A meat/food slicer is one of those tools that can be hard to justify purchasing. If you are just starting out hunting, there are way more important things you should be spending your money on, namely the gear you will be using in the field. But after a few years, your gear needs tend to wind down (unless you are one of those guys that get’s a new bow/gun/latest gadget every year!), and you can start to invest in your kitchen gear.
A meat slicer was down on my list processing appliances. Dehydrator. Grinder. Sausage stuffer. Jerky gun. Then, I was ready for a slicer. I made a pretty mean summer sausage, but I wanted sandwich slices. THIN SLICES. I was getting better at making jerky, but it’s tough to get consistent cuts with just a knife. A slicer solves all these problems.
I went with a middle of the road slicer, the Chef’s Choice 610 model, and it has served me well. It’s still available, but there is a newer version, the 609, which is currently a bit cheaper, as well as a premium model, the 615 which seems more comparable to the 610.
Here’s my YouTube video on the assembly and maintenance of the 610:
The newer model (609) has a cut away where the meat will fall. I haven’t tried it myself – I kind of like how the 610 falls onto a tray – keeps my counter somewhat clean. The 615 appears to be much closer in design to the 610. Either way, I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them. The price points are close enough where none of them will break the bank, and you can pick based on your personal preference.
I’ve put my 610 through regular use for 3 years now, and it still works great. It’s not a commercial slicer, so I don’t think it would hold up under daily use. But I use mine at least once a month and so far it has done the job and held up great. As far as maintenance goes, I recommend some food grade silicone spray for the blade, and some food grade petroleum jelly for the contact points and the blade drive gear. A little dab will do it.
They come with a serrated blade, which has worked fine for me. There is a non-serrated blade you can get as well – my understanding is you can get finer (thinner) cuts with it on meat that may tend to shred on the serrated blade. An upgrade I may be adding this year!
Bottom line, a slicer is one of those “nice to have” kitchen tools. Mine has paid for itself just in lunch meat alone – we get whole chicken, turkey, or ham at a fraction of the cost of deli counter prices, and I slice it myself. Package it for what you use weekly, storing the extra in the freezer, and you can go months before needing to buy more. Being able to have more processing options for my venison is just a bonus.
You can read more about it here, or here’s what you’ll need from Amazon: