Which meat slicer is best?
A good chef’s knife can accomplish many tasks, but it can’t make paper-thin cured meats or dozens of slices of cheese with consistent thickness. You’ll need an electric meat slicer to make the perfect charcuterie board at home. The right one can help you slice cold cuts, artisan bread and raw meat for jerky in small and large batches.
The best meat slicer for most people is the Berkel Red Line 300. It comes from a highly respected manufacturer and is modeled after commercial-style machines, with the precision, speed and duty cycle that every cook needs.
What to know before you buy a meat slicer
You need to keep it clean
It’s important to respect all your kitchen equipment and keep it clean, but that’s never more true than it is for a meat slicer. Even the most refined designs can allow for food buildup in various places, and leftover meat, cheese and other food can hurt an appliance’s finish, damage seals and contribute to bacterial contamination. It’s far easier to maintain a clean slicer regularly than it is to deep clean a thoroughly messy one every few weeks. This is especially important if you’ll only use the slicer occasionally, as food particles are particularly bad things to store in your cupboard.
It will take up space
Even the smallest meat slicers aren’t really that small. Unless you have a truly massive home kitchen, you’ll need somewhere to put your new meat slicer that’s out of the way, as very few make attractive kitchen decorations. Along with that, don’t forget that meat slicers also tend to be heavy. After all, the most effective ones boast durable steel bodies and rugged gears and motors.
It may require an investment
A good meat slicer can do a lot. If you frequently make large batches of beef jerky, slice artisanal bread with thick crusts or prepare homemade hot pot or pho, you might find yourself using a meat slicer often. If that’s the case, take a good look at a full-size model like the ones found in restaurant kitchens. They are faster and more precise and can prep more food at once than budget-friendly options, known as having a long duty cycle. A longer duty cycle means an appliance will ultimately receive less wear and tear.
What to look for in a quality meat slicer
Typical consumer-grade meat slicers have 7- or 8-inch blades. That should do fine for small jobs, but more demanding cooks will notice that the blade moves too slowly and gets dull too quickly for satisfactory results. Models with 10-inch blades are usually the best ones that don’t break the bank. If you’re ambitious and have room for it, a 12-inch meat slicer should perform even better if you get it from a reasonably dependable manufacturer.
Durable and precise construction
Ideally, your new meat slicer will have a rugged stainless steel body and be easy to clean and sanitize. Another build quality aspect is how consistent the materials and components are. Subpar tolerances and poorly machined parts lead to cracks, crevices and other areas where it’s easy for food to get stuck. When you finally receive your new meat slicer, check it thoroughly to make sure it’s assembled properly and doesn’t have any glaring errors or broken fasteners.
Budget-friendly meat slicers are rated for around 100 watts and commercial models roughly 500 watts or more. Mid-range slicers that offer excellent bang for your buck tend to have 250- or 300-watt motors.
How much you can expect to spend on a meat slicer
The most affordable meat slicers worth buying cost just over $100. You can spend several thousand dollars on a premium commercial meat slicer, but the absolute best for home use top out at just under $2,000, and most consumers should look to spend around $400.
Meat slicer FAQ
What safety equipment do you need for a meat slicer?
A. Aside from extreme caution and attention to detail, a chainmail glove is the only thing that will protect you from the high-speed rotating blade found on a meat slicer. Consider ordering one size bigger than you need, and keep in mind that wearing a nitrile glove outside of your chainmail glove will significantly increase your dexterity.
Are Hobart slicers any good?
A. Hobart slicers are some of the best and most popular in kitchens worldwide, which is why they’re so well-known. However, they’re incredibly bulky, don’t look great in homes and usually cost an extreme amount, so only the most passionate home cooks should consider one.
What’s the best meat slicer to buy?
Top meat slicer
What you need to know: It’s a commercial-style meat slicer reworked to fit perfectly in a large home kitchen.
What you’ll love: For starters, Berkel actually claims to have made the first meat slicer ever. The Red Line 300 is modeled after institutional meat slicers but has a less industrial aesthetic and a less bulky design. Its 12-inch blade is big enough and rotates fast enough to handle the finest cured meats and the unit’s overall construction is particularly solid.
What you should consider: A high-quality meat slicer like this one requires an investment that few home cooks are willing to make.
Top meat slicer for the money
What you need to know: This is the most affordable meat slicer that’s actually able to get most jobs done.
What you’ll love: If you only occasionally need sliced meat, cheese or bread, this one’s an excellent choice. It isn’t as large, doesn’t rotate as fast and can’t handle the same size jobs as a commercial-grade meat slicer, but it’s perfectly suited to home kitchens where you need to do your own sandwich prep every now and then. As long as you keep it clean and take care not to force anything while using it, it should last for a long time.
What you should consider: Some people have trouble with hard meats or highly precise cuts. For a more consistent and thinly cut end product, many owners recommend picking up the compatible non-serrated blade.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This 10-inch meat slicer is modeled after a commercial unit but priced right for the discerning consumer.
What you’ll love: The Vevor lies in the middle between plastic-bodied consumer and industrial slicers. It has the size and power needed for most meats, cheeses and bread but costs a fraction of what you pay for one from a more well-known brand. We’ve highlighted the 10-inch version because it’s the most convenient size for many home kitchens, but there’s a 12-inch model available for those who need more performance and a larger cutting area.
What you should consider: The quality control and product consistency aren’t exactly perfect, but it’s better than most other off-brand competition.
Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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