Did you ever think that you would get to a point in life where you would be interested in buying a bread slicer? No? Me neither! And yet, the moment I got interested in backing my own bread, I had to deal with the fact that my slices were never cut quite write. For some people that will not matter but it did for me for several reasons. For one, when you get your bread sliced at the store, you simply get more slices out of it. Second, if both your slices are of equal thickness, your sandwiches will come out much better and will be easier to byte into. And, finally, if you are going to make French Toast, and in my family that is a staple of Sunday morning cuisine, you are going to need all your bread to be sliced evenly so that the cooking goes better and nobody complains that they did not get the bigger piece.
Whatever your reasons might be for wanting a bread slicer, the thing that has really convinced me, was the fact that even the most expensive one is not that big of an expenditure to warrant a second thought. Even so, when I did go to buy one, price figured largely in my thoughts so I decided to get the KitchenCraft Bread Keeper. I know that there are less expensive bread slicers on the market right now, and I will give you my thoughts on those too, but this one also has a bread keeper, so I thought I was buying 2 functionalities for the price of one. Now, after several months of regular use, I must say that I am as pleased as can be about my purchase. I am not saying that it is the best choice for everyone, but I will say that my wife, Linda, would have liked me to get the DB-Tech Bamboo Wood Compact Foldable Bread Slicer.
If you are thinking of buying a bread slicer, and are not in the mood for long deliberations, I would recommend that you make your pick of those 2 products. They could not be further apart on the design spectrum, and yet they are both products of the highest caliber. If you are interested in a more detailed review about both of them, and about other excellent bread slicers, then keep on reading because we are going to discuss them all. However, before we get into all of that, you may want to know a little bit about my experience with bread slicers.
Why You Should Trust Me
I was very reluctant to buy a bread slicer because it looks like the ultimate kitchen counter clutter device with very little actual functionality to speak of. However, on whim, I did decide to buy one and I could not be happier with it. During that entire thinking process, though, I went back and forth on every model to the point where now I can give an excellent description of almost every model off the top of my head. Furthermore, having used my KitchenCraft Bread Keeper for more than 3 months now, I was able to find several advantages and disadvantages with my plastic model that would not have occurred to me just by looking at some pictures. From that I can infer quite a lot about the wooden models as well. So, while you could spend weeks of deliberating and reading reviews like I did, I still believe that I can bring a little bit more light on the matter through my own experience with this thing. There is also the fact that I do love to play with these type of gadgets, and have quite a lot of them, so I can tell how one product will interact with another in your daily kitchen use. If I do not mention one device or another make sure to contact us either in the comments section or on Twitter or Facebook, and I will be very happy to share my experience with you there.
Still, as basic guide to what to look for in a bread slicer, here are the top 3 things to consider.
How to Choose the Best Bread Slicer
There are different needs and different kitchen counters out there, so there are several things that you need to take into consideration when buying a bread slicer. There is the fabric it is made from, there is its total volume, particularly when you want to store it, and there are the other functionalities that you would not expect from a regular bread slicer.
Wood versus Plastic
I guess the biggest dilemma for most people is whether to go with wood or with plastic. The great thing about plastic is that you can always pop it in the dishwasher on the highest temperature setting and kill off any germ or bacteria that may have started to develop there. However, you have to consider that most bacteria need a moist, warm environment to develop and a bread slicer will probably be the driest thing in your kitchen. Ultimately plastic is that much safer so if you are really concern about hygene you should go with it, but for myself I would make my chose based on the design factor, and that means going with wood. I choose a plastic bread slicer, but for completely different considerations and I still wonder sometimes if I made the right decision.
The cheapest slicers on the market today will occupy a rather large volume, roughly equivalent to that of half a loaf of bread. If you have endless miles of counter top space, you may not care about that, but for your average kitchen, the smaller a bread slicer is, the better. You could just want to slice your bread once and be done with it for the rest of the day. If that is the case the best thing would be to store your slicer somewhere out of sight and take it out only when you need it. For that reason you may want to spend a little bit more money and get a slicer that folds away. Both plastic and wood ones will fold, although the folding method varies. I have found that the wood slicers fold down the sides so there are less moving parts and less chance of something to break. The plastic bread slicers fold like fans so ultimately take up less space, but to me they also feel a bit more flimsy that their wood counterparts.
As I have mentioned before, I chose my bread slicer because it came with a bread keeper. As you know, once you slice it, bread tends to dry up very quickly. The reverse though, is that if you put it in a plastic bag, it will not dry up, but it will get soggy and starts developing mildew much faster that if it was in a nice, aerated place. So a specially designed bread keeper is a much better alternative, and I keep the slicer right in the box with the bread so it does not take up more space on my kitchen counter than the bread itself would. Another featured that really attracted me was a crumb catcher like the one on the Norpro 370 Bread Slicer. It is a very simple concept that I would have liked to see implemented on all bread slicers. It is particularly useful if you like bread with a lot of seeds because when you cut into that the seeds will fly off to parts of the house you did not think were accessible without power tools.
