Top 7 Best Meat Slicer for Jerky 2020
Many people might think that in order to get a scrumptious deli-style sandwich you need to either buy some expensive kitchen tools or spend $10 at a kitschy cafe. It is actually quite easy to get the right cuts of meat for a perfect deli sandwich; all you need is a good meat slicer.
A good meat slicer is an indispensable tool for a fully stocked kitchen. Aside from just meat, meat slicers can also be used to cut vegetables, cheeses, and more. Meat slicers let you pick the desired thickness and make cutting a breeze. Gone are the days of a limp unimpressive sandwich; now you can have the best quality cuts right in your home.
Of course, there are a lot of meat slicers on the market which makes picking one a difficult choice. That is where we come in. We have scoured the web and put together this list of the 7 best meat slicers of 2019, along with a buying guide and FAQs about meat slicers.
Now that we have all that intro stuff out of the way, let’s get to it.
Quick Comparison: Top 7 Best Meat Slicer on the Market
1. Chef’s Choice 615A Food Carriage Meat Slicer
First up is the Chef’s Choice 615A, a competent electric meat slicer. The Chef’s Choice is a good affordable electric meat slicer that is easy to use, has a powerful motor, and some nice safety features. The 120w electric motor can put out a lot of torque which translates to smooth cuts. The motor is pretty quiet so it runs without too much sound, though it does tend to get louder the longer it is turned on. Chef’s choice also added some nice safety features like a shut-off switch that blocks access to the blade when not in use.
In terms of performance, the Chef’s Choice is solidly in the mid to low-high range. The cuts are consistent at most thicknesses, but it does have some trouble at smaller widths. However, it is lightweight at only 12 lbs so it’s easy to set up and put away. The hands-free operation is also a nice touch. The blade is somewhat small though and may have trouble with larger chunks of meat.
2. Elite Platinum EMT 503B Ultimate Precision Meat Slicer
Second is the Elite platinum, a smaller handheld model that is a good entry-level buy. It is very affordable and weighs just under 10 lbs. It’s a manual slice so you have to use your hands, but the small size makes it much easier than a full-size model. A nifty safety guard near the handle keeps your fingers safe. The thickness dial is a nice touch and has an extra-large handle so it’s easy to turn and see which setting you’re at.
As far as performance, the Elite Platinum does really well but it has one fatal flaw. It’s just too small to be an all-purpose meat slicer. However, for things like sausage, pepperoni, and smaller quantities of chicken, turkey, or beef, it works like a dream with its smooth action.
3. Beswood 10'' Electric Deli Meat Slicer
At third is the Beswood Electric Delis Slicer. The main draw of the Beswood is its chromium-plated blades that reportedly never need to be sharpened. It’s a bit on the big side so you’ll need to allocate some counter space. The extra weight does mean it's easier to use though.
The blades do perform extremely well, especially coupled with the 240w motor. A recessed power button is a great feature for a slice this powerful. The only real things we can take points off for are the weight (33 lbs) and the amount of counter space it takes up.
4. Weston 61 0901 Heavy Duty Meat Slicer
The Weston is a great reminder that good things come in small packages. The entire unit is small and light at just over 12 lbs, but it’s got the strength of an industrial meat slicer. The 150 belt-driven motor generates a lot of torque and the tilt-out tray makes it easy to access food afterward. We did notice that the handle guard is a bit small though, so you’ll want to wear gloves and stay vigilante when cutting.
5. Cuisinart FS-75 Kitchen Meat Slicer
Cuisinart is a well known brand and for good reason. The FS-75 is a great meat slicer that can manage cuts down to 1/32 of an inch thin, almost double what most meat slicers can manage. It’s made out of stainless steel and has a die-cast aluminum housing. All the attachments can be removed which makes for easy cleaning.
The plastic handguard works well enough but feels somewhat flimsy, and we noticed that it can get pretty loud if on for a long time. But, the quality of cuts is consistent and it’s super easy to use which at the end of the day is what you want out of a meat slicer.
