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This is the device in question:

Image of a meat press - a cylindrical tube with a spring that compresses meat while it is being cooked in a water bath

I've seen multiple videos online of people using this to make deli meat out of leaner cuts like chicken breast. They grind up the breast, season it, compress into this thing, and cook it in a water bath until it comes to temp.

I do like the idea of making my own deli-style meat at home. I don't like the idea of buying another gadget. My questions are:

  1. What benefits does this device actually bring when making your own deli meats?
  2. Can the result/benefits be replicated using more common kitchen tools?
  3. Has anyone used a device like this? Is it worth it?

What I'm trying to achieve: A highly compressed, round, chicken loaf (tube?) that I can thinly slice for sandwiches.

My first thought when I saw this thing was "couldn't you just gently simmer ground chicken in a faux-casing made of plastic wrap?" But there's a ton of talk online about how boiling plastic wrap in water is not good for you.

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  • You wouldn’t be boiling the plastic wrap… you would be simmering it. Some plastics are more heat stable than others, so there may be something that would work as a sausage casing type thing. (Possibly a specific type of plastic wrap)
    – Joe
    Feb 18 at 16:13

2 Answers 2

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Could I give a slightly cynical response?…

What it gives you is evenness of texture & quality at the expense of actual quality.

You get a more homogenous product, perfect for an industrial slicer, and extremely convenient when you're making 50 sandwich rounds an hour - all can be almost exactly the same quality & quantity.

You can also sneak in a few more of the bits you wouldn't get away with serving if it could actually be seen as you prepare it for a customer.

Aside from that - I see no gain at all over actual freshly-prepared meats.

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There are a few benefits.

Most important is control over ingredients quality and recipes.

You can probably use a mold use to make pâtés or terrines.

Prepare your mixture and put in the mold and put some weight on the mixture (you'll probably need to find something that fits )

Obviously, you'll not get a nice cylinder shaped end product, but it should work.

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