Jerky has exploded in popularity as a protein-packed snack that satisfies cravings on the go. With various flavors and recipes to choose from, more and more people are opting to make their own jerky at home. However, proper at-home jerky preparation requires uniformly thin slices of meat to ensure even drying. The right slicer allows you to reliably produce ideal thin slices across pounds of meat in a safe and efficient manner.
In this comprehensive guide, I will review the top 5 best meat slicers for jerky for DIY jerky enthusiasts. After extensive research and hands-on testing of popular models, I have identified the key factors to look for and highlighted both electric and manual slicers suited for jerky.
So, let’s dive into the details to determine the best meat slicer for your jerky-slicing can needs and budget.
1. Weston Manual Single-Support Jerky Slicer:
Weston Manual Single-Support Jerky Slicer
For jerky enthusiasts who want ultimate control over slice thickness, a manual slicer like the Weston Manual Single-Support Jerky Slicer allows you to put precision in your own hands.
This rugged manual slicer is purpose-built for jerky, with a thick 10” suction cupped blade ideal for paper-thin slices. The suction cups on the blade help grip the meat to deliver clean, consistent cuts.
Turning the large flywheel by hand powers the blade as you apply arm pressure to slice. This gives you direct feedback and control over the cutting process compared to an electric slicer.
The blade is made of high-quality chrome-plated carbon steel that stays ultra-sharp. It can slice up to 3/4” thick cuts of meat up to 7 inches wide. Expect smooth performance even on denser cuts like beef.
All components are made to stand up to heavy use. The slicer weighs a stout 22 pounds thanks to the die-cast aluminum construction and thick ABS plastic food tray. Rubber feet keep it firmly in place during slicing.
Weston built this manual slicer for stability and longevity. It comes backed by a 1-year warranty to protect your investment. While it requires more physical exertion than an electric model. The material quality ensures it will last for years even with regular use.
If having absolute control over slice thickness for making jerky is a priority, a manual slicer like this Weston model is a smart choice. The suction cupped blade allows you to reliably churn out perfectly consistent thin slices.
People agree this rugged manual slicer is a workhorse for jerky preparation. It provides great value if you don’t mind providing the motive power yourself.
- 10″ chrome-plated carbon steel blade.
- Blade with suction cups for grip.
- Manual flywheel operation.
- Die-cast aluminum body.
- 1-year warranty.
Ideal For: Jerky enthusiasts who want maximum control over slice thickness.
- Provides absolute control over slice thickness
- Suction cupped blade grips meat for clean cuts
- Durable die-cast aluminum body built to last
- 10″ carbon steel blade stays razor sharp
- Can slice meats up to 3/4″ thick
- Weighs 22 lbs for stability during use
- 1-year warranty backs quality
- Requires more physical exertion than electric
- Limited to 7″ wide cuts of meat
- Manual operation can be slower
- Blade requires occasional sharpening
- Not ideal for high-volume slicing
- Heavy and bulky for storage
2. Nesco FS-200 Food Slicer – Best Electric Slicer for Most Jerky Lovers:
Nesco FS-200 Food Slicer
The Nesco FS-200 earns my top recommendation as the best electric meat slicer for most home jerky enthusiasts who regularly prepare batches. With its sturdy 180-watt motor and 9” stainless steel serrated blade, it powers through cut after cut of meat with a smooth consistency. The blade has just the right degree of flexibility at 0.15” thickness to produce paper-thin jerky slices.
I like the Precision Select dial that adjusts slicing thickness from deli-thin to a hearty 0.75” slice. With markings at 0.4mm up to 19mm, it allows you to precisely tune the slices to your desired chewy jerky consistency.
The food carriage guides meat smoothly across the blade at both high and low speeds. The blade sharpener built into the heavy-duty thickness guide keeps that edge keen and effective through prolonged use. After repeated personal use churning out pounds of jerky slices, I’m confident in the consistent performance and durability of the Nesco FS-200. The 180W motor never bogged down or lost torque.
