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mandolines

n
naomi Jun 18, 2005 02:36 AM

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?

Thanks!

  1. c
    ChiliDude Jun 18, 2005 08:50 AM

    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.

    1. l
      Leper Jun 18, 2005 10:29 AM

      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.

      1. j
        JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester) Jun 18, 2005 10:30 AM

        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.

        1. y
          yayadave Jun 18, 2005 11:04 AM

          All three previous posts are dead on. You can get some pretty decent knives and a steel for the cost of a pro grade mandoline.

          1. y
            yayadave Jun 18, 2005 11:04 AM

            All three previous posts are dead on. You can get some pretty decent knives and a steel for the cost of a pro grade mandoline.

            1. d
              Deb Van D Jun 18, 2005 02:33 PM

              Truly, I love my little, 20-year-old cheap ($13?) plastic mandoline, and I use it all the time. It doesn't take up much storage space, either. Makes nice julienne, too, zip zap.

              In a moment of madness, I bought a Benriner spiral vegetable slicer, with which I can make amazingly fancy shreds of lots of vegetables. Never used it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Deb Van D
                z
                Zaheen Jun 18, 2005 07:08 PM

                :D my mom has one of those too, in a very faded orange. She uses it most to finely cut onions for beef and chicken samosas. Makes quick work out of a painful task.

              2. j
                Jeremy Newel Jun 18, 2005 03:37 PM

                Unlike others, I love my mandoline. It does a much better job for many things than the food processor does. Mine is very easily cleaned and folds up nicely, too. The cheap ones are fine for relatively soft vegetables like cucumbers and zucchini. For firm vegetables, such as potatoes and raw beets you need more structure. I had a Braun and hated it. I now have a Matfer and love it. Don't be put off by the cheap looking "plastic" you might think it is made of. This is a quality piece of equipment. Understand that this mandoline is a luxury, not a necessity. If you are only cooking for two, a knife will serve you well. If you cook for larger groups with any degree of regularity, you will find many uses for a mandoline. The Matfer comes with a video to help teach you how to use it.

                1. j
                  jackie Jun 18, 2005 04:27 PM

                  I wondered for some time if I'd use a mandoline as well, and as far as I knew you had to spend some real bucks to get a good one. Then one day when I was out shopping, I happend to see one in the window of a second hand store. Thought $3.00 was worth the money to see if I liked it and would use it----a great investment! It's just a plastic one, but wow does it work. Has lots of settings, so I can get things really thin or thick. I've had it for 7 years and am just thinking it may need to be a bit sharper, so I may have to break down and buy a new one. I use it all the time for many things, find it much easier and faster to use than dragging out the food proc. and its a snap to clean. Yes, you can use a really good knife, but once you get the hang of using a mandoline, it goes much faster and you never have some pieces that just aren't right. Everyone cooks differently, but for me, this is a great tool and one that I use often.

                  1. j
                    JRL Jun 18, 2005 05:02 PM

                    Bought one of the cheaper ones at TJ Maxx and ended up returning it - seemed too complicated to deal with.

                    I did read recently (may have been here) that Oxo makes a very good, user friendly one for about $80. Haven't gotten around to looking into it yet, but have always been happy with their kitchen tools. You can learn more about it on their website.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JRL
                      p
                      Pupster Jun 19, 2005 12:48 PM

                      The Oxo recently got the top rating in the June issue of Gourmet, but when you go on the Amazon site, all the users hate it! If you do consider buying it, I have seen it offered on the Amazon Friday sale for 29.99, so look for it at that lower price.

                    2. k
                      Kenji Jun 18, 2005 06:55 PM

                      Get the Japanese Benriner. Best mandoline in the world, and easy to care for. You will not be disappointed.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Kenji
                        j
                        Jim Washburn Jun 18, 2005 07:26 PM

                        There is a regular Benriner and a "Super" Benriner that is bigger. I got my Super at an Asian grocery for $30 about 5 years agos. It's an excellent tool.

                        Jim

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