The 9 Best Electric Food Slicers
9. Hobart Edge 12
8. Chef's Choice 609
7. Best Choice Products Commercial
6. Chef's Choice 645
5. Hobart HS9
4. Robot Coupe Food Processor
3. Cuisinart Electric Knife
2. Berkel 827E
1. Chef's Choice 615
A Different Kind Of Knife
Everybody knows that knives rule the kitchen. A sharp piece of steel can work wonders in the hands of a talented chef. Whether you're slicing, dicing, or filleting, there's a nearly endless list of applications for quality blades in any culinary institution.
But it's simply not ideal to perform some tasks by hand. Three-millimeter slices of roasted turkey breast and dill havarti cheese are pretty difficult to make with a knife. Ten pounds of hangar steak won't turn itself into crispy beef strips. And there's no easy way to craft delicious, paper-thin beef carpaccio using elbow grease and hand tools. For these situations and more, many great chefs turn to a blade of the rotating variety — that is to say, the electric slicer.
Perched on the counter of any sandwich shop worth its salt, you'll see a large, silver-colored behemoth that sees more action than almost any other tool. The deli slicer is ubiquitous in open kitchens across the country, and it often dwarfs most of the other machinery nearby. Cooks treat it with an incredible amount of respect, and for good reason; the electric slicer is one of the strongest and most intimidating tools in the kitchen. But it's also among the most effective solutions for a number of tasks, and any established sandwich-maker will be intimately familiar with its use.
Not Just For Delis Any Longer
So there's a great, big machine with a razor-sharp blade that spins at thousands of rpm, and it seems to belong in professional kitchens. A lot of home chefs might balk at the difficulty of maintaining such a significant piece of equipment. But even the most talented chef today once got their start by cooking in their kitchen at home. There's no reason that any home chef can't safely and effectively use a tool like this. Of course, not every home needs a 12" rotary-bladed monstrosity taking up a ton of space on the kitchen counter. Luckily, there are a lot of options available today that make this great tool accessible to many home chefs who are dying to hone their craft.
And it's really a good thing that everyone wants to be a chef these days. So many people are learning how to make delicious, gourmet cuisine, and the availability of tools like slicers makes it that much more realistic to craft professional-quality meals at home. In fact, the blossoming market means that even restaurants have a greater range of choices when it comes to purchasing their perfect slicer. There's some overlap now; it's not difficult to find a seriously high-quality deli slicer that fits easily in your kitchen and is easy to clean and keep up.
So, it's worth looking into one of these units for yourself. Yes, they rotate quickly, and it wouldn't be difficult to lose a fingertip without the proper care. But these slicers are made to be used safely; they feature easily-operated on/off switches, and many of them use reliable guards to hold the food as you slice it. Additionally, there are chain gloves available from some companies that will protect your hands even if they should slip while you shave a block of cheese.
When it comes to the safe and easy use of a rotating knife, cleanliness is of utmost importance. Having a clean, sharp blade edge, as well as smooth joints and easily-adjusted knobs makes all the difference when trying to keep your hands in one piece while processing food with one of these machines. Make sure to keep every piece of your electric slicer clean — wash everything with soap and water, as well as sanitizer after every use to keep debris, bacteria, and corrosion from taking hold of any parts or surfaces. This will ensure that your blade stays sharp for a long time, and the slicer itself operates smoothly and reliably for even longer.
Speaking of sharp blades, you'll find some slicer models that include sharpening or honing surfaces on the body of the unit. These can be effective, but every year or so it's a good idea to have a professional sharpener touch up a blade. In the event of major damage or significant wear to a blade, replacements are almost always readily available.
Slicing More Than Salami
Everybody likes a good cold-cut sandwich, and it's hard to get that perfect slice with a knife. When they need some shaved loaf, most chefs turn to electric slicers. But outside of shaving leaves of pastrami, what can these humming knives accomplish?
Beef carpaccio is a classic dish that is made from raw beef. An entire, closely trimmed tenderloin is seared on all sides with salt and pepper, then sliced to a translucent thickness and served raw, sometimes alongside a lightly bitter green salad and a balsamic reduction. The meat absolutely melts in your mouth. The problem is, it's incredibly difficult to get a consistently thin-enough slice by hand. The solution: quickly freeze the freshly seared beef and make the paper-thin preparations on an electric slicer.
Have a few loaves of bread you need to separate evenly for some artisanal avocado toast? Throw 'em on the slicer. Need to shave some parmesan to garnish your gourmet macaroni and cheese? Simple, even with a smaller, home-oriented model. If you're trying to finely dice a few ounces of dried chorizo, one of these spinning knives is a great place to start, turning cured meat into thin slices ready for finishing with a knife. Onion slices for hamburger grillouts, aubergine fillets for eggplant parmesan, and of course, the ever-popular sandwich slices of meat and cheese are all now easy to create at home.
So, make sure you get the right size of slicer for your home or business, and keep it as clean as you possibly can.