Having meals and drinks alone or with others in the comfort of your home is something everyone enjoys, and for this an orderly and well-equipped kitchen is a necessity. Mandolines, are some of the more useful cutting appliances.
Mandolines, also known as produce or meat slicers, are useful for difficult slicing tasks. These tools slice food in various ways more readily than knives, such as cutting evenly sliced thin strips of meat. Some models can make crinkle and waffle cuts of potato and vegetable dishes, others are good for shredding or dice jobs.
Most feature either straight or diagonal cutting edges made from stainless steel or ceramic materials. Much like planed graters, mandolins inset a sharp blade in the base of a sliding platform, where ingredients are pushed to slide along it to result in consistently sliced portions. Handheld types are flatter and thinner for easy storage, while others are mounted on stands to keep steady at proper angles. Slice thicknesses are adjustable, and blades are swappable for different jobs.
The edges of the cutters must be very sharp to make quick work of food items, but as a result these pose a real hazard to your hands when operated, adjusted, or cleaned. All safe models include a hand guard for use when pressing the food against the blade, which must not be removed to avoid the risk of hand injuries. It is vital to be alert and methodical when using a mandolin, and to choose one with a good hand guard design and blades which are easy to swap.
Basic slicers feature hand guards of varying comfort, stability, and durability on a relatively thin platform. Thickness settings are standard but not all are easily adjusted on every model. Many models include blades which can be swapped for various jobs.
Professional slicers are more flexible tools preferred by professionals, but their hand guards designs tend to less stable and secured as a result. To be efficient, many chefs decline their use, but in home kitchens this behavior increases the risk of injuries and is not warranted.
Meat slicers are specifically designed to slice jerky or meats particularly from roast cuts, or to cut large cubes out of cheeses, items which slicers designed for fruits or vegetables cannot do well.
Spiraled slicers are intended to produce cuts which mimic noodles, or produce fancy strings or ribbons of various thicknesses out of green items, for salads and other side dishes as well as garnishes.