The right kitchen equipment can make cooking easier. The right gadgets make it more fun.
I tend to stay pretty minimalist when it comes to kitchen gadgets. Don’t get me wrong—I have a few. But I try to stick to the really handy, multi-use types like my immersion blender. I don’t like pawing through a bunch of clutter in my pantry or kitchen drawers. I debated for months before adding an electric kettle to my arsenal, considering whether it was really THAT much better than a tea kettle on the stove (if you’re wondering: Yes, it is).
Every now and then, I’ve hankered for a mandoline slicer, thinking about how great it would be to quickly make a lot of really thin slices of something or other. But I’ve always resisted the impulse, telling myself that my arsenal of sharp knives will do very nicely, thank you.
And that’s true, as far as it goes. But I recently broke down and added this Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer to my amazon order. I sort of needed it to get the free shipping on my ravioli cutter…ahem…
Sure, a knife will do. I might not put the mandoline on my desert island list or grab it if the house is on fire. But this gadget is just plain fun.
As soon as I got it out of the box, I started slicing up everything I could get my hands on. The blade adjusts to make slices from relatively thick to see-through thin. You can make matchsticks, too. And it slices at the speed of light. Thank goodness for the plastic hand-guard—just imagine!
I turned an apple into about 50 million slices all the way from quarter-inch to tissue-paper, just because I could. It takes a surprisingly long while to eat an apple that way, as an aside.
Carrots, potatoes, all fell before me. It’s especially handy for making fennel salad in a hurry.
I met my match when I tried to slice up a Snickers Bar, though. The chocolate was a little too crumbly. And it turns out that Snickers taste a little weird in thin slices.
How do you feel about kitchen gadgets? Do you have one you couldn’t live without?