Product Review: 7.5" Meat Slicer from MEAT!
We love the processing, prepping, and storage tools from our friends at Meat! We've shown you the 10-inch meat slicer we use all the time around our house and even on the processing floor next to our commercial meat slicer. It's an amazing tool; durable, powerful, and capable of handling almost any cut of meat we need to slice.
But we realize this slicer isn't going to be perfect for everyone. It's large, bulky, and difficult to keep in small kitchens that lack counter space and storage room.
Luckily, Meat! also makes a 7.5-inch electric meat slicer that has a much smaller footprint, so we thought we would check it out and see if it's worth picking up.
It's important to recognize that a smaller meat slicer like this one won't handle large chunks of meat. Even something like a slab of pork belly you're smoking for bacon will likely need to be trimmed to fit the sliding table.
That doesn't mean this 7.5-inch meat slicer won't handle the goods, though. With the slide fully back, it will handle meat up to 7-inches wide and six inches tall. That means you'll have no trouble with things like tri-tip, brisket, or pork roasts. You might just have to trim them down first.
The 7.5-inch meat slicer uses a 500 watt electric motor for power. That gives it plenty of power for cleanly slicing cold meat, cheese, or veggies, and also means it won't struggle to get through softer meats that can gum up lesser slicers.
This is the ideal slicer for things like slicing blocks of smoked cheese, making potato chips, and slicing cold cuts from roast beef or smoked turkey breast. It's also perfect for slicing smoked sausages for the most epic charcuterie board ever.
Adjustable Cut Thickness
The 7.5-inch meat slicer has an intuitive, easy-to-use thickness adjustment handle. It has marked points for 5, 10, and 15 mm thicknesses. That translates to 0.2 inches, 0.40 inches, and 0.60 inches. What that means is that this slicer's adjustable thickness isn't going to give you enough range to cut fat rib steaks from a boneless roast, but it will be excellent for cutting beef for carne asada, pork chops, and chicken cutlets.
Where this slicer really comes into its own is slicing meat for cold cuts. It does a wonderful job slicing pork loin, chicken and turkey breast, beef roasts, and anything else you'd want into thin cuts. Think of it as a deli slicer more than anything else. This food slicer works particularly well for slicing vegetables, fruits, and cheese into paper-thin or thick slices. Like other meat slicers, don't use it to slice meat that has bones.
Meat Slicer Construction
Many reasonably priced meat slicers are made from cheap materials to cut costs. We were surprised to find that the 7.5-inch slicer is well-constructed with a metal body and wide-spaced rubber suction cup feet. It can rest on a shelf that is only nine inches deep and 16 inches wide. At 10.5-inches tall, it fits in many small kitchen cabinets.
The slicer tray is stainless steel and it is fixed to a plastic slider tray. The backing plate is heavy-duty metal with an enamel finish that looks durable and is easy to clean. A plastic sliding clip allows the metal rod to be removed to allow full cleaning of the slider tray and body of the meat slicer.
With the blade removed, the plastic gears are visible. The slicer is shipped with the drive gear well-lubricated, which is a good indication that keeping that part lubricated with a food-grade lubricant will benefit the slicer.
Cleaning the Slicer
A lot of meat slicers out there are a real pain to disassemble and clean. You won't have that problem with this slicer. The blade unhooks from the drive using a flip-tab. A release button unlatches the plate slide and the guide simply lifts off for cleaning. At this point, you can clean virtually every part of the slicer. In fact, you can even tilt the plate slide forward to make cleaning the face of the slicer even easier.
We found one area that didn't make a lot of sense. Directly below the point at which the plate slide and blade meat, there is a small relief hole. With the slicer blade removed, a small plastic plate can be removed for cleaning by taking out one T-20 screw. Unfortunately, the small opening isn't restricted from the back, so bits of meat or cheese that get in there can fall into the area housing the motor. In order to clean this spot, you'll need to remove five T-20 screws. On the model we received, one screw was stripped out from the factory. It isn't likely to be a big deal in the long run, but it is something we noticed when disassembling for the first time.
With that one exception, the slicer is a joy to clean. The most critical parts including the blade, blade guard, and slicer tray remove without tools and are dishwasher-safe. Meat slicing is messy work, so having the ability to quickly clean the slicer makes a big difference.
Unboxing, Assembly, and Pre-Cleaning
Anytime you get something new, the most exciting part is getting it out of the box, especially when you order things online. When our slicer was delivered, the external box showed some signs of unnecessary roughness with several deep gouges that went nearly through the cardboard. Upon opening the slicer box, the manner in which it is packaged ensured that even if whatever gouged the box had gone through, it would have had to have sliced pretty deep before any part of the meat slicer was actually touched, let alone damaged.
The slicer is assembled in the box and placed within thick polystyrene holders. The box includes an instruction manual. Everything was packaged and secured well to ensure the meat slicer made it without damage.
Since there was no real assembly to do other than remove the plastic bag, it didn't take long to get the meat slicer cleaned up and ready for action. We did give it a thorough wipe-down with disinfectant wipes and washed all of the removable parts in hot, soapy water. Then, it got a complete wipe down with a hot towel to remove any distasteful disinfectant.
Slicing with the Meat! Slicer
Just like a kid in the candy store, we couldn't wait to use the slicer and see how it worked. The first thing we ran through it was a top sirloin beef roast. We wanted to make a little jerky, and this hunk worked perfectly. It was a 3 lb 14.4 oz top sirloin before slicing and smoking.
The slicer has an On/Off button on the left side. A sliding safety must be pulled toward the switch before turning it on, but a tap on the button shuts the slicer off.
It worked perfectly to slice the top sirloin. We did a few cuts at a thicker setting of 5 mm, then did some cuts on thinner settings somewhere between zero and five mm thick.
Next, we sliced a tri-tip that had been smoked to rare, then frozen and thawed. We sliced it at between five and 10 mm then quickly seared it in a cast-iron skillet for sandwiches. Starting out with the tri-tip slightly below medium-rare gives you the chance to reheat the meat without overcooking it.
The next thing that got a good slicing was a two-pound block of sharp cheddar cheese. We set the meat slicer as thin as it would go and shaved paper-thin slices that were ideal for melting on soup.
Finding vinegar and sea salt potato chips that actually have enough vinegar bite is a challenge, so we decided to try this slicer out to make some chips. It works great for getting the perfect chip thickness and it went through enough potatoes to make a big bag of chips in just a few minutes.
Final Thoughts on the 7.5" Meat Slicer from MEAT!
The 7.5-inch meat slicer from Meat! is a perfect product for anyone who wants to have the ability to make precision slices on meats, fruits, vegetables, and anything else. We think this could even be a great way to portion frozen cookie dough, for example. The limited size of the slide means it is limited to more moderately sized products, but the more we used it the more opportunities we found for how it would work well. We even used it to make pineapple slices from a whole pineapple.
The best thing about this meat slicer is that the size and moderate price make it ideal for the average home kitchen. Unlike other meat slicers, it's both easy to store (even when you have limited space) and it has enough power to cleanly slice anything we asked of it. This is a great tool for getting creative with some culinary ideas you might have and it promises to have the long-term durability to keep up with your home kitchen.
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