Everyone Loves A Good Sandwich!
November 3rd: anyone know the significance of this date? If you guessed national sandwich day, you’d be absolutely right! A day reserved to celebrate one of the world’s favorite foods. French baguettes, Vietnamese subs, Italian paninis, and the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich……just writing about it makes me salivate!
But where, how and who invented the sandwich anyways? Here’s a fun fact: the creation/inception of the sandwich is credited to Englishman John Montagu. The story dates back to 1762, where John was partaking in a 24 hour gambling session. In a quest to continue his game without any interruption, John requested the cooks to prepare him a meal which would not interrupt his game. The result: a sandwich! (all credit to foodtimeline). For those of you wondering, no today’s post is not about my favorite sandwich recipes (could be a future post).
Today’s post is about a tool that can help massively step your sandwich game up: the bread slicer!
Side Note: When I say bread slicer, I mean a guide to slice bread, not a bread knife.
The bread slicer is in my opinion one of the most underrated tools in the kitchen. When it comes to slicing bread, uniformity is everything. Ever picked up a bag of sliced bread at the supermarket, and been the unfortunate soul that gets the first or last slice? You know…..the one that’s non-uniform and kinda looks like a hybrid between bread and cake?
Don’t know about you, but I will avoid that slice by all means necessary. The point I am trying to make is this: a good bread slicer will allow you to cut uniform, even slices of desired thickness, so you can enjoy that perfect sandwich every single time! Before I share my 4 favorite bread slicers, let’s look at some important things to consider before buying.
6 Things To Consider Before Buying!
These are in my opinion, 6 things everyone should consider before purchasing a bread slicer.
#1 What Kind Of Bread Will You Be Slicing?
Breads are something us humans have been baking for centuries, and truth be told we’ve gotten pretty damn good at it. It’s no surprise then that there’s so many different types of breads available today, probably enough to make your head spin. Which brings us to our first point……what kind of bread(s) will you be slicing?
Why is this important to know? Simple. When you look at all the breads in your local bakery, what’s the one most noticeable thing to stand out? For me, it’s the size and shape. Notice how they all have different shapes and sizes? Some large and rectangular, and some cylindrical (like a baguette) and long, and so on.
Knowing the kind of bread you’ll be slicing will allow you to choose a slicer that works best for that specific size and shape.
For example, if you need to slice tall loaves of bread, you should consider a slicer with tall side panels.
#2 Storage & Aesthetics
When it comes to kitchen accessories, storage and aesthetics varies from one person to the other. I typically prefer gadgets that are portable and easy to store. You’ll have to decide how important storage is to you.
Aesthetics is another consideration. You can find bread slicers handcrafted from maple and ponderosa pine, and you can find plastic ones too.
Does it matter? To me it does, because I appreciate the fine details. Do you? Something to ponder on.
#3 Do You Have The Right Knife?
I mentioned earlier in the post that when I say bread slicer, I really mean bread slicing guide. What this means is you will still need a tool to do the actual slicing. The big question is, do you? Some people use serrated bread knives, others use electric blades. If you don’t have a decent bread knife, maybe now is a good time to invest in one.
Truth be told, there’s no point buying the best bread slicer when the tool used to do the actual slicing is rubbish.
Also, if you’re going to be slicing large, wide loaves of bread, consider getting a long serrated bread knife. It’ll make your life much easier!
#4 Bread Slice Thickness
Pretty much every bread slicer available today is capable of slicing to different thicknesses. Some guides allow you to slice as thin as 0.8 cm. I personally like my bread sliced as thin as possible, but not everyone will want it this way. If you know you like a thick sliced loaf, then knowing this beforehand will help you in your quest to find the best bread slicer.
Filter out the slicers that don’t cut to your desired thickness.
#5 Size & Space Considerations
How big is your kitchen and how much space do you have to work with?
If you have limited space on your kitchen counter, then it may be worth your while to pick a small, portable bread slicer instead of a larger one.
If kitchen space isn’t a concern….you definitely have more choices. Important: storage (mentioned previously in #2) and size go hand in hand; you can find foldable slicers that are easy to store and take up less space, or non-foldable that may be bulky and take up more space. Choose wisely!
#6 Material (Wood Vs. Plastic Vs. Others)
When it comes to bread slicer materials, there’s a lot to talk about. Let’s break it down shall we?
A. Cleaning – What’s Easier To Clean?
Let me start by saying this: bread slicers should not be put in a dishwasher.
Take a few extra minutes and wash and dry by hand. The long, aggressive dishwasher cycles are not meant for wooden or plastic materials.
Even if the manufacturers say it’s okay to do so, I would avoid it. Now what’s easier to clean…..wood or plastic? Personally, I’ve found both are relatively easy to clean, but plastic is a little better because it doesn’t soak up the water. If you’re able to, try to pick a non-porous wood such as pine.
B. Base Softness – What’s Softer?
Why is base softness important? Well if you think about it, when we slice bread we slice with our knife all the way right down to the base. If we sliced down on something hard like glass, what do you think would happen to our knife after a few months? It wouldn’t be so sharp anymore, and would probably be misaligned. Conclusion: hard surfaces like porcelain, glass etc. can and will damage our bread knives.
Fortunately most bread slicers are made from soft materials such as plastic and wood. But what’s better for your knife? I prefer wood over plastic from personal experience, but that’s not to say that plastics are bad. Pine and maple bases work well. Bamboo is another material used in bread slicers. Again, not bad per se, but i’d stick to wood given the choice.
I mentioned this earlier in #2 when speaking about aesthetics, but just be aware that there are different woods with various finishes available. Price will vary depending on what you choose.
My 4 Best Bread Slicers!
