Kitchen lovers all over the world know this clearly, you can’t make a good meal without the right tools. I have always been a foodist and a passionate cook. Although I didn’t study catering in school, my passion for cooking drives me to try out every recipe under the sun.
My major setback though was always the fact that my kitchen lacked various tools needed to ease the cooking process. Recently, a friend suggested that I should buy utensils for easy cooking. Amongst the tools suggested was a meat slicer and believe me things have never been easier.
So, if you are like me, this blog is going to teach you the importance of having kitchen tools and this particular article will emphasize on the essence of a meat slicer and the best one to buy.
What is a meat slicer?
A meat slicer is a tool that is designed to slice meat and other products like cheese. There are manual and electric meat slicers. If you are the skeptic type, I am sure you are already asking ‘why should you buy a meat slicer when you can use a knife to cut the meat?’ Here are the reasons:
- If you use a slicer as opposed to hand slicing your meat, the slices will retain their taste and maintain a perfect texture.
- You and I know that there are recipes where you must use meat slices. While it is easy to get the slices in the delis or supermarkets, the price will be high. It may cost you 3-4 times the price of buying meat, cooking and home making sandwich.
Note that the price of your slicer depends on its power. The more the power the higher the cost.
Apart from slicing the meat, your slicer will also slice your cheese, bread, vegetables, and fruits. This means that it will have multi-purpose roles.
- Cast-aluminum and stainless-steel slicer with gear-driven, cool-running, high-torque motor
- Approximate Maximum Slice Thickness - 3/4 inch. Approximate Maximum Length of Food - 9-5/8 inch
How it works
A slicer is easy to use. Below are the steps to follow when using it.
Check to confirm that it has no obstructions then wash your hands before handling the meat or other foodstuffs.
Place your food/meat in the food tray then rest your hands on the manual pressure plate to ensure you feed the meat into your blade for slicing.
Turn the unit on as you listen to the sound it produces. If it is weird, switch it off then check for maintenance.
Let the blade spin for a few seconds and adjust your thickness.
Slide the manual forward to move the food into the blade.
After making the 1st slice, check to see if it’s the thickness you desire and adjust if need be.
Continue to slide the guide forward to slice it further.
If your tool doesn’t have a catch tray you can catch the slices manually and place on a plate.
Note that, some machines have an automatic guide which takes the role of a manual. Your work is only to watch as the machine does everything after you have adjusted the thickness.
Once you are through switch your machine off and clean it.
Things to consider before buying a meat Slicer
If you have a big family or are holding a party event, this slicer will save you a lot of time because slicing the meat is quick and you can use it for other tasks too.
Meat slicers suit the commercial or home needs. If you are buying it for commercial purposes, you need a large and powerful one while the home one may be slightly small. The common kinds of slicer are:
- Superior slices that have 12-14 inches and are used for various other purposes besides slicing the meat.
- A business shrewd is usually a 12-inch slicer.
- A smaller one has 9-10 inches.
- The home purpose choice offers a blade with 7 inches.
Since it slices without stopping, an automated option is better because the tray of meat will move back and forth to continuously slice the meat.
The meat slicer components
For you to buy an appropriate slicer you need to have the basic knowledge of how a slicer looks like and the parts that make it. Below is a simple image of an electric meat slicer.
- The merchandise tray/table is where you place your meat, cheese, vegetables or bread and the manual guide takes it to the blade for slicing.
- The blade is the major part of the slicer it has the role of cutting the meats, vegetables, cheese among others. Note that, the blade is very sharp and you need to be careful when slicing your meat. However, it has a blade guard but the image above has it removed so that you can see other important parts of the merchandise. It has its self-sharpener found at the top of the slicer which continues to sharpen the blade as it spins.
- The baffle plate is a smooth surface where the food slides against so that it is not taken back to the tray by the spinning blade.
- The power switch is where you switch on to start slicing or off to stop. The switch is away so that it doesn’t accidentally switch on or off.
- Thickness adjustment knob will help you adjust the thickness/thinness you desire to slice your meat to.
The cleaning and caring for a slicer
This will require you to disassemble the parts in order to clean it. The manual guide that you buy it with will guide you on how to disassemble it. Cleaning it is necessary because you don’t want to contaminate different foodstuffs. Moreover, cleaning the slicer and maintaining it will increase its lifespan.
Although this product is a durable piece, you need to lubricate it every so often to make the spinning simple.
Check its performance
The more the power the better the slicer. You need to find a slicer that has enough power. If it has a gear powered engine, the slicing will be easier. Furthermore, with 130-watt gear motor your slicer will perform well for your roast meats.
However, if you intend to use this slicer for raw meats as well consider choosing one with as high watts as 240. For the best performance choose one that has 240 watts always.
