Meat Slicers Buying Guide
Meat slicers are not exactly a staple in most kitchens, but some people are getting them because they are able to get the cuts of meat that they want while keeping their meat fresh. One of the many benefits to having your own meat slicer is that you can create multiple cuts of meat anytime you want, and you don’t have to cut a piece of meat all one thickness. You can decide later on when you make your sandwich how thick of a slice you want and make it right there.
What is a Meat Slicer?
A meat slicer, or a slicing machine, is a tool that is used by butchers, delis and all kinds of commercial operations to slice meats and cheeses. Wilhelm van Berkel invested the first one of these machines at the end of the 19th century. While the older meat slicers had to be worked manually, today’s slicers use a motor. Meat slicers are somewhat dangerous and they should never be operated by children or by an adult that doesn’t know how to use them. There are meat slicers these days that are meant for home use for people wanting to slice meat themselves.
Types of Meat Slicers on the Market
Meat slicers are great for kitchen preparation and now that they are available to use in the home. It used to be that if you wanted to have fresh meat or cheese sliced up the way you wanted it you would have to get it from your local deli. Now, you can cook your own meat and slice it any way you want. Here are the types of meat slicers that are available right now.
The meat slicers that are intended for use in the home – or at least are best for use in the home – are called “light duty” meat slicers. They are smaller than the huge machines that you find in the deli and at the butcher. The blade sizes are also usually more limited than the commercial units, but on the other hand, they are a lot easier to clean. These are heavy-duty, durable machines that will probably serve your purpose well. They have blades usually up to a size 7.
Medium-sized meat slicers are the ones that you’ll usually find in the deli or in restaurants. They are able to be operated with very little training and they are safe as long as they are used correctly. Usually, the blade sizes that you can get with these types of meat slivers are anywhere from sizes eight to fourteen. They don’t just work on meat, as a trip to your local deli will tell you. They are also great for cutting cheese and many other foods.
Large meat slicers or commercial meat slicers are very different and are used in large-scale commercial applications. These definitely should not be used by someone unless they have had special training and need to use them. These are very durable and have amazing performance, but they must be serviced regularly and of course, they are quite a bit more expensive.
Best Brands of Meat Slicers to Buy
If you are looking for a meat slicer, there are a number out there that range from small, easy to move portable units to slicers that look very close to the commercial slicers that you’ll find at your local deli. One thing to note is that sometimes electric knives are known as meat slicers but for the purposes of this guide, we will classify meat slicers and electric knives as two separate appliances. Here are some of the best brands of meat slicers on the market.
The top-rated true meat grinder, according to Amazon.com, is the KWS Commercial and Home Electric Meat Slicer. This machine has a number of features and it has been highly rated by nearly everyone who has purchased it, including some professional caterers and chefs. Although it is recommended to slice meat, it can also easily chop vegetables, slice cheese, bread and fruit easily. The size is up to ¼ of an inch thick, with a range between 0 and 10 millimeters. Because this machine has a ring guard assembly, it is safer to use and dual whetstones make it as sharp as you need it to be.
There is also the FoodKing Electric Food Slicer. This machine has some great features as well. For one thing, it uses 270 watts of power to give you all of the performance that you need. It is also made of stainless steel. This is intended as a commercial slicer but it can be used at home as long as the person using it has been trained using the manual. This slicer also features a plastic plate for pushing the food through, legs that won’t slip off of whatever surface it is on, and a safety on-and-off switch.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Meat Slicer
There are a few things to consider when you are looking at buying a meat slicer for the first time. The first part is what to look for in the components of the slicer itself and the second part is what sort of additional features to be aware of.
The carriage is where you put your food item to be sliced. You want to make sure that these create a smooth cut and that you can tilt up the carriage so that you can clean beneath it.
You also want to make sure that you have a pushing plate. This is what keeps the food product still and allows you to put pressure against the blade without actually touching the food item. You want this to be removable for cleaning as well.
The gauge plate is the plate that surrounds the blade and makes it the right distance so that you can get the cut that you want. Also, make sure that the knob is able to adjust for all the thicknesses that you want to slice your meat (or other food products). Also, make sure that your sharpener is built into the unit and that you can remove it for easy cleaning.
Some other features to be aware of include the horsepower of the unit. Obviously, if you are planning to use it often and need a powerful motor, you want more horsepower.
Make sure that your product carriage can accommodate whatever food items you want to put into it. Also, there is the matter of the automatic carriage versus the manual one. Automatic carriages will slide the food across the blade and slice the entire thing for you, while with manual carriages you will have to do that task yourself. If you are using it for your home, you will almost certainly get by with a manual carriage, but larger commercial operations may want to ensure that they can cut meat automatically.
Finally, you want to find out if your slicer is driven by a belt or by gears. The only difference here is that while gear drive slicers last longer, they are hard to get repaired if they do go out. Belt-driven slicers usually only need a belt replacement when they break down, so if you are worried about having repairs done, you should probably go with a belt-driven machine.