I'm on a grilling kick, and would love a faster easier way to slice veggies evenly and quickly...
What's everyones thoughts on mandolines? Positive/negative? Any good alternatives? Any brand suggestions?
My wife bought a very expensive professional grade mandoline for me as a holiday gift. I've used a few times mainly for slicing diakon for kimchee, and cucumbers for bread and butter pickles. This device languishes in a drawer most of the time. It is a dangerous device and complicated to fold up for storage.
Grilling is not a precise art, it's a rustic method. Take your time and use a good sharp knife to slice the vegetables to be grilled. You'll enjoy them just the same. If the vegetables that you wish to prepare require timing to prevent autolysis (turning brown due to air exposure), slice them and put them in acidulated water. You know, water with some lemon juice added.
I am certain I have the same mandoline as ChiliDude. (It was a Christmas gift.) One false move and you'll look like the Knight in the Monte Python movie. I use it for special occasion cooking; it's a pain to clean too. You might look into the cheap Asian plastic ones because they are simple, easier to use and possibly safer.
They are nice to have, but a good food processor will do everything that a mandoline can. If you want to get a mandoline, don't worry about the really expensive ones, the 25 dollar V-slicer you can get at Target (or most other discount stores) works brilliantly. You do lose the ability to slice things at many varying thicknesses (the plastic ones have two settings, 1/4 inch and 1/16), but do you really want to pay an extra hundred bucks just to cut something at 1/8 inch too?
Oh yeah... always always ALWAYS use the hand guard. The one time you don't, you'll cut yourself, and I can tell you that a mandoline cut is like a paper cut from hell.