Cooking

Anatomy of a Mandoline Slicer

Get to know the trusty kitchen tool
Anatomy of a Mandoline
Photo: Lizzie Munro/Tasting Table

① Body: Made of stainless steel or plastic, the main part of the mandoline slicer is usually grooved to prevent the food from sticking as it moves along the length of the body. Some have a handle to hold it upright, and others have legs that fold out to prop it up. Look for rubbery feet to prevent slippage on your cutting board or work surface.

② Thickness Control: A dial, lever or knob is what adjusts the thickness of your slices. Some mandolines have preset settings; others can be adjusted incrementally. By tweaking the dial, the top half of the body goes up or down.

③ Additional Blades: More deluxe models of mandolines come with all manner of blades to make fancy cuts. Toothed blades can make julienne of french fry cuts, while rippled or zigzag blades can make fun crinkle cuts.

④ Food Holder: Don't lose this piece—it's the only thing that stands between your fingers and the razor-sharp blade. The food you're cutting is impaled on spikes beneath a plastic handle to hold it in place.

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