The 10 Best Meat Slicers
This wiki has been updated 33 times since it was first published in February of 2015. If you crave that deli-thin tastiness, but don't want to shell out big bucks for a pound of shaved ham, a quality slicer may be what you need. Our top picks are also suitable for preparing cheeses, veggies, and even bread. We've included both home and commercial-grade options to meet all requirements and budgets, in addition to models that are capable of processing frozen meats. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 03, 2020:
With regard to updates, three products have been removed from the list and there are three new additions. The Vollrath 40952 and Techwood Precision got the ax due to quality concerns and availability issues. The Chef's Choice 615A has been replaced with an updated version, which boasts a similarly durable build and stylish appearance. One of the highest quality options out there, the Co-Z MCM-TS25, has been added because of its clever safety features and impressive processing ability. For home cooks who require portability, the Superhandy Portable, another new addition, folds up for easy transport and storage.
So, what happens when you've processed more deli meat than you can consume in one sitting? Storage, of course. But regular plastic sandwich baggies won't preserve freshness for long, so a vacuum sealer is necessary for storing more than just a couple slices. These devices can extend the life of your lunchmeat by years if you throw it in the freezer. Busy folks and fitness enthusiasts may also want to review our list of life-simplifying meal prep containers.
May 01, 2019:
Whether you own a restaurant or simply want to prepare deli slices by the batch at home, this list has a model to match your needs. There are electric as well as manual options, and every entry is adjustable to accommodate meat of different sizes and shapes. Some useful features to watch for include suction cup feet that curb slippage, dishwasher-friendly parts, and built-in sharpening wheels that help keep maintenance to a minimum.
The Chef’s Choice 610 was taken off the list due to its outdated design, and the Hobart Edge 13 was removed due to its similarity to the Hobart HS7-1. The Techwood Precision has been added to provide shoppers with another high-performance, yet reasonably-priced option. The Befen Manual is another new addition, included because of its effectiveness on frozen meats.
Cabela's Heavy-Duty With a 180-watt motor, this well-built model delivers wafer-thin slices efficiently and consistently. Its 7.5-inch serrated blade is adjustable, too, so if you're craving a more substantial meal, it can easily produce slices up to two-thirds of an inch thick. cabelas.com
Bella Electric The Bella Electric features slip-resistant pads on its durable metal base that keep it stable as you process meats and cheeses. There's also precision thinness control, a blade guard for safety, and a cast-aluminum casing around its motor that protects it from moisture. bestbuy.com
Kalorik Professional Style This model is powerful yet relatively affordably priced, so if you're on the hunt for a quality option that won't empty your pocketbook, look no further. Not only can it slice, but it can also crush ice. It measures just under 16 inches across and comes with a one-year manufacturer's warranty. bedbathandbeyond.com
Making The Cut: Get Yourself A Great Meat Slicer
Most meat slicers have a blade measuring closer to seven inches across.
Meat slicers make the preparation of everything from a charcuterie platter to a perfect pile of pastrami easier and more efficient than most chefs could achieve slicing meats by hand. And while top of the line, commercial meat slicers suitable for use in busy delis and restaurants can cost well over two hundred and fifty dollars, perfectly decent devices suitable for home use can be had for around fifty dollars.
Many of the more expensive units feature slicing blades with larger diameters. You can find blades as large as ten inches across in the higher price ranges, and these large units are great for slicing larger portions of meat such as a whole turkey breast or side of beef (something a home user may not even need to do). Most meat slicers have a blade measuring closer to seven inches across. A seven inch diameter blade is more than large enough for slicing rashers of bacon, cuts of sausage and salami, and for processing most lunch meats with ease. Indeed it's rare you will even need a cut larger than these units can provide, as most slicing meats come in packages sized to fit a prepackaged slice of bread.
Once you know the blade diameter needed, consider the thickness of slices you want to create. Most meat slicers can create superbly thin slices -- sometimes called "shaved meat" instead of sliced meat, in fact -- that make for excellent deli offerings or for additions to soups, salads, and more. In some cases, though, it is the opposite end of the spectrum that will interest you. Some meat slicers can cut slabs of meat measuring a hearty three quarters of an inch thick, a great size for serving chicken or turkey breast, roast beef, pork chops, and other hearty meats. Meat slicers aren't just for helping you make sandwiches, but are intended to help you make meals that both taste and look great.
The angle at which meat sits in the slicer also must be considered. A slicer allowing the meat to rest at an angle requires less effort by its user, while a slicer in which the meat sits upright means a hand always on the food and applying pressure to keep it upright.
Finally think beyond the size of the meat slices you wish to create and consider the size and design of a prospective meat slicer itself. Some meat slicers are quite large , occupying lots of counter space and less than convenient to move or for store away. Other models are more compact and sleek looking. If you have a large kitchen with lots of storage space, a slicer's size and shape don't much matter. If you have a smaller prep and cooking area, a smaller slicer might be a must.
Other Uses For Your Meat Slicer
There's nothing like a great sandwich to tantalize the tastebuds. Many of the most famous sandwiches out there are actually quite simple to make, provided you have great meats and a reliable way to slice them. In fact, two sandwiches you likely only order in restaurants take mere minutes to make at home, as long as you have a great meat slicer. Indeed it's the thinly sliced meat that makes the Reuben and the French Dip sandwiches stand out.
Provided you keep your slicer's blade properly sharpened, these units can even be used to cut through softer foodstuffs such as tomatoes, eggplants, and more.
However, there's a good and simple reason many people choose to call meat slicers food slicers instead: these devices can be used to slice much more than just meat. In fact, there is really no better way to slice hard cheeses, many breads, and all sorts of fruits and vegetables than by using your slicer, call the device whatever you want.
Using a meat slicer to coin a single carrot will be more time consuming and labor intensive than doing so with a knife, but using your slicer to coin seven or eight carrots at the same time is simply smart. A slicer can be used to create great homemade potato chips, zucchini slices, and much more. Provided you keep your slicer's blade properly sharpened, these units can even be used to cut through softer foodstuffs such as tomatoes, eggplants, and more.
And when outfitted with the right blade (usually serrated in this case), a slicer can create perfect pieces of bread. Thus a meat slicer can help you to create an entire sandwich, from the bread to the cheese to the meat to most of the veggies.
Do keep in mind that your slicer is not a miracle worker and should not be used for all foods. For example, don't try to slice soft cheese with your slicer unless you relish the idea of spending hours cleaning cheese out of its gears and housing. Citrus fruits also tend to fall apart when cut with a powered slicer and are best tended to by hand.
On a safety note, always use a hand guard when operating the unit no matter what food you are slicing. Also consider protective cut proof gloves for good measure.
Meat Slicer Maintenance
If you want to enjoy your meat slicer for many years to come, you have to be willing to do occasional maintenance. Even the best slicer in the world can't help you make a great platter of slice salami if you let its blade get dull, you see. And then of course there is the motor and adjustment points to worry about as well.
These are often called white grease oils and can be found online or at good restaurant supply stores.
Starting with the motor -- as a slicer is nothing but a large paperweight without it -- only occasional maintenance should be needed, but the upkeep of a motor that spins so close to your foods means a bit more care than you might use with the machinery of some other device.
Many meat slicers have fully sealed motors that require no lubrication. If yours does need occasional oiling, it's imperative that you choose a food grade lubricant rated safe for "incidental food contact." These are often called white grease oils and can be found online or at good restaurant supply stores. These same lubricants should be used on the guide arm or tightening knobs as needed. (In other words, don't use WD-40.)
As for keeping the blade sharp, you can either turn it over to a professional, or you can purchase a sharpening stone and take the time to learn how to use it.