I have many fond memories of my dad and I preparing for a big trip to the States as a little girl. We were from a small town in Canada, and often we would make the four hour trek to go to a big city across the border. Before we’d head out, however; it was essential that we stocked up on all the best goodies. Gatorade, candy bars, cookies, were the basics, but I remember that my favorite treat of all was beef jerky. My dad and I would split the jerky and I would nibble it the entire trip, savoring it’s flavor. Jerky was always a special treat for us but now days it can be easily made with meat slicers. For those who like hunting, this is especially useful because it means that any meat you can’t fit in the freezer and can’t eat fast enough can be stored for a long period of time. In this article we will go over some of the best meat slicers for making jerky so that you can enjoy the delicious taste of jerky at any time.
What is a Meat Slicer
A meat slicer is an either electrically or manually working device that cuts meat. For family use, the blade is usually about 7 inches (18 cm) in length. The manually operated slicer allows for a thinner slice, but are usually costlier and may not be necessary if you simply want to make jerky. These types of slicers have a crank in which you or an assistant use to operate the blade. An electric slicer has a knob which indicates the speed of the blade.
There is also a difference between a basic and commercial beef jerky slicer. If you want a more professional type of slicer then you will want to get a commercial one. Keep in mind this will cost more.
How to Use a Meat Slicer
It is important to use your meat slicer properly in order to get the desired outcome, however, luckily it is not that difficult to use. Before we go over some of best meat slicers for making beef jerky (as well as any other desired meats) let’s go over the steps how to use your meat slicer to make jerky.
First you need to slice up your meat. It can be horse, cow, deer, ect, but make sure you have a tougher type of meat that is able to withstand the stretching, cutting, and drying out that it will have to endure in order to become jerky. You can also use a variety of different cuts; loin, sirloin,brisket, round top, ect, but keep in mind that the more lean your meat is, the longer it can be preserved. Once you have your meat, make sure your space is clean, your hands are clean, and that you’ve washed your meat.
Once you’ve prepared your meat, open up the clamp and place your meat on it, clamping it down. Next adjust the slicer to make sure that you have the right thickness. Remember that when your meat dries it will shrivel so it’s okay to have it a little thick. The dial will let you know how thick or thin the meat will be. When everything is secured, turn the device on. You will simply carefully move the meat past the rotating blade. If it is electronic, be especially careful.
Now that your meat is cut you will be able to spice and dry your meat.
Put your pieces of meat into a resealable bag and pour your desired marinade into the bag, shaking it so that the meat is completely submerged. Let the bag marinade in the fridge overnight. The next day you can place the meat on a drying rack so that the jerky can begin to dry out. Once it’s not dripping, turn your oven on to a low heat setting (about 170F), and put the strips into the oven. Let it cook for about 3 hours, flip, and cook for another 3 hours. Voila! There you have it.
Now that we know exactly how to make jerky, let’s go into some reviews for different meat slicers!
KitchenAid Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Attachment – White KSMVSA:
This product can be found in many different places, online stores like Amazon, eBay, ect, as well as many local stores like Walmart and Target. It’s accessibility and cheap price are definitely alluring. This is an attachment to a mixer so for those who aren’t needing a heavy duty meat slicer and will not be using it often this might be a great addition for your home. It might not be the best jerky slicer with Kitchenaid since the slicer is so small. For those who need long, big slab of meat then this isn’t going to be the right product for you.
- Reasonable Price
- Easy to clean/take apart
- Easy to use
- Multi-use (mixer as well as slicer/shredder ect)
- Not as durable as others
- Slicing meat only into small pieces
Meat Slicer, Manual Stainless Steel Frozen Meat Slicer Machine:
Some people prefer the manual slicers because it gives for a more intimate and controlled way to slice your meat. This product is not enclosed like electric slicers so it’s a lot easier to clean. It has a high carbon steel blade that allows for a nice thin cut. The size is nice for your kitchen so that you don’t have to worry about making too much room to use (18.1″ W x 6.3″ D x 4.7″).
- Clean cut and variance of slices
- Not as sturdy as some products
MLITER 150W Electric Food & Meat Slicer Machine with 2 Blades:
A nice compact product, this slicer has double blades that will be able to give you double the options. One blade is serrated and the other is not, and both are 7.5 inches in width. This handy option gives you different types of cuts you can make. This slicer has a multiple option knob that allows from 0-0.6 mm slices. It’s got a 150W motor and is detachable to allow for easy cleaning. This might be a good starters jerky slicer for you.
