mandoline suggestions?

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by tash, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. tash

    tash

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    I had a mandoline as a kid that I loved, except that the blade rusted :( I would love to get one just like it but that doesn't rust. I don't remember what brand it was though.

    Anyway I am looking for one that is:
    easy to clean/dishwasher safe
    can do different size slices
    can make waffle fries
    isn't super expensive

    does anyone have any recommendations? thank you.
     
  2. chefray

    chefray

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    Hit up your local restaurant supply house and put your hands on some. You should be able to land in an all stainless with a decent width and several blades, including the one for your potato gaufrettes, for around $35-$50 US.
     
  3. tash

    tash

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    thanks. how do I find a restraunt supply store?
     
  4. chefray

    chefray

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    Google. What city do you live in/near?
     
  5. tash

    tash

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    not far from Baltimore/Annapolis. I could go to DC though if there is nothing closer.
     
  6. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Check local Yellow pages or online Baltimore rest.Supply/equipment or William/Sonoma store.
     
  7. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Benriner are probably the best of the plastic/fiberglass mandolines. At least they have that reputation. They're very good, and available online. Just google the name, "benriner." They run $20ish to $50ish, depending on size.

    The big stainless, professional mandolines used to be considered something of a right of passage for serious home cooks. Frankly, the don't do anything that special, are a pain to store, and all-around more trouble than they're worth.

    We have a "Joyce Chen," which we bought on deep sale for $8 a few years ago at Big Lots or Cost Plus or something. We don't use it much, but it's ducky on the rare occasions when we do. Yes. Ducky.

    BDL
     
  8. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Ya can't slice duck on a mandoline, BDL. I figured you would know that. :lol:

    On a serious note, I've had an Oxyo for several years, and find it more than sufficient the rare time a mandoline actually is needed. Most of the time a good knife is all you need for the same task.
     
  9. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Oxo isn't always the best when it comes to functionality, but it's usually pretty far up there. Pure utility aside, you have to love the thought that goes into making their products safe and comfortable and durable. Even before the endorsement, I'd have been pretty sure the mandoline wasn't an exception.

    Now. Better.

    Quack,
    BDL
     
  10. tash

    tash

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    you can cut waffle fries with a knife? ;) that is the main thing I want it for. my husband wants to cut cheese with it and actually get a slice rather then the thick at one end going to nothing triangle that he gets otherwise. :)


    I have been looking around online and most of the descriptions are just not that great. They don't tell you if you can adjust the size of the slice or if you can do waffle. That is why I was looking for specific recs. I actually bought a "Joyce Chen" and I don't like it. It came with 4 blade thingys, one size of slicing, 2 grating, 1 shredding (neither of which I want or need), and it said on the description that it can do the wavy cut, but it didn't come with instructions and it looks like the wavy thing isn't really a blade but a werid thing that hangs off the end that makes no sense.
     
  11. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    you can cut waffle fries with a knife? ;)

    The key words there were "most of the time," Tash. But, as you'll see below, you actually can, although the "knife" is rather specialized.

    The Oxo has a two-sided, reversible blade; one smooth the other corrugated. Blade is adjustible for different thicknesses, and there are two jullienne settings.

    The way you do waffle cuts is to keep the slices relatively thin. You use the corrugated blade to make a cut. Turn the food item 45 degrees, and continue in that manner. If there's two much thickness you don't get the waffle effect so much as a thick slice with ridges running perpendicular to themselves.

    FWIW, there are manual corrugated cutters that accomplish the same thing. The trade off in using these specialty knives vs a mandoline is safety over speed.

    Personally, I wouldn't use a mandoline to slice cheeses. Doing so can be incredibly dangerous, as the cheese drags on both the stage and on the blade.
     
  12. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Re the gaufrette (waffle) cut, KY wrote 45*, but probably meant 90*. At least that's my way.

    FWIW, I wasn't recommending the Chen, but the Benriner on the basis of what I've seen and heard. I don't own a Benriner, and have had little hands-on experience with one, so take it for what it's worth.

    BDL
     
  13. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Want to cut cheese? use a wire. It works good , is cheap, and is disposable
     
  14. chefray

    chefray

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    I'm must agree with these guys and recommend against using a mandoline to cut cheese. There's too high of a chance of the cheese dragging, falling over, and causing your hand to land on a razor. If you want a level piece of cheese, use a cheese wire. Place the cheese on the cutting board and use a downward motion. It cut's fairly evenly that way.
     
  15. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Good catch, BDL. Thanks.

    It was late, and I don't know what I was thinking. But you are, of course, correct. You make a quarter turn with the food item, which is 90 degrees not 45.

    Good thing I'm a writer and not a mathematician. :blush:

    A wire is, indeed, the traditional way of slicing cheese. If you don't have a cheese wire or something similar, heavy monofilament fishing line works almost as well.

    Let me also make something else clear: I talked about the Oxo because it has the features Tash asked about, is readily available, does the job, and is affordible. In short, balancing cost and functionality, you could do a lot worse.

    However I don't recommend it, because I think mandolines are the very last thing a home cook needs to think about. I actual recommend against them in my classes and demos.

    Yes, they're very insy. And if you watch the food TV shows you could easily believe they are indespensible. But they are, in fact, the second most dangerous tool in the kitchen (only a dull knife is less safe), are unnecessary 99% of the time, are dangerous, or the wrong choice for most cutting tasks. And, in case I forgot to mention it, dangerous.

    The celebrity chefs who use them scare the heck out of me. The set the wrong example because they refuse to use either the safety guard or a protective glove. The other day one of them actually was slicing an onion on a mandoline with her index finger curled forward, over the onion. I was wondering if fingertip was one of the recipe ingredients.

    Mandolines, far as I'm concerned, serve only one useful function: when you need to prep a large quantity of an item, which has to be cut evenly or quickly. Thus, to can pickles, I might use the mandoline to slice the cukes. But I can't imagine using it to slice cukes for a single meal.

    Anyway, just wanted to keep that straight.

    Oh, one other thing: Tash, the blade(s) on a mandoline are, at base, handleless knives. And like all knives they should be kept out of the dish washer.
     
  16. adaml

    adaml

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    I've found that anything that deviates from the standard 'slice' on a mandolin (julienne attachment, waffle cut, etc.) tends to significantly increase the drag and resistance of the food against the blade. I really like my fingers, so I try to avoid anything that forces me to apply real pressure to make the cut.
     
  17. tash

    tash

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    Thanks everyone.

    I had a mandoline many many years ago. But it was cheap and the blade rusted. I only remember cutting potatoes and maybe playing with bananna and apples on it.

    My husband wants something better to cut cheese. Is wire really the best? we have one and it sucks. I never use it. It's such a pain.

    everything in my kitchen must be put in the dishwasher. if it can't then it can't be in my house. Otherwise it will sit in the sink for days waiting to be handwashed. I have kids and an issue with washing so it all just gets dumped in the washer.
     
  18. missyjean

    missyjean

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