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Is there a tool to cut cherry tomatoes in half? Since they are so regular it should be possible to build such a machine.

Alternately, what can I do to improve my speed and accuracy when halving them with a knife?

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Yes: ftnon.com/en/processes/slicing/… (but maybe out of your price range...) –  Jefromi May 9 '11 at 14:00
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@jeffromi, 300kgs/hr....AWESOME! Take that salad. –  yossarian May 9 '11 at 15:59
    
@yossarian: Don't be bamboozled by hourly measurements, that only comes out to about 4 tomatoes per second. ;) –  Aaronut May 9 '11 at 16:54
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...of course, if I really needed to cut 15,000 tomatoes, I'd probably still go for the machine. –  Aaronut May 9 '11 at 16:55
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5 Answers 5

I've found here: http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/2012/06/streamlining-tomato-halves.html great advice to

  • take two take-out plastic containers (shape of plastic plates)
  • fill with tomatoes - put tomatoes between them like sandwich, so they will not go out thanks to containers/plates boarders
  • cut through
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+1 : This is effectively daniel's addition to my answer, but much better explained. –  Joe Apr 6 at 21:41
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Serrated knives leave scar marks in soft bodied foods, like this one, so if you are using it for presentation then this is not an option.

What you can do is take two small cutting boards, or two small straight edge items, shorther then the length of your blade. Fit, in a single file line, as many tomatoes as you can between the boards, use them to press against the fruit so hold them still then under a bridge made by your hand cute the tomatoes.

I use two six inch cutting boards which fit about 7 cherry tomatoes and a 7" non serrated blade. Once you get good with it you can cut like 200 a minute or more if you are really good.

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When attempting to slice a lot of regular sized items, if you're not all that picky about the orientation of the cut (eg, if it's through or perpendicular the line between the blossom and stem), you can do the following, if you have a well sharpened knife that isn't going to slide on the skin of the tomatoes:

  1. place a few together on your cutting board.
  2. place your hand on top and arch your fingers up
  3. slice horizontally through the group of items, between the counter and the palm of your hand (no need to rush this, go slow)

If you're nervous about cutting yourself, and you have plates that have a bit of a lip if you flip it over, you can put a plate down, upside down, fill the center with items to be cut, place another place on top, then while holding the plate down with light pressure, slice between the two plates.

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Yep, this is how it's done in restaurants (though for cherry tomatoes we usually use the lids from 500mL containers). –  daniel May 9 '11 at 17:49
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"slice through the group parallel to the counter and the palm of your hand" - careful how you parse that! –  LarsH May 9 '11 at 21:34
    
@LarsH : hopefully it's more clear now. –  Joe May 10 '11 at 13:17
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Yes, very clear now. Though not as entertaining. :-) –  LarsH May 10 '11 at 15:20
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Even better for any tomatoes a Serated Knife (one with ridges such like a bread knife).

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Try sharpening a good, non-serrated knife and slicing some tomatoes, you may find you never need a serrated knife for the task again. –  Neil Fein May 9 '11 at 23:36
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Yes there is. It's called a knife. I use a Shun 10" chef's knife, but you could certainly make do with a much cheaper one.

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Damn it, you took the words right out of my mouth! –  ElendilTheTall May 9 '11 at 14:17
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@Soba: I have a cherry tomato sized trebuchet. –  hobodave May 9 '11 at 16:16
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I don't think that a trebuchet will cut them, unless it hurls them straight through a big upright blade... and then how do you account for factors like wind resistance? –  Aaronut May 9 '11 at 16:49
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@Aaronut- build it in a vaccuum. –  Sobachatina May 9 '11 at 18:01
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Oh, a knife! I never seen one in my life! Don't you think that if I'm asking this question it's kind of obvious that I'm looking for an alternative to a knife? –  J. Pablo Fernández May 15 '11 at 16:16
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