The mandoline is an amazing kitchen tool that, while totally safe when used correctly, also scares people. It’s important to get some basics down in order to use it properly. Armed with a little knowledge, you can harness this remarkable instrument to save serious time in the kitchen and create gorgeous dishes that rival those of the pros.

Looking to master the mando? Search no further. Check out the brief video below, courtesy of our friends at ChefSteps, to learn how to create uniformly sized, super-skinny slivers of vegetables, meats, fruits and cheeses that make for a great presentation, speed things up and encourage even cooking. Need to purchase your own? We recommend the inexpensive, well-made, easy-to-clean Benriner Japanese mandoline. Now take a look and see just how much simpler that ratatouille recipe just became.

ChefSteps comprises a team of award-winning chefs, filmmakers, scientists, designers and engineers focused on revolutionizing the way people cook by inspiring creativity and encouraging expertise in the kitchen. You can also get access to all of ChefSteps’ Premium content — including paid classes and dozens of recipes available only to Premium members for a onetime fee — for the special price of $24 (regularly $39). Classes include Sous Vide: Beyond the BasicsFluid GelsFrench Macarons and more!