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Mandolin Problems

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've search the first five pages of Google and still can't come up with anything, so I'm assuming it is just me being retarded, so hopefully someone can give me some tips

 

I am a big time knife fan, but for some healthy snacks I am planning to begin making a lot of beet chips (probably sweet potato too) and all the recipes I've come across recommend 1/8" slices, which is pretty thin. considering one vegetable can make a few dozen chips, I don't really want to slice that much. I had a Bed Bath, and Beyond gift card anyway, so I decided to buy a cheap mandolin there the other day. I brought it home, set it up which was really easy, and attempted to slice my first beet. Unfortunately, it turned out awful! 

 

For some reason, The beginning of the slice is near perfect, but it tapers off to paper thin by the end. It does that with both normal and crinkle cut, with or without the guard (though it does slightly better albeit more dangerous without the guard). What am I doing wrong? I cut the end off with a knife to make it completely flat on the mandolin ramp/board/whatever you call it. It slides down the ramp smoothly, but every single cut is tapered which means uneven cooking which is bad. Can anyone other their thoughts?

post #2 of 5

It sounds like you may be applying uneven pressure as you slide the product past the knife edge.

 

There is a degree of flexibility in any mandolin, especially in the flat platform ahead of the knife edge.

 

Try not to press down when starting the slide and increase the speed along the slide. Light and quick works for me.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #3 of 5

I agree don't put too much pressure on the mandolin. Unfortunately, the cheaper they are, the less well they are made and more likely to have give. 

post #4 of 5

Eric, I have a French Bron mandolin and I sharpened the removable blade in it. I read you're a knife fan, so using a Japanese whetstone shouldn't be a problem to you. I used a 6k stone to gently sharpen on one side (these blades are single sided sharpened) and even more gently only removed the bit of burr on the opposite side. I don't use that mandolin frequently, but I always cut myself on it. Incredible how smoothly and easy it is to slice with it after sharpening it!

 

Oh, since you're slicing beetroot and sweet potato; dust the slices with flour (use a plastic bag with a tbsp. of flour in it and shake the slices in it) just seconds before deep frying them... not the most healthy snack, but sensational!

post #5 of 5

I think Pete is right on with the pressure. It's very hard for me to keep even pressure and more importantly speed when getting down close to my fingers! However, I have a completely different recommendation. For the money, in comparison to a nice mandolin you can get a home deli slicer like this:

This thing does an incredible job at cutting thin slices of root vegetables and keeps a consistent thickness. I consider it a multi-tasker too because it will shave deli style meats if you want to do your own sandwich meats like grilled turkey breast or london broil. One like this can be had for around 66-75 USD on amazon.com

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