Friday, June 09, 2017

Choosing a Mandoline

I recently wrote a story about mandolines on Tasting Table. I’ve had a lot of experience with mandolines and yes, some of it involves band-aids. Here’s the thing, a mandoline is a serious tool. I was once sent one that had so many blades and was so big and heavy it scared me. I’ve used a low end model for years, but frankly the blades are getting dull and there isn't an easy way to sharpen them. 

BEST FOR VOLUME AND PRECISE CUTS IN A VARITY OF THICKNESSES

OXO has been making and perfecting their high end model for years. The OXO Good Grips Chef’s Mandoline Slicer 2.0 has lots of features that make it really worth considering. It sells for $79

Here are what I consider the highlights: 
1. The hand guard is really well designed and stores conveniently under the slicer. It is spring loaded so it grips the food firmly. Still, you might want to consider using a cut resistant glove.

2. The dial on the side allows you choose the thickness of your slices, allowing up to 21 different cuts. 

3. Only one removable blade! And it stores inside the mandolin. 

And the drawbacks: 

1. It’s large and bulky and really can only be used safely for larger items that you can use with the guard. 

2. The thinner slices and waffle cuts can be a bit tricky to master and to get as uniform as other cuts such as julienne and matchsticks.

3. It really is a chef's tool, it might be overkill for many home cooks. 




BEST FOR EVERYDAY SLICING & SHREDDING

If, like me, you like the uniformity you get from using a mandoline but don’t need to make 21 different cuts, you might be satisfied with the OXO Good Grips Complete Grate & Slice Set. You could argue that it isn’t really a mandoline, but it functions very much the same way. It sells for about $29 


It’s also very well-designed, the slicing blades all fit in a container which doubles as the base when you are using the blades. It’s easy to use (no instruction guide necessary), takes up very little space, stores easily. 

On the downside the hand guard is extremely flimsy and each blade only slices or shreds to one thickness. But to be honest, I don’t find that to be much of an issue. If I need thicker or thinner slices I can use a knife or food processor instead. 


BEST FOR SALADS

Last but not least, I’ve written about this tiny mandoline slicer before, but I’ll mention it again because it’s so great for slicing small items that can’t be sliced on a mandoline such as radishes, carrots and cucumbers. It’s perfect for slicing vegetables for salads. I got mine at a Japanese housewares store for about $2

Disclaimer: My thanks to OXO for providing products for me to review. I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post. This post includes affiliate links.