Not all meat slicers can do the job of wafer-thin for your cured meats. I have definitely learned that all the deli slicers under about $250 can’t do the job, they just aren’t built for it and don’t have the tolerances.
Commercial Deli Slicers are like $600- $5,000+ depending on a lot of factors – so keep this in mind. But the below suggestions are producing the same outcomes for thin slicing.
The sub-$250 range is for thicker stuff like bacon, bread, ham, turkey, roast beef, cheese etc..). These foods don’t need to be translucently thin to be savored and enjoyed.
As you probably know, the saltiness is greatly influenced by the thickness, hence why the right deli or meat slicer is so important.
I spent 3 months around Italy in deli’s, salumeria, supermarkets, and Italian houses – there was always a reliable deli slicer around for the job of slicing wafer-thin dry-cured meat, I learned a lot back then.
Hopefully, this rundown can give you some tips and tricks – so you don’t make the mistakes I did with slicers that don’t perform the task you want.
There are slicers and there are slicers, here are a few that won’t cut thin.
If under $250 is your budget, I suggest looking for a second-hand slicer that fills the below criteria.
As an alternative, you can look at a prosciutto knife – having a very thin Granton blade helps minimize the meat sticking, it can do a decent job with some practice (the old saying “let the blade do the work I find really helps).
Even after about 15 years of using one with my dry-cured meats – I have made. I still can’t do what a decent deli slicer does, but it’s an alternative.
If you’re specifically after a deli slicer for those ultra wafer-thin cuts, I put a little video together to give you some tips:
Here are some features I think are important:
Sharp Flat Thin Blade
Heavy Weight for Sturdiness
Expect 20 to 30 pounds at least for a decent meat slicer for home use. The heavy base is important for stability when cutting.
The motor around the 200 Watt range does a great job, you will find the thicker cutting meat slicers have less wattage.
Sized to Match
There are some mini slicers like the one at the bottom of the page, a friend got one since he doesn’t really need to cut large prosciutto or hams. It fits his bench space and application.
Most of the slicing he does is for salami and smaller goods, I think this is a fine choice and doesn’t take up that much kitchen real estate (which pleases his wife) and has a million other uses in the kitchen.
These are the two I know to do the job for both thin slicing and jerky slicing.
3 Recommendations Below
- 12″ Beast Slicer ($550 approx.)
- 10″ All Rounder ($300 approx.)
- 6″ Space Saving Slicer (It’s actually 7″s Around $300 too)
12″ Beast –KWS MS-12NT 420w Electric Meat Slicer
Commerical level, high powered motor, effortless slicing, for “at home” semi-professional who has a complete passion for meat curing and also cutting with complete ease. This is it – it’s an investment.
- Teflon coated 12″ blade
- Whetstone sharpening of course
- 440 revs per min
- 60lb weight
Check it out here on Amazon.
10″ All Round Deli Slicer – Beswood Slicer
The Beswood 10″ slicer ticks all the boxes and is well proven, it’s actually one of the most affordable deli slicers (commercial grade design but great for at home), that you can get. Around 40% less investment then the KitchenWare Station (KWS) above.
Here’s a quick 3 min video I found on youtube that shows you a quick overview, it can cut much thinner than this tri-tip.
Incredibly solid build, these have a serious weight which is needed for any heavy machinery made to do the job.
Commercial quality at a home user price (Around $300)
You won’t have any regrets, yes it is an investment, but this is the type of slicer that will just keep giving.
Check this out on Amazon here – there are some excellent Amazon reviews with great wafer thin-slicing on there as well.
Dimensions, the KWS Slicer is 17.5 x 15.8 x 13.3″ its compact and powerful.
It says 6″, but it’s actually over 7″ in reality – but still one of the mini sizes around that can slice super thin.
Cutting dry-cured meat, frozen meat, or fresh (semi-freezing can help for ultra-thin slices).
Small, but a superb slicing tool and it doesn’t make much noise either.
Here is a quick clip of it in action.
The Teflon coating blade is the way to go, for minimal resistance.
If you want something compact that might be able to fit in the cupboard rather than taking up valuable bench space. This semi-professional KWS – KitchenWare Station has a 6-inch blade.
A neat little device, as mentioned for salami sized cuts, bacon, biltong, or other dry-cured meats
Check it out on Amazon here.
Here is a link to the 12″ Sirman Deli Slicer I use, $600+ – I have had Sirman for 15 years. This is considered commercial grade.
Here is a quick rundown I wrote on some prosciutto knives.