October’s installment of Equipment Corner brings you a kitchen gadget we so seldom use, the Mandoline Slicer. So, why is that? First, it’s probably hiding in your pantry or stuffed way back in a seldom used drawer. Your mandoline slicer is saying free me. This tool will allow you to make quick work of slicing, cut down on prep time for your favorite recipes along with promising uniform and consistent results every time. Fabulous in my book!
Think of safety first when using a mandoline slicer. Bladed are very sharp, however the use of the mandolines provided hand guard is essential and is highly recommended so no trips to the ER occur. I don’t know about you but I’d rather not see blood while cooking. If finding the guard cumbersome, I suggest purchasing Blade X gloves. Once you get use to slicing with a mandoline, the hand guard will become second nature and provide complete control.
Most mandolines are equipped with three or four slicing blade. Whether straight blades or a V-shaped blade, paper-thin slices for veggie or potato chips can be created. Create thicker slices for french fries by inserting or adjusting blades. This will depend on the brand and model mandoline slicer purchased. I recommend purchasing extra potatoes because they’re cheap and use them to practice slicing. Practice makes perfect but allows you to cut vegetable and fruits to your desired thickness for recipes.
Mandoline slicers are made of plastic, stainless steel and wood. Prices also vary from $15.00 to $20.00 upwards to $100.00. I personally recommend not spending more than $50.00 on your mandoline. Mandoline slicers come handheld or stand varieties. I own a handheld and a stand model. Handhelds are for smaller jobs such as tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, radishes and cucumbers for salads. Stand models I feel are for larger jobs like slicing potatoes for french fries and squash for sautes. Mandolines allow your food to cook more evenly and ultimately look better.
If you already own a mandoline slicer, pull it out, use it. You’re going to wonder why you never made use of this essential tool more often, if at all. Maybe you’re thinking of purchasing a new one because your models blades are dull. I highly recommend this because of safety. Dull blades on a mandoline are as bad as dull kitchen knives. Sharpness is key to even slicing. Don’t own a mandoline slicer, checkout your local culinary store or online for a look. Some stores may have models you can touch and feel within their store. No matter which model you choose, you’ll never look at slicing the same way again.