To have arrived at a decision to purchase a meat slicer, at some point, you must have had enough of cutting boards and failing knives. The time and energy spent especially if you have loads of steak to slice through can be upsetting. Well, you made the right decision because this tool is as practical as it gets. It’s your solution to fast, beautiful pieces without hassle.
Being as effective as it is, meat slicers are no longer just for commercial kitchens or restaurants. They’ve been domesticated to fit right into your home and provide premium service, size being a non-issue. That said, if you’ve been on the search for a similar kitchen appliance or want an upgrade to the one you have, we’re here for you!
Having compiled a complete buyer’s guide, you’ll have an up-close look at what options are available in the market and hopefully, zero down to a perfect fit. It’s going to take a bit of time assessing the specs on each model, but well rewarding when you land the meat slicer of your dreams. Also, read along for information on how to take care of your meat slicer, and common FAQS concerning the same.
Do I need a Meat Slicer?
If you’re always chopping up meat on a regular, whether small or large amounts you’re probably the ideal candidate for a meat slicer. These machines are designed to make your task easier while delivering perfectly even slices that can cook better.
Using one of these to slice brisket is not recommended. Instead, invest in a good knife that has been designed to slice it. Take a look at the different parts of the knife and the most important knives we all need in our kitchens.
The good news is, they are multipurpose. Meaning they cut more than just meat. Other groceries lying around can just as well get thrown in for fast dicing, including cheese, cabbage, even fruits. So if you doubt whether the product is indeed any worth, there’s your proof.
Here’s something to further sell you in on the idea; meat slicers can actually save you a ton of bucks in the long run. How? Did you know that already sliced products on the store shelves usually have an additional hidden price to them? However small the difference may look, the figures soon add up and you’ll realize you’re parting with more than you would have with a meat slicer.
Take this as a practical example. A block of cheese that’s pre-sliced goes for around $5.24 while one that’s undone sells for $4.22. This supposedly minor difference (1 dollar) when computed in a couple of weeks accumulates too much more. And if your shopping list includes regular home purchases such as deli meats, ham, poultry, or bread, you can bet that slicing your own food is going to be way cheaper.
You might as well capitalize on this simple savings plan.
What to Consider Before Buying a Meat Slicer
Considering there are already so many models, deciding which one to go with can be a bit confusing. Not to worry. There are a couple of basics you should never overlook if you hope to get a quality meat slicer that will serve you well. The balance between value and functionality should be your primary guide and to arrive at this, you need to look at;
You may not know but meat slicers are dangerous weapons in the wrong hands. Professionals advise that to use this piece of equipment, you must be trained on how to operate it. Otherwise, all sorts of damage could happen.
A premium slicer should have certain safety measures in place perhaps the most important being a blade guard. This is a protective shield that hides the blade from direct contact when not in use. Other safety considerations include sturdiness. Do the grips or slides look flimsy? Or does the slicer lack a steady support base?
It’s a no-brainer that working with a wobbly appliance opens room for accidents or quick malfunctioning. Sometimes, you can tell just by looking at the appliance that its design wasn’t built to last. Other times ask the manufacturer and see whether they provide a warranty. All the same, if you notice some structure flaws, It’s best that you move on to the next option.
Similarly, child lock protection is critical particularly if you have young ones running around. It should be that the safety lock in conjunction with the power button are pressed together to turn on the machine. This way, the appliance ceases to become a threat when stored away.
The motor is the driving force behind the slicer. The stronger it is, the higher the power supply. This is especially useful for anyone who will be cutting through thicker pieces several rounds over. Depending on how much meat you will be slicing, go for a model that’s tough enough to handle the volume. Again, with enough motor power, your slicer will record lesser slowdowns.
For an overview, entry-level meat slicers tend to come with lower watts (100 or slightly above), and with such, expect an extremely short duty cycle before starting to overheat. When processing a batch of food, it’s going to take you longer or become a tedious task waiting for the machine to cool down.
Mid-range meat slicers work better and are a go-to option for many homeowners. This is because they have sufficient voltage to handle fairly large amounts of food within a reasonable time frame. You can get about 30-45 minutes of continuous use and are preferred if you’re going to run it daily.