Some Interesting Alternatives
So there you have it, these are some of the things that you should take into consideration before you make your choice. Personally I would go for either the KitchenCraft or the DB-Tech that I have already mentioned, and I will give you a more detailed explanation for both those choices, but, as promised, here is a look at some of the other choices you have on the market today.
As you probably know, generic, non brand products are the cheapest, so I love the fact that there is a company out there that calls it self Generic and their products are just that, generic in price and quality. The Generic eB-01 Kitchen Pro Bread Loaf Slicer is your average bread slicer and I would recommend that you really think about this one before you decide to buy anything else. Take a good look at it because you will see this exact design, and, I dare say, this exact quality level, in many other bread slicers on the market that cost a lot more just because they have some big brand label attached to them. It is made from plastic so it is really easy to clean and keep germ free. The actual fabric is ABS plastic, although some brands call it a resin or other fancy names just to jack up the price, so just look for those initials, ABS, and you will be able to tell which product is of a higher production value and which is not. It is important to note here that ABS plastic has a higher durability rating than other variations of plastic, so you do not have to worry that you may cut into it or that you may break it during regular use.
The thing I do not like about some bread machines is that they do not use a regular shape tray for their bread. Instead they use something that looks more like a bucket and the end result is iffy at best. You cannot really slice it on its side because the slices will not be even, and it is pretty difficult to slice if you place it vertically in a regular bread slicer, like the Generic one above, because then you will be slicing anywhere between a quarter to half of your slice above the actual guides of the bread slicer. That is why you may be interested in the Multiform Bread Slicer. The top part can be lowered or raised, so, if you are using a regular size loaf you do not have to worry about having to go all the way up with your knife just to go through a lot of empty space before you get to cut into something. It actually has a small crumb catcher on the bottom, but it is not very effective and that is why they did not choose to advertise it. However, you will clearly notice it in every picture and, judging from my experience with my own bread slicer, I would say that you will be able to get at least half the crumbs. It is made from the same ABS plastic we talked about earlier but they did go to the trouble of dyeing it and removing the edges left by the molds, so it is well worth the extra few bucks it costs.
If you are striving for a clean kitchen counter and nothing else then the Norpro 370 Bread Slicer is your best choice. It has 2 significant features that will control the spread of crumbs. The first is a large capacity, wood bread crumbs catcher that you can clean as easily as you would a regular one. The thing though is that the plastic guides cannot be detached or folded away. So it is as large, cumbersome and impossible to put in a dish washer as you would expect. The other advantage it has over other bread slicers is the fact that the guiding sides are made of solid plastic, so the only direction crumbs have to go, unless you are extremely energetic when cutting the bread, is down into the crumb catcher. Besides the fact that it cannot be folded away, it is worth mentioning that the Norpro looks quite good and would probably fit very well on most kitchen counters.
Looking back on the 3 choices I have already given you I have to admit that they are a lot cheaper than the 2 alternatives I have yet to speak of. However, I am a kitchen gadget enthusiast, as you know, so it is only natural that I would gravitate towards the more expensive alternatives. In fact Linda often complains that the only gifts she can get me are expensive ones, so I make no apologies about my choices here.
The KitchenCraft Bread Keeper – The Big Review
There are several things you will note about the KitchenCraft bread slicer, which I am refraining from calling the best because there are 2 completely different choices you have and they are well worth deserving of that title. The first thing to note is that this is sold as a bread keeper. The slicer itself is pretty average and you could probably get it for far less money. However, once you have sliced your bread you still have the issue of keeping it fresh for as long as possible. That is why I believe no bread slicer is complete without the bread keeper. The bread keeper is quite brilliant in the way it was designed because you can put the slicer inside it. So I will usually slice half of my bread, turn it around, slice the other half and leave it in the slicer, and the enclose the entire thing in the bread keeper. It has holes on the bottom of the keeper so there is some air circulation going on, but the natural moistness of the bread stays and only the excess is drain away. Using the bread slicer with the keeper I have found that my bread stays fresh from anywhere between 3 to 5 days. Of course, we had to leave on a short trip before I found out that the bread actually keeps fresh for 5 days because we usually go through an average sized loaf in about 2 to 3 days. The slicer is made from ABS plastic and, aside from some very fine scratches on the bottom; there is absolutely no wear to be seen on the slicer. However, I should note here that my wife, Linda, is very reluctant to use it because there is a weird sound or feeling that you get if you cut into the guiding poles or if you hit the bottom to hard, and she hates that. It is somewhat similar to the effect you would get as a child by dragging your fingernails on a blackboard, although not as annoying, so I would go with a wood bread slicer if that sounds like a problem for you.