Ever want deli quality sandwich at home? Then you need a meat slicer. Instead of getting the prepackaged stuff, getting slices of meat cut right when you eat it makes all the difference. Not only that, you save tons of money doing so. You can literally buy smoked turkey for 2 dollar per pound. Where as the prepackaged product will cost you 3 dollar for half a pound. To get started, you need a meat slicer. The Best Meat Slicer for Home use should be able to cut meat to a paper thinness to yield maximum flavor.
Why are Freshly Sliced Deli Meat Better?
Almost any sandwich shop that you go to, freshly cut their meat. If they do not, I would question the quality of it. The reason why they do this is because of oxidization. As food is exposed to air, a chemical reaction start to occur. When this happens, the flavor and quality of it starts to degrade. Flavor is best preserved when its freshly cut. This is why coffee bean and peppercorn is best when its freshly grounded. The Aroma and start to degrade the longer it sits. Lots of prepackaged food will have procedure to try and reduce the rate of oxidization.
Is thin better?
Yes and no, there are arguments on which is better. Thicker one has slightly different texture and better chew. However, for the thinly sliced version, you get less oxidization and more surface area of flavor. It also gives a light airy texture that you wouldn’t get otherwise. Most prepackaged deli meat will not get the paper thin cuts that you find in a deli shop. So if you want the best, you need a meat slicer for home.
What to look for in a Home Meat Slicer?
There are a few things to look for in a meat slicer, but there are a few things universal as the prices of the meat slicer goes up. Blade size, construction and horsepower. For home use, most of those are not necessary, but it usually comes with the price you pay.
The blade size are usually associated with higher quality machine. Not so much that it cut better, but rather that it stays sharp longer. Since in a commercial setting, you will be constantly cutting. The last thing you want is to stop and sharpen. Thankfully for home use, a smaller blade will work as well.
With blades being mention, there are two main types of blade you can buy. Serrated and non serrated. Serrated blades tends to stay sharp longer, but they generally cant be sharpened. Cuts are generally not as good as the flat blade. The Flat blade models are the preferred choice. It cuts cleaner and you can actually sharpen it. Higher end machine might have the sharpener built into the machine.
As for the blade construction, go for blades that are made of stainless steel. You might be able to find some that comes in carbon steel. While they do hold a edge better, they do rust and thats something most home cooks are not use to.
Most of the better meat slicer will have variable settings for thickness. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the amount of setting. All you really need is a few good option. Probably the most important one is how thin it can get. The thinner the better. Your results will vary depending on the manufacturer.
Blade Guard and Pusher
Meat Slicers are dangerous, one mishap and you might end up in the hospital room. In a professional setting, they might not use it. But at home, you might not have the experience they have. In that case, you should always use the blade guard and the pusher. This keeps your hand away from the moving blade and reduce the change of injury.
While rare, some of the higher end meat slicer for home use will have a built in sharpener. The lower end models just have replaceable blade. In the long run, it might cost you more to keep on replacing blades. So if you can get one with a built in sharpener, its better.
How to use a Meat Slicer at Home
To use a meat slicer, make sure all the safety guard in place. The pusher should be attached so should be the blade guard. Set your thickness setting, then place the meat onto the pusher attachment. Turn on the blade and push the meat with the pusher. Do not use your hand to manually push it through. Sometimes there will be a left over end on the meat. You can lop it off or continue cutting.
After every use, you should disassemble the meat slicer and get the blade out. You can wash that by hand and dry it thoroughly. For the machine, I would use a damp sponge with soapy water. Do not submerge it in water and the motor can get ruin. Most meat slicer will be made of metal so its not much of an issue.
Best Meat Slicer for Home Use List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Meat Slicer for Home Use. Remember, this list is for the best, not the cheapest. Since it is very expensive, I have listed a very good affordable alternative.
Berkel Red Line 250 Food Slicer, Red, 10″ Blade (Best Overall)
Berkel is most famous for their commercial line of meat slicer. To move to the consumer market, they made this beautiful red meat slicer. It has a built in slicer with varying blade size. This model has a 10 inch blade but you can also get a bigger Red Line 300 with 12 inch blade size. That model also has a slight more powerful motor. However, the Red Line 250 should be good enough for most home user. It can also slice cheese unlike other deli slicer.
Chef’sChoice Electric Meat Slicer Features Precision thickness Control (Best Buy)
While Berkel is the best, its also pretty pricey. This model by Chef Choice is a very good alternative. The blade size is 7 inch but it should be good enough for most home use. Since it wont be used as frequently, its unlikely to dull as fast. Its also serrated so that it stays sharp longer. The construction is made of steel so that its easier to clean. While it wont have all the bell and whistle of Berkel, its a excellent alternative.
Is Buying a Meat Slicer Worth it?
Getting a Deli Slicer for home use is a good way to get deli quality sandwich. The flavor and quality is miles better than those prepackaged meat. This also mean you can get higher quality meat. The best model is by berkel, it has a bigger blade, better size setting and a built in sharpener. The onl;y problem is the price. A good alternative is the model by Chef Choice.
Want to Cut it by Hand? Check out our article on the Sharpest Kitchen Knife Set.