- Two blades that offer different functions
- Detachable to allow for easy cleaning
- Smaller Blade
- Not as powerful as other slicers
Chef’sChoice 610 Electric Food Slicer:
Sleek and compact in design, with an aluminum body that fights against rust, and a stainless steel blade for 7 inches that runs fast and smoothly. Large food carriage to hold the shredded/sliced food. All of these different parts can be disconnected in order to clean. This product might not be the best for the heavy duty meats but for those who are looking to start out will a well working machine that doesn’t cost too much you might want to try this out.
- Lots of variances of slices
- Food catcher to allow for less mess
- Has a fuse that will need to be replaced eventually
- Slow blade
- Not that easy to clean
Cusimax 200W Electric Food Slicer:
This product can be found online and is a bit more pricey but gives you far more range. This is a full working meat slicer, with a 7.5 inch non-serrated stainless steel blade. The range is 0.04-0.06 inches. The sliding platform is 7.2 inches giving a decent amount of space to place your meat/food to be sliced. This may not be the most heavy duty jerky slicer, but it is perfect for beginners who may not be using it as often as some.
- Clean cut
- Price reasonable for the quality
- Difficult to clean
- Slow blade spinning
Chef’sChoice Food Slicer:
This product has a serrated 7 inch stainless steel blade that can give a unique cut for thick pieces of meat. It isn’t the most powerful with 120 Watts, but it can work well for those who aren’t looking to use for extremely heavy duty use. It has a food catcher to allow for less clean up. This product is easy to clean because the parts that need to be cleaned like the tray and the blade can be taken off with fairly little effort.
- Easy clean up
- Quietly functions
- Can get overheated if put a lot of pressure with thick meat
- Needs a lot of pressure to produce uniform cuts
Super Deal Commercial Stainless Steel Semi-Auto Meat Slicer:
This product can be found online and is highly equipped for those who want a heavy duty commercial beef jerky slicer. This product is the real deal: 10 inch stainless steel blade that can offer a lot of surface area to cut your meat. It’s a very well made machine that is made to last. It even has a built in sharpener to keep the blade continuously sharp. If you’re in the market for a slicer that will give you top notch results that you would find in a butcher shop, but won’t break the wallet (too bad) then seek no further.
- Built in sharpener
- Fixed ring guard for safety
- Cuts very well
- Cannot disassemble for cleaning
- Setup Manual written in poor English
KWS Premium Commercial 320w Electric Meat Slicer:
This commercial meat slicer is a little pricey but might be just what you’re looking for. The 10 inch non-stick teflon blade will allow for clean, thin cuts. (As thin as 0-0.4 inch). This is an electric product that produces 320 Watts to ensure it works as powerful as possible. It has a multiple number knob that allows for various cuts. Aside from the floten coated blade, the rest of the machine is made out of aluminum alloy which fights against fast corrosion.
- Flawlessly cuts thin slices
- Can cut large array of foods with same result
- Sharp Blade, need gloves for disassembling
KWS Premium Commercial 420w Electric Meat Slicer:
This is one of the best meat slicers for making jerky due to its heavy duty nature. It may be expensive, but if you’re serious about your jerky making, then you might want to shell out. It’s got a large 12 inch teflon blade that is best for big meat processing that can cut from 0-0.6 inches, aluminum alloy body to ward against rusting, and 420 Watts motor power. Not only does it have this, but it also has rubber feet to make sure that it doesn’t move while cutting, and waterproof on and off switch, and a built in sharpener.
- Cuts beautifully in many different thicknesses
- Works quietly
- Difficult to clean
- Very heavy/bulky
There are many ways that you can make jerky but if you want an easy, fast, and professional way to make it then you are going to want to get a meat slicer. The best meat slicer for beef jerky depends on what your needs are. If you are looking to make thinner jerky and not very much or often then you do not really need to invest a lot of money for it. A kitchenaid is probably not good for jerky, but the other options mentioned all could work for you, depending on your budget. Keep in mind that a decent non-professional meat slicer is going to still cost about $50-$100. However, if you want to go hard core and are looking for a commercial meat slicer, you have options as well. These can cost anywhere from $200-$1000 and also can be manual as manual slicers can be better in terms of slicing control. They may be more expensive, but if you’re looking for some nice, easily produced jerky, then it’s worth it. These products slice easier, tend to slice thinner, and last much longer. Hopefully this review has helped you determine the best meat slicer for you depending on your needs, amount of use, and price.