So many mandolines, so little time to research and comparison shop. Does anyone have a favorite all-purpose mandoline for the enthusiastic (but far from expert) home chef?
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The Benriner model we have in the food52 Shop is the type I've seen most often, at culinary school & in restaurant kitchens: http://bit.ly/dqO4Zg
And OXO's handheld version is another favorite of A&M's: http://bit.ly/8YJwnj
I have the OXO slicer and love it. It doesn't julienne, but has 3 slice settings.
I have the Benriner one and I like it, though the guard isn't the best.
I have the oxo one (not the handheld but the one with legs) and I think it is great - and much more affordable than a lot of the other ones on the market.
I do what Christopher Kimball tells me to do. Actually, a couple years ago, right when I was giving the last rites to a mandoline I hated, I marched right out to my local kitchen store and I bought an OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer for about $50. Shortly after that, Cook's Illustrated did an equipment review and that OXO model was the only one tested that got three stars in each of their testing categories: Straight Cuts, Julienne Cuts, Waffle Cuts, User-Friendliness. "Razor-sharp V-blade made short work of a variety of fruits and vegetables, with a wide, sturdy gripper guard that felt exceptionally safe. Extra blades conveniently stored beneath the frame. Measurement-marked dial sets slice thickness," the review stated.
I love it.
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I will do exactly the opposite of what Christopher Kimball tells me to do. I've had a Matfer mandoline aka "Robespierre" for quite some time. But DeBuyer makes good ones also. I tend to be skeptical of the Beringer pieces with exception of the little hand held ones which good for radishes and cucumbers but not much else.. The bottom line is that a mandoline is work horse engine that will scallop potatoes, shave fennel, and cut fries. So invest in a big old horsey one.
the Benriner is inexpensive, the one pictured above is the skinny model, if you get a mildly fat onion you won't be able to slice it, but they make a wider one that is tan in color and it will. The Benriners won't cut garfrettes/waffle fries where as a good mandoline will. All of them take practice to get comfortable with and you will hate all of the cutting guard/veggie holder/plastic thingys and will end up using your bare hand, just keep those fingers out of the way. Practice practice practice. And just so you know I wouldn't work in a kitchen without one it makes short work of tedious jobs.