Great New Mandoline & Related Pricing Mayhem

lythondeDecember 15, 2003

So DH just gave me an early Christmas's a mandoline made by MIU France. He got it at a local restaurant supply house, who had marked the reg price as $179.95. Their super discounted price was $149.95, and then on top of that there was some huge sale going to mark it further down to $129.95. When DH was rung up at $149.95, he corrected the cashier that the restaurant supply house was advertising a sale on the mandoline. The cashier (clearly this place does not profit share) said, "Okay, how does $99 bucks sound?" and rang DH up at that price.

Well, I LOVE this madoline...I love that I don't have to contort it in weird directions to make it stand up: it has non-skid grippy fold-down legs that are way more intuitive than my old mandoline. The slide is totally adjustable so you can get slices of any thickness you want, not like my old mandoline that offered three thickess settings, none of which were ever quite right for the project at hand. I love that the blades remove...the blades on my old mandoline were hard to wash because pieces of carrot, potato, whatever would get lodged between the blades and the body and I would have to poke them out with a skewer. More bonus features of the removable blades: you can order different configurations (thinner or thicker julienne, for example) from the manufacturer, and you can actually sharpen the straight blade on a stone. My old mandoline was great for about the first 3 months, then the blades dulled and I was pretty much SOL...because the blades were integral, they really couldn't be sharpened. Okay, to be fair, I haven't actually used my shiney new mandoline yet (since I received it an hour ago) but if I had to design my dream mandoline this is how I would design it.

So, he's a happy hubby: got a good deal, and I'm a happy wife: got the mandoline of my dreams. BUT, I noticed that the manufacturers sticker on the bottom of the box lists $100.00 as the retail price. So, now I'm starting to think that it's a good thing the cashier at the restaurant supply house was so "generous" because basically DH ended up paying the MSRP anyway. Sketchy pricing structure at the local restaurant supply place? Looks like it. But I did a little more digging and I did find what I think is the exact same mandoline at Amazon for $69.99! ($30 bucks off retail of $99.99). The editorial description matches the description of my mandoline's all stainless, comes with the straight blade, gaufrette blade, and three widths of slicing blade from french fry to large julienne. There is no picture, but I am almost certain it is the same piece of equiptment.

So my point is, if anyone is in the market for a new mandoline, this one looks awesome and--for stainless construction--is cheap by mandoline standards. So benifit from our pricing mayhem and you can buy yourself a little Christmas present and not feel too guilty!

Happy Holidays. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: MIU France 5-Piece Professional Mandoline

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sink, my dear post...sink! :)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2003 at 9:05PM
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Sorry you didn't get any takers on your post. I know the feeling, it's happened to me here and on other forums. You just never know what's gonna grab interest.

That aside, mandolines are pretty cool, and I've thought many times about buying one. The price has often me off, because the really good ones, from what I know, can be way pricey, like nudging $200. There's even a time or two when I actually had one in my hand ready to head for the check-out, but then stopped myself thinking, "Yeah, great toy, but how often am I gonna use this thing?" Right about then, I put it back on the shelf. I'd use it a time or two for the novelty of it, then it'd get shoved back into some cabinet with so many other kitchen must-haves that I bought over the years. It'd be right back there collecting dust with that high-end carbon steel triple-loaf baguette pan I couldn't live without, but somehow managed to do just that.

Sorry you got taken. MSRP, of course, is always MSBS. Good luck, and maybe this will bring out a few more mandoline users who'll convince me I just have to have one. Happy Holidays!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2003 at 4:09PM
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Thanks Sween! I feel a little sad for the posts that hover at the top I decided to let mine gracefully drift down. :) I do love this forum, but to be perfectly honest I'd like to see more variety in the topics... theres been alot of "XYZ Brand CladWare" posts that can get a bit repetitive, I suppose. Oh well.... :)

I have since used my new mandoline and I think it's good. Very good for the price. Mandolines are like puppies or new never really *need* one until you get all caught up in the process. :) It's not a gadget to me but I know exactly what you mean...I have my own versions of the bagette pan sitting in the back of the cupboard! It's between chefs knife frequency (say, 3 or 4 times a day) and cuisinart frequency (say, every couple of weeks) in terms of usage. Once a week, probably. Great for coleslaw, quick stirfrys, a lot of stuff I like to make, so for me its totally worthwhile, but I can certainly understand the hesitation. LOL on MSRP=MSBS! I shouldn't even have investigated the was a gift after all, but the mystery was there, begging for an explanation, you know?

I'd love to hear from those silent mandoline lovers and haters, too...stir up a big mandoline controvercy! LOL! But if not, no worries, all my best anyway!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2003 at 4:44PM
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Sorry, Lythonde! I don't venture over here too frequently - I guess I should start!

I've often thought about spending the $$ to get a nice mandoline (I've coveted them since I saw Julia Child first use one on one of her shows eons ago!) I have a little Japanese mandoline - the only thing I didn't like was that I couldn't make waffle cuts on it, but then I found one that could just this summer. Have I used it yet??? Nooooo!