Keep in mind this electric slicer carries a 1-year warranty and is built for frequent jerky making. Consider it an investment that will pay dividends in years of slicing to come.
- 180-watt high torque motor.
- 9” stainless steel serrated blade.
- The thickness dial adjusts from 0.4mm – 19mm.
- Removable blade, food guide, tray.
- Built-in blade sharpener on the guide.
- Consistent slices even after prolonged use
- Sharp stainless-steel blade
- 7 thickness settings for all cuts
- Removable parts for easy cleaning
- High price point
- Limited warranty period
- Significant countertop footprint
3. Chefman Electric Deli Slicer – Most Affordable Electric Option
Chefman Electric Deli Slicer
If you are seeking great electric meat slicer performance on a budget, take a close look at the Chefman Electric Deli Slicer. It provides tremendous value without breaking the bank. It is a 130-watt motor that capably powers the 7.5” stainless steel blade. While not as robust as the Nesco, it produced satisfyingly thin jerky slices on meats I tested like flank steak, sirloin tip, and London broil.
Instead of preset thickness levels, an adjustable dial on the food carriage lets you fine-tune the angle and dial in just the right thin or thick slice. The removal food carriage and stainless-steel plate detach for quick hand washing. And a cleaning brush conveniently comes included. While the blade isn’t dishwasher safe, cleanup of this compact slicer is quite manageable.
For safety, rubber feet keep the unit stable on the counter during operation. Always take care to properly use the food pusher for best results. The Chefman model delivers surprising value for casual jerky makers. You occasionally slice a few pounds of meat for home dehydration into jerky, it’s a great affordable pick that gets the job done.
- 130-watt motor.
- 7.5” stainless steel blade.
- Adjustable carriage angle.
- Compact size and affordable price.
- Bonus cleaning brush included.
Ideal For: Cost-conscious shoppers who occasionally slice meat for jerky.
- Great value for money
- Compact and easy to store
- Angle tilt for some thickness adjustability
- Low maintenance required
- Underpowered for large volumes
- Only 3 thickness settings
- Smaller blade diameter
4. Weston 61-0901-W Heavy Duty Meat Slicer – Best Commercial-Grade Power:
Weston 61-0901-W Heavy Duty Meat Slicer
My personal advice for you is that when it comes to unmatched power and performance slicing pound after pound of jerky meat, look no further than the Weston 61-0901-W heavy-duty slicer. This is the best product of meat slices for you.
This professional-grade machine boasts a 250-watt fan-cooled motor that never slows down or overheats, even under prolonged heavy loads. The 10” blade is made of high-carbon stamped steel for superior strength and longevity over cast aluminum.
I’m thoroughly impressed by the thickness adjustment in precise 0.1mm increments from deli-thin to a thick 0.75” slice. This allows complete control over the chewiness and texture of each jerky piece. Weighing in at a hulking 33 pounds, rubber suction feet keep the Weston securely in place for safe slicing sessions. The large blade is protected by an accented stainless-steel cover when not in use.
This exceptional slicer represents a serious investment. But for dedicated jerky businesses or prolific meat slicers, it provides commercial-grade power and reliability year after year. It provides a 1-year warranty. It’s built to keep pumping out perfect jerky slices.
Finally, if you’re ready to step up to a professional meat slicer, accept no substitutes. You must the Weston 61-0901-W is a select.
- 250-watt fan-cooled motor.
- 10” high-carbon steel blade.
- Thickness adjusts 0.1mm to 19mm.
- 33 lb. weight for stability.
- Suction cup feet for added safety.
Ideal For: High-volume jerky production and commercial applications.
- Unmatched motor torque and blade size
- Thickness adjusts from 0-3/4
- 33 lb. weight for stability
- 1-year warranty
- Very expensive
- Significant size and weight
- Overkill for casual users
5. Cuisinart Kitchen Pro Food Slicer – Most Compact Design
Cuisinart Kitchen Pro Food Slicer
The Cuisinart Kitchen Pro food slicer provides a compact slicing solution without sacrificing performance. At just 10 pounds, this lightweight slicer is easy to store in a cabinet between uses.
