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Can You Slice Meat With a Mandoline?
Usually, a meat slicer is a machine used to slice meat, but can you slice meat with a mandoline in your kitchen at home?
There are many different types of Mandolines, though, and it depends on which type you’re using as to whether or not it will work to slice meat.
Some have blades set too high off the table for them to be used with cooked meat, some aren’t strong enough, etc.
All that being said, it is possible but not advisable to use a Mandoline with an adjustable blade height to slice cooked meats. But the key here is having patience and taking your time, so you don’t lose any fingers in the process.
Can You Use a Mandoline to Slice Cooked Meat?
A mandoline’s purpose is to slice and julienne vegetables and fruits. However, it can also be used on meat if desired.
Most people use this cooking utensil to cut raw meat or uncooked poultry because of the large blade that comes standard. The blade should always be kept away from your hands when slicing meats with a mandolin, so never press down too hard.
It’s possible to use a Mandoline slicer (and any other slicing instrument) to slice cooked meat: after cooking, let the meat cool down and use a slicing instrument to cut it.
However, you should always avoid cutting into bones with a Mandoline slicer or any other sort of blade that comes standard on this utensil.
If you plan to use your mandoline for cutting meats further cooked than those included in salads or sandwiches, make sure to thaw the portion of the food thoroughly before slicing.
You can set up your sliced ham or turkey next to a pot of boiling water for a few minutes until it’s easy enough to cut.
Disadvantages of Using a Mandoline to Slice Cooked Meat
Mandolines are designed to slice raw food, not cooked food. The mandoline was initially created to make homemade French fries that are cut directly into the fryer. Later, the technology evolved even further to be used with other foods (i.e., cucumbers, radishes, etc.).
So what is the difference between using a Mandoline for cooked vs. raw foods?
First and foremost, you have much less control over how thin or thick your slices will turn out because cooking has already done most of the work for you!
If you attempt to use a Mandoline on cooked meat, you will probably need to cut off any burned parts first before doing anything else. This will probably ruin the whole piece of meat and force you to start all over.
Second, it is complicated (if not impossible) to slice anything evenly with a Mandoline. This is especially true for slices as thin as those used for sandwiches such as french bread or rye bread.
Even if you somehow get them cut into small enough pieces, they will still stick together due to residual moisture from cooking!
Third, unlike raw foods, cooked food tends to stick to the blade, which means you will need to push harder to get through each piece (or worse: your fingers may accidentally slip!).
If this happens, slice marks will be uneven, and some pieces may even come out of the slicer in pieces.
But if you insist on using a Mandoline to cut cooked meat, here are some tips:
Set your Mandoline to its lowest blade height.
First off ensure the mandoline is clean and ready to use.You want to set your mandoline to its lowest setting so that when you slice, the meat is held down at a low enough height where it can make contact with the cutter part of the slicer. This will give you the best chance of not losing any fingers while slicing!
Prepare your meat by seasoning and freezing
To use a mandoline slicer on cooked meats, you’ll need to have your meat previously sliced into long thin pieces, then frozen completely solid.
Make sure that there are no ice crystals present in between slices, or else they’ll get stuck onto your blade and force you to stop every few seconds to clean it.
This is where patience comes into play and the reason why you should take your time when slicing meats with a handheld slicer like this. If you’re quick, then the chances of ice crystals forming increase.
Place your meat pieces on the plate & start slicing
When you place the meat down on the slicer plate, you want to make sure that all sides (3 or 4 depending on how big of a piece of meat this is) are in contact with the food holder/safety guard.
This is when you turn on your device; it’s going to slice through the meat instead of pushing it up against something solid.
If there’s no food guard, use another utensil such as a fork or something to hold it down.
Again, take your time! It’s possible to use a Mandoline slicer on cooked meats, but only if you take your time and don’t rush it. You’ll have no problems as long as you don’t try to overdo it.
There are many other ways you can tenderize meats, such as using a marinade or bringing them before cooking. These methods help break down the connective tissue so that it becomes easier to chew.
But if you’re interested in slicing cooked meats with a handheld slicer, then yes – you can do that by following the steps above.
Just make sure that the meat is prepared beforehand (sliced into long thin pieces and frozen), goes onto the plate properly (so all sides are touching the food guard), and doesn’t go too fast (be patient).
After all, why buy an expensive meat slicer when this will do the job just as well!