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Meat Slicer

Meat Slicer

Meat Slicer
© Denzil Green

A Meat Slicer is a machine, powered manually or by electricity, designed to slice meat. It can also be used to slice other things such as cheese, etc.

For home use, there are two reasons to consider a Meat Slicer. The first is that a good slicer releases the tastes and textures of meat, much better than thick hand-cut slices can do. The second is that it can save a family money: pre-sliced meat from delis and the supermarket can cost 3 to 4 times the price of buying a whole piece of meat, cooking it, and slicing it for sandwiches yourself at home.

The more powerful a Meat Slicer machine is, the more expensive it will be.

Most entry-level home Meat Slicers seem to offer a 7 inch (18 cm) blade. This is a medium-slice blade, and may mean that you have to cut some roasts down to size before you can put them through.

When buying a Meat Slicer, be sure to picture, and ask if possible, what you would have to do to clean it. Some can take 7 to 8 minutes to clean up because they have to be completely disassembled, base included, for clean up. Many, oddly as it seems, don't offer any parts that can be chucked into the dishwasher. If clean up is a lot of work, you may find yourself avoiding using your expensive piece of kitchen equipment.

Consider, too, if you want your Meat Slicer to live on the counter. Some models may take up too much counter space, but yet be too heavy to always putting it away between uses.

Most modern Meat Slicers are electric, but older ones were crank operated. Rather than seeing the hand cranking as a drawback, some chefs say good quality manual machines can be better: they can cut thinner slices than electric ones, and because the blade turns more slowly, there is less friction, and therefore less heat to affect the taste of what you are slicing.

Consequently, vintage hand-cranked Berkelslicers are much sought-after, as they are considered the cream of crank operated Meat Slicers. The body on them is a fire-engine red, and the blade on them is concave. Refurbished ones cost cost $7,500 to $25,000 (2005 prices.) The line has been revived, and is headquartered in Troy, Ohio.

Commercially, there are spiral cutters that produce the spiral-cut hams sold in North America. A company that makes them advertises that you can charge a 165% markup on a ham that has been spiral cut. [1]

History Notes

The credit for first slicing machine is given to Wilhelm van Berkel of Rotterdam, in 1898. It was hand operated.


[1] "Our studies indicate a fast payback for T-2000 with many retailers averaging up to 165% mark-up, paying for the "Spirocutter" in one day!" http://www.spirocut.com/

Brown, Joe. Fetish: Why an 80-Year-Old Hand-Cranked Meat Slicer Is Still a Cut Above. Wired Magazine. 18 August 2008. Retrieved September 2010 from http://www.wired.com/gadgets/gadgetreviews/magazine/16-09/ts_fetish

Ness, Carol. Going whole hog. San Francisco Chronicle. 21 September 2005.


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Oulton, Randal. "Meat Slicer." CooksInfo.com. Published 29 September 2010; revised 29 September 2010. Web. Accessed 03/23/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/meat-slicer>.

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