A meat slicer is a kitchen appliance that you will usually see in Deli’s or restaurants. But there are several models available that will just as easily fit on a home kitchen counter.
You may have every kitchen gadget and the final piece you can add to your collection is a meat slicer, but should you? They can be quite expensive machines and take up useful counter space, but they can make short work of any slicing job you have.
So how do you decide? Well, we will try to help. In this piece we will tell you a little more about meat slicers for use in your home.That way you can decide more easily if it is something you need, want, or trade your best carving knife for.
Table of Contents
From commercial to home: understanding the difference
As with any kitchen appliance, your needs will determine if you are going to get the best use out of it. Just like buying a coffee machine is a great idea for a caffeine addict, but won’t have much value for someone who never drinks coffee, a meat slicer might suit you, or not at all.
A meat slicer will only be useful if you really have a lot of things that need slicing. Of course, you don’t have to slice just meat.
You can slice veggies, cheese and bread as well. Before we get into the nitty gritty of home meat slicers, let’s start by just understanding what a home meat slicer is, and if they really are that different from their commercial neighbors.
The main difference between a commercial grade meat slicer and a home slicer will be in the blade size.
Commercial slicers are designed to handle larger cuts of meat so they tend to have blades with diameters that go up to 11 or 12 inches (279 -304mm). The meat slicers that you can use in your home are designed with slightly smaller blades of around 7 inches (177 mm).
This size should not be a problem for most foodies. If you are a real meat eater on the other hand, and need to cut a whole turkey or large pieces of boney meat, you want to step up to a heavy duty slicer.
Commercial slicers will also often have stronger more powerful motors that run louder than the smaller lighter ones designed for your home. Other than these two main differences the rest is pretty much just down to cosmetics. So next up we will look at the benefits of having a meat slicer at home.
Benefits of a meat slicer in your kitchen
Check out some of the benefits of having a meat slicer in your kitchen.
A time and effort saver
One of the best things about a meat slicer is the time it can save you. If you have been using a knife and elbow grease to cut and slice your food, you will save hours of slicing time (not to mention the relief on your wrist and arm).
If you need to prepare a large meal it will make the slicing an easy task. If you have a lot of vegetables that you need to prepare for freezing, drying or other meals, a slicer can make saving your fresh produce an easy, quick task.
A home meat slicer will be an investment, but it can be a way to save as well. If you have spent hard earned cash on pre-sliced cheese or deli meats you can actually save quite a bit by doing your own cutting. You can even buy a large cut of meat from your butcher and slice your own steaks. You may be surprised once you compare how much you save by sourcing the cutting back to your own kitchen.
If you have sore hands or wrists, or you have started feeling the pain of arthritis, cutting the old fashioned way can be hard work and painful. A meat slicer takes the pressure off your hands and lets the machine blade and motor handle the hard work. This can be really great if you want to keep cooking but don’t want to keep doing prep work only by hand.
So very thin
One of the best things about a home meat slicer is how thin you can set the blade to slice. You can slice wafer thin potato slices for light crisps or chips. You can also create beautifully thin meat or vegetable slices for any of your favorite recipes.
There are quite a few advantages to having a meat slicer in your kitchen, especially if you are an avid cook with many stomachs to feed. If you have a vegetable garden or source your produce from a farmer’s market, it can also save you a ton of prep time.
The disadvantages of a home meat slicer
As you can see, there are quite a few benefits to having a home meat slicer, but we won’t be fair if we don’t tell you about the bad side as well. There are a few things that may make you think twice (or convince you that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages).
Unfortunately when it comes to cleaning up after a slicer, it is not the easiest of jobs. It will depend a lot on the model of your machine. But some of these slicers can be a real challenge to clean between jobs.
A slicer needs space. It is not a small appliance and will need a counter top with some room where it will have a stable base.
Do you lift?
This might seem like a strange point to make, but if you are fit and strong the fact that slicers are heavy will be less of a problem. If you don’t have a place where the slicer will permanently live, keep in mind that they can be really heavy. It is not the type of kitchen helper that you quickly pop in a cupboard. So if you don’t want to have a minor gym session every time you need to get the slicer out, plan to have it on display.
Keep in mind that a meat slicer can be expensive to buy initially (especially if you are looking for good quality). So you will have to measure up your future savings against the money it will cost you now.
The final words
Hopefully we have cleared up the good and bad side of owning a home meat slicer for you. It can be a real helper in your kitchen if you have a job that suits it skills. There are also quite a few home slicers that perform almost as well as their commercial counterparts (and come in at much better prices). So you just have to decide what you want to slice for your next meal.