Choosing the best meat slicer for your application can be tricky.
Don’t believe me? Jump on Google and do a quick search for “meat slicers”. You’ll end up getting over 8.6 MILLION results — almost all claiming to be the best meat slicer you can buy.
So how do you choose the best meat slicer for your needs?
We laid out a practical how-to guide below to help you narrow down the results and get the meat slicer that will work for you.
Know What You Need in a Meat Slicer
Before you start searching for meat slicers online, make a list of the features and options (and results!) you need. This will help you quickly weed out the meat slicers that won’t work for your product.
Consider these factors:
What you’re slicing plays a huge role in the type of slicer you need.
Bacon requires a different type of slicer than jerky and chicken fillets require a different type of slicer than deli meat.
Not to mention the size, temperature, and product state (i.e. raw versus cooked) of your product.
Make sure you know the following information:
- Product state (raw or cooked)
- Product temperature
- Product(s) you’re slicing
- Product size
Having this information on hand when checking out meat slicers online or chatting with a sales rep will help you narrow down your options — and be able to answer any questions the manufacturer asks you.
Once you have your product information figured out, the next step is to determine the results you want from the meat slicer.
This will help you know if the slicer you’re looking at will do what you need it to do.
Consider the following factors:
- Slice thickness
- Slice orientation (horizontal vs vertical slice)
- Slice style (fillet, only cutting off the ends, etc)
- Product orientation (how it comes out of the machine)
- Product presentation (stacked, shingled, interleave)
Every processor has limitations on the machines they can have in their facility.
Size, power, cost, integration, labor — they all play a factor in choosing the best slicer for your facility.
Most processors forget to consider these limitations when they start shopping and end up purchasing a machine that doesn’t quite fit.
Consider these limiting factors:
- Budget (how much can you pay?)
- Size (maximum length, width, and height that fits)
- Capacity (how many pounds of meat do you need it to slice per hour)
- Labor (how many people can you spare to operate the machine)
- Do you need the slicer to integrate with other equipment?
- If so, know the height, length, width of the infeed so you can make sure the slicer discharge will work
Meat Slicer Features
Meat slicers often come with a number of options to upgrade your slicing experience.
While it’s not possible to know every feature possible in advance (each manufacturer is different!), you can prepare by thinking through the features you know you will need.
Consider the following factors:
- Type of controls
- Safety features required in your facility
- Ease of use
- Easy of cleanability
- Ease of movability (will you need to move the slicer regularly)
Know Where to Look
Finding the best meat slicer to research online can be tricky as well.
Most of the top results on Google are small deli slicers you’d find in the deli section of a grocery store — not really something you want in a food processing plant.
So where do you find a list of companies offering meat slicers for you?
Simple. Start with industry directories.
You’ll find a list of manufacturers and distributors who know their equipment and can help you find the meat slicer that works for you.
Here are some of our favorite directories:
- MeatingPlace Supplier Directory — considered one of the foremost publications on all things meat processing, MeatingPlace boasts a pretty extensive supplier directory.
- AAMP Member Directory — part of the American Association of Meat Processors? You can access Supplier Members in their online directory. These are suppliers who work extensively within the AAMP community.
- Meat+Poultry RedBook Directory — considered one of the foremost publications on all things meat processing, the Meat+Poultry RedBook boasts a pretty extensive supplier directory.
- FPSA Buyer’s Guide — the Food Processing Suppliers Association boasts one of the largest online directories of equipment suppliers.
The other place you can look is at the websites of your existing vendors.
Many processors think of their current vendors only in terms of what they purchased from them already.
Buy a Fusion Tech oven, and you think all we do is ovens.
But many manufacturers offer a wide range of products and services you may not be aware of. Look through your current vendors and visit their websites. You might be surprised to see that they provide a line of meat slicers you didn’t even know existed.
Here’s where you can see our line of slicers, just in case you didn’t know we sell them 😉
The Best Meat Slicer
The perfect meat slicer for your application is out there — it just may take some digging to find.
- Know what you need — answer all of the questions we listed above
- Know where to look — start with the vendors you already know and trust and jump to an industry directory to see more
- Fall in love with the slicer that will increase output and reduce your operating expenses
We offer 8 different slicers to fit your slicing and budgetary needs.
You can see them in action here or download our Fusion Cut catalog below.