The entry level units may cost you about $50 and more. The prices increase further depending on whether you want a premium grade or commercial machine. The prices can be as high as $3000.
While the blade is sharp, it should have a blade guard which makes it safe to use.
One with simple directions for use is your best bet. Buying something that is complicated can make it hard for you to use it as often as you wish to.
Benefits of having a meat slicer at home
- It saves your time and money. This is because buying a pre-sliced one will be costly on you while if you had a slicer at home you wouldn’t incur that cost. Instead of using a knifeto slice the meat which takes a lot of time, you can use a slicer.
- You get the uniform desired thickness if you love some neat and organized work.
- Since you own your slicer, you will not have lots of leftovers. You will have the chance to make only the desired amount.
- If you have wrist and hands problem this will be your saviour because it will cut for you.
4 main uses and smart operations of a slicer
- It slices more than just meat: You can use it to slice not only meat but also bread, cheese, pepper rings, onion slices and sometimes also shred the cabbage/lettuce.
- The serrated blade can slice bread and cheese: while the flat blade can slice the bread and cheese, the serrated one is good because you will have less crumbles.
- Allow it to work on its own; Always let it work on its own so that you don’t spoil the blade and motor. Don’t be tempted to force the food onto the blade.
- If you wish to use it on things like meat and fish, make sure it is cold to get good slices but not hard frozen. Albeit you can freeze the fish.
So now that you know most things about the slicer below are the best options for you to choose from.
1. Chef’sChoice Food Slicer
This product delights even those who are price conscious. It is made of aluminum and a stainless-steel slicer for the blade to avoid rust. It has a powerful gear that makes it able to cut/slice chunks of meat with a large carrying capacity that means you don’t have to worry about the large ham or a chunk of meat.
it comes with a serrated blade for your bread and cheese pieces. The model is the best for your home cooking or outdoor activities.
- It weighs only 10 pounds which makes it light to move around.
- Its food cartridge locks when you are not using it thereby increasing safety.
- It has a fuse that protects it when there is an abrupt power surge.
- It is affordable.
- It can easily break if you force food through.
- Lubrication is essential to maintain its smooth slicing.
2. KWS Premium Commercial Electric Meat Slicer
For your commercial purpose, this 12” blade meat slicer is your best bet. However, if you can afford it, it would be another good option for your thin slices of meat at home. Nevertheless, consider buying one with 10” blade for home use. It has a powerful gear of about 420 watts. It can slice meat, bread cheese and vegetable to a thickness of about 6” (0-15mm). the material used to make it is aluminum alloy and stainless-steel blade which throws corrosion possibility off the window.
- It works quietly.
- It’s easy to clean.
- It has a high-quality motor and high transformer
- It has a water proof power switch
- The material used to make it will last.
- It is heavy.
3. Manual Frozen Meat Slicer Stainless Steel
For those who love the manual version this is your best bet. It has a blade length of about 6.6”. In addition, you can control the thickness. It has a rust free, waterproof and stainless-steel material.
- It has a replaceable carbon steel blade.
- It’s easy to operate.
- It has a spiked handle for safe holding of the meat as you cut it.
- It is affordable and guarantees your money back.
- It only cuts meat in its frozen state.
4. MLITER Electric Food Slicer
This food slicer can work on your meat of 1-15mm thickness as long as you adjust the thickness. It will work on meat, bread and vegetables. It has a powerful gear of about 150 watts allowing you to cut through thick meats.
- You can easily remove the blade and then clean it.
- It has a flexible control
- It can slice through tough meat
- It is very affordable
- It is easy to operate
- It can not slice meat if you want it to be less than 1 mm in thickness.
5. Stainless Steel Food Slicer
It has a large blade and powerful gear to aid in slicing your chunks of meat. It is a durable piece because of its stainless-steel material.
- It operates quietly
- It is safe and easy to use
- It is easy to clean
- It has an adjustable thickness
- It has a tough precision ability.
- Its motor is a little bit noisy.
The Do’s and Don’ts
- Operate it only if you are 18+.
- Always wear your protective gloves especially when you are cleaning.
- Freeze the meats before slicing.
- Stay focused when you are operating the machine.
- Read the manual before you begin the operation
- Clean the machine after use and between slicing other foods.
- Use a machine that has no blade guard.
- Don’t use it when it is wet.
- Leave the machine plugged in when you aren’t using it.
- Disassemble the machine without unplugging it first.
Although in the ancient days meat slicers were mostly for commercial use it is a vital tool in our modern home kitchen.
The Chef’s Choice 609C Premium Electric Food Slicer is the best choice not only for its affordability but also the fact that it is light and easy to operate.