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Mandolines


mamster
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My personal favorite is the berringer.

The secret to low personal injury is common sense,concentration and direct

eye contact for the task at hand.Of course you must develop a technique that

is pretty much fool proof as well. It seems common sense is the tough one most

people have trouble with.

In my case, staying fully sober throughout the cooking process is the defining problem.

:laugh::laugh::laugh: You just like living on the edge.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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I also have a bron. I almost always use the guard. The only time I don't use the guard is when I'm cutting something too large for it. And in that case, by hands are far away from the blade. I'd like to be a surgeon someday, so I figure I should try my best to keep my finger tips intact.

Mike

The Dairy Show

Special Edition 3-In The Kitchen at Momofuku Milk Bar

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I have a small plastic Kyocera slicer (sort of a poor person's mandolin - no adjustable or interchangeable blade, no stand) that works pretty well for making thin slices. It has a guard which I try to use as much as possible, especially after slicing off part of my thumb. :shock: All healed up now!

The problem with the guard is that it's really awkward to use, particularly when you're down to the last bit whatever you're slicing. Of course that's when the guard is most needed....

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Fess up. How many of us really use them? Which ones do you use, not use? How many finger tips have you lost? Oh, really, none, then how do you keep all them tips?

There's a guard on some mandolines. And I understand there are safety gloves out there. Do you use any of these? For those who still have fingertips, what do you do to keep them?

(If you use a glove please comment at length. Are they clumsy, for example? Which sort of glove is it, etc.

Mottmott,

I think it's a right of passage for everyone to lose some skin with a mandoline. I believe you'll find everything you're looking for in this previous thread:

Madolines, mandolines, What's best?

:smile:

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I've got one of those wire-mesh gloves I use most of the time when I'm using my mandoline. It's prevented the loss of a fingertip several times.

Where did you get yours, Melkor? Is it visibly metal?

Do you have one like this: http://www.cooking.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=114582

Or do you have one like this: http://www.cooking.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=162133

As the second one costs about $100 more than the first, inquiring minds want to know.

If you have the cloth version, how do you keep it clean? Diswasher?

If you have the all stainless, how comfortable is that to wear?

And any other pertinent details, too, please.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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Mine's a Benriner from Japan (maybe the same thing that was called Berringer in a few posts?). I have never 1) used the guard 2)lost blood OR mostly importantly 3) lost concentration while using it.

One added bonus for this make/model is that the instruction book (in the very best Engrish) is absolutely hilarious! I don't have it anymore or I would provide a sample or two, but by itself it's "worth the price of admission."

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i have a bron, use it almost exclusively for slicing fennel, never use a guard;

i am super carefull with it and never had anything but a few scrapes.

also have a plastic cheap one, it does a great job on cucumbers!

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I have a Matfer, always use the guard, and have cut myself several times. I even cut myself once washing the darn thing. Whenever I use it, I continuously say, out loud, "I haven't cut myself yet. I haven't cut myself yet." I keep saying that until I'm finished slicing and have washed and put away the evil beast.

Check out our Fooddoings and more at A View from Eastmoreland
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I have a Matfer that gets used whenever I make a potato gratin. I find the guard – or "pussy handle" as the chef I trained with called it* – makes it more dangerous when the potato is still large, so I hold with my fingertips until the balance of the tater is better, then use the flat of my palm, as someone described upthread, then go for the handle when there's about an inch of potato left.

I tried shredding cabbage with it once and came very close to losing a fingertip. I discovered that shredding by hand with a sharp knife is much faster and more efficient.

*he never used one and, as far as I could tell, still had all his fingers.

Edited by GG Mora (log)
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I love my Bennriner (actually a take on the japanese expression "Benri-na?" - Which loosley translates as "Isn't this convenient?"). But I toss the last 1 inch or so of whatever I am slicing usually, because of FFF (Finger filet fear).

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I had a V-Slicer for years till I wore it out, maybe too many trips thru the dishwasher. I used it almost daily, toted it to jobs loved the little guy.

When I decided to upgrade, I got a Bron. I haven't yet figured out why this is supposed to be the Mercedes of mandolines. I hate the thing - its big, clumsy, heavy, awkward to use.

I now have a Matfer and it is fine, although it lacks julienne capability, but not nearly as loved as my cheap little V-slicer. It's also harder to change the blades althought they are more securely fastened.

Finger situation. Years ago I was watching Jacques Pepin use a mandoline - sans guard. I thought I could do it just like him. After the first four days, I had at least one cut/ bandaide on every finger and decided the guard might be for wusses but too much blood/ fingernails in the food just isn't smart or attractive.

