The Kitchen Gadget So Many Home Chefs Are Afraid Of

When you stop and think about it, the kitchen can be a very scary place. It's filled with sharp pointy objects, loud machines, and things designed to emit heat, making the average cooking space not for the faint of heart. Whether you live in fear of your pressure cooker popping its lid, your deep fryer bursting into flames, or your garburator chewing on your hand, the kitchen can feel like a space inhabited by dangerous things. Even a simple slip of the knife could cost you a digit. 

And your fears are not without justification. According to the Beaumont Emergency Hospital in Texas, roughly 66% of house fires break out in the kitchen leading to 480 deaths per year, and "350,000 people are injured by knives." And New Yorker Bagels claims that 2,000 people sliced themselves in one year while attempting to cut a bagel. Plus, many of our non-stick surfaces contain chemicals that can cause liver damage, cancer, and infertility (per Cooking Light). Even our seemingly innocuous cutting boards pose a threat. After all, cross-contamination causes many cases of food poisoning, and often it's due to improperly cleaned cutting surfaces.  

Yes, your kitchen may be the heartbeat of your home, your proverbial "happy place," but let's be honest, it's also a den of danger if you aren't careful. And if you have one of these gadgets in your cooking area, you could scare off even the most jaded of professional chefs — yikes! But what gadget could possibly scare even the pros? 

Several TikTok users have been injured by the mandoline

Food Network's TikTok recently shared a post of Chef Jet Tila revealing what he thinks is the scariest kitchen accouterment. Tila utters, "Show this to a chef to really send a chill down his spine," as the camera pans on a reluctant hand slicing an apple with a — wait for it– mandoline. Yes, this plane-like cutting utensil does look like an accident waiting to happen and commenters agree. With replies like "every chef has the scar," "this makes me nauseated," and several confessing to having sliced their digits with this unforgiving gadget, it seems that the mandoline has earned its reputation as a very scary article. 

MyRecipes agrees, giving the mandoline the top spot on their Six Most Dangerous Kitchen Tools list, saying, "Don't buy one. Don't accept one if offered." Bravo TV concurs, explaining that its insanely sharp blade "can easily slice through your hand." And many Redditors have learned a cooking lesson the hard way when it comes to this gadget. 

You've likely seen these evil-looking contraptions on the occasional cooking show, so it may come as a surprise to learn that many chefs prefer to give these flesh-gashers a wide berth. How do these TV people use it so expertly without losing a chunk of themselves? 

Cut-resistant gloves may keep your hand intact

While many readers are likely screaming, "Use the slicing guard," many mandoline users find that they don't hold food well and that they are awkward to use (per Taste of Home). Admittedly, using something that's awkward definitely trumps losing a finger. It's important to get used to using the mandoline's built-in safety feature as you don't want this lesson to be learned the hard way. Cooking Light recommends that you familiarize yourself with the mandoline by using cucumbers or zucchini as they are easy to slice suggesting to "push the food across the blade with your palm or guard" instead of pulling, and only trim one end of the food, so you'll have something to hold. And Taste of Home suggests purchasing a pair of cut-resistant gloves.

Not all chefs are scared of this slicer, however, as it happens to be the one kitchen tool Samin Norsat can't live without. If you have always wanted to conquer this intimidating piece of equipment, perhaps these safety tips will keep your hand intact. If you're still leery of this fierce gadget that even frightens the likes of Chef Tila, no one could blame you. You've likely grown attached to your fingers and would like to keep them that way.