Can You Slice Pepperoni With A Mandolin?

One of the best ways to enjoy any cured meat, whether it be ham, pepperoni, salami, or pastrami is in really thin slices.

And while you can usually get them sliced for you at your local deli, or buy them sliced, there are instances where we don’t have the time to wait in line and end up getting unsliced meat.

This does help us save on time, but at the end of the day, you’re going to end up with unsliced meat.

And when dealing with pepperoni, a food that’s designed to be eaten in thin slices by itself or on top of a pizza, it can lead to some trouble.

This leads to a lot of people asking the question, “can you slice pepperoni with a mandolin?”.

The answer is yes, you can use a mandolin to slice pepperoni if you want thin and even slices in a short amount of time.

To do this, you will have to put on slicing gloves or use a thumb guard to be safe, hold the mandolin firmly with your non-slicing hand, then use your dominant hand to hold the meat and push it against the runway, which will create thin and even slices of meat.

It’s recommended to do this on top of a cutting board for added stability and to make things more sanitary.

That being said, while mandolins are probably the fastest and most efficient ways to get thin and even slices of pepperoni, there are a couple more methods you can use if you aren’t comfortable with the tool.

And we dive into a couple of them in this article, so read on to learn more.

How To Slice Pepperoni Thin

Partially Freeze The Meat

Regardless of what technique or tool you’re using to slice your meat, it’s very important that you do it while it’s partially frozen.

This is because it gives the meat more firmness, making it easier to slice while also reducing the risk of it crumbling and morphing.

Ideally, you would want to put the thawed pepperoni in the freezer 20-25 minutes before slicing.

You can also thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator overnight so it is the perfect consistency for slicing the next day.

Either way, you would want it to be chilled to the point that it holds its shape and is firm, but isn’t fully frozen.

And then from there, you’re ready to use either one of the techniques we’ll be explaining below.

Using A Mandolin

As we mentioned earlier, this is the most efficient way to slice cured meats thinly and evenly.

And if you don’t have a mandolin at home, you can also use a regular handheld slicer.

When using these tools, it’s very important to use a thumb guard or slicing glove to avoid accidents and unwanted injuries in the kitchen.

Simply put the slicer or mandolin on a cutting board and make sure it is stable, then use your non-dominant hand to hold its legs, keeping it in place.

From there, hold the meat with your dominant hand, and if it’s rounded out at the end, you might want to make a small slice so that it has a flat surface, which will be much easier to slice with a mandolin or handheld slicer.

Once it is ready for slicing, simply run the meat down the runway or the blade, making sure to use an even and consistent pressure every time until you have enough slices to eat!

And that’s about all there is to it, so once you’re done slicing the meat will be ready for serving.

Using A Knife

For this method, you need to have a very sharp knife so that it will easily slice through the pepperoni while also reducing the risk of slips and other accidents.

We recommend using a sharp chef knife as it is just the right size for slicing through pepperoni.

Simply get your chilled meat and lay it down on the cutting board, keeping it steady with your non-slicing hand.

From there, grab your knife and get a firm grip with your dominant hand, and slowly draw the blade through the pepperoni, making sure not to use any pressure and let the knife do the cutting for you.

It’s easier to get thin slices if you have a sharp knife, but it will take some time and practice until you get the hand of it.

And while this technique may be harder than using a mandolin, it’s very much worth putting in the work since you’ll be developing knife skills that you can use for a variety of recipes and ingredients.

On top of that, it also gives you full control over the thickness of the slices.

Conclusion

Now that you have all this information and know the techniques you can use to slice pepperoni and other cured meats at home, all that’s left to do is to try them out for yourself!

And once you get the hang of it, you’ll be ready to slice meat for your pizza, cheese board, and just about any other recipe you can think of!

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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.