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There are many uses for a meat slicer, which is why it’s often referred to as a food slicer. It slices more than just meat.
Yes, this type of slicer does exactly that: it slices meats. So well, in fact, that it even allows you to decide just how thick you want your slices to be.
There are large versions of slicers, as well as more moderate smaller slicer such as the Chefs choice 615.
You know it is without rival when it comes to meats, but it does some pretty other cool things as well – and this is why it can also be referred to as a “food slicer”.
Anytime you’ve got a large group of people to feed, look to your slicer.
If you’re making sandwiches, throw some fresh, whole tomatoes onto the sliding tray, rest the hand guard on them (you DO have a hand guard, right?), set your thickness dial to ‘2,’ and slice away.
You can slice as many tomatoes as will fit beneath the guard; what you’ll get is cuts of uniform thickness that you can easily portion for sandwiches, or use for a “Wow” factor when presenting a simple and delicious Ensalata Caprese.
Some other slicing uses for vegetables: getting your zucchini paper thin for a no-carb ‘tagliatelle’, lasagna, or zucchini bruschetta – just line up the zucchini so that they cut lengthwise, and slice away.
Try using your meat slicer to slice thick cuts of eggplant for frying or baking; cuts of the same thickness cook at pretty much the same time – no pulling out little pieces from the oil so they don’t burn while the larger ones finish cooking.
Another thing about using this type of slicer is to slice vegetables: cutting larger vegetables like squash and eggplant to a uniform thickness is the first step to doing some impressive knife work for presentation’s sake.
If you have the first slice of your vegetables at the same thickness, you can more easily make prettier juliennes, cubes, and dices of that vegetable. Not only does that serve an aesthetic purpose, but things cut to matching sizes cook more evenly. Just try it for a ratatouille or scalloped potatoes, and you’ll see what we mean.
This one’s a no-brainer: the guy at the deli does it all the time. We only mention this because so many people are so wowed at his command of the meat slicer that they’re intimidated and won’t slice cheese at home.
Look: the only reason that guy can slice cheeses with ease is because he’s got considerably more practice than you. Using caution (and common sense), you can slice your cheeses just like he does right in your home.
Just be sure always use your hand guard (and chain-metal glove, if you’ve got one), and choose the firmer cheeses. Soft cheeses slice well, yes, but unless your rotating blade is extremely sharp, they can bind up the wheel and gears.
Once you get the hang of using your slicer, you will have a hard time ever returning to your set of kitchen knives. Nothing can crank out such good looking vegetables and cheeses for salads or meats for antipasti in such a short amount of time.
And while they can get pretty expensive, we all know that time you save in the kitchen really is invaluable.