Tool Spotlight: Mandoline

When presentation and uniformity are important, you may want some extra help in the kitchen. Although you have honed your knife skills through your online cooking lessons, it is an added comfort to know that you have a utensil to lend a helping hand when you have a daunting task ahead of you. Some knife skills take years to master and even the most seasoned chefs would find no shame in using a mandoline when they need a large amount of uniform slices.

A mandoline is handy a cooking tool that is used for making perfect slices with every cut. With additional attachments mandolines can make precise crinkle, cube, julienne, waffle and matchstick cuts. The size of slices is dictated by how far apart the two surfaces of the adjustable slicers are set and can vary from thick to very thin slices, which would be nearly impossible to replicate with a knife. Take care when cleaning a mandoline because the blades are very sharp. Most brands are dishwasher safe, but it is best to wash your mandoline immediately after use to prevent food from adhering to parts of the slicer.

Cooks definitely appreciate tools that make their lives easier and mandolines are one such tool that increases speed and efficiency at a low price. Just be careful of your fingers! When you get into the flow of things, it is easy to accidently get too close to the blade. Most mandolines come with a protective carrier for the item being sliced to shield the cook’s fingers, but many cooks prefer to use a Kevlar glove instead.

Mandolines can cut through just about any food item that you can put on the platform, but typically chefs chose to slice fruits, vegetables and hard cheeses. It is wise to use a mandoline to slice any foods that are going to be fried, because a uniform cut will allow the items to cook evenly. Homemade potato chips, here you come! Perfect mandoline slices also make for beautiful garnishes or impressive additions to salads. Whether is it appearance, convenience or an even texture you are after, a mandoline will get the job done.

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