Everything you need to know before buying your nutcracker
Nuts have a positive effect on our health, not to mention cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and transit. To remove the shell without hurting yourself, treat yourself to a better nutcracker. As a practical tool and a decorative object, there are all kinds of nutcrackers, which makes it difficult to choose. For more efficiency, it’s best to arm yourself with a nutcracker. Here are some tips to help you choose the right nutcracker that offers good value for money.
A short history of the nutcracker
Nobody really knows the exact date when the nutcracker was invented. What is certain, however, is that the problem is not new, and that our ancestors used stones to crush these nuts. It is therefore a tool that has evolved over time from a simple club to a sophisticated nutcracker. It was not until the beginning of the 13th century, at least in France, that the first metal models appeared.
Each type of nutcracker has its own way of breaking the shell, and you can do this, although most types use the same basic principles. This involves using pressure and leverage to create more pressure on the outside of the shell than it can respond to, causing cracks to form. Once cracks have formed, the integrity of the shell is compromised and the job of cracking nuts is much easier.
The different types of nutcrackers
Whether electric or manual, nutcrackers are divided into four main types. The different types of nutcrackers have been inspired by these physical principles for cracking shells. Choosing a nutcracker that meets your needs is imperative.
The pliers nutcracker
This model of nutcracker is the most common in France: its efficient operation gives results that are more or less appreciated. Put the fruit between the two arms of the pliers, on a small slot, tighten the pliers, and that’s it! The movement to be made for this type remains automatic, which makes it ergonomically advantageous compared to the others.
The screw nutcracker
This is the type we would call more traditional, but if you like the old style, you can still find specimens on the market. Its wooden structure confirms its archaic character. To use it, simply place the nutcracker in a dedicated container and then turn the large screw to break the shell. This nutcracker requires a lot of strength if the nut is hard. Over time, its use has gradually decreased as more capable types have become available.
The electric nutcracker
The unique electric nutcracker allows you to quickly crush a few nuts without any effort. This original nutcracker is only recommended if you are a heavy nut consumer. It can also be very practical if you are unable to use the manual model, which requires a bit of strength and is sometimes painful and tiring after prolonged use. An electric nutcracker is therefore a good alternative.
The lever nutcracker
The inventor did not stop there and the spring-loaded nutcracker seems to be comparable to other types on the market. To use it, you need to have the right gestures to get the right results. Indeed, the models of this type are still varied: some have two handles in addition to the spring and the fruit tray, others consist of a single spring to break the shell. The natural energy of the spring energises your fruit shells with a simple swing.
The innovation of the Nutcracker with Tnut Propulsion
Of course, we have to introduce you to the latest innovation in nutcrackers! The propelled nutcracker, a fun and efficient tool for cracking nuts, hazelnuts or almonds. The Tnut nutcracker works with a latex membrane, you place your nut or hazelnut inside it, you pull and release. The nut is propelled and the shock in the bottom of the nutcracker will explode the shell, leaving the kernels intact. A fun nutcracker for the whole family, and much nicer than traditional nutcrackers. Moreover, this nutcracker is ideal to avoid injuries.
Criteria for choosing a nutcracker
There are many criteria to consider before buying a professional nutcracker. Every need and application is different, but it is important to keep these basic principles in mind to avoid mistakes when choosing your equipment.
The quality of the material
The quality of the material from which the nutcracker is made obviously determines its durability. As nuts have a certain hardness, you need a nutcracker that is firm, otherwise your utensil will break easily. So avoid plastic nutcrackers in the first instance: buy wood or steel instead, which are more durable.
Your hands, and more specifically your fingers, are the part of your body most stressed when using a nutcracker. To protect yourself, only buy a nutcracker with curved arms or levers. The teeth that pierce the nuts should also be protected so that your fingers don’t accidentally get stuck in them and hurt yourself.
Another element to consider is comfort. In addition to your own safety, you also want to make sure the tool is easy to use. The narrow handle concentrates all the energy in a small area, which can cause pain in the hands after prolonged use. Look for wider handles with non-slip grips for comfort. For people with arthritis, consider buying screw or lever nutcrackers.
Usually, the size of the nutcracker should correspond to the size of the fruit you are going to crush with it. It differs depending on the model. A large nutcracker will be a bit bulky and can easily tire you out. On the other hand, if it is too small, you will have trouble with a lot of nuts, perhaps it will not even hold the shell of the fruit and will not be able to break it properly. The force you exert on the nutcracker depends on its size.
How many nuts can a nutcracker break per second? This is a crucial question that needs to be asked. If you have to open large piles of nuts, you need the best nutcrackers that work accurately. The table nutcracker works faster than the V-shaped nutcracker, so you may want to choose the former. Cracking a nut with a nutcracker, regardless of the size of the shell, is essential. Don’t get stuck on a nut that doesn’t fit in your nutcracker!
In practice, you need a nutcracker that can crush any type of shell, large or small. Whether it’s hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts, the nutcracker you choose must be able to adapt to each size, so you won’t have one device for each family of nuts. Some models with pliers offer two spacings, but this is not always the case.
Adapt your nutcracker to your body shape. It is therefore advisable to try the utensil before buying it to see how it can be handled, whether it is too heavy, too big for your hands, or too delicate if you are energetic. Note that there are also models specially designed for left-handed people. By taking the time to test the nutcracker properly, you can be sure that you have the right tool that you will never tire of. A stylish and functional kitchen nutcracker is all you need to shell your nuts.
When choosing kitchen utensils, you have your own taste in terms of colour and style. The design then depends on your visual assessment. And you will be particularly proud to use it in front of guests if you have taken care to choose an elegant model.
After servicing your nutcracker, if your kitchen has limited space, you need to think about where to store your device. Most V-nutcrackers can be stored in a drawer, but tabletop versions will require more storage space, such as in a shelf or cupboard.
How do I use the nutcracker?
You do not need a manual to use the nutcracker. However, you should follow some basic rules that will increase your efficiency and safety.
First of all, you should know that it is all about the correct setting of the nut. The biggest challenge is to keep it in the machine while you apply pressure to crack it. Sometimes the nut slips and moves, so you just have to position it differently until you find the right position.
Once you have found the right position, apply constant pressure, being careful not to apply too much pressure. Too much pressure can crush the beans and leave only crumbs to nibble on. It may be a difficult start, but you will soon recover.
Finally, once you have used the nutcracker, it needs to be cleaned. Even if it’s just dry stuff and you feel like your tools are clean, don’t put them back in your kitchen drawer. Like any used utensil, it needs to be washed and dried before being put away. You can use a damp cloth for this. It is not advisable to put it in the dishwasher, as this could damage it.
Whichever type you choose, a nutcracker is a must-have in your kitchen, as you don’t have many alternatives for getting rid of the shells of these autumn fruits. On a practical level, a nutcracker is the best way to distinguish the shell from the fruit itself and precisely to prevent the fruit from breaking or shattering into a thousand pieces. So why not invest in a lovely nutcracker, well suited to your body shape and accompanying you to enjoy many nuts.