For those in need of a heavy-duty machine, then a commercial grade slicer should be a top priority. These usually have between 200 -240 watts and can slice up large batches of food in no time. They are bigger in size and perfect for commercial scenes, but not limited to domestic consumers either. On average, you can expect a 4- 6 hours duty of cycle with decreased chances of overheating.
Slicers come in two categories- manual and electric. The former is straight to the point and need not much learning to operate. They also don’t require time to set up. While these may sound like attractive traits, judging by the ease of use, electronic models take the prize.
With a simple plug-in followed by a flip of the on button, the machine does all the hard work only requiring you to guide your food into the blade. Also, thanks to the thickness controller dial, you decide just how thin or thick you like the cuts to appear.
Electric slicers of course are priced steeper compared to manuals, but the value thereof is incomparable. Unless you’re aiming for a slim upgrade from the knife and board idea, there’s no reason to labor your arms while a more convenient option exists.
Blades come in different widths and lengths. This difference determines just how easily foods cut through. Some slicers have serrated edges, others smooth and others a combination of both. While serrated edges are preferred for tougher tasks, they risk tearing apart the commodity. Also, when it comes to sharpening, they are harder to restore.
If you desire neat, straight cuts all through then you should probably go for a plain blade. They cut smoothly and thereafter, will not give you a hard time cleaning up the mess.
Another thing to consider is how many inches the knife runs. Entry-level slicers will go anywhere between 9-10 inches while advanced slicers could reach up to 14 inches. Remember, the narrower the blade, the greater the likelihood of achieving slimmer slices. However, this shouldn’t be much of a problem with electric versions as you can set the thickness dial to your preference.
Ease of Cleaning
Sooner or later, you’ll be required to attend to hygiene matters when you’ve gotten in a couple of rounds of use. It’s easier to clean up a slicer that has retractable parts because then you can get into the nooks and crannies. Some slicers allow you to strip them down to the base and this is great.
Make sure to assess just how many parts are removable without ruining the machine. At the bare minimum, the feeding tray and blade should be detachable as they are in the first-hand contact with the foods. For a deep cleanse though, the greater the flexibility, the better.
Quick disclaimer, higher prices don’t always guarantee top-of-the-line products but they can act as a start. If you’re buying a meat slicer for 40-45 bucks, think twice. Chances are it will wear out a few months down the line. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean you should break the bank either. A decent slicer may set you back 100-200 dollars depending on what kind you’re going for. It pays to consult and do some research before handing in your hard-earned money.
Other Factors to Consider
- Tray size- a bigger tray will allow you several cuts consecutively without the need for refills within short intervals.
- Handle/grips – go for a slicer whose grips fit the size of your hand. It will help to operate the machine effectively and with ease.
How to Use a Meat Slicer
Knowing how to operate a slicer requires some degree of skill. Once you figure out the parts and their purpose you should take to slicing like a breeze. Of utmost importance is safety and to this end protective gear is paramount. Before you jump in on a test drive, have on a pair of cut-resistant gloves. They are thick and rough on the outside. Proceed to add on an extra layer of vinyl/disposable gloves just to double proof.
Once set, all that’s left is the cutting! First things first, plug the appliance into a power outlet meanwhile stripping any wrappers off the foods you intend to chop. To unlock the food carriage, you need to lift the handle away from the body of the machine to expose ample tray surface area. Layout your meat/ cheese/ veggies and secure them in place by fastening the arm back to its original position.
Some advanced models come fitted with extra spikes so that the foods don’t slip but all the same, locking the feeding slide in position is good enough. Turn on the power and press the “on” position on the bottom switch.
To slice, gently push the carriage towards the blade with one arm while the other collects the sliced product. You may want to keep a wrapper at the end so that the meat is caught right into it. Still on the same, a vertical position is often the standard pose when setting food on the carriage. You could alternate to a horizontal pose provided the product fits well onto the tray.
If at any point you wish to slim or thicken the size of the cuts, regulate the knob to your desired range. Most slicers can switch between super thin to about 1inches thick. Once done with the task, switch off the slicer, give a few seconds for the blade to stop, and then close the thickness dial at zero.
Given that modern slicers are multipurpose, you likely will be cutting a wider range of foods, whether raw or cooked. It is therefore pivotal that you keep your blade clean for the next round. After each use, follow up with a thorough clean to avoid a case of cross-contamination.
