If you enjoy deli sandwiches, piled high with thinly sliced meats, or you like to have your roasts, steaks, chickens and other meats sliced to perfection, a meat slicer is an appliance that is well worth purchasing. Whether you are an avid chef or you only dabble in cooking, a meat slicer can make your work in the kitchen a lot more convenient. It can save you time because you eliminates the need for manually cutting your meat, and it allows you to get those perfect cuts that can sometimes seem impossible to achieve.
While a meat slicer can certainly add convenience to your food preparation, finding the best meat slicer for your needs can be challenging. There are so many options to choose from, which can make it difficult to determine which one you should actually purchase. To help you on your quest for finding the best meat slicer, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide. In it, you will find a wealth of information that you can use to find the best meat slicer to add to your kitchen and to improve your food preparation efforts.
Types of Meat Slicers
When it comes to meat slicers, you will find that there are several different options in regard to sizes and features; however, there are only two main types of meat slicers, and they include:
- The manual meat slicer
- The automatic meat slicer
Here is a look at a comparison between the two different types to help you decide which one is the best option for you.
The Manual Meat Slicer
This type of meat slicer works by manually moving the meat back and forth across a blade. If you don’t want to use any physical force, this isn’t the choice for you. However, if you don’t mind using a bit of elbow grease, a manual meat slicer can be an excellent addition to your kitchen. They are easy to operate and they can make food preparation a lot easier. Manual meat slicers are also less expensive than automatic meat slicers, something to keep in mind if cost is a factor in your purchase.
Automatic Meat Slicer
If you don’t want to use any physical force to cut your meats, then the automatic meat slicer is the right choice for you. With an automatic meat slicer, the meat is placed on the appliance and a motor automatically moves it back and forth over the blade, which means that you don’t have to exert any physical energy. Because you don’t have to actually push the meat, an automatic meat slicer can allow you to tend to other tasks in the kitchen while your meat is being sliced to perfection. Also, many automatic meat slicers can also be operated manually, so if you choose to cut your own meat, you have that option, too, making this type of slicer more versatile.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Meat Slicer
There are a number of factors that you should take into consideration when choosing a meat slicer. These factors include safety, size, and how the slicer is operated, among other things. To choose the best meat slicer for your needs, we suggest that you take the following factors into consideration before you make your purchase.
One of the biggest factors that you should take into consideration when choosing a meat slicer is the safety of the appliance. Meat slicers feature large, sharp blades. If the slicer is not operated correctly, there is the potential for injury. There are a number of features that can improve the safety of a meat slicer, so make sure you assess these features before you make your selection (safety features will be addressed in the ‘Features’ section of this buyer’s guide.)
You should also consider the operation of the meat slicer. How do you want the ice machine to operate? Do you want it to operate manually or automatically? How you want the meat slicer to operate will determine which type you want to purchase.
Belt Driven or Gear Driven?
It is important to determine whether you want to have a belt driven or a gear driven meat slicer. A slicer that has a gear driven blade tends to be more durable; however, if there is an issue with the slicer, the repairs will likely cost a lot. If something happens with a belt driven meat slicer, it is much more cost effective to repair.
You should take cleaning the meat slicer into consideration. These appliances contain a lot of components, and these components need to be taken apart in order to clean it. Meat slicers that feature dishwasher safe components will certainly make cleaning a whole lot easier. Check out the owner’s manual to check out the specifications for cleaning.
Your Slicing Needs
What type of foods will you be slicing are another factor that you should take into consideration when buying a meat slicer. Meat slicers are designed to cut meat; however, they can also cut any other foods, as well, such as cheeses. Make sure you determine what type of foods you want to slice with your meat slicer so that you can choose the best one to meet your cutting needs.
A major component of a meat slicer is the thickness plate. This plate will determine how thick or thin your meat and other foods will be sliced. The thickness plate can range from paper thin to about an inch of thickness. The larger the carriage of the meat slicers, the more thickness plate options you will have.
Another major component of a meat slicer is, of course, the blades. Typically, for use in a home kitchen, a 10 inch blade will suffice; however, if you want to use your meat slicer to cut your meat in a more professional manner, a 12 or 14 inch blade is a better option.
Another factor that you should take into consideration is the size of the meat slicer. These appliances vary in size, so when choosing the size that will best meet your needs, you should take the amount of space you have to accommodate the meat slicer into consideration. To determine how much space you have, measure the dimensions of your countertop. If you are going to be using the meat slicer on a countertop that has cabinets located above it, you should also measure the distance between the bottom of the cabinet to the countertop to determine how tall your meat slicer should be.
The horsepower f the meat slicer determines how fast the appliance will slice. The higher the horsepower, the faster it will slice your meat, so this is a factor that you should certainly take into consideration.
Everyone has a budget. To make sure that you don’t overextend yours, make sure you consider how much you want to spend on your meat slicer. These appliances vary in price, with larger models that offer more features costing more than more basic models with less features.
You should also consider the material the meat slicer is made out of when determining which one will best suit your needs. These appliances are generally made out of heavy grade plastic, cast aluminum or stainless steel. Heavy grade plastic is makes the machine lighter, which also makes it more convenient to move and use. Meat slicers that are made out of stainless steel or cast aluminum are heavier; however, they are also more durable.
Meat Slicer Features
Meat slicers can be outfitted with a variety of features. These features are intended to make using your meat slicer easier, more efficient, and safer. As mentioned above, the more features a meat slicer has, the more expensive the price tag will be. To determine what types of features you need or want, it’s important to understand what types of features are available and what their intended purpose is.
Generally, all meat slicers will expose as little of the blade as possible in order to prevent hazards while cutting. This feature is called a knife guard. On some meat slicers, the knife guard is permanently attached to the appliance, but for easier cleaning, some slicers allow you to remove the knife guard, which makes cleaning a lot easier.
No Volt Release
This safety features requires you to push the power button on to restart the slicer after it has been unplugged, or if the power was interrupted.
If you want to protect your investment, look for a meat slicer that comes with a warranty. Should something happen to the meat slicer during the span of the warranty, you could have it replaced, repaired, or you could have your money refunded. Do make sure that you look at the fine details of the warranty to determine exactly what it covers.
Best Meat Slicer Brands
There are a lot of manufacturers that produce meat slicers, which is good, because it gives you a lot of options; however, it can also make it difficult to determine which brands are the best. After we did extensive research and tested out several meat slicers, we determined that the following brands of meat slicers are the best of the best.
One of the leading meat slicer brands on the market is Edge Craft. This manufacturer is highly regarded for producing high quality appliances for the kitchen, and their meat slicers are among the best available. They offer a lot of features, which make them very easy to use and allow them to cut excellent meat quickly and effectively.
Chard is another one manufacturer that produces some of the top meat slicers we found. We liked all of the options that they offered and how easy their slicers were to use and clean. We also liked that their meat slicers had the ability to cut meat at varying levels of thickness with ease.
Waring is one of the leading manufacturers of high quality kitchen appliances for both the home and hospitality industry. They produce some of the highest rated meat slicers on the market and have been producing them for more than 75 years.
Continental is another producer of high quality meat slicers. They are constructed of highly durable materials and feature the most state of the art technologies to provide you with some of the most outstanding meat slicers on the market.