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mamster

Mandolines

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I got a Benriner for christmas, and it rocks.  I am slicing everything in sight, and I still have all my fingers.  Question, though:  when using the plastic finger guard, by the time you get down to the end of whatever you're slicing, you end up smacking the plastic against the blade.  Is this going to wreck the blade?  If so, I'll slow down, even though that's not going to impress anyone.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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It's going to ruin the guard, and it's going to ruin the blade. Just hold stuff with your hands, be careful, and don't sweat wasting a bit of anything you have to put through the device.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Quote: from Fat Guy on 6:34 pm on Jan. 10, 2002

It's going to ruin the guard, and it's going to ruin the blade. Just hold stuff with your hands, be careful, and don't sweat wasting a bit of anything you have to put through the device.

and don't worry about ruining your hands.  they'll grow back.

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I don't know anyone who uses the guard either, so I'm with Steven.  I also don't know anyone using those very expensive stainless models anymore either.  Did you know the Benriner comes in two widths, too--so wide stuff can be sliced.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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I did know about the two widths, Steve.  I've got the wide one.  So far I've made pommes anna and a fennel salad.

Thanks for the quick answer--especially tommy.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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The vegetable turner (the Green Machine) is great!

It comes in two models: horizontal and vertical.

You can make potato noodles and then deep fry them for spectacular frites. Carrot and daikon noodles for a salad. Oh. Oh. I almost forgot: Celeriac noodles with mayonaisse and citrus, salt and black pepper! Delicious.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I never heard the term "Benriner" before but I assume you're talking about a mandoline.  I used the plastic ones in the past and always found them to be awkward to use, not to mention they fall apart easy.  A couple years ago I received one of the Bron stainless steel mandolines as a gift and there's no way I'm going back.  Sure they're more expensive, but they'll last a lifetime.  Broadway Panhandler had them on sale for ๪ before Xmas.  Well worth that cost.

As for the bulky contraption that comes with the device to guide food through the blade, forget about it.  They never work.  The best method is by hand.  But you don't have to waste any food or risk injury if you buy one of those protective gloves (they work perfectly and are well worth the ฤ).

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The protective glove sounds like a good idea--I agree that the pusher is silly, but I am just positive I'm going to cut myself slicing things with bare hands.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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The glove is an absolute must.  It didn't take me long after I got the mandoline to realize the guide is absolutely worthless.   Working with the hand is the only way to use the mandoline.  But, it also didn't take me long to slice off a nice piece of my finger to realize that the danger of the mandoline.  Fortunately I found out about the glove early on and now I don't even come within 2 feet of the mandoline without the glove on.

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Having been deeply immersed in training a puppy for the past several months, I can say with conviction that if you cut yourself a couple of times you'll learn to be careful. This is known as negative reinforcement, or an aversive. I've injured myself in the kitchen so many times and in so many ways that it almost never happens anymore.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Quote: from TL on 3:43 pm on Jan. 15, 2002

The best method is by hand.  But you don't have to waste any food or risk injury if you buy one of those protective gloves (they work perfectly and are well worth the Ä).

FVglove.jpg

Is this the glove to which you are referring?

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I always wanted a mandoline, but looked at it as just too great an expense for my kitchen and I sure as #### wasn't going to buy one of those cheap plastic ones. One day a professional who works in one of NY's top French kitchens told me they had a couple of steel mandolines in the kitchen, but that everyone used a Benriner.

He persuaded me to buy one and I love it. I've found I can't work with the guard. I watch myself carefully and toss a certain amount of food, or use it for soup. I've nicked myself once or twice, but in general I'm so careful that a paring knife has still inflicted the worst damage here. On the other hand, my wife keeps telling me to use the guard on the basis of her run ins with the Benriner. For a while she swore off it altogether. I see that she's using it again and without the guard, but carefully. I suspect it's a matter of, "I can do anything he can do in the kitchen."


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I keep going back and forth.  I've done fine without one up until now, using an inexepensive plastic "V" slicer to cut potatos when I make roasted potato chips. Other than that, a good chef's knife seems to do everything I want. If I buy one, it may wind up on the shelf in the closet. Are there good reasons to own one?

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I use the narrow and wide Benriner, they're inexpensive enough to have both sitting on a shelf in the closet and not fret about them.  I seem to recall we had a thread on mandolines before.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Jaybee after the TT tasting, you can come borrow my mandoline.  See if you like using it.

I have one of those stainless ones.. paid a hundred odd dollars for it.  Never used it.

Actually, I would love to use it, but do not know how.

Maybe you can borrow it, use it, keep it, and teach me how to use it and I can buy myself another.

What say you Jaybee?

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But how are you going to shave thin slices of your fingers without one? Makes a great garnish!

But seriously, I was given an expensive stainless steel one from William Sonoma as a gift and couldn't make it work at all. When I brought it to the store the clerk said that that model was terrible and that I should get the steel one that Dean and Deluca carried. Instead I got a $35 plastic and steel one by Borner, Germany at Broadway Panhandler. It's terrific because I only use it once and a while so durability/heartiness isn't an issue, and it works really well.

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I was given an expensive stainless steel one from William Sonoma as a gift and couldn't make it work at all.

I thought that would be the case.  Well, so far I've saved $139.  Another $5000 and I can have a good meal! :biggrin:

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I guess no TT for me then Jaybee?

Well if you want to play with a stainless mandoline, mine is yours to work with.

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I guess no TT for me then Jaybee?

I didn't say that!  I don't need to play with your mandoline to make a TT.  But since I do almost all of my baking and cooking on the weekends in the country, I have to see if I can get it together to make one in the city, on my crummy little apartment stove. :smile:  I still want to sample your TT too.

Uh oh, this is sounding weird.

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TT sounds fine... since the letters are different from what you may be thinking.

Looking forward to sampling your Tarte Tatin.

I do not have a fancy kitchen.. but you are most welcome to come bake it in mine.  

But maybe you can make it in the country and drive it with you into the city.  It can stay a few hours.   What do you think?

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I'd always coveted one of those expensive stainless steel jobs, but they seemed a bit much for my budget. Along the way I was told that most restaurant cooks use the plastic Benriners and that includes at least one top haute cuisine restaurant where there's a stainless steel one on the shelf, but its the plastic ones that are used. Bought a Benriner and love it. We use it frequently. My wife's been bitten more than I have, but I rarely use the safety guard and she's become comfortable with it as well. I use the cross blades a lot to make matchstick or julienne cuts. Thirty some odd dollars at the Broadway Panhandler. I'm not sure if this model is any better or worse than the "V" slicer.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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With a Benriner you just simply can do things you can't do with a knife. Or at least I can't: For example, slice daikon into paper thin long sheets and use it to wrap yuba with ginger and mushrooms, tied up with blanched scallion. Make 20 lbs worth of scalloped potatoes in about 20 minutes. And so on.

The Benriner vegetable turner ("the Green Machine") lets me make "noodles" out of potatoes and celery root for deep-frying.

And, jaybee, they're cheap.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Thanks Jinmyo, now I have to learn how to cook with daikon

and buy a new appliance. :biggrin: Life's challenges never cease!

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My big fancy Bron sits in its box -- too much trouble to set up and clean.  My little bitty Benriner is used often, for slicing and julienne that I don't want to take time with, knife-wise.  My fingers are all intact.  (You can be a wuss and use the guard, but it really isn't necessary.  Eventually you learn.)  Save your money, get the Benriner.

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You've all confirmed my expectation.  I'll either stick with my "V" slicer or get the Benriner.  Good advice.

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