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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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  • 9
    Yes: ftnon.com/en/processes/slicing/… (but maybe out of your price range...)
    – Cascabel
    May 9, 2011 at 14:00
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    @jeffromi, 300kgs/hr....AWESOME! Take that salad.
    – yossarian
    May 9, 2011 at 15:59
  • @yossarian: Don't be bamboozled by hourly measurements, that only comes out to about 4 tomatoes per second. ;)
    – Aaronut
    May 9, 2011 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, 2011 at 16:55

6 Answers 6

25

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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    Now I want to design a cherry tomato size guillotine. May 9, 2011 at 14:36
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    @Soba: I have a cherry tomato sized trebuchet.
    – hobodave
    May 9, 2011 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, 2011 at 16:49
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    @Aaronut- build it in a vaccuum. May 9, 2011 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?
    – pupeno
    May 15, 2011 at 16:16
13

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, 2011 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, 2011 at 21:34
  • @LarsH : hopefully it's more clear now.
    – Joe
    May 10, 2011 at 13:17
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    Yes, very clear now. Though not as entertaining. :-)
    – LarsH
    May 10, 2011 at 15:20
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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, 2014 at 21:41
3

Take two lids off any size food storage container you find fitting. Fill one with as many grape tomatoes your heart desires. Place the second lid on top facing down. Take a serrated bread knife and cut the tomatoes in half between the lids. Mine is in fact a 13" so I can cut about 12 boxes of cherry tomatoes in half in under 2 minutes.

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  • It was hard to imagine your solution at first, but after figuring out the picture in my mind, it's brilliant! Can you add a photo?
    – ElmerCat
    Apr 11, 2016 at 17:46
  • @ElmerCat: this is basically Grzegorz Wierzowiecki's answer from two years ago, minus the link to the blog post where he got the idea. And Joe's 5-year-old answer contains much the same idea.
    – Marti
    Apr 11, 2016 at 17:59
1

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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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. May 9, 2011 at 23:36

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