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Food Processor vs Mandoline vs Knife --> Au Gratin Potatoes

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What do you use to get even uniform potato slices, for let's say, au gratin? But this would apply to anything that requires uniform slices: apples, plums, carrots etc.

Food processor, mandoline or just slice by hand with a good chef's knife.

(Yes, this is an offshoot from my previous post of whether people use their food processors, and whether there was a compelling reason for me to get one. What can I say? After I decided to NOT to, they lowered the price yet again.)

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  1. Mandoline. The FP slices too thin and you waste the end of the potato.

    Slicing by hand, takes a lot more time and you get really uneven slices.

    Au Gratin's (Specifically Potatoes Ana) are the reason I got a Mandoline...

    --Dommy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dommy

      Since I don't have all those extra discs, I would break out the mandoline and use it for exactly what it's designed to do.

    2. Food processor. I have a full set of extra discs so I can slice from 1mm to 1cm thickness. I did 2.5 lbs of potatoes a month ago in about a minute.

      4 Replies
      1. re: cheryl_h

        Potatoes for gratin are one of the few things that I use a mandoline instead of a knife. You'll have to give me some tips on how to get nice even slices on a food processor. I know about the even pressure and all but things just don't come out evenly sliced. Maybe it is because my food processor is the old 1975 Cuinsart model without the big fancy feed tube. I received a new Kitchen Aid model couple years ago and I still haven't unpacked it. Couldn't bring myself to retire the old one.

        1. re: PBSF

          My processor is probably similar vintage to yours. I was using Yukon Gold potatoes which aren't too big to fit under the feed tube. I apply gentle pressure, turn the motor on and let it rip.

          The end pieces are usually a bit irregular because it slips. If you're more perfectionist than I am (pretty easy), you can stop the machine and either put a second potato over the last bit of the first and go on slicing, or take it out and slice it by hand or mandoline.

          I also have a new processor stored but it's exactly the same model as the first.

        2. re: cheryl_h

          What?! You mean just buying the processor isn't enough?! I have to buy Extra discs?! Is this some sort of racket?

          1. re: Pupster

            The Cuisinart comes with a 3mm slicing blade IIRC. If you want your slices that thick, you'll be fine. I think I used a 2mm blade for my potatoes. Most people don't need more than the basic set that comes with the processor but I found a good deal on the set. I've used perhaps 3-4 of the discs in the 20 years I've owned the machine. You really don't need the set. See the thread on "useless clutter".

        3. Mandoline, I have all of the Cuisinart discs too and almost never use them.

          1. Same here. The processor discs are blindingly fast but the mandoline is just handier. Quick cleanup, too.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rootlesscosmo

              I don't have a mandoline, but I've used my food processor and while it works well enough, I prefer the five second rinse and wipe dry "chefs knife". How uniform do the slices have to be? Nobody's ever complained out loud about the lack of uniformity in food I've prepared. I think it's just a matter of what works best or what you're happy doing. If I was making something for 50 or 60 people instead of 6 or 10 I might forgo the knife for the processor or finally buy a mandoline.

            2. Mandoline...but don't waste money on the expensive ones.

              I like slicing with my knife too..

              Food Processer is great for fried potatoes but I think it slices too thin for au gratin....I love, love, love my cuisinart stainless steel FP. I use it several times a week.

              1. Mandoline for sure. Cheap ones work if you don't mind replacing them frequently. Uniform slices just LOOK more professional, and potatoes (or whatever) cook more evenly.

                1. Mandoline or Benriner.

                  Cuisineart sucks for slicing and grating--irregular, messy, everything ends up wet. I gave those blades away.

                  For grating carrot salad I use an electric Mouli grater.

                  1. I have an inexpensive Braun food processor that IMHO does a fine -- and speedy -- job slicing potatoes for a gratin. Noone -- including moi -- examines the uniformity of the slices in the finished product.