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 a jerky slicer for meat. 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 uncover the best meat slicer for jerky so that you can enjoy the delicious taste of jerky at any time.
- What is a Jerky Meat Slicer?
- How to Use a Meat Slicer for Jerky
- Top 9 Beef Jerky Slicers
- Bargain Slicer Reviews:
- Professional Commercial Jerky Meat Slicers:
- Why Should You Use A Meat Slicer to Make Jerky?
- How To Choose The Right Jerky Slicer?
- How Easy It Is To Clean Your Meat Slicer?
What is a Jerky Meat Slicer?
If you haven’t seen one before, 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 more costly 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 for Jerky
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, etc., 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 kind of cuts; loin, sirloin, brisket, round top, etc, but keep in mind that the more lean your jerky 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 jerky 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 an electronic jerky slicer, 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!
Top 9 Beef Jerky Slicers
Bargain Slicer Reviews:
This is a nice compact product, which measures 9″ x 12″, allowing you to store it away in most cabinets and countertops. There is an adjustable thickness dial, so you can customize the slices of your beef jerky. It has a powerful 180 Watt AC motor so you can use it to prepare beef jerky, deli sandwiches, slice fruit and more.
There is a blade safety guard, food pusher and non-slip feet, so you can safely use it. The blade is 7.5″ serrated stainless steel which you can easily remove and clean. It’s accessibility and cheap price are definitely alluring.
- Comes with 1 year warranty
- Has space saving design
- Reasonable Price
- May not be so easy to clean
Some people prefer the manual meat slicer 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″).
Another great feature of this manual meat slicer is that you can adjust the thickness of the meat slice from 0.0078 to 0.866 inches thick. All you have to do is turn the slice thickness knob on the side to the desired position. You can use it as a jerky slicer or to slice up frozen meat, which is very useful if you’re planning on making hotpot, sandwiches, pizza, and more.
- Clean cut and variance of slices
- Not as sturdy as some products
If you prefer to use a knife and cutting board to prepare your own beef jerky, instead of using an electrical slicer, this is a great option for you. It features an ultra sharp 10 inch blade, which is made from stainless steel and has a pointed tip.
The cutting board is also made from stainless steel, and you can adjust the thickness of your slices and select from: 1/8, 1/4 and 3/8 cut thickness. It has a compact size measuring 6 inches x 12 inches, so you’re sure to a place for it at home.
- Has 10 inch professional slicing knife
- The blade and jerky board are made from stainless steel
- This is a manual jerky slicer – which can be a pro or con depending on your personal preference
- Cannot be used with frozen meats
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 Chef s Choice product might not be the best for the heavy duty meats but is one of the best home meat slicers 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 jerky slicer.
- 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
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 thick. 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
This product by Chef s Choice 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. This electric slicer 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. The Chef’s Choice meat slicer is a great budget choice.
- 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
Professional Commercial Jerky Meat Slicers:
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. This jerky slicer 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. Read our full SuperDeal Commercial Stainless Steel Meat Slicer Review.
- Built in sharpener
- Fixed ring guard for safety
- Cuts very well
- Cannot disassemble for cleaning
- Setup Manual written in poor English
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 slicer 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 high quality 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
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 meat slices, 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
Weston Manual Jerky Slicer is probably the best meat slicer for jerky which is manually operated. It deserves to be on the top of this list, however last time we checked it was currently unavailable. This is a manual slicer which has 32 stainless steel blades, which allow you to cut up to 15 slices at once (1/4 inch strips).
The stainless steel combs prevent the meat from jamming. It has a large opening so you can put inside a flank steak which is up to 1.25 inch thick and 5 inches wide.
Weston has another popular product which many meat lovers will also appreciate, it’s called the Weston Manual Cuber/ Meat Tenderizer. The blades tenderize and cut into the toughest meats, up to 1 1/4 inch thick. This means that you can easily prepare cube steaks without having to tenderize the meat by hand. Using a meat tenderizer also reduces cooking time and allows for the meat to marinate better.
All Weston products are easy to use and are a great alternative to electric meat slicers or food slicers. They are high quality and long lasting, and many people will find the Weston Manual Jerky Slicer and Cuber/Tenderizer to be a great addition to their home kitchens.
