Review of Oxo Good Grips Chef’s Mandoline Slicer 2.0, an important product for the best vegetarian kitchen
There is a critical, undeniable reality at the center of vegetarian cooking: slicing vegetables. A vegetarian life without sliced, diced, and chopped vegetables quickly can be reduced to an expensive and unhealthy series of boxed meals or restaurant drive thrus. While pizza is a weekly event in our house, we’d prefer to cook on the other nights to make sure we get the best nutrition. With two working parents this is challenging, and we’ve needed some tools to help us speed up the process.
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Enter: the mandoline slicer.
But beware…your knuckles and fingertips may never forgive you for the tradeoff between comfort for convenience. Sliding a vegetable back and forth across the sharpest blade, resulting in evenly sized piles of sliced fruits and veggies is such a sheer delight of efficiency and results….but when swept up in a moment of bliss it is easy to cut yourself. The whole scenario presents enough scary thoughts to keep even the most experienced chefs away from this device. I have definitely knicked myself when using one of these tools incorrectly and we keep plastic bandages nearby in the kitchen junk drawer, just in case. Not to get into the gory details, but let’s just say the bandages were an improvement over prior field medicine triage situations utilizing the nearby paper towel roll..
As our kids have started getting into the double digits, we have begun to introduce them to more serious meal making, and we recognized the need to improve our mandoline situation. Of course, our kids are attracted to our most dangerous kitchen tools: knives, slicers, blender, food processor…and the mandoline.
Luckily we found a great mandoline slicer that has a great safety feature plus many other cool elements that help us avoid trouble: The Oxo Good Grips Chef’s Mandoline Slicer 2.0.
As Oxo says of this fine instrument:
“Create up to 21 different cuts with thickness settings in 0.5-mm intervals, straight and wavy blades, and built-in julienne and French fry blades. The indicator window shows each setting from above, so you can prep like a chef without needing professional knife skills – or a knife at all.
Oxo doesn’t mention the awesome and important safety feature here, likely shying away from anything that reminds the customer about knuckle pain, but we will bring your attention to it, because it works great and makes using this device the full pleasure that superfast vegetable cutting should be! It is the vegetable gripper, a smart device that holds your vegetable for you, and even has an indicator that lets you know your veggie has been fully sliced. This device has completely brought to an end to finger cutting, and thus our family uses this device several times each week.
Here are some other features we like about this mandoline:
- The straight, crinkle cut, and waffle cut slices are cleanly cut with stainless steel and easy to clean blades;
- There is a wide range of thicknesses to choose from;The dial to select thickness is soft and easy to turn (an improvement over the original Oxo mandoline);
- Food doesn’t easily stick due to the textured runway;
- The largely stainless steel construction (especially in food contact areas and blades) is desirable and stands out from other even highly rated slicers that have more plastic;
- The nonslip footing really does keep it in place on the countertop (another improvement over the older Oxo mandoline – the foot fell off of our older model, but now instead of individual feet there is this swinging bar that is easy and sturdy);
- Relatively simply design means less parts to clean.
This summer we grew 20 pounds of cucumbers. We were swimming in pickles and had to figure out ways to eat these beauties before the next batch grew in…so the Oxo mandoline was in full swing all season. We especially loved the crinkle cutter for our dill pickles, and impressed all the neighbors with our fancy mason jars of crinkle cut sliced garlic dills (which we left on their porches as gifts once truly overwhelmed with cukes!!We also look forward to using the slicer this fall, when we are in the mood for eating sliced apple pies and tarts, hunger for roasted carrots and parsnips, and make endless batches of vegan bangers and mash with thin-sliced red onion gravy. This mandoline helps us make these in a snap, and engages our whole family in healthy, fun cooking.
The Oxo is excellent but not necessarily perfect. For one example, as noted, the “foot” to a leg on an early model that I have broke once, requiring a quick repair. I was very happy to see that the latest model addresses this and has a more sturdy unified base for the slicer. There are also some comprable mandoline slicers on the market that would work well in a vegetarian kitchen. For example, the similarly priced Dash Safe Slice Mandoline has lots of pre-set styles and thickness settings for cuts. It’s many safety features are a “double edged blade” for me, because the additional parts keep the process safe, but also complicate the food prep process and cleaning. Of course, there are significantly more expensive mandolines. Bron’s Stainless Steel Original Mandoline Slicer is a truly excellent product, but often sells for $199 dollars or more.
So, the OXO Good Grips Chef’s Mandoline Slicer 2.0 is a fine addition to the best vegetarian kitchen. There are many less well made slicers to beware of, and certainly some very expensive products that compare in performance. But the Oxo is not just “ok for the price.” It is an excellent product that allows high-end food preparation.
For considerations like price, relative simplicity, reliable mostly stainless steel construction, and effectiveness, the Oxo can be a great addition to the best vegetarian kitchens.