Unitasker Wednesday: The Chop Stir

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Yesterday morning, my son declared he wanted tacos for dinner. He’s not much of a meat eater, so I eagerly agreed to his demand. I picked up all the necessary ingredients at the store and when dinner time rolled around it was Taco Tuesday here at the Doland house.

In a classic toddler move, he took one bite of his taco and asked for a completely different dinner. I asked him what was wrong: Is it too spicy? Do you want more cheese? Is it possible you thought tacos were some other food and you were confused?

He said it’s because the ground beef wasn’t chopped into small enough pieces (okay, so he didn’t really say that) and that he would have continued eating his meal had I used the Chop Stir to break up the ground beef better (he didn’t say that either):

Had I used the Chop Stir instead of the head of a spatula (or a fork or my fingers), my dinner wouldn’t have been a failure (completely not true, it was actually a delicious meal). Woe is me. Oh, woe is me.

Thanks to reader Jessica for bringing this strange device to our attention.

37 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: The Chop Stir”

  1. posted by Dusty @ Wine Logic on

    That thing looks like it was made with just that task in mind! I love my spatula though, because I can sweep underneath the meat as well to flip it.

  2. posted by Angel on

    Pampered chef has something similar called the mix and chop.

  3. posted by Kel on

    Actually, I don’t find this ridiculous or strange at all. I have owned a Pampered Chef one for several years and it’s one of my favorite kitchen tools and I use it multiple times each week. I like my ground beef broken up really small too and I don’t find that a regular spatula works as well.

  4. posted by RazzBari on

    I bought mine for 50 cents at a garage sale, and I really like it too for breaking up ground meat & sausage. Found out about it when I was shopping at a church rummage sale and they were having a sloppy joe lunch and one of the chefs was passing them out to the folks cooking the meat.

    Sure glad I didn’t pay Pampered Chef prices for mine, but it certainly does have a place in my utensil drawer!

  5. posted by Senora H-B on

    My husband’s family uses a potato masher for this purpose – the kind with wires rather than a plastic or metal grid. I like that it breaks up the meat, but it also accomplishes other tasks.

  6. posted by CM on

    Somebody gave me that once. I think we still have it. Now that I know what it is, maybe I’ll start using it break up meat.

  7. posted by Raegan on

    I use a sturdy metal whisk. It does the same thing and a ton of other uses as well.

  8. posted by Robin on

    I have to say, I think this looks awesome. I use a spatula but, for some dishes in particular, I never feel like I get the beef as small as I would actually like it. I might try the potato masher someone else recommended but, if it doesn’t work, I think I might have to buy this. I don’t know though, my utensil drawer is awfully full…

  9. posted by Scott Carlson on

    I made okara omlettes that are pretty sticky, and I’ve found using a couple wooden chopsticks works really well to break it all into small pieces.

  10. posted by Celeste on

    This is on my Want list next time somebody I know is having a PC party. I heard about it from another mom and since I cook a lot of ground beef, I think it would make the job easier. I have really had it with the plastic spatula that is required for a non-stick pan. I think this tool would be a lot less stressful on my wrist. I would also use it for cooking pork sausage in bulk, which IMO is even worse than ground beef when it comes to chunking.

  11. posted by Heidi on

    I also have one from Pampered Chef and I LOVE it! It works great – easy and heat resistant. Definitely NOT a unitasker….

  12. posted by Sue on

    My husband prefers the ground beef to be chopped up smaller than I care to achieve with a spatula. He’s happy to stand at the stove, poking at the meat with a regular spatula until it’s as small as he likes. No unitasker needed here!

  13. posted by Lindsey on

    The Chop Stir does two things – it chops AND stirs. Therefore, it’s not a Unitasker. :-)

    (I’m just being difficult.)

  14. posted by Honkytonkfoodie on

    I second the use of a potato masher for this purpose.

  15. posted by Liz E. on

    Hey, I own that unitasker! ;)

    Actually I do. And no, this isn’t a hate-filled comment for Unitasker Wednesday, either (I actually look forward to these posts every week!). This odd contraption is quite handy for breaking up ground beef (among other uses) and works much more quickly and effectively (in my opinion) than a spatula. Do I agree it’s a unitasker? Oh, yes indeedy. I get aggravated in storing it sometimes (it’s very oddly shaped) and it is a pain to wash, but my husband loves it and if some little unnecessary plastic kitchen implement makes him happy, so be it! :)

  16. posted by Henave on

    I also like ground beef to be as finely ground as possible. Years ago, I needed something to accomplish this and selected the pastry blender from my limited selection of kitchen implements. The pastry blender works great if you use it after the meat has already started to brown. I don’t think I’ve ever used it to blend pastry, but it works great for this purpose.

