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How to Use a Kitchen Mandoline

By Staff

Using a kitchen mandoline is not very difficult and with just a little practice, most chefs, both professional and non-professional alike, can be slicing and julienning their way to attractive meals in no time. A kitchen mandoline is basically a food slicer or a hand-powered food processor and is a relatively versatile tool that can add to the ease of preparation of any meal while creating beautiful edible presentations with minimal effort.

Using a Mandoline

When using a kitchen mandoline, the best thing to do is to first read the manufacturer’s directions. Most slicers work in a similar fashion, but the directions related to the particular kitchen mandoline you are using will give you all the information you need to know in order to set it up, adjust the thickness levels, change and add blades and properly clean the utensil.

Once the kitchen mandoline is set up, you can set the thickness level based on the type of cut you require. You may need to test the cuts by using a piece of food and cutting it a few times with the platform set at different heights so you can choose the thickness that is best. After the platforms are set, the food to be cut should be laid on the platform of the kitchen mandoline and should be attached to the holding device that comes with the slicer. The holding device is a necessity in order to prevent injury from your hand or fingers coming into contact with the sharp blade. In order to safely use a kitchen mandoline, it is important to always use the holder to move the food across the slicer, rather than your hand. Most holders have prongs that attach to the food so that as you move the holder across the slicing platform, the food will be moved along with the holder in a secure fashion. Wearing a cut resistant glove while slicing is also a good idea.

A kitchen mandoline operates by pushing the food along the platform until it comes in contact with the blade. Once the food hits the blade, it cuts a slice off of the whole part of the food that is the thickness of the space between the platform where the food resides and the platform where the blade resides. The kitchen mandoline creates perfectly uniform slices because each time the food is moved across the platform and comes in contact with the blade it is the same distance apart and therefore makes slices of the same thickness.

Once the food is sliced by the blade of the kitchen mandoline, it drops down onto a plate, bowl, or other vessel that is set up below the slicer. After each slice is made, the food is moved back up across the platform and then back down again across the blade to create the next cut. This process is repeated for as many slices as are necessary.

If more decorative cuts or julienne slices are desired, the blades of the kitchen mandoline need to be changed, but the process of cutting the food remains the same. The blades of the kitchen mandoline do all of the work for you. This is a lot easier than trying to steady a piece of food on a cutting surface and cutting through it with a knife in the hopes that the slices are close to the same size and look fairly decent.

Once you are finished cutting, the kitchen mandoline should be cleaned immediately so that food does not stick to the surfaces, making it harder to remove later. Most of the time, a little soap and water are enough to have your kitchen mandoline looking like it’s ready for the next meal’s prep. Models made of steel may require a bit of oil in addition to cleaning in order to keep them working at their best. Some kitchen mandolines can be washed in the dishwasher, but it is best to check the directions first.

After a bit of practice, using a kitchen mandoline is as simple as using a standard kitchen knife but makes preparation much easier and the presentation of the food more attractive than it would be if using a knife.

Published: October 10, 2009

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