A meat slicer (or deli slicer) can be a great asset for a food service business. But making the most of your equipment work requires some special types of cleaning and maintenance and basic knowledge about how to use a meat slicer. Here's what's important about using a meat slicer for a restaurant or commercial kitchen, and how to get the best commercial machine for slicing meats.
How to Maximize Your Use of Your Meat Slicer
First, make sure you have the machine set on a level surface. Then, go slow. Don't force the meat through the slicer – using slow, controlled motions provides a more even cut, and saves wear on your machine. In addition, think about cutting meats and cheeses at cooler temperatures. That decreases the drag on the machine and the deformation that can happen to warm, soft foods as they are sliced. Don’t cut frozen, but cut from a nice chilled temperature.
You can absolutely use your commercial meat slicer for other items, like bread or cheese. You can even use it to cut salad vegetables into nice thin strips. However, keep in mind, you may need to clean the machine more frequently. There are also various types of meat slicer blades for different types of ingredients.
Types of Meat Slicer Blades
Two fundamental types of meat slicer blades are the smooth blades often used for meats and some cheeses and serrated blades used for bread, and some other kinds of cheeses that may favor these types of cutters. A serrated blade helps the slicer move through more specific textures, and can also be useful for handling certain kinds of meat casings. Some of the OEM blades will be stronger than aftermarket solutions. Take a cursory look at the blade specs when ordering. Now that you have beautifully sliced deli meat, you can also consider other types of specialty machines, for example, a panini press, so you can finish off your sandwiches.
How to Clean
To clean your machine well - first - always unplug your machine. Use an appropriate sanitary cleaning solution with a clean rag, and thoroughly clean the blade, as well as the ring guard mount, the blade guard, and the slicer handle. Wipe away from the blade to avoid cutting, and don't use steel wool on your metal parts – it can scratch them!