Slicing Our Own Lunch

July 23, 2010

For a while, we’ve been slicing our own lunch meat and cheese. I got the slicer for Christmas a year or two ago, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I haven’t done the math on anything, but I’m pretty sure it is a decent amount cheaper than buying pre-sliced. It’s not as thin as you can get at a deli, but it’s still delicious.

Our Slicer
Our Slicer

We usually slice ham, but this time I bought a cheap Turkey ham to try out. It sliced well, and tastes good, but looks a little odd and not necessarily appetizing.

The Meat
The Meat

Slicing is super easy. My slicer doesn’t cut perfectly even, so I rotate the meat every once in a while to keep from having a lopsided hunk of meat.

Slicing The Ham
Slicing The Ham
The Whole Ham, Sliced
The Whole Ham, Sliced

We package our meats in little packets of wax paper. It’s about enough for a week or so of sandwiches. We then throw these in gallon freezer bags and thaw them out when we need more meat.

The Packaged Ham
The Packaged Ham

Slicing cheese can be a bit more difficult. It tends to crumble if you freeze and thaw it before slicing, so be sure to buy your cheese right before slicing.

Cheddar and Provolone
We Sliced Cheddar and Provolone
The Cheddar, Split
The Cheddar, Split For Slicing

One tip we picked up after our first cheese slicing was to place slips of wax paper between each slice of cheese. It takes less time than you think, and is highly advised unless you want five or six fused together slices on each sandwich.

Preparing Wax Paper Cheese Slips
Preparing Wax Paper Cheese Slips
Wax Paper In Place
The Wax Paper Between Slices

Here’s the result of our slicing, all told it probably took an hour or so and should keep us in sandwiches for several months. Add in some of Darcy’s excellent home made bread and you’ve got a delicious lunch.

The Results of Our Labor
The Results of Our Labor

If you ever want to try it out without the up front slicer investment, just let me know and I can loan you the machine.

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Comments

  1. Hey cool. For some reason, I wasn’t even aware of the possibility of owning your own slicer. I mean, obviously I would have to imagine a world in which personally owned slicers were available, it just never crossed my mind that anyone would actually have one.

    What’s the maintenance like? Is it difficult to keep clean? How often do you need a new or resharpened blade?

    We already buy most of our meats and cheeses unsliced, but then manually slice them as needed for sandwiches and the like. So if the machine itself isn’t too much of a pain, it might be worth it for us to do it in bulk and use your “wrapper” technique.

  2. john says:

    Maintenance so far has just been keeping it clean. The blade is very sharp (my thumb can attest to this) so I don’t think the meat and cheese wear it down much over time. We’ve used it for close to two years with no apparent loss of sharpness.

    Cleaning it can be a minor hassle. It’s nearly all metal and wipes down easy, but safely cleaning the blade can be a challenge, and it has some nooks and crannies that bits of cheese like to escape into. The more you slice at once, the less the clean up will bother you.

    Next time we grocery shop I’ll get a comparison of costs on this.

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