Mandoline slicers are the tool for slicing and dicing with utter uniformity and precision, but they can be quite dangerous. The above video shows you how to safely wield a mandoline so you can consistently slice all sorts of foods (and not your hands).
As the video shows us, the key lies in using the guard. Though some culinary "bad boys" like to play fast and loose with their digits — ahem, Grant Crilly in this video — you should do as I say and not as they do, and use the guard at all times. (Maybe even throw a cut-resistant glove on there for good measure.) Once you know how to use your slicer safely and correctly, you're ready to slice up super thin, super uniform slices of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses. Some ideas:
- Uniformly Pickled Pickles: Cucumber, onion, and zucchini all make great pickles, and they're even better super thinly sliced.
- Hard Cheeses: Aged cheeses like cheddar are prone to crumbling, and a mandoline lets you achieve deli-worthy slices in the comfort of your own home, without it all falling apart.
- Potato Chips: The mandoline lets you cut potatoes more thinly than you ever could with a knife (or at least more thinly than I could with a knife), and uniform chip thickness means everything gets crispy at the same rate.
Again though, the big takeaway here is that you should always use the guard. Fingers are important, and I'm assuming you'd like to keep yours.
How to Use a Mandoline [America's Test Kitchen]