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Old 03-12-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
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Tomatoes fell apart while slicing on de Buyer mandoline

I tried my new de Buyer mandoline today. I was impressed and grateful there was a demonstration video because I don't know if I could have figured it out without it.

I sliced onions, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes with the straight blade. The tomatoes didn't slice well at all. They pretty much fell apart. Is a madoline of this quality not meant for slicing tomatoes or do you think I could have been doing something wrong?

Diane

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Old 03-12-2008, 06:48 PM   #2
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After doing more research, I see that de Buyer has a "V mandoline" and regular straight across blade mandoline. Mine is not the V mandoline so maybe that's why it didn't cut the tomatoes well.
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:25 PM   #3
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I would say the straight blade is the problem.
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:02 PM   #4
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Wink Try it again

Try it again, chill the tomatoes in the fridge for an hour or so. Cut thicker & slow. I'd try that before giving up on it.
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:08 PM   #5
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No please do not put your tomato in the fridge. It will destroy some of the flavor compounds that make tomatoes so tasty.

A tomato is not really the type of thing you would slice with a mandolin. You need something firmer like the other things you already sliced.
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:59 PM   #6
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Too ripe/soft perhaps? Whether or not I'm going to use a mandoline or hand-slice tomatoes very thinly, if they're uber ripe it's very difficult to get clean slices. If I need really thin slices for presentation or for a pizza topping for instance, I try to select firmer ones.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not advocating using underripe fruit, just using firmer ones when paper-thin slices are called for.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:14 PM   #7
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Thats what I was thinking BreezyCooking, maybe the Tomatoes are a tad too ripe, try useing ripe but still firm tommys and see how you go.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:03 PM   #8
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The first thing I also thought of was the ripeness.

You purchased an expensive and supposedly very good product.

Don't give up on it so soon.

Play with it, put it through its paces. We have a fancy mandoline tucked away, which we rarely use and cannot even remember the brand. With the two of us it is usually just as easy to take out a knife, and we both have pretty decent knife skills for just your average Jane and Joe cooks. But the mandoline works great when we need it.

Don't know the advantages of V shape rather than straight cut, ours I believe is straight cut. But if one were significantly better than the other, everyone would buy just one.

Am sure there are folks who will be along to help more than I can. But as I say would keep trying. Sometimes it takes a while to learn how to use a specific product.

Good luck.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntdot View Post

Don't know the advantages of V shape rather than straight cut, ours I believe is straight cut. But if one were significantly better than the other, everyone would buy just one.
Not really true. A good straight cut mandolin is significantly better than a v slicer. The reason not everyone just buys the better one is price. A good straight mandolin has an adjustable blade. They also usually have blade attachments so you can do other types of cuts.

A V slicer is not adjustable and significantly less expensive. They are often times plastic instead of metal.

Mandolins just are not made to cut soft things like a tomato. You are better off using a sharp knife.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:50 PM   #10
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Ditto on just using a knife for a tomato!!!
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:30 PM   #11
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If you're going to use a knife to slice really thin slices of tomato, forget about just a "sharp knife" - use a good sharp serrated bread knife. I've been using one for years to slice my tomatoes, & - if the tomatoes are firm enough - I can get them literally paper-see-thru thin if need be. If they're ripe-from-the-garden, I can still get them reasonably thin to make out-of-this-world BLT's.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:39 PM   #12
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Why forget about a sharp knife? If your knife is properly sharp then it should be able to slice through a tomato and get a thinner cut then you could ever get with a serrated knife. And will a very sharp knife if does not matter if the tomato is firm enough. A very sharp knife will go through a soft tomato like going through warm butter.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:56 PM   #13
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I use my mandoline regularly, but not for tomatoes. My slicing knife is great on them.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:01 PM   #14
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No please do not put your tomato in the fridge. It will destroy some of the flavor compounds that make tomatoes so tasty.
Absolutely right!
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:14 PM   #15
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GB - I guess it's just a personal thing. I've just found, over the years, that my uber-sharp serrated bread knives do a better paper-thin tomato slice than my sharpest chefs knives (& I do keep mine razor sharp). I don't know why this works best for me, but it does.

Again, just personal experience.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:16 PM   #16
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Well that is fine breezy. I just do not think it is fair to tell the OP to forget about using a sharp knife just because it is not your personal choice.

I am happy the serrated knife works for you.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:42 PM   #17
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I use a serrated knife...I think it works great. Of course, it's very sharp.
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Old 03-15-2008, 12:29 AM   #18
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Uber ripe? Buck up for a good, sharp knife. The thinner the better (less drag). Or...a saw knife.
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Old 03-15-2008, 07:05 AM   #19
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Thanks GB for teaching me that. Love this forum because I learn so much.
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Old 03-19-2008, 05:03 PM   #20
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BreezyCooking et all,

These are my Engineering two cents, I may be completely wrong, but since posting is free (at least for now)....feel free to use this comment as food for thought.

Serrated knives cut rather well objects which outside skin/epicarp/shell is harder to cut than the inside, some examples of these objects: bread, tomatoes and kiwis.
The serrated the blade is designed in such way that uses less normal shear force than a straight blade knife when cutting therefore affecting less the endocarp/inside/etc. of the object and producing a more clean cut.
Of course, more force is required to cut the same object with a serrated knife... we, humans, offset this by instinctively pushing down and also moving the knife back and forth while cutting.

When using a very sharp straight knife for this task, once we cut pass the skin we "adjust" (lower) the pressure on the knife. In the case of the mandoline (a straight cutter), this is almost impossible to achieve.

For tomato or kiwis, a "V" slice, with an angled cutter should work just fine, perhaps the manufacturer sells a device to adapt the mandoline for this.

I own a Bron mandoline, when I need to slice a lot of tomatoes I run them by hand -no Guard- at about 45 degrees angle to the blade very carefully. I DON'T RECOMMENDED DOING THIS UNLESS YOU ARE VERY EXPERIENCE WITH A MANDOLINE.
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