For quality deli meat without a trip to the deli counter, get a home meat slicer. They quickly pay themselves off with all the money you save not buying sliced meat and cheese from the deli.
While meat slicers are primarily designed to cut meat, you can also use them to slice up vegetables, bread, cheeses, and more. In the end, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time as well money by buying a meat slicer, especially if your family likes sandwiches.
Here are some factors to consider when buying a personal meat slicer:
Generally, the more power the machine has, the better. High-powered meat slicers can slice a large amount of different types of food with ease. If you intend to slice a lot of cheese or frozen meats with your meat slicer, definitely get a higher-powered unit, since these are the toughest foods for a typical meat slicer to get through. In general though, a model with at least 130 Watts is going to handle most food types fairly well.
Another power element to consider is the type of motor. Some are gear-driven while others are belt-driven (or both). Gear-driven motors tend to be more powerful, allowing them to handle a wide range of foods, but they’re much noisier than belt-driven motors, which are great for lean meats and simple slicing projects.
Meat slicers usually come with either a serrated or smooth blade. Each is beneficial in its own way, but if you know what types of food projects you’re specifically looking to accomplish, you’ll want to take this into consideration.
Serrated blades are great for bread or meat (thicker foods), but they don’t cut vegetables as cleanly as you might like. Non-serrated blades work best with lean meats and vegetables, but don’t cut through tough meats or breads nearly as easily.
You can also consider buying an extra blade for your meat slicer that you can switch out so that you have both options available.
Ease of Use
You’ll definitely want to consider how easy your meat slicing device is to use before deciding to buy it. Some factors to consider include it’s carriage. If it has a small carriage and you’re looking to slice large slabs of meat, you’ll have to cut the meat up first in order to get it to fit. You’ll also want to see if it has some sort of tray underneath the slicing apparatus to catch the sliced meat, making the gathering and organizing portion of meat slicing easier for you.
Cleaning your meat slicer is also incredibly important, as skipping this step can lead to contamination. Most meat slicers need to be disassembled in order to clean thoroughly, so you’ll want to take that into consideration as you’re looking to buy.
The most important parts to clean are the carriage and the blade, so you’ll want a carriage that swings out or comes off, and a blade that has some sort of safety mechanism for removing it from the machine.
Some models actually come with parts that can actually go in the dishwasher, making the whole process a lot easier.
The motors for meat slicers can get very noisy. If you’re sensitive to noise, you might want to consider a quieter model. Most reach about 70dB, and can get louder as they keep working and the motor runs faster or works harder.
There are a few very important primary safety features to keep in mind when looking for a meat slicer for your kitchen. A recessed power button will make it harder to accidentally turn on if you’re planning to move it around a lot or if you have children.
Also look for a hand guard system, which puts a sturdy barrier between your hand and the blade. A blade lock function can also be useful if you’re not planning on using the slicer too often. You’ll also want to see if the machine has rubber padding on the bottom so that it can safely and securely mount to your countertop.
Along with all of these features, also make sure to read and understand all manuals and instructions thoroughly before using your meat slicer, so that you’re sure you’re using it in the safest and most effective way possible.
A meat slicer can be a somewhat pricey investment. This means that you’ll want one that lasts as long as possible and doesn’t need repair often to get the most bang for your buck. Metal materials tend to last longer than plastic counter parts, and stainless steel is the most reliable although it is the most expensive option.
Obviously, price will be a factor in your final decision. Price usually depends on the features described above, including power, materials, safety features, and more.
The Nesco is the most economical (but still powerful). The BESWOOD is the most professional grade. The Chef’s Choice comes right in the middle with the features that matter (easy to clean, durable) at a good price. That’s why it’s my favorite.
Now that you have a little background and few recommendations, I hope you’re a little more ready to get a meat slicer in your kitchen. Having one will save you time and money, and allow you to create delicious sandwiches — and so much more — for friends and family.