How To Slice Thin Without A Mandoline?

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While a mandoline slicer can be a very convenient tool in the kitchen, it can also be a hazardous and complicated one.

There are numerous stories of chefs and home cooks alike accidentally nicking and cutting themselves while using one of these.

And while it’s always recommended to use a finger guard or glove when using a mandoline, it can sometimes be forgotten or a hassle to put on, which is what can lead to accidents in the kitchen.

Because of this, a lot of people are looking for different ways to slice ingredients thinly without using one.

You can use a lot of different tools in the kitchen to slice ingredients thin without needing a mandoline. You can use a vegetable peeler, a cheese planer, a food processor, or a sharp knife to get the job done.

Just make sure to approach this task with care and close attention to ensure that you get the same thickness every time.

In this article, we dive into a couple of different tools and methods you can use to achieve this goal in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Read on to learn more

How To Slice Thin Without A Mandoline

Using A Vegetable Peeler

This might just be the most convenient way to slice thin without using a mandoline.

Since most people will already have one of these at home, it won’t be too hard to get your hands on one.

To use a vegetable peeler to slice ingredients thinly, simply hold the peeler in your dominant hand while holding the ingredient in your non-dominant hand, then peel away from your hand while making sure to apply a firm and even pressure.

And once you’ve sliced off one side of the vegetable, you can lay them flat down on a chopping board for a more secure base.

This method will allow you to get the food slices as thin as possible and can be used for just about any ingredient.

Using A Cheese Planer

If you don’t happen to have a vegetable peeler on hand, you can also use a cheese planer in a similar fashion and get similar results.

This is a tool that looks like a simple spatula with a slot, but this simple tool has a lot of uses, which includes slicing vegetables thinly.

To use a cheese planer, all you have to do is lay the vegetable down on a cutting board, hold it in place with a fork, and run the planer down the vegetable.

This method is best for long and skinny vegetables like zucchini, carrots, and cucumbers.

Using A Food Processor

If you want to get the job done fast and you have a food processor on hand, you can use it to thinly slice vegetables in a matter of seconds.

Most food processors in the market today will come with at least one slicer attachment, and other models will come with a couple of different slicers so you can choose what thickness you want.

Thinner slices will get you thinner slices, while thicker attachments will result in much thicker slices.

For this method, all you have to do is attach the slicer bit of the food processor to the machine, turn it on, then carefully feed your ingredients through the top of the processor.

Sadly, this method won’t get your ingredients as thin as if you were using a vegetable peeler or cheese planer, but it can get them to at least around a quarter of an inch thick, which is good enough for salads and other recipes out there.

This is great if you plan to slice a whole bunch of ingredients and don’t want to put in too much effort to do so.

Using A Sharp Knife

Lastly, if you don’t have any of the above tools in your pantry, you can always use your trusty chef knife to do the job.

Granted, this will take a bit more effort and you have to make sure your knife is very sharp, but if you do it right, you can match the thin matchstick or shred slices that you can get with a normal slicer.

Make sure that you have a steady and firm grip on the knife, and not use too much pressure when slicing, that way you have more control over the final product.

This method will work best for root vegetables and other oddly shaped ingredients that you would like to be thinly sliced.

Conclusion

You don’t need a mandoline to get thin slices.

In fact, using these methods when trying to get nice, thin, and even slices in the kitchen could be a safer option for a lot of people.

So if you’ve been planning to make a salad, make potato chips, or toss up a coleslaw for dinner and you don’t have a mandoline, don’t worry.

As long as you have any one of these tools in your kitchen tool kit, you will easily be able to slice your ingredients just the way you like them!

Last Updated on July 22, 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.