Why Should You Use A Meat Slicer to Make Jerky?
There are several advantages of using a meat slicer if you’re planning on preparing your own meat jerky at home. Let’s have a look at the main advantages which will most likely sway you into getting one of these kitchen appliances yourself.
Probably the most important factor to consider is safety. Traditionally you would use your knife to cut thin strips of meat jerky, however that poses a risk of you cutting your hand. Especially if you’re using a dull knife or if the meat is hard.
A meat slicer is designed with safety in mind, with most models your hand doesn’t have to touch or go near the blade. Also most jerky boards or slicers have a non slip base, and will stay sturdy in place while you’re using it. Slice meat safely!
2. Thin And Even Cuts
The second advantage is that you’re always getting even and thin cuts. This is one of the best perks of owning a meat slicer for jerky, since you’re always getting the perfect cuts. It’s very easy and fast to use a meat slicer, making this one of the best meat kitchen tool you should have.
3. Save Money In The Long Term
Another important point to consider is that you’re saving money. Preparing your own jerky at home costs less, than going to the grocery store and buying an already made jerky. Plus, in some cases the jerky meat that you’ll find in the store may have additives and preservatives that may be unhealthy for you and your family.
Sure, you’ll have to invest in a meat slicer in the beginning, however if you use it often the investment will pay off soon. A food slicer should be long lasting, so you can spread the cost over many years. Plus in most cases you can use it as a regular food slicer and cut other foods such as: fruits, deli meats, cheese, bread and more. This is something to think about since that you can use your new product both as a food slicer or jerky slicer.
How To Choose The Right Jerky Slicer?
There are several things you should consider in order to choose the right meat slicer for your needs. Let’s discuss them in this meat slicers for jerky buying guide and list them below.
1. Manual vs. Electric Meat Slicer
With a manual meat slicer you usually have a knife and cutting board, and you’ll have to apply pressure and force yourself in order to cut each slice. On the other hand with an electric meat slicer, there is a power motor which spins and slices the meat. Most of the times this means that the slices are more smooth and evenly cut, providing you with the best results.
With an electrical meat slicer once the blade wears off, you’ll need to replace it with a new one. Whereas with the manual jerky slicer you can sharpen your knife with a blade sharpener.
Another difference between the two, is a manual jerky slicer usually has a more compact and small design than an electric meat slicer.
2. Motor Power
If you decide to go for an electric meat slicer, you’ll notice that each model has a different motor power, which can range from 120 Watts to 250 Watts. While, commercial slicers can run at 300-420 Watts.
In order to prepare meat jerky, try to look for a slicer that has at least 180 Watts power. This way you can get the best results when cutting your meat, cheese and other foods. If you’re planning on cutting heavy duty meat or frozen meat, then you’ll want a more powerful food slicer which will withstand and not wear out easily.
If you have a small kitchen, one concern you might have is that you won’t have a place to store your meat slicer. Recently, many companies have started to take this into consideration and are no longer making bulky products like they used to do.
Nowadays you should be able to find meat slicers with a compact design. Make sure you check the dimensions of the jerky slicer you’re planning on buying, so that you’re sure you have a place for it in your kitchen.
How Easy It Is To Clean Your Meat Slicer?
Another factor you should pay attention to is how easy it is to clean the meat slicer after each use. Since you’ll be using this product to cut raw meat, you have to be careful that it’s kept clean and sterile. This will prevent the spread of germs or bacteria, so you and your family can stay healthy and safe.
Most meat slicers have removable parts, which you can take apart and clean. Make sure you check which parts of the meat slicer can be removed. Also, it’s worth reading some customer reviews to see what they have to say about the cleaning the slicer. At the end of the day the best meat slicer for jerky should be easy to use and clean!
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. The Chefman Die-Cast Electric Meat & Food Slicer is a great budget friendly option, which can also be used to prepare jerky. It’s easy to use and clean and has a powerful 180 Watt motor. It also has a compact size, so it won’t take up a lot of space in your kitchen.
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.
Slicing meat with an electric slicer will provide you with the perfect cuts of jerky, enjoy!
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. This Kitchenaid meat slicer might not be the best jerky slicer since it 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
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