If you are doing a lot of canning or dehydrating, at some point, you are going to want to get a food slicer. The plastic hand held mandolin kits are okay for starters, but as your hobby (obsession) builds, you will want something a bit more substantial. A slicer that can handle a lot of food fast. I recommend the Weston 61-901.
The Weston 61-901 powerful little slicer for the kitchen. The 9″ disk blade is large enough to handle any vegetable you would want to slice. The blade is adjustable so you get consistent thickness on each cut. This is especially important for dehydrating and pickling. You can easily adjust from paper thin slices all the way up to 1/2 inch if you want to. And it is good for more than just veggies. I use mine to slice up roasts for roast beef sandwiches and slicing ham and turkey breast into slices for lunch meat. This saves a bunch of money at the deli counter.
Quiet and Powerful
The blade is driven by a belt from the motor. This ensures quiet and reliable operation. The 150 watt motor has enough power to take on the hardest cheeses and slice through a steaks with ease. This is the same size motor that many kids’ scooters and electric go-karts use to power your little ones through the grass and over the tough terrain of the back yard and driveway. If you have ever seen those things go, that’s pretty impressive.
The adjustable thickness control on the Weston 61-901 slicer allows you to control the cut to your liking. You are able to go from 1/2″ thick all the way down to shaving if you would like. The big dial on the side of the machine is easy to turn and easy to see where the thickness is set. As I said before, consistency is key in preparing food for canning and dehydrating. and this slicer will get the job done. You are able to dice your vegetables as well, by altering the cuts before placing them into the slicer. Check out this article on dehydrating foods on prolongtheharvest.com.
The thickness control is only one aspect of getting a consistent slice. You need to have control of the food as you push it through the blade as well. The plastic pusher has teeth on the bottom that bite into the food and hold it in place on the carriage. This makes sure the food is at the optimum position when it goes through the blade. It also allows you to get the most out of the food you are slicing and protects you from losing a finger in the process.
Sturdy and Stable
The Weston 61-901 may be small, but that doesn’t mean you are going to have to chase it all over the counter top while you are using it. The base is very sturdy and the feet feature suction cups that stick it in place. Trust me, you will put a lot of action on this machine pushing and pulling the carriage back and forth. The last thing you want is for the machine to slide out from under you. Not only is it annoying and can result in a poor cut, it is not safe for the user if you are focused on keeping the machine in one place and not focusing on the proximity of your fingers to the spinning blade.
The carriage on this Weston slicer is large enough to handle a medium size beef roast or a large turkey breast. The gliding action as you push and pull the food across the blade is smooth and fluid. This allows the user to get more done in a shorter amount of time. When you are done, The tray tilts out for easy clean-up. If you are a reader of this blog, you know that that is a HUGE selling point for me. I hate dishes.
This slicer is big on work and small on design. It is powerful enough to get the job done, and will still fit in the cupboard when you are not using it. I put mine in the lazy susan in the corner of the kitchen. It fits perfectly and doesn’t take up valuable real estate on the counter top when I’m not using it. Because it is so small. If you needed to take it to a friend’s house for a canning party or loan it out, it is easy enough to carry without having to remove doors to get it out of the house.
The Weston 61-901 is built from corrosion resistant coated steel and aluminum. The blade is stainless steel. Combined you have a durable product that will last you for years and look good while it is doing it. The silver color fits with almost any kitchen decor, so if you absolutely had to leave it out, it would not clash with it’s surroundings.
Easy to Clean
Oh, you know this is my favorite. Because the food tray tilts out and the blade is completely removable, this Weston Slicer is super easy to clean. Sometimes, I have to get out a bamboo skewer to get into the tighter spots, but I am anal about the cleanliness of my food preparation tools and I would challenge you to find a slicer on the market that doesn’t have nooks and crannies that acted as catch-alls for little bits of food. Especially if you are shaving ham.
I worked in a Deli when I was in my teens. This slicer cannot hold a candle to the slicer I used there. But, then again, the slicer I used in the Deli was an enormous 14″ commercial monster that cost well over $500. For the price, the Weston does a fine job.
Tips for Optimum Use
- Start with a flat surface. Cut your vegetables in half before placing them on the slicer. This will give you a nice flat surface along the back of the food tray and stop the vegetable from rolling around before it hits the blade. Less roll, Better cut.
- If you are using the slicer to cut meat for jerky or sandwiches, cold is better. When meat is cold, it is more dense. The blade is able to cut through the meat easier when it is cold.
- Let the slicer do the work. Don’t force the food through the blade. Let the blade cut the food guide the food through the blade until it is completely sliced before pulling back for the next cut.
- Safety Safety Safety. You are dealing with a large spinning disk of sharpened stainless steel. Watch what you are doing. The goal is to be able to count to ten without taking your shoes off when you are done.
There are some gadgets that are nice to have in the kitchen. I consider an electric slicer more of a necessity, especially if you are canning and dehydrating your own food. If you are looking to get a slicer for the kitchen, The Weston 61-901 is a great choice. It is powerful, versatile, durable, and stylish. And best of all it is very affordable as home slicers go. You can check out the pricing by following this link over to Amazon.