When it comes to creating dishes that call for very thin cuts of food—think shaved vegetables or ethereal slaws—the mandoline is an essential tool. But it can be tricky to use, and there’s always the worry of nicking your fingers. That’s why it’s important to follow a few simple rules when using the sharp kitchen utensil.
A mandoline is a cooking utensil that’s typically used to cut firm fruits and vegetables into different shapes, including slices or juliennes. The utensil consists of a plate with a blade fitted horizontally into it. The user draws the food quickly over the utensil to create the desired shape and thickness. A mandoline can also be a useful tool when shredding foods such as cabbage or carrots.
The best mandoline slicers have a rounded safety guard that catches the food being cut to prevent fingers from getting sliced. Many models have an easy-to-follow manual that explains how to use them safely. We also looked for a nonslip base that will hold the mandoline securely over a cutting board or a composed dish.
Ultimately, we found that the easiest and most intuitive mandoline to use was the Dash Safe Slice. It has a large stainless steel blade that slices right through most produce, and the back of the device includes a dial that allows you to set the thickness of your slices—from.5 to 8 mm. You can also switch the setting to activate a julienne or matchstick blade for more detailed cutting options.