  17. posted by Rosie on

    Actually, I have this thing, and I don’t think it works very well in a non-stick pan. People seem to like the PC one, but I don’t like the cheap one I found in the grocery store.

    Easy to clean though. I just put mine on the top rack of the dishwasher.

  18. posted by Chloe on

    Yes, I use a whisk, so much better than a spatula :)

  19. posted by Lesley on

    This is hilarious! Pastry blender, potato masher or wire whisk … all work just fine!

  20. posted by Christine on

    I’m puzzled…. here in Australia our ground beef (or minced beef as we call it) is fine enough, and breaks apart easily enough with a regular spoon or spatula, that we don’t need crap like this to do the job for us.

  21. posted by Nicole on

    I usually laugh right along with you on the unitaskers, but I actually like this one. My mom bought me the Pampered Chef version, and it really is quite a bit faster and easier to break up ground meats with this gadget. I’m gladly giving up space in my utensil holder for this frustration-saver.

  22. posted by Ron on

    I’ve never responded to one of these posts but I must say that my wife loves her pamered chef mix n chop. While most people seem to be using it in regards to ground beef, she normally uses it to shred chicken in all of her crock pot meals. Works like a charm without burning your fingers on hot chicken.

  23. posted by squibby on

    Yes, its a unitasker.
    If the ground/minced meat isn’t breaking up then it’s too dry. Reduce the heat a little and add a splash of water/wine/stock. A potato masher, with large holes, or a whisk, or a fork works well to break it apart

  24. posted by CH on

    I have the Pampered Chef version and use it all the time. I love, love, love it!

  25. posted by Jenni Shaver on

    This is the first time I have owned a unitasker! However, I use it for more than just ground beef. I mash potatoes and sweet potatoes with it and sometimes use it as a scraper. So, although they market this as a unitasker – I haven’t found that to be true. =)

  26. posted by Misha on

    I actually love this thing – it is probably the most-used spatula in our house. Also useful for trying to mash and chop stuff (like apples, while stewing for applesauce, or potatoes) that’s still firm enough to slide out of the way when using a single-bladed spatula. We call this our “Philips-head spatula.” And while fresh ground beef certainly breaks up easily, ground beef that’s been frozen, and even un-frozen rolls of sausage and other types of rolled meat do not simply crumble apart, and this is amazing for that.

    I hear everyone saying “just use a potato masher”, but I don’t have a potato masher, and this works fine for the little potato-mashing I do. Not a unitasker at all, no more so than if I said a potato masher was a unitasker, which it’s obviously not despite the name.

  27. posted by Misha on

    Oh, also it’s great for mashing stuff around in the crock pot. In addition to “just use a potato masher,” I also see people suggesting a pastry blender… nope, don’t have one of those either. No shame in my Chop-Stir.

  28. posted by Susan Robbins on

    I just use the side (edge) of a wooden spoon. Works for me.

  29. posted by Tequila on

    I use a dough cutter on my ground meat and it works fine for us.

  30. posted by Carol on

    I have one of these also and I love it. It was recommended to me by several people. I thought it would be a waste of money. But this is one item that I would definitely replace if I lost it!

  31. posted by ChrisD on

    Yes I use a wooden spoon (not spoon shaped, totally flat in fact) for all cooking and any ground beef is always ends up in the smallest pieces possible. Note that if you are frying something in a non stick pan you can’t use metal implements so a fork or whisk would be out. I think the amount of space this takes up in a drawer would up the ante for this item. For me it couldn’t just be ‘useful’ it would have to be a LOT more useful than flat items.

  32. posted by Julia on

    I have this and it’s easier to use than a spatula if you have weak hands and wrists. The “stir” part is a little tricky at first, but it gets easier as you use it. Some items are helpful to people with ailments and are not totally useless.

  33. posted by Lydia on

    The best thing about the Unitasker posts is always the “I love mine” posts in response.

  34. posted by Mary on

    I have TWO of these – and I LOVE them. I like my ground beef chopped in to really small pieces – there is nothing I hate more than biting in to a big chunk of ground beef that is still pink in the middle!

  35. posted by Beth on

    Ha, ever since I started reading this blog I was wondering when my favorite unitasker would be on here! I love my Pampered Chef one (was given as a gift to me) and its much sturdier than the imitation cheapies. But if I have only found 1 thing in my kitchen featured as a unitasker, I think Im doing pretty good :)

  36. posted by Sheila on

    I have this exact item and I love it. I use it all of the time–it works much better at finely breaking up and cooking ground beef. Maybe a unitasker, but one I don’t want to do without!

  37. posted by Sam on

    I have this and love it. Much better than a spatula or spoon for breaking up ground meat, especially if it’s still partially frozen. Use it all the time.

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