Mandoline Food Slicers And Safety – Precautions To Keep Those Pinkies Safe
[Updated 1 June 2020]Kitchen mandolines are one of my favorite and certainly most used kitchen gadgets – in my view, mandoline food slicers are safer than knives, so the last thing I want to do it put you off.
But if you don’t use your slicer with due care and diligence or give them the respect they deserve, at some point you’ll get cut.
I have a very dear friend who is an ER nurse, she’s the same friend who warned me about them years ago and gave us a set of rules to follow whenever even thinking about using one – and I’m sure you can guess why.
The numbers of enthusiastic cooks needing glue or stitches to put their pinkies back together again rise sharply (sorry) after the gifts are given out at Christmas and adults start to play with their new toys.
Add a new mercilessly sharp blade to an inexperienced cook who has had a glass of wine or two, and you have an addition to the kitchen accident statistics waiting to happen – and it will!
Using a Mandoline Slicer Safely – The Rules
Buy a safety glove. Kevlar gloves are cut-resistant and you’ll find them included in the search results on Amazon for mandolin slicers. They include them there because a lot of people get one at the same time as they get a mandolin – very sensible. Being bothered to use it is where folks get caught out.
Wear It Rather Than Wish You Had!
You have to wear the glove, not leave it in the drawer until it’s all too late! We all start out with good intentions but the moment you forget or can’t be bothered, your hand will slip! Just wear it!
Don’t Immerse In Soap Bubbles
You won’t harm a mandolin slicer by putting it in the sink to wash – but you might plunge your hand in without thinking, which is exactly what I did and learned just how stupid that can be.
Always Use The Finger Guard For Cutting
Awkward and clumsy though they can be if you use the finger guard to spear veggies you’re putting another layer of safety between you and the blade. Take your time when prepping veg, make sure the prongs have penetrated and grabbed the food properly before putting it to the blade.
A lot of cuts are gotten by rushing and the guard slipping – and if you aren’t wearing a glove…
Always Use The Blade Guard
I don’t think there are many of these kitchen marvels that come without a blade guard, basically don’t buy one without and always replace it after use.
Kitchen Slicers And Kids
Just saying those words in the same sentence makes me cringe. Keep out of sight and reach, period.
If It’s Too Big to Use Something Else – Never Force Mandolines!
I know someone (who should have known better) and she ended up cutting herself trying to force a roasted pork loin through. It might have worked well chilled and with a bigger mandoline. Anything which doesn’t easily fit, I’m inclined to use a home meat slicer instead because it’s a lot safe that forcing. Knives aren’t my strongest skill and home meat slicers are effortless, accurate and inexpensive, they glide backward and forwards, you smile. Lazy? Me?
Most of the above are simply common sense, but oh so easily forgotten. Sometimes cooking can be a hassle as well as a passion and in the heat of battle with potatoes, it’s easier to grab the mandolin and forget the glove… only it really isn’t!
Truly there’s nothing better, faster or more efficient in the kitchen than Mandoline Food Slicers and I highly recommend them, when used carefully and wearing a protective glove. If you’d like to find out which mandoline slicer I recommend and which ones to leave on the shelf, go have a read of these mandoline slicer reviews – there’s more about Kevlar gloves too.
Using The Spiralizer For Vegetables Safely
Pretty much the same advice applies – wear a glove so there’s absolutely no risk of your flesh coming into contact with a blade. There can be a temptation to use a spiral slicer for vegetables like a pencil sharpener (correct) and turn the spiralizer (not correct) when the going gets tough on a sweet potato. Don’t do it – you are risking a really bad cut, its fine to turn the veg, but keep a very firm safe grip on the spiral cutter and you’ll stay safer.
You can read more about using spiral slicers for vegetables here – it took me a long time to come round to using one because you are quite literally holding the blade.
Do take care in the kitchen now and keep those pinkies in a glove when you need to!