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NO, YOU CANNOT GET ONE MORE SLICE!

Truer words could not be spoken.

THe glove works pretty well, at the Four Seasons we were required to wear them, but the Benriner sliced through it a couple of times, thank God it slowed down enough to realize that you should really stop and no stitches were ever needed.

The benriner rocks, for quick and ease of cleaning, but the matfer is great if you have a lot to do, you set it up and start pounding away. Plus sharpening the blade is rather easy. The guard for it doesn't work so well. The kitchen towel is definitely a plus. Paying attention to what your doing is probably #1.

Patrick Sheerin

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There was a great bit in a Rick Stein TV program where he is thinly slicing Garlic on A mandoline, while saying how good they are if you are careful, then a sudden exclamation. Cut to next seen, he is slicing with a knife, big blue plaster on his finger, and Mandoline is in the bin.

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I have a cheezy plastic thing that I use a couple of times a week. Its ok, but I've sliced a few fingertips in my day. I'm surprised that no one uses the same trick as I do when it gets down to the short strokes. Be it a potato, fennel or cucumber, I just stick a fork into the remnant and continue on. I have to change the "angle of attack" so not to jam the fork into the blade from time to time, but it works for me.

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There was a great bit in a Rick Stein TV program where he is thinly slicing Garlic on A mandoline, while saying how good they are if you are careful, then a sudden exclamation. Cut to next seen, he is slicing with a knife, big blue plaster on his finger, and Mandoline is in the bin.

I also have a very small "mandoline" made by Acea that's for garlic. It has a teeny tiny tube and pusher that protects your fingers. Works fine - for garlic. Robyn

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A mandoline is on my short list. Actually, I would have bought one a while ago, but I just can't decide which one. I used to own a crappy v-slicer and got rid of it. It was dull and didn't have but two settings for thickness.

I've pretty much narrowed my search to the Bron Professional and the wide Benriner. You can get the Bron online for about $100. The larger Benriner seems to run about $35, although I've never looked for the larger one at Asian groceries here in Portland. I remember seeing the smaller one for $20. (I've played with the Matfers, several of them, but don't like how their setup and construction.)

I'm less familiar with the Benriner's workings, though I have taken it out of the box once or twice:

* Is it fully adjustable, or does it have only two or three thickness settings?

* There are multiple blades for it, I believe, including a julienne blade. How hard are they to exchange?

* Can it go in the dishwasher?

The Bron seems pretty nice. I like the intuitive adjustments. But it is more expensive. I actually think I would like the stand that some people deride.

* Specifically, what do you like/dislike about the Bron, especially in direct comparison with the Benriner?

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I'm less familiar with the Benriner's workings, though I have taken it out of the box once or twice: 

* Is it fully adjustable, or does it have only two or three thickness settings? 

Fully adjustable. You just tighten a screw (or loosen as the case may be) to adjust the distance between the blade and the plastic surface, and thus the thickness of the slice. It's the plastic surface, not the blade, that moves up/down.

* There are multiple blades for it, I believe, including a julienne blade.  How hard are they to exchange?

Not difficult. Again, just a couple of thumbscrews holding them in.

* Can it go in the dishwasher?

Good question! I've never done so, but there is no reason why not that I can think of. Especially because the main reason I don't use mine is fear of injury when cleaning the thing.

The Bron seems pretty nice.  I like the intuitive adjustments.  But it is more expensive.  I actually think I would like the stand that some people deride.

I don't have a stand for the Benriner, and think having one would be handy. The Bron also does gaufrette cuts - but how often are you going to do that?

I'll try and answer a couple of questions about the Benriner with the caveats that I haven't used or looked at the thing in months. Not because I don't like it, but I'm handy enough with a knife and don't need paper thin slices all that often. I do pull out the mandoline if I want to do a large-ish quantity of very thin slices.

My main reluctance to use it concerns the potential injury when cleaning it - but I have always washed it by hand. I don't know why I haven't just chucked it into the dishwasher now that you mention it!

Also, I think it comes with three julienne blades (I have the small version) that differ in the width of the julienne from almost angelhair to maybe a quarter in or so (maybe a little less). And the Benriner lacks a blade capable of doing gaufrette cuts. Bottom line, the Benriner works, and is a third or quarter the cost of the Bron. I'd suggest buying a Benriner or similar, seeing if you actually use it - they're inexpensive enough, even if you end up selling it at a yard sale or something. Then, if you decide you want something more heavy duty, or need the gaufrette option, go for the Bron later.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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