Kitchen gadgets catch-all thread

Recommend me a mandoline. I am all thumbs, terrible at knives and would like to keep all my thumbs.

I suppose I could get those fancy cutting gloves…

The Microplane ones are good.

this one?

Well, unless you live on onion rings and tomato slices, knife skills are very easy to pick up and faster, in general, when you weigh the time it takes to get the mandoline ready. Alton Brown had an episode of Good Eats on the subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKgGlpe45T0

Yeah. There are many perfectly good reasons to use a mandolin, but “I’m bad with knives” shouldn’t be one of them.

A mandolin will easily take off a thick, perfectly even, slice of hand in the blink of an eye. You’re better off learning proper knife skills, including how to keep a knife sharp and safe. Good luck.

Yes. But as others have said, this is not noob-level equipment. I would definitely look into becoming a chef-knife samurai before you bother with a slicer.

I may have said it before, but I’ve purchased a fair amount of kitchen gear, and I’ve never been disappointed by OXO. They’re inexpensive, but they seem to really think about both designing for functionality.

So, that’s my catch-all kitchen gadget recommendation.

I was only half kidding about needing one due to bad knife skills. Come to think of it, I used to use my mother’s one from Japan–maybe I’ll go with one of those Benriner ones.

Well, not unless I get a T-Fal ActiFry or something.

I bought a Starfrit mandoline. It has blades for slat cut and wavy cut as well as a rotating knob to set teeth up for julienne. I found it fiddly to use and after a few uses, I’ve just gone back to using a knife. If I have a volume of slicing of the same exact width, I now go to the trouble of setting up teh food processor for it.

Seconding OXO here. There is nothing of theirs that I wouldn’t recommend.

This reminds me that I’d like something to make chopping onions easier, since the bastards are always trying to get me to slice bits off myself. Chopping most things is no big deal, but onions will sometimes abruptly slip. Practically everything I cook involves chopping onions.

I do have a food processor, and it’s great for grating, and I’ll use a thick disk (8mm) for chopping mushrooms rapidly, but I don’t like the results with onions, and it’s worse with pepperoni. Not that pepperoni is difficult to cut, I just tried it for convenience’s sake, and the food processor tended to chop it up into strips and other odd shapes instead of nice little discs.

The trick to cutting large, round things is to get a working base. For an onion, this usually means halving it before going after it with any vigor. It can still be a pain if you want actual rings, in that case care is needed so that it doesn’t slip. For all other jobs cut a flat base first and rest the onion upon it, that makes everything else easy.

Gus. Cut it in half. Then use your sharp knife parallel to the board to carefully slice the onion almost to the root part. Then go up top and slice down at about 1/4 inch each cut.

Then slice the onion from the top to the bottom.

You will end up with a lump at the end. Some people chop that up. You can also just throw it away. YMMV.

You can follow the advice given on using a knife. But as this is a kitchen gadget thread, you can buy a gadget meant specifically for cutting up onions.

See this thing.

I figured out the bit about cutting it in half a long time ago. They are still times when I start a downward cut and suddenly the knife skids sideways because the outer layer separated from the one below. Usually not, but often enough to make an impression, and sometimes a sliced finger. If I’ve just sharpened the knife, that only means it cuts my fingers more easily, not that it won’t slip.

Gus it’s one of those counter intuitive things. A dull knife will cut you before a sharp knife will.

Went with the OXO chopper. I’m slowly equipping my kitchen and looking for recommendation in food processor, blender and uh…that’s it for now.