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What is an Herb Mincer?

Sprigs of rosemary and sage.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 31 July 2014
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An herb mincer, sometimes called a rotary mincer, is a small handled device with a roller made up of stainless steel blades. Since many contend that chopping herbs by hand can cause them to bruise, people may prefer this inexpensive kitchen utensil over using a knife. Instead of spending lots of time chopping up your herbs with a knife, you merely roll the herb mincer over fresh or dried herbs to get finely chopped herb pieces. It can also be used to chop nuts, or pieces of chocolate, making it a multi-purpose tool.

Some argue that the product makes no sense, and is just as likely to bruise herbs, as does a sharp stainless steel knife. If you have good knife skills, it is true the herb mincer may merely be a waste of space in your kitchen utensil drawer. Further, some consumers who have purchased an herb mincer complain that the herbs can get stuck inside the rolling head, and that you may have to spend time getting very finely diced herbs out of the head.

On the other hand, many people really like this utensil, which retails for about 10-20 US Dollars (USD) depending on brand. If you don’t have good knife skills, the herb mincer may be the perfect way to chop herbs. There’s certainly less chance of cutting yourself while using it, since the long handle sits far away from the steel bladed roller.

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People may suggest that a mini food processor easily accomplishes the job of mincing herbs, and if you have one, there’s no point in having an herb mincer. It could be countered that it’s quite easy to over chop herbs in a food processor. A few extra seconds can change your fresh herbs into mush. With an herb mincer you have more control over how much they’re chopped, since you can see the effect each roll of the blades makes on the herbs. Both the appliance and the utensil are somewhat difficult to clean. The food processor has so many parts that it definitely is hardest to clean, particularly as some parts may not be dishwasher safe.

Certainly the herb mincer can be challenging to clean too, and should be cleaned right away so chopped herbs that work their way inside the roller don’t have a chance to dry. It can require some extra rinsing to work these herbs out. Alternately, place the mincer in a cup of warm water if you don’t have time to clean it right away. This will eliminate the problem of herbs drying inside the roller, and can help the herbs find their way out.

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