A mandoline is an essential tool for any home cook looking to cut a wide array of foods with precision. It’s great for achieving uniform slices, whether you’re preparing a savory layered casserole or a summer salad of wispy greens and crisp vegetables. But as a sharp tool with the potential to harm your fingers, it’s important to take the proper precautions and know how to use one safely.
The most common mandoline styles include French, Japanese, and V-shaped blades. Your choice will depend on what kinds of foods you plan to slice, how often you’ll use it, and if you’re interested in adding additional blades (like a julienne or shred). If you’re a beginner, choose a French model with a larger base and more precise thickness settings. However, the Good Housekeeping Institute notes that professionals prefer Japanese mandolines for their lighter construction and ease of use.
Regardless of which type you choose, make sure the blade is secure in its mount. It should be hard to flex or move, which helps protect your fingers from the blade. Also, keep in mind that your mandoline should be stored somewhere safe and out of reach from curious children or pets. After each use, carefully wash your mandoline with soap and hot water to prevent food buildup and maintain the sharpness of its blade. To prolong its life, rinse and dry it thoroughly. You can also store it upside down to help drain excess water and prevent rust.