Best Method for Making Deli Meat?

Joined Feb 3, 2008
I have teenage boys and we go through a ton of deli meat. I'd like to start making our own uncured fresh cold cuts.

I'm going to start with turkey and probably move to roast beef. What is the best method? I was thinking to Sous Vide a turkey breast. I hate the consistency of most SV poultry, but was thinking that just might be the right consistency for lunch meat.

My family likes it thin sliced so I need a technique where the meat doesn't fall apart when shaved.

Any suggestions?
Joined Mar 1, 2017
The secret is to make the deli meat the same way you would make it for dinner etc, smoking, roasting, sous vide etc. :)

Slice what you need for the immediate future and freeze the rest. What I would do is deglaze the roasting pan with stock and a bit of aromatics and herbs and divide the liquid equally between the refrigerated and frozen portions. That way, the meat didn't dry out.

For meats that dry out more easily such as turkey and chicken, I made a little extra au jus to make sure it stayed moist.

As for your slicing options, invest in a deli slicer. You don't need to spend big bucks on a top of the line model. You can pick up a good slicer for under $150 that will do everything you need.

I usually waited until various roasts etc went on sale. For example, ham would often go on sale for $.99/lb and I would buy 2 or 3 whole hams (about 12-15lbs each). During the holidays when beef and turkey went on sale, I usually stocked up as well. Chicken, however, goes on sale all the time. In fact, yesterday, I just bought 10 whole roasters for $.79/lb. I'll be making some stock this weekend. ;-)

Doing it this way is cheaper in the long run given the fact that store-bought deli meat costs upwards of $5.00 to $6.00/lb or more.

Good luck :)
Joined Dec 18, 2010
For uncured meats... sgsvirgil gives great suggestions, especially the meat slicer. Cool and cool the meat. Refrigerate. Slice when cold. Some meats cut thin better when compressed while cooling. It helps the seams between muscles bind together better. Mesh bags sold by sausage supply companies helps do that but a tight wrap in cling film does okay too.
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