Can You Slice Ham in a Food Processor?

No one can deny that preparing meals is extremely labor-intensive.

Even the simplest grilled cheese sandwich paired with chunky tomato soup, when all done from scratch, can take a full hour.

Thankfully, some inventions make all our chores in the kitchen faster and easier.

One of these, the food processor, is hands down one of man’s greatest creations.

It can do so many things – blend dips, grind meat, slice and dice fruits and vegetables, shred cheese, make a dough and knead it a bit, just to name a few.

There is one question that always arises: can ham be sliced in it?

Technically, one can slice ham in a food processor. One of its disc attachments has a plain blade that can be used for slicing.

Most machines come with a blade that has a 2mm clearance, creating 2mm-thick slices. All you need to do is feed a par frozen piece of that cooked meat into the chute and carefully prod it down with the pusher while the machine is turned on.

But the better question that should be asked is: should you be slicing any cold cut in it?

What You Get When You Slice Ham in the Food Processor

1. You’ll have chilled pieces

When slicing meat in this machine – whether it’s raw, cured and smoked, or cooked – it’s best to par freeze it first.

This is placing your meat in the freezer for 20 minutes at most so that it is firmer, ergo, easier to cut.

This trick is also advisable even for those with mini deli slicers.

If you don’t like cold cuts, you can always reheat them in a pan or oven before slapping them on a sandwich.

2. It’s really thin and relatively small

You won’t be able to fit a whole ham in a food processor chute.

That’s why portioning it into a piece that can be easily pushed into the feeding tube is a must.

As aforementioned, the blade in the disc attachment measures at least 2 inches long (depending on the size of the machine) and has a 2mm clearance.

With this, your slices will measure at least 2 inches in diameter and 2mm thick.

3. You’ve got other options, though… (and this is good news!)

The great thing about this appliance is that you can do so many other recipes with it.

Instead of slicing the meat, for instance, you can shred it instead.

Do the same with a small onion and carrot, add mayo and mustard to the mix you’ve got in the canister and you’ve got ham sandwich spread!

If you’re imaginative enough, your options are almost endless.

The Mandolin Might Do a Better Job

Some people frown at this practice but, when you think about it, slicing cooked meat on a mandolin is possible.

It’s better than the food processor in this particular task because the blade is longer, allowing you to run bigger slabs of the ham.

However, you still need to par freeze the meat so that the mandolin won’t shred it to tattered pieces.

The Knife is Still the Best Option

To be honest, a deli slicer will work best. But not everyone has this at home so the next best thing is the versatile and very effective knife.

Although not everyone can make those incredibly thin and even cuts like professional chefs or deli servers, you can follow these great tips to come as close:

1. Use the proper knife.

A chef’s knife will do well but if you’ve got it, go for a carver.

The longer, narrower blade and thin spine will go through a whole ham in one go instead of the see-saw movement.

2. Sharpen your knife. Hone it before use.

A blunt blade will ruin your meat – even those par frozen ones. If you’re not adept with a whetstone and a strop, take your knives to the experts.

Honing your knife with a metal rod straightens the edge so you’ll get those consistently sized cuts.

Do this right before you slice anything, especially meat.

3. Grab a carving fork.

Aside from stabilizing your food on the cutting board, this can be used as your guide for slicing the slab of meat thinly.

4. Let the knife do its job.

Slicing should not require force. It’s a bad idea to force your knife down the meat.

If your blade has been properly sharpened and honed, it will cut through that ham without you placing too much effort.

The Food Processor is Still a Must-Have

If you don’t have a food processor yet, treat yourself and get a good one.

Slicing ham in it may not be the best thing to do – many pros will tell you that it’s still better to accomplish that task with the good old chef or carving knife.

However, you can make so many other things with this awesome appliance.

You will not regret this decision.

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.