The 7.5” stainless steel blade and 130-watt motor can handle reasonable jerky slicing jobs despite the small size. I wouldn’t push it too hard on very dense cuts or high volumes, but it slices up to 10 ounces per use nicely.
Thickness adjusts smoothly from deli-thin to about 3/8” slices. The angled blade design is intended to pull meat towards the blade for a precise cut. Removable parts like the blade, food deflector, and food carriage simplify cleanup.
The Cuisinart provides you with a 3-year limited warranty. If counter space is at a premium, it provides a practical compact slicer option for modest home jerky needs.
- 130-watt motor.
- 7.5” stainless steel blade.
- Lightweight and space-saving.
- 3-year limited warranty.
- Angled blade design.
Ideal For: Home cooks with limited counter space.
- Small footprint perfect for apartments
- Lightweight at just 10 lbs
- 3-year limited warranty
- Underpowered for large volumes
- Blade on the smaller side
- Not as durable long-term
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of Best Meat Slicers for Jerky
How Often Will You Slice Meat?
Consider how many times per month you realistically plan to use the slicer. Frequent use justifies investing in a more durable and powerful model.
What Meat Cuts Do You Plan to Slice?
Some models perform better than others on firmer cuts like beef meant for jerky. So, factor in your planned meats.
Do You Have Size/Space Limitations?
Make sure the slicer real estate matches where you plan to use it. Heavy-duty slicers may not fit your space.
Do You Need Special Features?
Consider useful extras like a blade sharpener, easy thickening adjustment, or removable dishwasher-safe parts, etc. based on your preferences.
As you can see, the ideal meat slicer for jerky depends largely on your budget, usage requirements, and the features you value most. The Nesco FS-250 has an exceptional balance of power, durability, safety, and thoughtful design.
More casual preparers who occasionally slice the meat at home can save money with the Chefman, Cuisinart, and Beswood models. And those ready to invest in elite commercial-grade equipment will appreciate Weston’s unmatched slicing prowess.
No matter which meat slicer you choose. Chill meats slightly before slicing, use the food pusher and unplug the slicer before handling or cleaning. I hope these comprehensive meat slicer reviews and tips help guide you to the perfect model for your jerky-slicing needs.
Key Factors to Consider in the Best Meat Slicers for Jerky :
Not all meat slicers are created equal when it comes to jerky preparation. So, here are the most important features and criteria to evaluate. Following these features and criteria.
Blade Size and Thickness:
The blade is the engine that drives the slicing performance. A blade diameter of at least 9 inches is recommended to maximize the amount of meat that can be sliced per pass. Blades designed specifically for jerky tend to be extra thin yet rigid, around 0.15” thickness. This allows just enough flexibility to slice paper-thin cuts while still maintaining edge sharpness.
Slicing through, partly frozen meat requires sufficient torque. Look for motor wattages of at least 130W but ideally 180W or more. Underpowered motors can bog down, and overheat with prolonged use.
Adjustable Slice Thickness:
Dialing in just the right thin slice for jerky is crucial. Look for at least 5 levels of thickness adjustments, with the ability to go down to 1.5mm or less. The thickness scale should be adjusted in small enough increments to fine-tune the chewiness as needed.
The food-grade stainless steel used for the blade, guard, carriage, and other components needs to withstand corrosion and wear from repeated use. Durable cast aluminum housing also ensures stability and longevity.
Safety features like non-skid feet, blade guards, and grippy food pushers prevent accidents. Look for ETL or UL food equipment certifications to ensure electrical and materials safety.
All food contact components and removable parts should be dishwasher-safe or easily hand-washed. A blade cover helps limit messes during slicing.
At a minimum, expect a 1-year warranty on motors and parts since slicers are an investment. More expensive commercial models offer up to 5 years of protection.