinner complicated. It starts well. Using the slicer blade this time, the Veggie Bullet shoots out perfectly sliced tomato.

Not feeling fine about this very fine chicken.
Not feeling fine about this very fine chicken.

For the eggs and chicken, I swap the slicing blade for the shredding one. Four hard-boiled eggs are quickly pulverised into very fine egg but half of it stays in the shooter. I can get some of it out with a knife but the angle means a lot of it, about an egg’s worth, is stuck. I’m also not sure why you’d want egg shredded that fine in a salad. Maybe if you were making a lot of egg salad sammies this would come in handy, but otherwise I think a mash job with a fork would do the trick. It’s the same with the chicken. I’ve baked 2 breasts with herbs and garlic but the shredding blade makes it so fine that it’s more of a chicken sprinkle that’s annoying to eat as part of a salad.

I’m exhausted and dinner looks a shambles.

Afterwards I rinse off all the bits that got stuck under the blade and in the shooter and lament how much ends up in my sink. I pack my dishwasher with all the different parts of the Bullet and the bowls that caught the food as it came out and wonder who would go through all this for a chicken salad.

Day 3: Smoothie bowls with chopped almonds on top

Chopped nuts a la the hard way.
Chopped nuts a la the hard way.

Next up, the most pointless but trendy of breakfasts — a smoothie bowl. You go through the process of making a smoothie but then take away the convenience of being able to drink it, because you have to eat it with a spoon instead. The Veggie Bullet recipe says to use the slicer blade to create the almond slivers that sit on top. So I’ve already made the smoothie in the blender and now I have to get out the hulking Veggie Bullet to do a job that would take 10 seconds with a knife. The Bullet does an alright job — only a couple of almonds pop out unscathed and the rest look just like what you buy in supermarket bulk bins. Unfortunately, because almonds are hard little things, some bits hit the glass bowl and ricochet out. Out comes the vacuum — the third appliance I’ve needed to make the smoothie bowl.

Day 4: Spaghetti Bolognese on zoodles

 Alright, its zoodles are perfect.
Alright, its zoodles are perfect.

A whole other set-up is required for spiralising — instead of just putting the shooter on the machine’s motor, you use a different attachment, then put a plastic “basket” inside that and attach the lid. If you do what I did the first time and just push the zucchini down the chute you get chopped zucchini but not zoodles. You need to put the outer pusher in the chute first so there’s a smaller gap for the zucchini to go down. The result is perfect zoodles.

Day 5: Curly fries

I’m dreading pulling out the Veggie Bullet again. It’s always a bit of an ordeal working out what parts you need and then fitting them together in just the right way so the light comes on. And I know once I’m done, all the parts are going to take up most of the space in my dishwasher. I’m so ready to get it out of my kitchen and back to the Consumer office.

Curly fries? More like skinny semicircles.
Curly fries? More like skinny semicircles.

But it’s curly fries night and I’m keen to try the spiraliser blade on a veg with a bigger circumference. The peeled and halved kumara goes in and some of it comes out like a curly noodle but most of it is just in semicircles.

I bake them in the oven for about 10 minutes and the result is a disappointment. They’re so thin that most burnt and the rest join up into a mushy mess.

The verdict

It’s an appliance that can do some of the things a food processor can with the addition of a spiraliser. Its pieces take up so much room in the kitchen and they’re a hassle to fit together. They also take up lots of room in the dishwasher.

I can see the benefit of having one if you regularly prep a lot of food at the same time. Need to quickly chop 30 tomatoes? Regularly make big pots of vegetable soup? The Veggie Bullet would be awesome for slicing the veges you need. You could keep loading them in and replacing the bowl with a new one when it got full. But when you’re just cooking dinner, a knife and chopping board will do the same thing and take up hardly any room in your cupboards and dishwasher.

If you want the convenience of doing all the things the Veggie Bullet says it can, you’d be better off getting a Consumer Recommended food processor and separate spiraliser.

Veggie Bullet

Price: $300
Sold at: Major retailers such as Briscoes, Farmers, Noel Leeming and others.

By Kate Harvey

First Looks are trials of new or interesting products from the perspective of our product experts. Our lab-based tests offer truly objective product comparisons.

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