Prosciutto, prosciutto crudo, prosciutto cotto are Italian words used to describe different types of ham in the United States — uncooked, dry-cured ham, and baked ham respectively.
This fatty cut of ham is regarded as one of the best-known and favorite Italian foods, and has its roots in the pre-Roman times.
It is made from the hind leg of a pig, and boasts a sweet meaty flavor, combined with a touch of saltiness, and a buttery texture that tantalizes your taste buds.
However, prosciutto should be thinly sliced with a knife or hand to preserve its mouth-watering aroma and mature flavor.
Cutting prosciutto by hand can be a time consuming, and daunting process to say the least!
Some ham aficionados prefer transparently wafer-thin slices of prosciutto for eating out of hand , whereas others like thick slices for cooking prosciutto for pastas, or to sprinkle over pizzas.
Regardless of whether you like thin or thick cuts, you can relish your desired cut with a prosciutto meat slicer.
However, buying the best meat slicer for prosciutto can be a bit tricky, given the myriad options available.
But we’ve narrowed down on 4 great options that allow you to slice prosciutto the way you want, and like a pro!
Why Slice Prosciutto?
Prosciutto is an artisan product that is best enjoyed by itself, and served with complementary foods such as chunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, fresh figs, melon, or heated and laid over a pizza that’s still hot out of the oven.
But given that prosciutto is free from any additives, slicing prosciutto brings out the complexities of its sweet and salty flavors.
And given that prosciutto does have an intensive taste, you really don’t need large amounts to enjoy its true flavor.
You can of course cut prosciutto in thick slices, chunks or shapes to add to stews, etc., but can be quite tough and chewy when cut this way.
Another big reason to slice prosciutto is the fat quotient in every slice, which melts in your mouth fairly quickly.
With thick slices or chunks, you will have a huge wad of fat, which may be hard to digest, and won’t do much for the overall prosciutto indulging experience.
And needless to say, prosciutto isn’t cheap with prices ranging from just over $19 to a whopping $58-and-change, so you definitely don’t want to use it too generously.
Should I Use a Prosciutto Slicer or Hand-Slice Prosciutto?
Slicing prosciutto with a slicer by hand or with a slicer truly boils down to personal preference.
What matters most is that you’re able to achieve the desirable prosciutto cuts. Some prosciutto connoisseurs claim that chopping prosciutto by hand with a knife helps preserves the meat fibers in the ham, resulting in more tender cuts.
But slicing prosciutto by hand does require some serious skill, and is no mere gastronomic practice.
Using a prosciutto slicer is a much more efficient, effective, and easy way to carve rich-flavored slices of prosciutto, especially if it’s refrigerated when purchased over the counter.
Plus, there are certain prosciutto recipes that call for a mix of fruit and prosciutto, for which you need a perfect blend of prosciutto texture and salty taste — two things that are only possible with one of the best prosciutto meat slicers.
How to Slice Prosciutto with a Meat Slicer?
Slicing prosciutto with a meat slicer is not as easy as it may seem, especially because prosciutto can be quite dry and tough.
And since the thickness of prosciutto can make a world of a difference in its level of saltiness and flavor, you need to use the slicer properly to get the job done right.
Start by putting the prosciutto in the freezer for roughly an hour.
This will harden it a bit, making it easy for the slicer to cut perfect slices.
Next, adjust the cut level on the meat slicer to suit the thickness of the prosciutto cuts you want.
Lastly, place the prosciutto on the tray of the meat slicer, and then pass it through the razor-sharp blade of the machine.
What to Look for Before Buying the Meat Slicer for Prosciutto?
Buying a prosciutto meat slicer is just like buying any other home appliance, given that it can be a big-ticket investment.
That said, here are a few factors to consider when on the shopping trail for the best meat slicer for prosciutto.
With a meat slicer, you can cut prosciutto and other types of meat/ham with varying thickness, hence buy a machine that offers adjustable thickness.
This allows you to fully control how thick or thin you want your slices of prosciutto.
Material and construction
You want to buy a prosciutto meat slicer that boasts a sturdy build, and is made from high-quality materials.
Even though most prosciutto ham slicers are made from plastic, it is important that the appliance you buy can resist a fair bit of wear and tear.
Most home prosciutto slicers are fitted with a 70inch diameter blade, which works well to cut prosciutto, and other types of meats and bread.
But you plan on cutting tougher meats that are much bigger in size, you will have to have to buy a prosciutto slicer with a bigger blade.
When shopping for the best prosciutto meat slicer, you will come across models that are powered by gear-driven belt-driven motors.
Belt driven motors, just as the name would suggest use belt to drive the blade, whereas hear driven perform this task with integrated teeth.
Both types of prone to damage over time, as the belt can wear off, and the teeth can get stripped, especially if they are made from plastic.
But on the brighter note, both the belt and teeth can be replaced, usually under the manufacturer’s warranty.