Let’s show you how.
Proper Care and Maintenance
Any responsible owner will tell you diligent care is non-negotiable. Before you think to overlook disinfecting your meat slicer, here are a couple of facts you should know. The longer you go without a wash, the higher the chances of contracting foodborne illness. This is due to the food debris that accumulates thus inviting rapid bacteria growth. Specific parts are more prone to buildup particularly the blade itself.
Again, if your slicer has served you for a while, we recommend that you get it serviced from time to time. Creaks or cracks could develop around the edges creating more room for bacteria to creep in. If you notice your appliance is getting defective, better budget for another. Alternatively, replace old worn-out parts with brand new ones that have accurate sealing.
How to Clean a Meat Slicer
Here’s where investing in a good slicer pays off. Because now you can reach hidden parts that silently accumulate food particles. A lot of meat slicers are cleaned by hand with a few exceptions being dishwasher safe. Nonetheless, once in a while just to ensure that all germs are gone; you could give it a steam wash in the machine.
After a round of slicing, before storing your slicer in your pantry, conduct a wash. Carefully disassemble the removable parts by loosening the nuts. It should take only a few seconds. While at it, be sure to follow instructions on the user’s manual to avoid permanently damaging anything. After retracting the parts, keep the screws safe and begin.
You’ll need special soap for this because a regular one could cause corrosion. Have on your gloves while at it for safety purposes. With gentle strokes wipe your slicer from the center moving outwards making sure that you do not touch the cutting edge of the blade.
Once that’s done rinse out with plenty of running water so that no residue is left behind. Warm water works best to dissolve leftover oils. Give it a few minutes to air dry.
You’re not done yet. Using a commercial sanitizer, spray down your slicer to kill unseen germs and do the last rinse. At this point, pat dry with a towel to prevent rust from forming on the metal surfaces.
For longevity, finish by lubricating the moving parts of your slicer more so the feeding tray. Get a food machine oil that’s safe for use and apply just enough as opposed to drowning the carriage in oil.
Sensitive areas to keep an eye out for include the food carriage slide, the blade as well as the ring blade guard. Here is a tutorial to guide you through.
How many Times Should I clean my Meat Slicer?
How often you clean the apparatus will depend on the frequency of use. If you’re an avid user then it’s expected that you clean up daily. This though will vary with the food commodities. Sometimes you may be required to do more rounds. Say you’re slicing different meats, turkey and beef jerky, for instance, with the same machine.
In such a case, you would need to sanitize at least twice. After exhausting the poultry batch just before the beef, and finally when done with the slicer. In other words, the more foods you’re slicing, the more the cleaning duty.
If this sounds too tedious, a quicker alternative is to change blades so that every product starts on a clean slate. You would of course need a wide collection on standby, and a ton of patience to do the final wash, but if you’re pressed for time, it could save you a few minutes.
Simply unscrew the nuts holding the knife in place and switch to a fresh one. What this does is preserve the true flavors and texture of the meat without mix-ups. Had you gone ahead to use the same blade for all, it’s no surprise when you encounter a bizarre taste in the final result.
For those in the commercial food industry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends washing within short intervals of 4 hours to safeguard consumer safety.
Sharpening your Meat Slicer
The secret to consistent slices is having a well-sharpened blade. As you keep using your slicer, the integrity all across goes compromised. It is therefore a healthy habit to occasionally restore the cutting edge, preferably right before storing away.
To do this, start with a clean surface. Most slicers come attached with a sharpening kit so you don’t need to outsource unless otherwise. Unlock the screw holding the sharpener in place to allow it to rotate180 degrees. Once facing the other way round, fasten the bolt back.
Get the blade spinning and press the back button for about 30-40 seconds. Do the same with the front sharpener for about 5 seconds just to even out the edge. Be careful not to overdo it because you might end up with a fragile blade that will quickly bend.
To test that indeed your blade is sharp, experiment with some leftover meat. If you are content with the outcome, the final step is to sanitize your slicer. Wipe it down and rinse with warm water to get rid of any metal coatings.
Incorporating sharpening oil catalyzes the process while simultaneously making it smoother. Use oil with low viscosity and apply moderate amounts.
Can I slice Frozen Meat?