6. Ostba Electric Deli Meat Slicer
Our penultimate selection is this electric deli meat slicer from Ostba. First things first, this thing is powerful. The 200 w motor generates a lot of torque so the sharp blades cut very well at all thicknesses. It has a neat safety function that requires you to press the safety lock AND the power button at the same time to turn it on, so don’t worry about accidental starts. 4 Suction feet are a nice change of pace from rubber studs, though they have some trouble on some surfaces. It is a bit noisy and harder to clean, but otherwise, it’s a good pick.
7. CukAid Electric Meat Slicer
Lastly is the CukAid Electric Meat Slicer. Aside from having a hilarious name, the CukAid is probably the best suited for large cuts of meat out of the products we have covered today. The cut thickness ranges from 1/16” all the way up to 7/8 “.All removable parts are 100% dishwasher safe and the new belt transmission system is much more efficient and smoother than previous models. The 420-grade stainless steel blade is excellent quality and will last a long time.
Unfortunately, it has a short power cord which can make it hard to use and the handle guard can come loose from use, which can be an emergency waiting to happen if you let it go.
Things You Need to Consider Before Buying a Meat Slicer
The first thing to think of is how much you want to pay. Meat slicers can range from around $100 up to $1,000+ for the top quality models. A good mid-range meat slicer usually falls within the $200-$500 range, though there are some perfectly competent models for under $100.
The stronger the motor, the easier it will be to slice meat. Generally, there are two different kinds of motors you can find on meat slicers; belt driven and gear driven. Belt driven motors use a taut band (called a belt) wrapped around two rotating knobs while gear drive motors use interlocking metal gears. Belt-drive motors are easy to use and maintain but they may lack in terms of power. Gear motors are usually more expensive but offer superior torque and horsepower. We would say that gear-driven meat slicers are preferable as they are more consistent.
Nobody would want to use even the best meat slice if it sounded like a train barreling through your kitchen every time you started it up. A good meat slicer should operate anywhere between 60-70 dB, about the loudness of a casual conversation. Some slicers may start off quiet but gradually get louder while being used.
Meat slicers have very sharp blades and, like anything with a sharp blade, you need to be careful when using one, unless you want your kitchen to look like something out of a John Carpenter flick. Most slicers have a guard that protects your hand, a recessed power button so you do not accidentally turn it on, and a dual safety switch. Also, make sure the meat slicer you get has rubber feet that keep it stable and level while in operation.
Easy to use
Again, you don’t want something that requires a Ph.D. in astronomy to operate. Ideally, you should just be able to set the blades, put the meat on, and start cutting. You should also consider how fast the slicer works, how may cuts per minute it can make, and how easy it is to assemble, disassemble, and clean.
There are two main routes you can go here: an electric meat slicer or a manual meat slicer. Electric meat slicers basically work autonomously. Just set the blade, load the meat, and it will cut everything for you. Electric meat slicers tend to let you switch to manual mode if you want.
Manual meat slicers require you to push and pull the carriage by hand to slice. These models are slower than electric slicers and not as fast. Nonetheless, many people prefer the feeling and control a manual meat slicer gives over that of an electric one.
Easy to clean
Your meat slicer is going to get a lot of gunk and grease on it if you use it frequently. Make sure you buy something easy to clean. Most meat slicers can come apart and most of the smaller parts will fit in standard size dishwasher. For larger parts like the frame, get something that does not have a lot of angles or crevices where gunk can hide.
Nobody wants a meat slicer that will pucker out after just a few months of use. One good thing about higher quality more expensive models is that they tend to be very well constructed and long-lasting. A higher price tag does not always directly translate into durability, though, so it’s important to check out the materials.
In general, you want your meat slicer to be made of a durable material like metal. Metals are not only durable but they tend to be heavier than composite materials so they make a more stable frame. Stainless steel is probably the most reliable type of metal commonly seen in meat slicers.
