Can You Slice Roast Beef on a Mandolin?

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One of the most common questions home cooks ask is if roast beef can be sliced using a mandolin.

This has proved to be a clever kitchen tool that effectively sidelines the knife for many chopping board chores.

Cutting various fruits and vegetables into thin slivers has never been faster or consistent – it’s like a real professional chef did the job!

It can also do other distinct slices like juliennes, crinkles, waffles, and so many more.

But will it do the same job for meats?

Slicing roast beef in a mandolin is possible because this slicer has a sharp blade. But this needs to be par frozen or chilled so that it won’t get shredded under the sharp edge and, consequently, ruined.

The best way to slice any cooked meat, without a doubt, is with a sharpened and perfectly honed knife.

Then again, the operative word here is it is possible to use this gadget for this particular task.

You just need to follow these tips:

1. Cut a smaller chunk off the roast beef

A large slab of beef (Eye of Round, Sirloin, Chuck, etc.) would be impossible to slide over a regular mandolin.

To make your job easier, cut a smaller chunk from the large slab.

2. Remove the fatty parts

The mandolin blade will fail when faced with fat.

Removing this will make the cutting easier and prevent the fast degradation of your gadget.

3. Par freeze your meat

As aforementioned, running a hot piece of roast beef over this tool will shred it to an ugly mess.

Wrap the meat in a piece of cling film then place it inside the freezer for 20 minutes so that it will firm it up for better slicing.

4. Don’t push the food down too hard

Putting too much tension on your beef chunk will only ruin it.

With a relaxed grip, just slide it over the mandolin’s surface and let the blade do its job.

5. Use the food holder

Never attempt this with your bare hands.

Unlike fruits and veggies, our featured ingredient tends to be oily.

If your hand accidentally slips, you could injure yourself badly.

This is good only for leftover meat that will be used for sandwiches.

Never use this on something that you just took out of the oven.

Get a Deli Slicer!

There are small, mid-range priced electric meat slicers for household use available in the market today.

Whether you get the manual or the electric variety, you’re sure to get thin, consistent cuts.

If you like curing, smoking, or roasting slabs of meat, go ahead and get one.

These machines cost $200 on average. It may be a bit pricey but you can think of this as an investment.

If you go all-out Julia Child once in a blue moon, this hefty item will only take up extra space and collect dust in the kitchen, which would be a sad waste of money.

This is why the next tool that will be discussed is the best option.

The Ever-Reliable Knife

Home cooks often complain about the difficulty of filleting or carving.

And that’s fair because it is a challenging task, especially for newbies.

But the following tips might help:

1. Religiously sharpen your knife, hone it before use

A blunt blade will ruin any slicing and dicing job.

If you don’t have time to use those whetstones and strops, bring them to a professional.

But do hone your knife with a steel rod before using it. You will see the difference.

2. Use the right kind of knife

A regular chef’s knife is versatile enough for many chopping board chores.

But if you’re carving meat straight from the oven, use a carver.

Compared to the chef’s thick spine and wide blade, the carver extremely thin and narrow is very long and has a pointy tip.

That very specific anatomy allows you to slice in one up-to-down motion without see-sawing through the meat.

3. Use a carving fork

Hot roast beef, even when rested for several minutes, would be difficult to hold with your hands to stabilize. This is the job of a carving fork.

4. Par-freeze the meat

Par freezing means placing your food item in the freezer for 20 minutes or until it is firm but not ice cold and solid.

The knife will run through this better, preventing the unattractive shredding on the meat and giving you deli-worthy slices.

Using the Right Tool for the Right Job

At the end of the day, the mandolin is not the right tool for slicing meat – especially fresh off the oven roast beef.

Nor is the home-use deli slicer.

You may not get those beautiful thin slices at first but if you follow the tips provided above, you’ll come up with decent ones.

Also, it wouldn’t matter if your roast beef smells and tastes amazing.

Last Updated on August 12, 2021

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.