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Ever want deli quality sandwich at home? Then get a meat slicer. The reason why sandwiches at the restaurant taste so good is because its freshly cut. Meat that is freshly sliced has less oxidization and taste better overall. Where as the precut meat is often overloaded full of preservative and it never really taste right. Perhaps one of the best meat slicer is the Berkel Meat Slicer. The Best Berkel Meat Slicer is the commercial model with the 12 inch blade, but the consumer models makes a compelling case.
What is a Berkel Meat Slicer?
Berkel is a Dutch Company that has been around for over a hundred years. Through the years, their slicer has been recognized by butchers and kitchens as the best around. Today, their product is backed by Hobart. Hobart is most well known for their industrial mixer. In fact, they are the original inventor of the Kitchen Aid mixer. Because of this, you can be sure that Berkel Meat Slicer is one of the Best Around.
Is Berkel a Good Meat Slicer
Yes, its a good meat slicer. To understand why its a good slicer, you have to understand what makes a good slicer. There are things like thickness, blade size, power, sharpener and ease of use.
One thing that sets any meat slicer apart is the thickness. How thin or thick you can get the meat matter. Some food taste better with a thick cut. Other taste better with a paper thin cut. I personally like meat with a really thin slice. This maximize the surface area and exposes the sandwich to more flavor. With thicker cut, there is less surface area so when you bite into it, you taste more oxidized meat rather than fresh one. On berkel models, you can adjust the thickness with a simple dial. The higher end models has infinite adjustment but some of the other one might be based on millimetre increments.
The size of the blade is more important for commercial application. Bigger blades require less sharpening. This is due to the fact that its simply bigger. It has more sharp edge so it will dull less, simple as that. But for home kitchen, this is not much of an issue. If you plan on entertaining large guest then maybe.
Built in Sharpener
Almost all of Berkel Meat Slicer has build in sharpener. This makes the size of blade even less important. If your blade is dull, then all you need to do is use the sharpener. However, only use it when necessary. While its nice to always have a sharp blade, do it too much and you will have no blade at all. Just do it when you notice that your cuts arent as uniform anymore.
Of course more is better. Well not always, for the most part, the motor can handle most cuts. But once you get into the hard cheese, an extra oomph is needed. Thankfully the motor on all Berkel Slicer is more than adequate. You should be able to slice through the hardest cheese with ease.
This is something that most people should be aware of. Most meat slicer takes a lot of work. Most of that is due to cleaning. You have to take it apart, wipe down the machine and disassemble the blade. After all that, you need to wait for it to dry then put it back. The Berkel Machine can be disassemble but its not easy, nor is any other machine.
Best Berkel Meat Slicer to Buy
After reading all of that, you should be able to form your own opinion. Of course the best one is the commercial model. Those with the 12 inch blade is best and you can really fine tune thickness. But for a smaller home kitchen, you might want to get a smaller model. Theyre more affordable and you can always sharpen the blade. Below, you will find some recommended Berkel Meat Slicer, get one that best suits you.
Berkel Manual Gravity Feed Slicer – 12″ Blade – Meat Slicers – 827A (Best Overall)
This commercial 12 inch model is the best overall. It features one of the best motor, biggest blade and most fine tuned adjustment. Combine that with a stainless steel body, this model should be able to withstand just about anything you throw at it. The downside is the cost, since its more for commercial use, its out of reach for most home cooks. But if you want the best of the best, this is the way to go.
Berkel Red Line 220 Food Slicer, Red, 9″ Blade, Electric Food Slicer (Best for Home Kitchen)
The Red Line models are for the home kitchen. Its smaller with beautiful red accent. It almost has all the features of the commercial model. The biggest drawback to me is the thickness adjustment. Instead of the infinite adjustment, its limited to millimetre. The good thing is that most home cooks wont notice. You also have the benefit of saved money and space.
Berkel Meat Slicer is the best in the industry. The downside is that its a bit pricey. But if you want the best of the best, its the way to go. The commercial model lets you fine tune your cut and has the biggest motor and blade. But for something more suitable to the home kitchen, you can try the redline model. Its missing some of the feature of the commercial model, but its still better than other out there.
Looking for a cutting board? Check out our article on the Best Teak Cutting Board.