Short answer-yes. Typically, meat going into a slicer needs to be somewhat tough. Even with the help of a food pusher, very slimy or squishy foods can be hard to achieve perfect cuts. On the other hand, solid ice meats are problematic and could wear out the motor rapidly. That is if at all you’re able to cut through in the first place.
To be on the safe side and avoid destroying your apparatus, work with semi-thawed commodities. It’s a perfect balance bound to generate precise results. Proceed cautiously depending on how much horsepower your unit has. Some are not built to handle any resistance whatsoever and if not careful, you might shatter your machine.
Entry-level slicers especially should not be experimented with semi-frozen meats. At best, cook the meat if you need definition.
How About Meat with Bone?
It’s wise to stick to boneless meat and if absolutely necessary, keep the bone density extremely low. Anything past this and you should consider using a manual knife.
Very powerful slicers could handle the task fairly well, but if you get into the habit of throwing in meat with bone, you’ll likely have to budget for another one not long after.
Top Meat Slicer Reviews
Now onto the main agenda of the day. After sifting through a mound of products, and plenty more customer reviews, here’s a comprehensive list of what we consider top performers in the market. Hopefully, these options get you started on the right foot if not end your search for the ideal meat slicer.
If you’re looking for a slicer that combines multiple great features all into one snazzy package, the Anescra brand is a worthy competitor. Thис slicer is an all-purpose tool designed to cut through a plethora of surfaces practically in seconds. Enabled by the powerful motor, slicing becomes a fun, easy task that won’t tire your arms out.
Unlike most brands, the machine comes with an extra blade thus providing you with an option to switch to depending on what you’re cutting. Whenever you need to slice through tougher materials, simply pull out your serrated blade and get going.
As far as durability goes, the structure is made from solid cast aluminum which is known to withstand harsh treatment without giving way easily. Take care of it appropriately, and you’re well on your way to reaping years of service.
Worried about space? No problem! The Deli food slicer will fit into compact storage areas without hassle. You could even squeeze it into a corner on your kitchen countertop and it won’t stick out like a thumb. The best part, it is budget-friendly and will not set you back by hundreds of dollars.
- Two 7.5 stainless steel blades, one serrated and the other non-serrated.
- 200watts of power voltage hence can cut through just about anything.
- Easy to dis-assemble and build back up.
- Adjusts between very thin to ¾ inches thick via the controller knob.
- Comes secured with child lock protection.
- Should not be put to use for more than 5 consecutive minutes as the motor could overheat.
- Requires frequent resting intervals.
The Chef man Die-Cast Slicer has the upper hand when it comes to safety. Equipped with a non-slip base, the machine can firmly stay in place whenever in use. Even on slippery surfaces such as marble countertops. To add on, it comes with a thick ring guard cover that shields users from direct blade contact.
Space-wise, Chefman occupies a forgiving footprint of 9 by 12 inches, making it small enough to fit inside kitchen cabinets. At the same time, it boasts of one of the lightest weight dimensions coming in at only 9.46 pounds. You could even travel with it whenever you need to make deli sandwiches or sliced fruit salads on the go.
The lever is built to utilize very little effort as it swings open with a quick release. Once your food is mounted on the slide tray, it secures back to a position just as effortlessly. The product manufacturers issue a 1-year warranty to buyers.
- Money back policy in case of any defective parts.
- Advanced safety technology
- Cast Aluminum housing makes it easy to wipe down.
- Has a few recessed areas which are difficult to reach. These spots would require a toothpick to pick out the small bits of meat that have collected. In the long run, cleaning becomes a difficult job and time-consuming.
- Motor gets noisy when slicing up foods.
- The feed table does not disassemble therefore could be a potential conduit for food-borne diseases.
- Tends to move while cutting
Best for lightweight duty
The product squares up to a mid-range level slicer, powerful enough to deliver clean slices with every cut. It’s ideal for a kitchen with not so much heavy-duty slicing hence making it a viable option for home environments.
Made from cast aluminum and stainless steel, the structure can take a lot of impact without losing its form. It includes a sizeable tilted tray that can hold large chunks of meat/ other products at one go. This allows you to cut at rapid successions without having to constantly feed more products into the slide tray. Moreover, with the click of one button, the food slide locks into position as a safety measure.
