Food slicers are wonderful appliances for many people. There are a hundred and one food recipes which a person would want to use one for. From providing healthy sub sandwiches to slicing a nice beef roast.
When thinking of food slicers, also called meat slicers, we typically think of the huge contraption which is found behind the counter of any deli.
But in fact, there are a number of slicers which are made with the home owner in mind. Some slicers are very small and can fit easily on any counter such as the Chef’s Choice 609 shown here.
While on the other hand, there are larger and more powerful slicers such as the Chef’s Choice 667, which are for more heavy use.
In fact, it is this caliber of food slicer which someone in the catering business would most likely invest in – or at least someone who does quite a bit of entertaining.
Useful Tips When Using a Meat Slicer
Regardless of size, there are still many things a person should know before using one of these appliances. Here are a few tips:
- Do not try to slice bone. It is important to only slice foods which do not contain bone. This can cause damage to your slicer.
- Do not slice fully frozen foods. This includes meats, vegetables, fruits and even fish. The best texture is one which is slightly frozen. It is the same as if you were to slice chicken breasts in order to fillet them into very thin slices. Anyone who has tried to do this understands that it is very difficult to achieve a nice even cut when the meat is fully thawed. The same applies with a slicer. Trying to thinly slice foods which are, for lack of a better term, floppy – just doesn’t work.
- Do not skimp on the cleaning. It is important that you clean your meat slicer after every use. This is an important part of maintenance. The better you keep it clean and in good condition, the longer it will last. Since different types of slicers are made differently, always refer to the Owner’s Manual for detailed instructions for proper cleaning. However, regardless of which model you might have, always unplug your appliance prior to any kind of dismantling or cleaning.
- Do not wash in the dishwasher. Do not try to wash any part of your slicer in the dishwasher. The hard detergents are not suitable for these appliances. Instead wash with warm soapy water and do not rush this process in order to make sure all parts are completely dry before reassembly.
- Do not slice foods with seeds. The exception here is for tomatoes. The seeds of other fruits such as peaches, avocados, apples, etc. can cause damage to your appliance.
- Cut your food to size first. If you find you need to slice some bread or other food, such as a roast or leg of lamb, but the item extends over the slicer, then cut the food item down to a better more suitable size.
- Fine edge vs. Serrated edge blades. For those who are not familiar with blades, it is important to understand the difference between a fine edge and a serrated edge. A fine edge has a nice smooth edge. However a serrated edge is more like a bread knife – it has teeth. The biggest benefit to using the fine edge is when slicing paper thin foods, such as ham for Italian prosciutto, or fish for sushi. The serrated blade on the other hand, tends to be generally best suited for slicing hard crusts, like with bread, or foods which are fibrous.
When some people complain about their slicer not slicing smoothly for paper thin results, one should first ask which blade are they using, and if the food item is partially frozen or completely thawed. These two factors can make a big difference in your results.
Three tips to consider when purchasing a food slicer:
- How frequently do you plan on using the slicer? If you do not plan on using your slicer but for a few times a year, a professional grade may not be the right choice. On the other hand, if your uses are going to be for large quantities and for large get-togethers, a professional food slicer may be what your purpose calls for.
- Where do you plan on storing it? If you plan on keeping it on the counter top in your kitchen, then it is important that you make certain it will fit. Naturally, the larger the size, the more space it will occupy. In addition, the larger they are, the heavier they will be as well. If you plan on moving it around quite a bit, you might want to consider looking for a lighter size.
- How much are you willing to spend? As with any item you are looking to buy, it is important that you consider your finances. Home professional food slicers can range from under $100 to over $400. Make sure that your food slicer not only fits on your counter, but also within your budget.
Where to Purchase a Meat/Food Slicer
If you are considering purchasing a slicer for home use, or as a gift to someone, I recommend going to Amazon and reading reviews. We recommend the Chef’s Choice 667, and you can read our review of the Chef’s Choice 667 Professional Home Food and Meat Slicer which we posted on this website.