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Using a Mandoline

rabbithutch

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My bride is on a diet that calls for a lot of fresh veg. I get the task of cutting or chopping it. After much deliberation I bought the $40 OXO Good Grip mandoline. I used it for the first time yesterday. It worked fine for yellow squash and cucumbers and radishes. I managed to get it to cut some celery across the stalk, but I've been singularly unsuccessful making sticks out of carrots and celery. I haven't done any potatoes or onions on it, but Roma tomatoes are too thick skinned for anything but the thickest slice (~1/4"). I found that rinsing the surfaces between different veggies is all it takes for clean up. I even figured out how to take the thing apart and change out different blades, etc. without much trouble, but I didn't try all the combinations, yet. I think I might crucify a few spuds to see if I can get better at using it. The user manual is kinda skimpy on information about how to correct any problems you might experience, but otherwise the instructions are good enough that even I could follow them.

I would rate my knife skills as above average (not at the professional level, though), but standing for long periods makes the old back ache pretty badly. I was hoping that the mandoline would speed things up and make it easier on the old man.

I know we have some professional chefs here. What I'd like to know is whether or not I'm trying to make the device do something it wasn't designed to do or if I have an ID-ten-T (ID10T) user problem.

ps: I couldn't figure out which forum to put this in; so if a mod wants to move it my feelings won't be hurt at all. :yahoo:
 

venture

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I have limited experience with mandolins. 

I guess they have their place, but not my favorite item.  Ok for super thin slices on some things.

A big difference between brands and models as to functionality and user friendliness.

I would never think about slicing a tomato on one.

Beware I am a old-fart throwback. 

I believe a well sharpened and well cared for chef knife was the original food processor. 


Good luck and good smoking.
 

GaryHibbert

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Hey Rab

I've never used one of those things, but as near as I can tell from looking, your biggest problem is keeping the ends of your fingers attached to your fingers.  I like sharp knives--just saying

Gary
 

chef willie

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I've used both the pro SS models and my original home version from Moha back from the days of the Frugal Gourmet popularity. Be very careful...LOL...as you have probably guessed by now. So, tomatoes.....skins can be tough to cut through using the standard North to South method. Try putting the tom right on the blade edge and use an East to West cutting motion to get it started. Carrot sticks should be fairly straight forward...I cut carrot lengths I want and then push through making like French Fries. Use the guard if trying to make julienned sticks. Celery is, IMO, already stick like so I don't use the mandolin to cut those. Hope this helps.....you'll get better at it.....Willie 
 

rabbithutch

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Thanks to all!

The mandoline I bought seems to be a fairly good one but definitely not the best of the amateur versions and not close to a professional unit.

Chef Willie - thank you for your professional opinion. I am very careful of my finger tips when slicing - always use the holder. It's easy, peasey; but handling the blades is a life lesson it handling sharp objects. They will nick you faster than an dull razor.

Again. Thank you all for the input. I will continue to educate myself on using the system.
 

jarjarchef

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I have never used that brand. I have used many of the SS versions and the ones they sell at oriental stores. As already stated, watch your fingers. The first time you get careless you could end up with a very interesting story........

As Chef Willie said. Try to go east west for tomatoes. I personally have never cut a tomato on one, but sure you could if the blade is sharp.

Never try to force something through. If you are having to push hard, then use another combination of blades or a knife. Sometimes it is easier and safer to just use a knife.

Be careful and have fun.

Jeramy
 

GaryHibbert

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Frugal Gourmet?????????????????  Boy are you ever dating yourself.  LOL

Gary
 

chef willie

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Frugal Gourmet?????????????????  Boy are you ever dating yourself.  LOL

Gary
LOL.....no lie, I was a fan early on when he was on PBS and there was NO Food Channel. Used to tape the shows on a VCR!! LMAO.....OMG, I'm a geezer. Sighhhhhhh. Then come to find out the Frug was a bottom feeder...end of story
 

GaryHibbert

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Hey Willie

I must live in a vacuum.  I had no idea.  Just googled him.  How depressing--Jeeeeeees!!!!

Gary
 

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