In this meat slicing guide, we will explore everything you need to know about meat slicers, helping you improve the efficiency of your food service establishment and select the best meat slicer for your needs!
When purchasing a commercial food slicer, it's important to take into consideration exactly what (and how much) you intend to slice, as different slicers have different capabilities for slicing meats, cheeses, and vegetables.
While entry level, lighter duty slicers offer a significantly lower price tag than larger, heavier duty models, they will quickly burn out if consistently pushed beyond their capacity. They are usually not designed to handle much, if any slicing of cheese.
Generally, heavier duty models also incorporate more usability and safety features. Depending on how much you use your deli slicer, you could make up the cost difference very quickly in increased productivity and safety, between a higher-end model and a less expensive option.
A specialty slicer, like Berkel's 330M Prosciutto meat slicer, is designed for slicing paper thin pieces of prosciutto and other gourmet deli meats. Blending the "wow" factor of its show-piece nature with the precision performance, it's a great addition to a classic bistro or deli.
Entry Level Slicers
Entry level meat slicers are best suited for operations where the slicer would be used for an hour or two at most per day. While designed for simple, safe operation, they are not recommended for slicing cheese, and do not offer as many safety or convenience features as higher-end models.
Standard Duty Slicers
Standard duty slicers are best suited for operations where the unit will be used for 1 - 2 hours per day. Most are not recommended for cheese slicing and have fewer safety or convenience features compared to mid-tier or premium types.
Mid-tier slicers generally have larger blades, a bit more horsepower, and can withstand more constant use than an entry-level model. Some models can handle occasional slicing of cheese, but are primarily intended for a few hours of vegetable or deli meat slicing per day. They usually offer a few more safety and convenience features than an entry-level model too.
Premium slicers represent the top-of-the-line offerings from each of the commercial meat slicer brands. Most are designed for heavy duty, constant use, and can slice cheese as well. These models offer design features that enhance the smoothness of operation, slice precision, and safe operation.
Meat slicer uses vary from slicing meat to slicing cheese, shredding lettuce, or cutting up cucumbers or other vegetable into slices. Whatever you are slicing, be sure to follow the operator’s instructions that come with your meat slicer. Also, for safety always use the provide guide arm to push food - never your hands - and be sure any safety features are functioning properly.
A meat slicer should be sharpened at least every couple of weeks to keep the blade in optimum shape. Not sure if the blade is sharp enough? You can use a piece of paper to test the sharpness to see if you need to sharpen the blade.
Commercial meat slicers all share the same basic components. Here's a quick rundown of what's what:
Slicer Cleaning and Maintenance
How do you clean a meat slicer? And how often? As proper cleaning and sanitizing procedures dictate, food slicers should be sanitized on a regular, daily basis. This can best be accomplished by using a properly mixed commercial sanitizing concentrate and water. Our professional meat slicer safety cleaning kit comes with everything you need to safely clean and sanitize your slicer, including detailed, step-by-step instructions!
It is important to properly lubricate each of the moving parts within the feeder tray, as well as the carriage assemblies. By using a food-grade lubricant regularly, you will ensure that your slicer operates as smoothly as possible and lasts for years to come.
When you're talking about a piece of equipment that's operated by hand and uses a razor-sharp spinning blade to slice products, obviously safety cannot be understated. Proper training is essential for any employee who operates the slicer.