Want to have uniformed and perfectly cut fruits and vegetables? Then you need a mandoline slicer! This amazing tool slices and dices foods with absolute precision and uniformity. However, the use of mandolines can be quite dangerous. Proper knowledge and techniques on how to use a mandoline slicer are necessary for safer and more effective use.
Before learning how to use the slicer, familiarize yourself first on the basic parts.
The main part of the mandoline slicer that is usually made from plastic or stainless steel. Grooves can be found on its runway to prevent food from sticking. It has legs and handles for better upright support during use.
The handguard also acts as a food holder. This will protect your fingers against the razor-sharp blade. It has spikes under the handle for better gripping or holding of foods.
This dial or knob is used to adjust the thickness of the slices. It can be easily tweaked depending on the user’s preference. Other mandoline slicer models have preset settings for easier use.
High-end models of mandoline slicers come with additional blades for fancy cuts. This includes toothed, rippled, or zigzag blades.
The basic and safe use of mandoline slicers requires several steps. Below are some guides and tips to help you.
Be sure to secure the slicer’s legs in place to prevent slipping or shaking during use. Use a sturdy, dry, and clean cutting board. Chopped foods will have direct contact with the board, so keep it clean.
Keep the raised end near you. Forward pushing will give you the most control. Never position it side-by-side or parallel to you as it can lead to slipping and uneven cuts.
Mandolin slicers can only slice on a flat surface. Cut round fruits and vegetables into half before slicing. Smaller pieces may be required to fit in the handguard. Always aim for better grip.
Wetting the runway with a few drops of water can help ensure a smooth and better sliding. This applies mostly to dry and starchy foods. Juicy and watery foods can already produce moisture on their own.
Mandolin slicer usually comes with a cylinder-shaped handguard. Place the food in a way that the flat surface faces the runway. Slowly place the handguard over the slicer and make sure it fits properly.
The blades of the mandolines are sharp and can easily cause injury to your finger. Be careful and always use the hand guard. Only the professionals can work without the guards. You can also use cut-resistant gloves for additional hand protection.
Always hold the nearest leg of the mandolin slicer with your non-dominant hand. You need the more powered hand to hold and push the handguard with food.
After gripping the handguard, push it along the runway in a downward manner. The blade will start to cut your food. Repeat this motion and add a little pressure to get slices with uniform thickness.
Some mandoline slicers offer setting adjustments and other extra features.
Units with knobs on the side are most likely adjustable. Easy thickness adjustments can be done by simply turning the knob to lower or raise the blade. However, this does not always give perfect results due to the pressure exerted during slicing.
Some mandoline slicers have extra features that can cut food into different slices by just changing the blade–toothed, rippled, or zigzag. It can give special cuts including julienne, waffle, or crinkle depending on the blade used.
The process of changing blades can be dangerous. Following the user’s manual is highly recommended to ensure a safe and efficient process.
Proper cleaning and storage are essential to prolong the life and efficiency of your mandoline slicer.
For maximum safety, the adjustable main blade should be set to the lowest position. The extra blades used should be returned to its original hidden position.
Wipe the blade using a wet and soapy cloth. Do it slowly from the base to the tip to reduce the risk of hand injury. Once the food scrap and stains are gone, rinse with clean water.
Air-dry the slicer by putting in on a drying rack. You can also wipe it with a clean towel but give extra care. Never store the slicer while it is still wet as it can lead to corrosion.
This tool can be dangerous when mishandled. Never leave it in areas accessible to children and pets. It is advisable to keep it in a labeled container instead of placing it on a high shelf or loose drawers.
Occasional deep cleaning of the mandoline slicer is highly advised. You can run it through your dishwasher, but hand washing, especially on the blades, is a lot better and gentler. Handle it with care and wear protective gears when you hand wash it.
Slicers made from steel sometimes require lubrication by rubbing a small amount of oil during cleaning. Be sure to use oil that is safe for consumption since they are in direct contact with your food. Plastic units do not require the same cleaning method as the steel ones. It is best to check the user’s manual to determine the proper care for your slicers.
After learning how to use a mandoline slicer correctly and safely, you can now have uniform and super thin slices of foods. Use this as a secret weapon to impress your family and friends with freshly made salad and home-cooked meals. Believe us; it is worth the investment.