This small appliance consists of a small electric motor that feeds a serrated blade, making it move continuously back and forth. There are generally two types of blades.
The one with finer serration suitable for meat and all soft foods and the one with wider serration suitable for bread and in particular conditions for frozen foods. On the market, there are many models, both with cable and cordless.
The choice depends on the use and frequency with which you will use the knife. If the user is only occasional, to cut large cuts of meat or fish on a special feast day at home with many guests, a knife with a thread is also worth it, which is also cheaper.
Here we had selected some of the best models of electric knife that are listed below.
Electric Knife Buying Guide
Known mainly as a tool for cutting roasts, the electric knife is part of that category of small appliances indispensable in any kitchen. It represents the most valid aid to facilitate the cutting operations of a great variety of foods.
In particular, those difficult to cut by hand, but also to speed up the slicing of larger quantities of food during lunches and dinners with numerous diners.
When it is important to keep regular and harmonious pieces in the serving dishes, to guarantee everyone the same portion of delights, among the most common uses, we recognize two main applications:
With the help of electric kitchen knives, you can cut ribs and other sections of cooked, raw, and even frozen meat, effortlessly cut pumpkins, pineapples, watermelons, hard cheeses, fresh, stale or frozen bread and more.
In general, all those foods that require a lot of strength to be sliced by hand homogeneously. In these cases, for those who cut, there are high chances of finding themselves with pains in the hands and arms due to the excessive pressure to be applied during the operation, plus the high risks deriving from sudden or sudden movements of the food, which can cause tip or cutting injuries.
However, the usefulness of the electric knife is not limited to solving the problem of risks and fatigue when cutting too hard food, but also extends to those foods which, although characterized by softer textures.
Require extremely blade movement delicate and light but at the same time clean and decisive, very complicated to obtain with a classic hand tool, even the sharpest, if you are not already an expert chef.
Among these more complex foods, we find tender meat roasts, fish carpaccio, sausages, salami, and medium-aged cheeses, but also sponge cake and other types of soft desserts that tend to shatter and crumble.
Power Supply and Handle
In assessing which electric knife for meat, bread, vegetables, and other foods best meets your needs, it is necessary to consider another important technical aspect, that of the mode of feeding. In this sense, we are faced with two possibilities:
- Rechargeable and wireless
- With power cable
In both options, the motor is electrically powered, with the difference that in the first case, the appliance works only if hooked to the electrical socket using a power cable, which is usually quite long, around 1.50 m, exceeding in some cases 1,80 m.
The voltage required is that common to most household appliances, from 220-240 V with 50-50 Hz frequency. The second possibility is that of a cordless electric knife, in which a lithium battery is installed, rechargeable via a transformer with a jack connection or via a charging base.
The type powered directly to the mains has greater power and efficiency and is not subject to a drop in operation in the event of a depletion of the charge. The cordless electric knife can be used outside the home for outdoor lunches and dinners where there is no electrical outlet.
The electric cordless knife is a good solution if you are often out for barbecues or picnics. However, it requires constant monitoring of the battery charge level so as not to run the risk of draining it in the moment of greatest need.
Another important aspect to consider in the choice, which concerns more the structural characteristics of this type of appliance, is the handle.
In general, the electric knife in all its variants has an ergonomic handle and is quite easy to handle thanks to its very small dimensions, on average 45 x 9 x 6 cm and a weight ranging from 540 gr to 900 gr. From the structure, we can have:
Types of Blade
A pair of blades represent the main component of the electric knife placed side by side, and their quality plays a decisive role in identifying a truly effective product. Within this type of appliance, the cutting tool can be defined as good quality, primarily about its composition material.
Among all, stainless steel is the best solution since it avoids the formation of rust and guarantees the robustness necessary to cut very hard products.
Furthermore, it is made to resist oxidation deriving from contact with organic substances, even acidic ones, present in food, and can be washed comfortably in the dishwasher.
The strength and hardness conferred to the surface of the slab by this material, and it is important that it also combines with the requirement of flexibility.
So that it can absorb the impacts caused by the encounter with very compact foods and slide on the product to be cut, adapting to its shape and consistency.
In the wide range of electric knives available on the market, most of them, including the cheaper products, have well-made stainless steel cutting components.
So the main difference, found in the electric knife variants, does not concern the composition material but rather the type and number of interchangeable blades provided.
Some solutions include a single pair of universal blades, in other cases, on the other hand, both the fine – serrated and the double-serrated ones are present in the purchase package.
If your needs are mainly aimed at processing foods with a soft to medium consistency, we can opt for a normal electric knife for roast beef with a universal blade.
On the contrary, if you often find yourself slicing frozen or very hard consistency products, you will have to opt for an electric knife to cut frozen meat, which will have the double blade provided.
Whether it is a sheet with a fine-toothed or double-toothed profile, these must be hooked to the machine body in the appropriate interlocking slots. Their length is similar to each variant and averages around 18 cm.
Even the width of the cutting component is rather homogeneous with its 5 cm of the medium, and they are often equipped with a special protective case.
Finally, another important feature that can be found in some high-end models is the presence of holes distributed along the length of the blade to allow air to pass, which are essential to prevent it from overheating and, with it, the engine.
These air intakes are therefore useful if the use of the appliance lasts for a long enough session or if you slice delicate elements such as cheeses, to maintain regular slices without affecting the dissolution and separation of the oils from the pasta, as well as from the grain of other foods with relevant fat components, such as cured meats.
Security and Maintenance
From a safety point of view, it is essential to follow some important recommendations when using the electric knife, due to its particularly sharp blades. First of all, it is always advisable to release the latter always using the special extraction button and insert them using protection to avoid accidental cuts.
Most devices of this type have a series of safety systems, suitably designed to guarantee the prevention of accidents and damage to the operating mechanism. The main ones are:
- Protective case
- Blade lock button
- Ventilation openings
- Eject button
- Finger protection accessory
- Overheating block
Often we find a comfortable case or protective case in which to insert the sharp blades so as not to keep them exposed even when they are stored.
To extract them, it is always necessary to use the special ejection button and to insert them. It is advisable to use small finger protection, usually positioned at the base of the cutting component, useful to operate the pressure necessary to fit it into its housing.
It is important to protect the hand during the operating phase, especially when working on small foods and when we use an electric knife for frozen foods.
The impact of the thick blades with the hard surface of the food requires particular attention and a firm grip. For this reason, it can be useful to wear a special anti-cut glove for total protection.
Also, some models currently on the market have an important safety feature, the lock button, which, when activated, blocks the electric movement even if the appliance is connected to the power outlet.
This is useful if there are children in the environment in which you operate, but also when you have to interrupt the process to carry out other operations and do not want to risk accidentally activating the electric mechanism.
In some models, there is also a locking system in case of overheating, an event that could occur after very intense use without the appropriate breaks.
This function locks the electric knife in case the internal temperature is higher than the optimal limits. In this sense, it is good to make sure that the product we are buying has appropriate openings, aimed at ensuring correct ventilation and air circulation.
This type of appliance useful for cutting and slicing does not require particular steps for correct maintenance. The blade component after a certain time may require sharpening through a knife sharpener, easily available in physical stores and online, or through an expert in the sector who will do it for us.
However, this is a rather rare event, since most models are equipped with self-sharpening blades, which sharpen together during the horizontal mechanical movement.