What is a mandoline slicer?
Before diving into what to look for when buying a mandoline slicer, it’s important to understand what it actually is. A mandoline (not to be confused with the musical instrument) is a kitchen tool that can quickly and easily slice fruits and vegetables into precise, uniform pieces. The most common design consists of a flat surface with a raised, adjustable blade that can be moved back and forth over the food, producing slices of a desired thickness.
When it comes to buying a mandoline slicer, the material it’s made from should be a priority. The two most common materials are stainless steel and plastic. Stainless steel mandolines are more durable and long-lasting, while plastic options are often cheaper and more lightweight. However, if you’re planning on using your mandoline frequently or for heavy-duty slicing, it’s recommended to invest in a stainless steel model for maximum durability.
Adjustability and blade options
Another important factor to consider when buying a mandoline slicer is the adjustability of the blade, as well as any additional blade options that may be available. Look for a model that has a range of thickness options, from thick cuts for potato chips to paper-thin slices for delicate fruits and vegetables. Additionally, some mandolines come with interchangeable blades that can produce julienne cuts or crinkle cuts, providing even more versatility in your slicing options.
Using a mandoline slicer can be incredibly efficient, but it’s also important to prioritize safety. Look for a model that has a safety guard or hand guard to protect your fingers from the sharp blade. Some mandolines also have non-slip feet or a secure grip handle to prevent the tool from slipping while in use. These features can help prevent accidents and injuries in the kitchen.
Cleaning and storage
Finally, consider how easy the mandoline slicer is to clean and store. Look for a model that can be easily disassembled for cleaning, either by hand or in the dishwasher. Additionally, if you’re short on cabinet space, consider a model that can be easily stored in a drawer or comes with a protective cover for safe storage.