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For my breakfast oatmeal, I use a variety of nuts. I tend to make large batches beforehand. My biggest issue with the way I do it now, is how to prepare large batches of hard nuts that I'd like to chop roughly.

I have tried several methods:

  • A blender, or food processor, which grinds the nuts into a paste
  • Smashing them (covered with a cloth or in a bag) with a rolling pin, which completely pulverizes some and tends to skip a bunch as well
  • Chopping them with a chef's knife

Chopping them with a knife gives the best results, but it's very laborious and I can only do a handful or two at a time.

I've been trying to search online for suitable methods, but they all seem to use nuts like pecans or walnuts, which really aren't an issue at all. My problems are with Brazil nuts, macadamia nut or even peanuts, for example.

Is there any other tool or technique I can use to get roughly chopped nuts (they don't need to be perfectly even) suitable for an oatmeal mix?

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A chopping jar:

chopping jar

(photo from Etsy)

should be exactly what you need.

(You may also want to look at multi-blade mezzalunas, but they're really meant for mincing herbs.)

  • Pamper Chef has a chopper that is similar to this, but (IMHO) is far superior. I use it for chopping nuts and am happy with the results. – Cos Callis Nov 12 '18 at 16:15
  • This essentially answers my question because it seems like the go-to tool. I am leaning a little towards Chris' answer, since it provides some alternatives and a bunch of information on chopping nuts specifically. – Ivo Coumans Nov 13 '18 at 8:31
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I find different results using a blender vs a full size food processor (the latter tends to leave some whole while chopping the others rather too finely, while the former tends to make a paste with lumps in). On that basis the food processor is better. It's much more successful if run in brief pulses.

My food processor and stand mixer share a mill attachment that does a much better job of nuts. That's one of the things it's designed for, it's also a stopgap coffee grinder. Again it's better pulsed. If you were dedicating it to nuts, bending the lower blades slightly upwards would probably improve it further.

Mini-choppers/mini food processors are also possible - in general a food processor gives more even results if not too empty. With all mechanised approaches, you'll need a little sorting -- tip everything out and put the biggest bits back in for another few seconds.

Some nuts are also more brittle toasted and chop better, forming less of a paste

  • 1
    I like your answer because it covers a couple of common kitchen appliances, and offers some general information and advice on chopping nuts specifically. Your mention of the mill attachment put me on the right track of finding a similar tool, such as the chopping jar / food mill mentioned in Wumpus' answer. I am not sure which answer I should accept. – Ivo Coumans Nov 13 '18 at 8:29
  • @IvoCoumans if Wumpus's answer is eaxctly what you're looking for, then accept that -- acceptance is about what's most helpful to you, the asker. If others find my answer helpful they can vote for it. – Chris H Nov 13 '18 at 8:54
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Chef's trick: bag them, or double bag, them in a sturdy gallon ziploc bag. Squeeze the air out. Tap the nuts with a rolling pin or sledgehammer (seriously) to break them up. Be careful not to hit too hard or the bag will split.

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    I like your answer because it does not require a special-use kitchen tool – manu muraleedharan Nov 14 '18 at 6:36

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