Anyone who is fond of cooking or wants to be a good chef knows the value of kitchen tools. They not only save you a lot of time but also help you in working more efficiently. There are all kinds of tools which can help you in making your food better with respect to looks and taste. Some of these tools may not be as popular as they should be but they are very much essential for daily cooking. One of such tools is an electric meat slicer.
An electric meat slicer for home use is one tool which can save you both time and money. If you use a lot of meat slices in your cooking, there is nothing more useful than this. Regular users can easily cover up the cost of this tool with the saving it makes. You don’t need to go to the market to get sliced meat which is a lot more expensive than getting bigger pieces. If you organize a lot of parties at home, this saves you quite a bit of workload as well.
Benefits of a home meat slicer
It really saves you a lot of cash
Purchasing your entire meat and simply opting to cut it at home reduces your food cost. Pre-cut meat that you can purchase at the supermarket costs more than whole meat.
You get the best thickness when you need.
So you’ve chosen to do Panini but you don’t have cut meat to run with it. Without a meat slicer, your best choice is to make a run to the shop store and have the meat you need. But, if you already have the meat at home and the slicer, the arrangement ought to be a breeze.
It will reduce the amount of left-over food.
Since you are just ready to decide the amount of meat that you require at the present time, there is no left-over food to manage.
Best Electric Meat Slicers for Home Use
The following factors are to be considered while choosing the most suitable meat slicer:
Intended Nature and Frequency of Use
Different users are confronted with different workloads. Some users such as those in ordinary homes have far less work compared to those in schools, restaurants, and hospitals. The setting in which the meat slicer is to be used, the amount of workload as well as the frequency with which the appliance is to be used should all be considered while making a purchase.
If you plan to store your electric slicer on your kitchen countertop, it’s extremely important that you be certain it will fit. Naturally, the bigger the size, the larger space it will occupy. Additionally, the larger your slicer is the heavier it will be. It’s advisable to get a lighter size if you plan to keep moving it around frequently.
In order to minimize power wastage and to prevent excessively high utility bills, the prospective user should see to it that the power consumption rate of the meat slicer of choice is well within his means.
To greatly minimize frequent breakdowns and constant repairs and maintenance, the best meat slicer must be made of very tough and durable materials such as stainless steel and cast aluminum that can effectively withstand the elements of wear and tear such as scratches, dents, corrosion, and breakages.
Ease of Cleaning
The ease with which you can clean a meat slicer is also an important factor to take into account before actually making the purchase. Most of the meat slicers out there have four main parts- the food carriage, the blade, the thickness plate, and a food pusher. It should also be relatively easy for you to dismantle as well as assemble. Meat juices have the propensity to accumulate in the food carriage’s groove and could pose a considerable headache for you. Dodge the bullet, by opting for meat slicers without carriage grooves.
Construction and Design
The safety and wellbeing of the users must be treated as a matter of priority by the meat slicer. Consequently, the best meat slicer must have top-notch safety features such as child safety locks and automatic on/off switches.
This refers to the possible range of uses to which the appliance may be put. These appliances are primarily intended for cutting meat. However, the ideal meat slicer should also be in a position to handle other common types of food such as fruits, vegetables, cakes, bread, cheese, and ham to guarantee maximum returns of money invested to the users.
A good meat slicer has to have very sharp blades, larger cutting capacity, smooth and efficient gears to ensure that the task of cutting the various types of foods is carried out with as maximum efficiency as possible.
Meat slicers which are driven by electricity usually are accompanied by motors of 0.25 or 0.5 of horsepower. The more the HP the faster the meat cutting process. It is that simple. Another factor to weigh in while considering a meat slicer the blade size of the slicer. Usually, they vary from 8” to 14”. 10” blades would work fine if you meant to cut meat exclusively at your home. However, professional cooks and those who provide catering services would show sagacity if they opt for a bigger 12” or 14” blade.
The ultimate decision as to whether or not a meat slicer is to be acquired largely depends on the cost of the respective appliance. The best meat slicer must be very affordable and must ideally be accompanied by the manufacturer’s warranty and hot discounts.
DO’s and DONT’s Before Buying a Meat Slicer
Do not be naturally inclined towards cheaper options
If you are buying a meat slicer it is best if you concentrate your buying efforts in evaluating its features and how suitable it is for you rather than be driven by price factors. You will end up saving a whole lot of money with a good meat slicer that will make you well satisfied with the Return on Investment provided by the humble meat slicer. Often it is found that sliced meat is almost thrice more expensive when compared to what you have pay if you slice them all on your own with your trusty meat slicer.
Being the most expensive does not necessarily mean that it is the best option
While you should make it a point not to make price a constraint in your buying decision, that does not mean the most expensive meat slicer out there is the best and most suited to your needs. Ravage the net for authentic reviews of the makes and models out there in the market. Refer to several reviews and only then take a final decision on which meat slicer you want to buy. A meat slicer that does not do a good job is of little use.
Never use the appliance to slice a bone
It is extremely important that you only slice meat devoid of bone. Slicing meat full of bones will damage your slicer.
Never use the slicer on fully frozen foods
This includes fish, fruits, vegetables or meat. The one that is slightly frozen is the best texture. It’s the same as slicing chicken breast so as to fillet them into tiny slices. If you have tried to do this, you will definitely understand that it’s extremely hard to achieve a fine even cut as soon as the meat is completely thawed. The same applies to an electric meat slicer. It will not work for you if you attempt to thinly slice floppy foods.
Don’t skimp on the cleaning
Your meat slicer should be thoroughly cleaned after every use. This is a very significant part of maintenance. The better it’s kept clean and in good condition, the longer your slicer is likely to last. Since different brands are made differently, always make sure you refer to the owner’s manual for detailed instructions on how to clean it properly. However, irrespective of the type of model you have purchased, always remember to unplug the slicer prior to any kind of cleaning or dismantling.
The electronic meat slicer should not be washed in a dishwasher
Any part of your slicer should not be washed in a dishwasher. Hard detergents are not good for slicers. Instead, you can wash your slicer with warm soapy water. This process should not be rushed to ensure all the parts dry completely before reassembling.
Foods with seeds should not be sliced
Tomatoes are the exemption here. Other fruits with seeds such as avocadoes, peaches, apples among others can lead to damage to the appliance.
Your food should be chopped to the right size first
In case you have to slice other food types like roasted or leg lamb or bread but the food extends over your slicer, make sure you chop down the food item to a much better suitable size.
Serrated edged blade Vs. fine-edge blades
In case you aren’t familiar with blades, it is very important that you understand the difference between a serrated blade and a fine blade. A fine edge has a smooth blade. A serrated blade, on the other hand, is similar to a bread knife- it has teeth. The main advantage of using a fine edge is seen when paper-thin foods such as fish for sushi or ham for Italian prosciutto are being sliced. On the other hand, the serrated blade tends to be best suited for slicing harder crusts such as foods which are fibrous.
Before you complain about your electronic meat slicer not being able to slice smoothly for paper-thin results, you should first find out the type of blade you are using and also find out if your food is partly frozen or completely thawed. These factors will make a huge difference in the results.