How to Pick the Best Mandolin Slicer
A mandoline slicer is a kitchen tool that is used to create consistent cuts such as julienne. Some offer even a wider variety of cuts with different available attachments. It’s called a mandoline slicer because the movement required while using it is similar to that of playing the mandolin musical instrument. There are a few reasons why you might one to use a mandoline slicer. One is that you get uniform slices which are pleasing from an aesthetic standpoint. Another is that foods will cook more evenly if sliced similarly. If you have one thin slice of potato, for example, and one that is quite thick, the thin one will burn after a period of time and yet the thick one still remain hard and uncooked. Additionally, a mandolin allows you to create precise cuts very quickly.
How do you choose a mandoline that you’ll be happy to put to good use in your kitchen? We’ve researched the must-have qualities so you can decide with confidence and ease! Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing a mandoline slicer.
Types of Mandoline Slicers
Lest you thought that there was only one type of mandoline slicer, we’re here to set you straight. There are actually three main varieties of mandoline slicers. They are Japanese mandolines, French mandolines, and V-slicer mandolines.
A Japanese mandoline slicer is often found in professional kitchens. These mandolines are extremely sharp so you want to be extra careful. It is compact and features a diagonal blade, which gives the user a greater sense of control during use.
A French mandoline slicer features a straight blade across. This type of mandoline slicer is often favored by culinary institutes because they are sturdy. They also dull quickly, however, but the blades are removable so you can sharpen them. French mandoline slicers allow you to change out the blades to achieve different varieties of cuts. Be aware that this type of mandoline requires a lot of force and may not be good with more tender vegetables.
A V-slicer mandoline has two diagonal blades like a V (hence the name). It works especially well with larger, wider vegetables. You are essentially slicing from two directions at once. A lot of home cooks like having V-slicer mandolines.
Mandoline slicers can be very sharp, and since they allow you to cut vegetables quickly, this can be a recipe for disaster without the proper safety mechanisms. Some mandolines come with a hand guard, which you stick into the vegetable to act as an extra barrier between yourself and the blade. It should be comfortable to hold in your hand and be able to hold different cuts of vegetables securely. Additionally, while it does not allow for cutting the vegetable completely, you don’t want to have too much vegetable waste left over at the end. Some of these hand guards can attach to the mandoline platform for even more security, whereas others do not. If you choose a mandoline slicer with removable blades, you also will want to see how easy it is to remove and replace the blades without inadvertently cutting yourself.
The mandoline platform should be smooth and easy to run the vegetable across. You don’t want your vegetables getting snagged on anything while you are slicing. Additionally, it should be sufficiently wide so as to handle larger vegetables that you want to slice.
The handle of the mandoline should be comfortable and easy to hold. You don’t want to lose your grip mid-slice.
As mentioned before, some mandoline slicers come with additional attachments to allow for a variety of slices, including crinkle-cut. You’ll have to decide how important this feature is to you personally before making your investment.
Some mandoline slicers say that they are dishwasher safe. According to many chefs, however, it is best to wash your mandoline slicer by hand. This is because the dishwashing process and soaps involved can wear down and dull your mandoline slicer more quickly than washing in the sink.