Chef’s choice is equipped with a blade diameter of 7 inches long and120 watts voltage. Most of the parts are retractable so you don’t have to worry about getting in between those nooks and crannies when washing. Also, it’s built with an efficient cooling system that ensures the motor does not overheat during use.
- Includes a 7-inch slide tray that feeds the meat into the blade for continuous slicing operations.
- Sleek stainless steel parts are long-lasting and resistant to rust even after several washings.
- Wide blade diameter can saw through tough substances.
- The motor can run for longer duty cycles without stopping to cool.
- Comes initially with a serrated blade. You would have to purchase a smooth one separately if you need it.
- Can be pricey.
The Techwood meat slicer model is upgraded workmanship with more resilient specs compared to other market options. Owing to its polished design, it serves as a great slicer for commercial scenes that require stronger, larger machines.
For a start, the blade spreads 9 inches long and is made from the highest quality stainless steel around. No matter what you’ll be slicing, this machine will get it done in a heartbeat. Moreover, after completing the task, clean-ups have been simplified. Toss the messy parts into your dishwasher and await clean sparkly results. Word of caution, read the manufacturer’s manual to identify what parts are machine compatible.
It keeps getting better. The slicer adopts an advanced belt structure with gear drive controls. So anytime you need to intensify cutting power, simply switch gears to power through. Finally, the slicer requires no extra lubricant to maintain a smooth operation.
- Hardly ever gets stuck on the job.
- It is dishwasher safe.
- Non-Slip feet.
- Powerful high torque motor of 200 watts.
- Requires low maintenance yet works excellently.
- Spots a large blade that can handle thick pieces slicing them into narrow bits.
- Gets heavy
- Needs more storage space than standard versions.
- Not for slicing meat with bones.
- Instructions state that you should not operate the device continuously for over 10 minutes.
Best commercial grade slicer
While Techwood is undeniably a step up from standard models, Beswood takes the prize when it comes to commercial slicing tools. The machine is commonly spotted in restaurants and cafes but is not limited to home kitchens if you happen to conduct large-scale operations. Be prepared to part with a large footprint but the upside is that you won’t have to budget for a replacement anytime soon.
Beswood is toughened to last as it combines both carbon steel coated with premium chromium. Couple this with the high-temperature treatment processes and there’s no way rust or corrosion will get through to this bad boy. Thanks to the 10-inch long blade, slicing is smooth, easy, and fast. Also, the knife stays sharp for extended periods without needing to constantly use your sharpening kit.
- The package comes inclusive of a cleaning brush and food-grade lubricant oil.
- A sturdy assembly that does not wobble when in use.
- Meets the USA ETL and NSF standard requirements.
- Guaranteed to have a longer lifespan due to top-line treatments.
- The machine operates with an almost silent motor and reduced vibrations.
- Anti-slip grip feet base.
- Item weighs a heavy 33 pounds.
- Has a steeper price point.
- Being a commercial-grade slicer, it doesn’t work well for bread.
- The steel blade is hard to remove when you need to clean.
If all you need is a tool to handle just the basic cutting, then consider the super handy electric slicer. It boasts of an extra compact design that’s collapsible. Foldaway and fit it into micro tiny spaces without worry. Moreover, you could transport it with you whenever you like to enjoy your salamis, fruit combos, or baked loaves.
It comes with an initial serrated blade about 6.7 inches long.
- Compact and foldable design.
- Energy-saving unit.
- Affordable price range.
- 100-watt motor. Motor occasionally gets loud too.
- Uneven cuts with one side thicker than the other.
- The blade doesn’t cut cleanly through the meat leaving a ragged edge on each slice.
- Recommended duty of the cycle is 5 minutes followed by a 30-minute resting interval.
This meat slicer balances both value and functionality to say the least. It features a modern gray design that blends well with most kitchen aesthetics. If you need something durable but still along the lines of light-duty to midrange, then this machine is ideal.
- Removable 7.5-inch thick cutting blade.
- Has a decent thickness range between 1/32 of an inch to ½ inch thick.
- Relatively light.
- Sturdy 130 watt motor.
- The plastic holder can get weak and shaky.
- Requires ample cooling time after 10 minutes running time.
Meat slicers are practical appliances that not only save you time and money but tedious arm movements. The following items have previously gathered rave reviews and we hope they transform your slicing experiences henceforth!
Last update on 2021-10-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API