Food slicers and mandolines are a must-have for slicing and grating your vegetables and other ingredients in a practical way. They come in a wide selection of designs and blade materials. Some have practical features and others are safer to use.
You'll need to know what to look for in a food slicer and mandoline to get the most out of its functionalities. This handy guide will provide you with useful tips to help you look for a food slicer that best fits your needs and preferences.
What are the different types of food slicers and mandolines?
Handheld mandoline slicers are affordable but aren't versatile when it comes to the cuts and slices they offer. These are ideal for slicing up a large number of ingredients with the same thickness results.
Adjustable platform mandolines are practical, freestanding, and offer more options in terms of the type of cuts. These types of mandolines can be used for a wide range of ingredients, are more expensive, and safer.
Platform insert mandolines are quite similar to adjustable platform models, but they aren't as versatile regarding the thickness and variety of the cuts.
Cheese slicers have thin wires that cut the cheese into thin, even portions. They can also be used for cold butter, cucumbers, and zucchini.
Electric food slicers can slice a variety of foods such as vegetables, meat, and frozen foods. They get the job done quickly and effectively, have sharpening capabilities and plastic guards to keep your hands safe from the blade.
Spiral slicers. Spiral slicers turn vegetables into strands that look like pasta. A hot cooking trend for a while now.
Which material is best for food slicers and mandolines?
The material is an important aspect to consider to ensure that your slicer is durable enough to withstand heavy use without quickly getting dull.
Blade materials are typically stainless steel or ceramic. These materials are both significantly sharp. Yet, stainless steel can be sharpened in case it ever gets blunt, unlike ceramic. Stainless steel food slicers and mandolines are sturdy and durable but require more maintenance. They need to be meticulously cleaned after every use and sometimes require oil. Plastic mandolines are lighter, easier to maintain, more affordable, and can be washed in the dishwasher. They aren't as durable and sturdy though.
What to look for in a food slicer and mandoline?
In terms of design, most mandolines either have handles or legs.
Handheld models allow you to choose the angle of your choice when slicing. You can adjust the mandoline's position according to your preferences.
Models with legs stand on their own and are sturdier than regular ones.
Blade adjustments are either fixed or rolling.
Slicers with fixed blade adjustments can only repeat the same width. This can be limiting if you want more thickness in your vegetable's slices.
The rolling adjustment has more width options and allows you to adjust the width according to your likings.
Some food slicers have the option to switch blades. This feature is ideal if you want different styles of cuts such as cubing and shredding.
Mandoline blades are either straight, diagonal, or V-shaped.
Straight blades require force and are only ideal for hard vegetables and fruits and can ruin soft vegetables such as tomatoes.
Diagonal blades allow you to slice vegetables with less pressure so that soft vegetables don't get crushed.
V-shaped blades have two diagonal blades that can slice soft vegetables without crushing them and quickly slice through larger vegetables.
People often cut themselves when washing mandolines with their hands. Choose a model that is dishwasher friendly for the easiest cleanup.
What are the best food slicers and mandolines worth having?
- The KitchenAid Hand-Held V-Blade has been rated as one of the best handheld mandolines. It's more affordable, can outperform larger designs, has three different thickness settings, and is easy to grip because of its rubber handle.
- The OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline is suitable for beginners, has safety features, a V-shaped blade, a hand guard that keeps your fingers safe, and rubber legs for better stability.
- If you're a professional cook, you may want to go for a model such as Benriner Japanese Mandoline. It's lightweight and has a practical design with essential features and additional blades.
- Cuisinart Mandoline is preferable for slicing larger vegetables and meat and has multiple blades for different cuts.
- The OXO Good Grips Chef's Mandoline Slicer 2.0 is user-friendly and has 17 different thickness settings that are easy to change.