Making the Most of Your Mandoline

By Cook's Illustrated Published May 2014

During our testing of mandolines, we came up with a few tips for use.

FOR ADDED SAFETY, GET A GLOVE: Even though we found the guard on our winning mandoline very effective and safe, nicking the tips of your fingers on the blades might still be a fear. For the nervous (or for those who own another mandoline with a less-safe guard), we recommend investing in the winner of our protective glove testing for an extra level of protection.

HALVE LARGE OR AWKWARD FOODS FIRST: It’s difficult to get the prongs of the guard to insert evenly into big, round foods like potatoes or onions. Because of this, food won’t feel securely gripped. It not only makes the task more difficult but also will likely produce uneven slices. Halving food first and then starting with the cut side down on the mandoline will ensure it sits steady, giving you even slices and better efficiency.

PUT THE GUARD ON THE FOOD, NOT VICE VERSA: Whenever possible, put food on the cutting board and push the guard down onto it to attach it to the guard’s prongs, rather than holding the guard with prongs upward and pushing the food onto it. This guarantees that the guard goes on straight, fits snugly, and holds food level with the blade.

USE IT TO DICE, NOT JUST SLICE: We’ve always thought of the mandoline as a slicing tool, but we recently discovered a clever trick that allows you to make perfect dice on our winning mandoline. Here's how.

1. Remove julienne blade from mandoline and place flat on cutting board. Holding blade panel with one hand, use other hand to run vegetable, attached to guard, across blade once, making parallel scores in one direction.

2. Replace julienne blade. Turn vegetable 90 degrees and run it across blades to make crosswise cuts, giving you dice. Repeat as desired.