Gathering with family and friends is increasingly becoming an option, and charcuterie boards are ready for their moment.
If you want to become a Charcuterie Master, the first step is procuring an array of meat, cheese, and fruit products to create the perfect charcuterie platter. You can take it up a notch by making your own meat selection.
For those of you who have already embraced this science (and art!) of Dry Aging your own meat, we'll help you get the most out of your product. If you're new to the charcuterie game, we hope you feel empowered to take the leap – check out this video to see how easy it is for anyone to learn to slice meat!
There are a few critical elements to consider:
- 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. You'll also want to ensure a smooth blade; some slicers only come with a serrated blade, which is not great for our purposes.
- Manual vs. electric – it's a personal preference, but we are a bit old-school and are partial to 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 downside is that it comes with a serrated blade, making super thin cuts of charcuterie only possible if you purchase an extra blade. Cost ranges from $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 and should 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”), it is not as heavy-duty as others, as it can only be used for about 10 minutes at a time. The price is right: $60 at most outlets. But again, this slicer 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 be compatible.
Commercial Deal Compact Slicer: This might be the perfect slicer for serious players with limited space. It 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 and self-sharpening. The cost is commensurate with performance – going over the $200 dollar mark (~$225), but this is a good investment if you are serious about slicing meat and creating a great charcuterie platter.
Besswood250 Commercial Grade Slicer: This is the slicer for VERY serious charcuterie/salumi (and all other slicing needs) users who slice often – or want to be the envy of their friends. At right around $300, this heavy and bulky unit is not for everyone but is ideal for the serious user. Featuring a 10” blade and enough other features to keep you busy studying all of the finer points, select this slicer when you are ready for the big leagues.
This is not an exhaustive list. There is a large variety of slicers, and you need to find which one is right for you. Determining that depends on your budget, your level of skill, and your level of use. 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 website:
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