I am a bit of a gadget queen, and have a few gadgets still in their packaging (finally used my kitchen torch this past weekend - I just "had to have" it and bought it a couple of years ago!!) I have a couple of decent kitchen knives, and I don't mind cutting/dicing/slicing, etc. I guess I always think of the mandoline for cutting potatoes for frying and I just don't do that much. What else do you use your mandoline for?


P.S. There! That ought to get some discussion going! :-)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2003 at 7:49AM
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I had a cheap plastic one, which worked fine except that it was a little narrow. I picked up a larger stainless one at Broadway Panhandler, I think. I use it when I need thin, uniform slices -- potatoes (mostly gratins), fennel bulbs, onions (big batches of confit that I like to keep on hand), citrus (tarts and for baking fish). So it gets pulled out maybe twice a month or so.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2003 at 10:06AM
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Lythonde, I have found that people seem to either love or hate these things. I can see how they could be handy and do a great job for certain things. I have wondered about ease of use, and it is nice to hear a recommendation about a specific model. I had wondered about some of the things you'd mentioned about your old mandolin. Don't know that I'd pay $150 for my needs, but $69 is certainly doable. I stuck one in my Amazon cart and will give it some thought.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2003 at 1:24AM
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Aha! A mandoline discussion! I'm a happy girl! :)

Lori: now the kitchen torch is a gadget *I* can live without. Have you found one that isn't wimpy? Maybe it's BTU obsession, but all the Williams Sonoma type ones I've seen look like glorified lighter to me. I have been tempted (very, very tempted) to head down to the hardware store and pick up a big propane torch. That sucker'd get the brulee job done in a hurry.

As to uses for the mandoline, I am a bit lazier than you, I suspect, in the knife work department. I love fast and uniform, and I think a mandoline delivers both over a knife (unless you are Japanese Master fast with a blade) and actually delivers uniformity over a cuisinart. I love mine for shredded head lettuce or cabbage, and of course for any tuber you might ever gratin, roast, deep-fry, etc. Ditto on fennel. I slice carrots, celery, and onion for stir-frys (peppers dont work very well, though), and I can make onion soup in a hurry...Oh! and I hate doing an asian julienne with a knife, so I pull mine out every time I make asian coleslaw. I could go on and on.... :)

Scott: I honestly think the biggest problem with mandolines is that the traditional integrated designs suck. Cleaning nightmare, for the stuck food reasons I mentioned in my OP. For me, three extra seconds inserting the removable blades vs. 5 minutes poking at the stuck food in a non-removable blade design is a no-brainer. I think this (and price, obviously) is why the japanese slicers have caught on. For a while I actually had the expensive $200 mandoline and a $15 Japanese Slicer, and I always reached for the Japanese plastic thing. Time will tell how this MIU version holds up, but so far I am quite pleased.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2003 at 4:46AM
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I think some folks even brown roasts and such with regular hardware store torches. I'm not sure I have the guts to do that (fire torch, aim, set down, turn, repeat). I once got one of those William Sonoma ones as a gift. It's still in the box, since it's usually easier to just send the brulees under the broiler.

My favorite power tool is a Dynamic stick blender. Even the fairly small one looks like it could mix cement.I burned out to Cuisinart stick blenders, but no trouble with the Dynamic.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2003 at 8:40AM
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Lythonde, you're right about the wimpiness of the kitchen torch - it tooks me several minutes to do the top of my . My thumb would get sore holding the button in to use it! I was wishing I had a regular propane torch, too! I imagine it would be easier if I did individual creme brulees instead of one big one.

I haven't done many gratins - this might be the incentive to start. Other than potato, what else do you make?

Thanks for the nudge to start using what I have already! If I make better use of the little Japanese mandoline, I may be able to justify getting the "real deal"! :-)


    Bookmark   December 20, 2003 at 10:41AM
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Lori: great looking brulee! Wow, I'm amazed you got that color with a little kitchen torch. I think a lot of people are afraid of really *bruleeing* their brulee, you know? But they are supposed to be dark brown and crunchy just like yours! I am always disappointed by a a half-hearted crust. I like mine dark and crackling. Looks yummy yummy yummy.

I actually eased myself into mandoline world with a japanese slicer...plopped down, what? $20 tops? on a Japanese slicer with julienne and french fry cut attachements, and gave myself a year with it to see if I used it, and I did! So I sprang for the real deal. Which, though I used, I resented. As I've said, I really think design is key with these things.

Let's see...I've done a horseraddish gratin to be served with seriously meaty lamb chops. I've done sweet potato gratin with pecans for the holidays...I've not made myself, but have enjoyed a delicious fennel gratin. Oh, one more mandoline thing I thought of...a lot of veggies we think should be cooked, like artichokes, beets, fennel, etc. are delicious raw, but you have to slice them whisper thin. A really good raw beet salad in the late summer is a great use for a mandoline. Or one of my fav's, shaved raw artichoke heart over a seared firm white fish (mokfish would be good) topped with a yummy artichoke-spiked beurre blanc.

