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Mandolin or deli slicer??

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I have this ham loaf from the deli section and need to thinly slices for sandwiches. I don't have a deli slicer and don't know if i should invest in one (so bulky). Would a mandolin work? Using a knife just isn't working.

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  1. I have both and I think it would be a pain to try and slice it on a mandolin. Take a long view and realize how much use you would see from a slicer, if you feel that you can get the value returned from it, by all means get one. The less expensive ones are OK, but not really that accurate as far as settings go and being able to slice thin like a deli would. Good Chef has a new one out that the marketing hype says it's like a deli slicer, but if you look at it, it looks very similar to the Waring and Kenmore and I believe that it would come with all the resident problems inherent to an inexpensive slicer. I'm waiting for a restaurant auction and see if I can pick up a commercial slicer for $300.00 or there abouts.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Grillncook

      I agree with what most folks state here. I have both an inexpensive deli slicer (non-professional model) and a mandoline. The mandoline is definately a no-no for meats. It will not work well. If you want razor thin slices, you probably will not get this from a relatively cheap deli slicer from Waring or Kenmore. I was given a deli slicer as a gift, and it was a pain to use and clean. The only time that I use it is when I make Italian Beef sandwhiches. I'm from Chicago and now live in Atlanta... they are hard to find. Even when using the deli slicer, I need to refrigerate the meat prior to slicing. I'd bring it to the deli, but they won't use their slicer on medium rare home cooked beef!

    2. The mandoline blade is ideal for harder items like vegetables since you are doing a push cut. For softer items the deli slicer will make very clean cuts. The mandoline will do a poor job of a ham loaf unless it's partially frozen. By all means if you have access to a deli slicer, use it. If you don't want to buy one and I can understand why ask the people at the deli counter where you bought it. They most likely will do kindly at no charge.

      1. As someone who still has a scar or two on her hands from her deli stint 20 years ago, I can understand the allure of a slicer but I really don't see it as a very practical investment for most kitchens. They're large, a pain to clean properly, and dangerous. Is your home child-free? How often would you really use it? Do you have a place to store it?

        Would an electric carving knife be a adequate substitute?

        1 Reply
        1. re: sebetti

          Having owned an inexpensive non prosumer model. It was a poor performer. I don't have one now nor will I ever feel there is a need to have one again. For the same reasons you mentioned that they are expensive, large and hard to clean and just won't be used much in everyday cooking.

        2. Mandolin - No!

          Alternative A: good relationship with your butcher with deli slicer.

          Alternative B: Partially freeze and employ great knife technique.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            As usual Sam, you are very correct. A very sharp knife and a ham loaf that is partially frozen will give them the thinnest slices. I doubt ham loaf will ever be sliced deli thin because it will crumble first.