Aside from the motor, the blades are the most important thing that determines the quality of cuts you get. You can get either serrated or smooth blades. Serrated blades are great for cutting tough meats like beef and lamb while smooth blades are better for lean meats like chicken and veggies. A large portion of meat slicers give you the option to switch out blades.
As far as materials go, steel blades tend to be the best because they are tough, rust-resistant, and hold an edge much better than other types of metals. We recommend looking for stainless steel blades that are at least 304-grade. Any lower grade steel is generally not well-suited for culinary utensils. The absolute best cutlery blades are made from 440-grade stainless steel but these can be a bit more expensive.
You will want to be able to change the orientation of the blade so you can get cuts of different thicknesses. Most modern meat slicers can cut anywhere between deli thin 1/16th inch slices to thick ¾ in. cuts. Most meat slicers have a knob marked with numbers to adjust the cut thickness.
Keep in mind that the numbers used to designate slicing thickness are not standard on all meat slicers. A “2” thickness on one machine may not be the same as a “2” thickness on another machine.
Many meat slicers come with an extra blade that may be a different type than the default one. Make sure to take a look at any extra knives included with the purchase or and add ons that interest you. We recommend having at least two blades, that way you have a spare in case of emergencies.
Common Problems Associated with Using Meat Slicers
Below is a list of some common problems you may run into using a meat slicer:
Neglecting to clean can result in your blades getting clogged from residue. Regular cleaning will prevent this issue.
Incorrect blade setup
Make sure that your blades to properly secured and are locked into place.
Dull blades cut poorly and can be dangerous. Keep blades sharp and maintained.
If you don’t regularly clean it, build up will make it harder to use and affect how smooth the action is.
Electrical leakage is when the electricity supply of a machine leaks out of its intended boundaries. A common sign of electrical leakage is a weak motor. Electrical leakage can be caused by broken insulation or a damaged capacitor.
A broken switch means the motor won’t start. If you have a broken switch, consult the machine’s warranty.
A stretched belt will decrease the torque of the motor, making it weaker. Damaged belts need to be replaced. Luckily, it’s pretty straightforward to replace a damaged belt so you can usually fix it yourself.
A capacitor is what creates the magnetic fields that power electric motors. A broken capacitor will affect motor performance and affect cutting performance. If you are mechanically inclined, you could probably replace a broken capacitor on your own, but otherwise, better let a professional handle that one.
Notes When Using a Meat Slicer
Pick a Secure Place
Always make sure you are using a meat slicer on a secure surface, ideally one attached to the floor. Meat slicers are big things with huge blades so you absolutely want a secure surface for interests of safety. A firm grounding will also just make it much easier to use.
Don’t Sharpen the Blade Too Much
Contrary to what one might think, you can sharpen a blade too much. There is a difference between honing and sharpening a blade. Honing just realigns the tip of the edge but sharpening involves removing material to create a new edge. You should hone the blade about once every 4 uses but only sharpen about once a year. Keeping the blade honed will make it last longer.
Install and Disassemble Properly
Make sure that everything is properly attached. This includes blade, adjustment, and carriage. Most of the time, these things won’t even start unless everything is locked in place.
Since you will be cutting a lot of meat, a poorly cleaned meat slicer will become a breeding ground for bacteria. Meat slicers have a lot of moving parts and crevices which can make it tricky to thoroughly clean them.
Some specific problem areas you should look out for include the rung guard mount, blade guard, handle, underside, and electrical components. Your manual will specify which removable parts are dishwasher safe. Try not to use steel wool as that can damage the finish and never submerge the machine fully in water. Make sure you wear gloves when cleaning. Cut-resistant gloves are the best option.
With the right meat slicer, deli-style sandwiches are just a minute away. A good chef should always have a quality deli slicer in their arsenal of tools so hopefully, we have put you on the right path to finding a meat slicer that works for you.