Are there any good ways to chop fresh cranberries? It tends to end up a bit tedious for me, not catching too many at a time with the knife, and chasing after the ones that roll away. (And I don't have any machines that'd do this for me.)
You might consider trying slicing them in half first, so at the very least, they're not a round sphere that's liable to roll away. Here's the typical procedure for cherry tomatoes, grapes, pitted olives, etc:
- Place a few of them on your cutting surface (as many as would fit comfortably in the palm of your hand
- place the palm of your non-knife hand on top of the items.
- arc your fingers up as best you can
- slice horizontally with a very sharp knife, parallel to your hand and the cutting surface.
If that's small enough, stop, otherwise pile up a bunch of halves, and run your knife through like anything else.
If you don't mind losing some of the juice, try breaking them before cutting them. Use a potato masher or meat tenderizer or something like that to break them into pieces. That way they won't roll around when you're trying to cut them up. Once they are in pieces, you can lay them out on a cutting board and chop away. You can also put several on a cutting board and mash them down with another cutting board on top. That will make them less spherical.
Depending on the sharpness of your knife and your comfort level using it, I would chop these the same as I do other hard things like nuts. Basically, I hold them in place by cupping my thumb and the base of my palm on the cutting board and use a chef's knife or santoku to cut at about a 45 degree angle toward the 1/4" in front of my palm's base (which pushes the berries into the palm of your hand).
You don't actually move the knife's landing mark, but make slow deliberate cuts into the same place (you can also cradle the top of the point using your pinky for eztra stability). The chopped fruit should work its way back and the un-chopped will settle. With the cranberries you can also crush them a bit more than nuts so they wont flip out everywhere.
To do this, I use one of my favorite tools from Pampered Chef, the "food chopper".
There's a similar product called the slap chop (for corny humor, look that one up on YouTube). Other cheap models exist, as well. Like most Pampered Chef products, though it costs more, there are advantages. For this one, primarily in the blade durability and that it can open up for easy rinsing/cleaning. I use this type of product most for dicing olives, onions, and even nuts. Sometimes tomatoes, but only if you want them really mutilated. It doesn't hold a lot, and your hand can hurt if you're going to do more than ten or so rounds, but it does get the job done when you don't want all the hassle/cleanup of the processor, as @dmckee mentioned.