5 Best Prosciutto Meat Slicers
Berkel Home Line 250 Food Slicer/Red/10″ Blade/Electric Food Slicer
The Berkel Home Line 250 Food Slicer slots in at the #1 spot on this list of best prosciutto meat slicers for several reasons, starting with its onsite robust stainless-steel chrome blade, which allows you to slice prosciutto up to 20mm thick, with superior millimeter accuracy.
Further, this professional-grade prosciutto slicer is made from high-quality materials, so you can rest assured it will serve you well for years on end.
The Berkel Home Line 250 prosciutto slicer is easy to use, thanks to its onsite push-button panel, complete with LED indicators.
- Food-grade aluminum blade cover
- Dedicated space for a collection of fine slices
- Chrome-plated steel blade for perfect prosciutto cuts
- Robust aluminum alloy construction
- Can slice up to 20mm thick
- Limited to 2 color options – black and red
KWS MS-12NS Premium Commercial 420w Electric Meat Slicer
The KWS MS-12NS Premium Commercial prosciutto slicer is powered by a class leading 420-watts motor, and is ETL NSF approved, so you can expect nothing less than top-notch safety and performance.
Adding to this, it rests sturdily on an aluminum alloy base, and is equipped with a premium 12-inch stainless steel blade.
With regards to cutting thickness, the KWS MS-12NS slicer can cut prosciutto between 0-inches and 0.6-inches, allowing you to easily achieve the desired thickness.
It comes with a dual whetstones sharpener, and a ring guard assembly, which makes the machine safe to use.
- Skid proof rubber feet
- 440 r/min rotary speed
- High-quality blade and removable product tray assembly
- Waterproof cover
- 420-watt motor
- A little heavy at 45 lbs
BESWOOD 10″ Premium Chromium-plated Carbon Steel Blade Electric Deli Meat Cheese Food Slicer
The BESWOOD prosciutto ham slicer showcases a robust build, and comes factory fitted with a class leading 10-inch corrosion-resistant carbon steel blade.
It is ETL, NSF approves to ensure great durability and performance, and features a blade guard for enhanced safety when in use.
Adding to this, the BESWOOD slicer is a great choice for both home and commercial kitchens, and comes with two stone blade sharpeners to consistently maintain a sharp blade edge.
It offers a 210mm maximum cutting length, and 170mm maximum cutting height, and features skid proof rubber feet to hold the appliance in place.
- Skid proof rubber feet
- 10” corrosion resistant carbon blade
- 210mm max cutting length
- Dual illuminated on/off switch
- V-belt for reducing noise and vibration
- Maybe a little compared to other slicers
CUSIMAX Meat Slicer Electric Food Slicer
The CUSIMAX Meat Slicer can be ordered in a choice of three great colors including black and silver, and features a hidden track design, which along with its removable blade makes the machine a joy to clean.
Further, it boasts an onboard advanced bearing belt drive, which makes it lubricant-free, and results in smooth operation.
Additionally, the CUSIMAX Meat Slicer comes with a 7.5-inch 420 stainless steel cutting blade, and offers adjustable thickness, so you can cut super thin slices of prosciutto to 3/4″ thick slices of meat.
In the box, you also get four anti-skid suction pads, which hold the machine in place when in use.
- 2” large sliding platform
- Variable thickness knob
- 5” no-serrated blade diameter
- Anti-skid suction pads
- 15mm max slice thickness
- Lacks digital controls
SUPER DEAL Premium Stainless Steel Electric Meat Slicer
The Super Deal Zenchef prosciutto meat slicer comes with a 7.5-inch stainless steel cutting blade, which stays sharp even after long periods of use, and provides unapparelled precision.
It is powered by a 150-watt motor, and features adjustable thickness between 1/32-inches to 3/5-inches, allowing you to cut pare-thin slices of prosciutto.
The Zenchef slicer is equipped with a ring guard cover, which prevents debris buildup on cutting surfaces, a removable carriage system, and meat-grip arm for easy maintenance.
The bottom of the Zenchef slicer features a blade guard, and suction grip, which collectively holds the machine in place as you slice the prosciutto.
- Adjustable thickness
- 5” stainless steel cutting blade
- Blade guard and suction grip
- 150-watts of cutting power
- Easy to clean with a removable meat grip arm and carriage system
- The blade could be a bit sharper
Slicing prosciutto is regarded as a fine art, and a feat that’s easily achieved with the best prosciutto meat slicer.
When shopping for the best slicer for prosciutto, you really can’t go wrong with any of the five options on this list.
But the Berkel slicer is a clear winner, most notably for its dedicated adjustable thickness knob, easy to use push buttons with LED indicators, and stainless steel chrome blade. Adding to this, it can slice prosciutto with great accuracy, and comes with dishwasher safe parts for easy cleaning.