The 6 considerations above will help you find the best bread slicer to suit your needs specifically. Wondering what’s currently available in the market? Wonder not. Below in my honest opinion, are 4 of the very best slicers. Keep reading to see what I like and dislike about each!
#1 Ponderosa Pine Better Bread Slicer
A bread slicer and then some. If you’re looking for the Ferrari’s of bread slicers…..this would be it!
What I Like
The Amount Of Detail Put Into It!
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll know i’m a bit of a cheap charlie. I love a good deal, and i’m especially skeptical about high priced products that are well marketed, but fail to deliver. This isn’t one of those. You pay a premium price (click here to check latest pricing on amazon), but what you get in return is a quality quality product. A slicer made from ponderosa pine, stained using coffee and tea, and finished using beeswax. If you appreciate the fine details, you’ll love this!
Perfect For Tall Loaves
Another thing I love about this slicer are the tall side panels. This is particularly important for those of you who bake tall loaves of bread. Wouldn’t it just suck if you baked your bread, only to find out your slicer is useless because it’s not tall enough? In case you’re wondering, the side panels measure 6” high.
Soft Pine Base – Great For Knives!
Earlier I spoke about base softness and why it’s so important to pick a soft material; ponderosa pine is exactly that. The wood itself will take the brunt and absorb the impact, but your knife won’t dull or damage. In the long run you may notice marks on the base; this is normal.
What I Don’t Like – Nothing!
If i’m being overly critical, maybe the size and weight are 2 things i’m not quite fond of. The 4.65 pounds it weighs makes it a little bulky to carry and store. Then again, it looks awesome on the counter, so I don’t think I’d bother storing it anyways!
#2 Maple Bread Slicer Classic
Simple, elegant, heavy duty, and built to last. But best of all…..hand made in Tampa Florida!
What I Like
It’s Simplicity And Ease Of Use!
Two thumbs up to the manufacturer (bread slicer depot) for this innovative yet simple design! If you’ve seen other slicers, you’ll notice that this looks nothing like the rest. It’s also easy to store, and only has one slot to do your slicing. I’ve found this makes slicing very quick and easy. Check out the video below showing a demonstration! (all credit to breadslicerdepot)
Fits Perfectly In Any Kitchen, Small Or Large!
Because of the way it’s designed, this slicer can fit almost any kitchen, even those with space constraints. It functions as a bread slicer, but that doesn’t mean you cant stack or store your items on top of it. That’s the beauty of this thing! I’d stack my boxes of cereal on this thing!
Cleaning Is Sooo Quick And Easy!
As you can probably tell, cleaning this is an absolute breeze. That’s because there are only 2 surfaces, both of which are unobstructed.
What I Don’t Like
Just like the bread slicer in #1, i’m not too fond of the heavy weight (5.5 pounds) of this unit. Again not a show stopper by any means, but more something to take note of. Especially if you’re one of those people looking for a portable, “easy to carry on the go” slicer…….this is not it!
#3 The Bread Pal Bread Slicer
Finally a bread slicer that’s easy to carry around. For all of you guys who love portable solutions, this is something you should check out!
What I Like
It Weighs A Mere 1.85 Pounds!
By far my favorite thing about this slicer is its lightweight, quick and easy foldable design. For those of you with kitchen space constraints, this is especially important. For me, I really like the fact that I can carry this on the go to family dinners and even to the office! Am I the only one who has PBJ cravings on a late Monday afternoon in the office!? LOL.
Easy To Use And Comes With A Bread Stop
I like the bread stop guides for 2 main reasons:
- They keep bread slices from falling as you cut, so there’s less of a mess once you’re done. If you’re dealing with crusty breads, I recommend you always use a bread stop!
- If you’re picky on slice thickness, use a bread stop guide; It will act as a reference to help you measure, and as a result you get the perfect slice every time.
What I Don’t Like
Because Of The Design, You Require A Long Bread Knife!
Hard to tell from the pictures, but this unit is incredibly wide. Nothing really wrong with this, just that you’ll need to get a long bread knife if you don’t already have one. What would I recommend for blade length? Noting less than 10” of blade length. 11-12” would work very well.
Not A Fan Of The Plastic Base
I prefer wooden cutting bases, and not just for bread slicers….even cutting boards! Knife against wood feels the most natural and least aggressive. Not saying plastics are awful and will destroy your knives, it’s just my preference and opinion that woods (the right ones!) are generally better to cut down on.
#4 Bamboo Foldable Bread Slicer
Budget slicer that makes for an awesome gift!
What I Like
The Crumb Catcher Is Awesome!
I really really dislike cleaning up. Be that clean up after food prep, or vacuuming bread crumbs after slicing up a loaf. That’s why I really appreciate when a manufacturer goes the extra mile to help address the problem. And this is exactly what the crumb catcher does! It catches all the crumbs, so all you have to do is dump it out in the garbage once you’re done. Easy peasy!
Foldable, Compact Design
Another awesome design that folds flat, and is therefore easy to store in a kitchen cabinet or drawer. For those wondering, it weighs about 3 pounds. Not bad considering other slicers weigh twice as much!
What I Don’t Like
Not The Best Choice For Tall Loaves
For those of you who bake tall loaves of bread, this might be a problem. The side panels are not quite high enough to accommodate taller breads. I’d consider #1 on this list as an alternative, as it has tall side panels!
Already Own One? If So, What’s Your Best Bread Slicer!
Thanks for reading if you made it this far. If you feel I’ve missed something in this list, let me know! What do you think is the best bread slicer? What’s worked well for you? Your comments keep me and all the readers educated, so please please please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts…..whatever they may be! That’s it from me for now. If you found this post useful, why not consider sharing so others can get the same value. Happy holidays everyone!