A kitchen mandolin, sometimes referred to as a food mandolin, is the perfect kitchen tool for slicing firm fruits and vegetables. Any commercial kitchen can find a huge value in a quality mandolin. Some new choices can be added to the menu as chefs gain experience with it too.
The most frequent use for the kitchen mandolin is for slicing produce, but it also is useful for making julienne, French fry, and plank fry cuts. It does it so quickly that it can save money by allowing the chef to only slice what is needed quickly and many times restaurants who were using frozen alternatives can switch to much better tasting fresh cut ingredients.
The drawback of the mandolin is the difficult in cleaning and the possibility of injury. Chef’s can easily get severely cut if their not using it correct with safety as a priority. It’s worth the expense to buy better models that clean easy and have the necessary guards in place to make them safe.
The key to a mandolin is keeping the blade sharp. When the blade goes dull, it’s as useless as a paperweight. Do not buy cheap models that have a fixed blade! A higher quality model with a removable blade that’s made with quality steel will allow for the blade to be sharpened many times. Some even have a lifetime warranty. NSF certification is a good sign that the mandolin is a quality piece.
Here is a video of how a mandolin is used. I wouldn’t recommend the one in the video, but it’s close enough to show what types of things they’re capable of. Notice the, “Watch your hands.” warning. If she was using a quality mandolin, they provide better guards that reduce the temptation to work without a guard.