Charcuterie: Finding the Best Slicer for You!
If you want to become a Charcuterie Master, the first step, clearly, is making (or procuring) an array of products to create the perfect charcuterie platter. As one of the foremost experts in the dry-aging process, UMAi Dry has spent quite a bit of time perfecting “the process”. This post is intended to help those of you who have already embraced this science/art to get the most out of your product and for those of you who have not yet taken the leap to learn a bit more about how easy it is to get into this game – check out this video to see that anyone can learn to slice meat:
Okay, now that we know it is easy, what are the critical elements:
- Stainless steel – a must have for cleaning and quality over time
- Performance Level – how much will you use it? Make sure you select a slicer that matches your use level (Heavy, Moderate, Light) – this will impact cost as well. Heavy Duty slicers are those you typically see in butcher shops or grocery store delis – where use is constant
- Thinner blades – this will allow you your best charcuterie experience (and some slicers only come with a serrated blade which is not great for our purposes)
- Manual vs. Electric – your choice but we are a bit old school and prefer manual
- Blade Size – 8-9” is fine for most home uses but for a more commercial need (or heavy use at home) consider something larger – up to 14”
Now, let’s explore some of the top slicers available…
Chef’s Choice 615 Series: This is one of the most highly recommended slicers for home use. The high power motor makes this an excellent choice for home users who want to slice a lot. There are also safety features that help prevent accidents or injury. A down side is it comes with a serrated blade – making super thin cuts of charcuterie only possible if an extra blade is purchased. Cost - $140 - $180 depending on where you purchase it. The non-serrated blade will set you back another $30 or so. This is a smaller unit, but can sustain prolonged use. This will be enough to get you started in creating your meat and cheese board.
Valley Sportsman Series: While this slicer boasts a larger blade on some models (up to 8.5”), this is more of a light duty model as it can only be used for ~10 minutes at a time. The price is right - $60 at most outlets but again only comes with a serrated blade. There are few options for a brand specific non-serrated blade, but there are some universal blades that should work.
Commercial Deal Compact Slicer: This might be the perfect slicer for serious players with limited space. Combines some of the best features of “home” slicers with those of “commercial” slicers. The 10” blade is large enough for most uses and the blade is non-serrated (yeah!!) and self-sharpening. The cost is commensurate with performance – going over the $200 dollar mark (~$225) but is a good investment is you are serious about slicing meat and creating a great charcuterie platter.
Besswood250 Commercial Grade Slicer: For the VERY serious charcuterie/salumi (and all other slicing needs) user. This is the slicer for you if slicing is your life – and you do a lot of it (or at least want to be the envy of your friends). At right around $300, this heavy and bulky unit is not for everyone but is perfect for the serious user. Featuring a 10” blade and enough other “stuff” to keep you busy studying all of the finer points, select this slicer when you are ready for the big leagues.
While this is not an exhaustive list, below you will find a link to a larger variety of slicers – which one is right for you? That depends on your budget, your level of skill and your level of FOMO. The key is to get started.
If you want to learn more about how to prepare meats that these slicers can handle, check out our web site:
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