Taking My New Mandolin Out For A Spin

mandolin06.jpg

Once again I’m back to review yet another item I received for free, courtesy of CSN Stores, and this time it’s a swanky new mandolin! I must admit that I was a bit hesitant to purchase the kitchen tool. I figured that perhaps my gift certificate would be better used on an item for my dining room, but then I remembered that I don’t even have a dining room; so mandolin it was!

Of course, my other primary concern with getting a mandolin was that I felt the odds of me slicing off my finger were great. I wouldn’t call myself the most nimble or dextrous person out there. However, this mandolin brand came with a reassuring slogan: “Quite possibly the safest mandolin IN THE WORLD.” Well, you can’t deny that!

My first mandolin experience after the jump…

mandolin01.jpg
The box arrives on a gloomy morning. I anxiously paw at it, eager to see my new mandolin.

mandolin02.jpg
Ta-da!

mandolin03.jpg
The mandolin comes with a nifty box full of blades. I’m scared.

mandolin04.jpg
There’s also an elaborate contraption that is supposed to keep my fingers safe; however, it seems reminiscent of a Medieval torture device. I have concerns.

mandolin05.jpg
Somehow, the safety device manages to become even scarier when I play with it. Fear not though: those malevolent looking spears are meant to be used on food, not a human torso.

mandolin06.jpg
And there it is.

mandolin07.jpg
My first mandolin experiment will involve cucumbers. The plan is to slice these bad boys into thin little rounds. (Or Lil Rounds, as it were)

mandolin08.jpg
I slice one cucumber in half so that it can fit in the safety device.

mandolin09.jpg
With the cucumber half in its holding pen, the next step involves me placing the scary spearing object over it and securing it in place.

mandolin10.jpg
Well, I spear the cucumber with no problems. The issue is that the telescoping top part doesn’t quite telescope enough. Hard to describe. Just know this: it doesn’t work for tall veggies.

mandolin11.jpg
I throw caution to the wind and run the cucumber over the blade with my bare hands. It’s frightening, but I survive. Oddly enough, the cucumber slices become increasingly oblong the more I slice.

mandolin12.jpg
The first pile of cucumber rounds turns out more or less how I want it. I decide to increase the thickness for the second batch, just to see how it goes.

mandolin13.jpg
One problem I find when running veggies over the blade is that they often get stuck at the “lip” between the blade and the mandolin (as evidenced here on the right of the cucumber). This prevents the food from slicing smoothly — unless I tilt the item up slightly, thus resulting in oblong shapes.

mandolin14.jpg
Additionally, the choppy (no pun intended) motion causes some inconsistencies in the end product. Not sure if this is a mandolin shortcoming or a me shortcoming.

mandolin15.jpg
Next, I decide to test the julienne blades. Time to make French fries.

mandolin16.jpg
I do a few slices with just my palm, but it feels scary. I truly feel like one slip, and I will have a major injury on my hands (quite literally). I trim down the potato so it fits in the safety device and get to work.

mandolin17.jpg
At first the potato yields only thin slivers of julienned goodness, despite the mandolin being set for thick slices.

mandolin18.jpg
However, with a bit more downward force, I’m able to get the slices I want. The process is slightly smoother than with the cucumber, but I think that’s because the safety guard lets me slice up and down with less trepidation.

mandolin19.jpg
Sadly, I then MURDER these fries on my baking sheet, but that’s okay. At least I know I can julienne successfully now.

Ultimately, I’d say this wasn’t a kink-free experience; however, for my needs, the mandolin seems to be fine. I’m looking forward to integrating it into my kitchen repertoire sooner rather than later.

6 replies on “Taking My New Mandolin Out For A Spin”

  1. mmm, my mandolin does not have that lip. It is from Pamper Chef… and cuts of major amounts of skin when care is not taken. I also tossed the safety device that would protect me in the case of crazy slicing so far I just forget to take my hand away. I feel it is then like a sporting event. Likened to watching a football game vs a softball game. You can enjoy the football game from the safety of the stands and walk away satisfied Or you can go to a softball game and sit right up close to the field and as a spectator become a defensive participant. You may take a ball to the head. I feel using the mandolin without the safety measures gives the vegetable a little satisfaction knowing you may be damaged in it’s preparation.

  2. I’ve had my mandoline for several years and love it. Bought it from Williams Sonoma and it doesn’t have that weird lip thing. Also bought this kevlar glove that I wear when slicing veggies and such. I couldn’t get used to the “safety” devices or whatever but still wanted a modicum of protection. So far, I still have all my digits.

    1. I had no idea there was such an item as this Kevlar glove. B – get one! It would be terrible if your recaps were delayed as a result of fewer digits.

      1. Those Kevlar gloves are essential for handling hot oven items! I tossed my hot pads when I got a pair of the gloves.

  3. I’ve always wanted one but resisted due to my problem of distracting easily, mid project. I like the idea of the glove. A cucumber salad recipe on Flickr a few days ago now seems within reach. *skip*

  4. I gotta show you my “Chinese”, ie, $2.99 finger shaver, er… shredder. The mandolin only has 1 blade, this isht will shred your finger into 10 bits in 1 pass.

Comments are closed.