Okay, new goal!...if I make creme brulee or merengues or anything that could be made better with a kitchen torch 4 times in 2004 I will buy myself a big propane torch. :) I know a some pro pastry chefs who will use a torch to heat up the bowl of a stand mixer to loosen up the ingredients a a quick-and-dirty bain marie, kind of. That's when you're a real bada**, though....putting a torch to your equiptment! :)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2003 at 12:35PM
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Webwoman: my stick blender is braun, I think...It was $25 at a drugstore, and I adore it. Another one of those gadgets that I actually use. Mine came with a tiny chopper the worlds most cut rate mini-prep. I would never go buy a mini-cuisinart (thats why I have my mandoline!) but I do use this snap on stick blender attachment quite often...It perfectly chops garlic, and if I'm doing more that 6 cloves or so it's worth wash time to whip it out. Stick blender also came with a single whisk attachment. That I never use. But the blender itself...crepe batter, pureed soups, quick re-emulsifications of vinaigrettes, I've even been known to mix chunky tuna salad down to a not-so-chunky state with it, but I will admit that a fork would have been fine for that too.... the list goes on and on. Good gadget! :)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2003 at 12:41PM
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Oh, I got one of those Braun sticks recently, the same cheap one, and I love it. And I'll toss the old mini-cuisinart, too.... this stick's chopper attachment does a MUCH better job.

I posted about mandolines way way long time ago (probably in '02 when we were living in the workshop behind the garage during the remodel, and I was dreaming of cooking), but I never actually bought one. The cheap ones are one thing, and then there's the huge price jump to $150. But that Amazon deal sounds good. I just got too many pears (Xmas gift box, you know) and if I order the mandoline tonight, I can probably use it on those pears and do a pretty tart.

Thanks for the discussion. It's been a good one. I only check in here once every couple of months, but I really should peek in more often!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2003 at 8:37PM
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I ordered the mandoline from Amazon, took free shipping, and no sales tax, either. Whew. Thanks for the tip.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2003 at 10:42PM
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Fairegold: hope you like it; let me know what you think and how the pear tart turned out. :)


    Bookmark   January 1, 2004 at 1:52PM
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Ah ha! Mandolin thread. Yes, I bought one for DH's birthday about two years ago. A Matfer. I don't think he has ever used it. He is frightened by the amputation potential. I intended to get one of the Spectra Cut- Resistant gloves for him to use, but I don't think he would use it even then. It is almost as though if it took him less than an hour to do anything in the kitchen, it is not enough effort! I swear, he can make the best and slowest salad you have ever seen.

I used the mandolin a few times. I need the glove, though. I really appreciated it for Christmas dinner, when I made three types of scalloped potatoes. I sliced through the potatoes in no time.

We really do not cook enough, and not in large quantities very often. For the two of us, it is probably easiest just to use a knife. DH has never pulled out his must-have food processor, either. But he is ready if we ever do have to whip up a meal for a large crowd.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2004 at 1:31AM
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Hi folks,

As a regular on the Kitchen Forum, I'm amazed how long posts remain on this site! But I suppose these nuggets of wisdom are timeless! :-)

Anyway, my DD (a fabulous cook) has given me a list of her holiday suggestions. One of them is a mandoline. A couple that I'm considering are the Zyliss (approx. $50, with 6 removable blades) and the OXO (approx. $70, with 3 blades but can do wavy as well as straight cuts). The OXO also has some safety features I appreciate. I realize these are not in the same league with some of the pricy items discussed upthread, but does anyone have any experience/opinion on these?

Also, while I'm posting, another item on the list is an asparagus pot. The prices I've seen range from $20 to $80 or more. Does anyone have a particular favorite? has the All-Clad asparagus pot, regularly $80, on sale for about $40. Is it a good choice? What features are important?



    Bookmark   November 27, 2004 at 9:31PM
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I bought a ceramic mandoline from Kyocera. What a waste of money. Love the knife, though...

Hey lythonde, for your garlic jobs justifying 'wash time': I toss my stick blender parts in the dishwasher!!!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2004 at 7:59AM
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MTnester, did you ever decide on the Mandoline? I have my eye on the OXO one and would love an update on what you decided.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2004 at 5:51PM
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I bought the OXO at linens and things or bed bath and beyond, cant remember which. We always get the 20% off coupons and this made the purchase pretty easy.

This mandoline is priced around $70 to begin with.

As far as use goes, I have been very pleased with it. It has a depth of cut adjustment knob, and will do lattice cuts.

Truth be known, that is probably the only reason I wanted a mandoline in the first place!

I have pretty good knife skills, and dont usually resort to special tools.

I can not yet comment on durability, as I have only run about 12 LBs of potatoes through it!


    Bookmark   December 30, 2004 at 7:29AM
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Thanks Butch. I am still trying to convince my husband that it will cut down the time it takes for him to chop everything for a stir-fry. Thus far, no luck. :-/

    Bookmark   December 31, 2004 at 11:35AM
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