Meat slicers are a common fixture in butcheries and delis. Its purpose as its name clearly explains slices meat into the thickness you need. The categorisation of meat slicers can be divided into 3 categories. If you use it:
• Less than 2 hours a day – light
• Between 2 to 4 hours a day – medium
• Anywhere more than 4 hours – heavy duty
There are a few points to consider before picking one that suits you best.
A. WHAT ARE YOU USING IT FOR?
Is it to slice something that is staple in your menu or something that is an occasional item? If you are using it daily for a large volume and thickness consistency is an important criteria, then it would make sense to invest in a electric unit that is automated so that you do not need to keep monitoring the precision of its cut.
B. THE THICKNESS OF THE SLICE – AT ITS THINNEST AND ITS THICKEST
From your menu, you need to know the thickest slice you would need and also the thinnest. Of course, being able to accommodate future plans for your menu should also be taken into consideration.
C. HOW OFTEN DO YOU USE IT? WOULD IT HAVE A SPACE OF ITS OWN?
Some meat slicers are built with a very strong base which makes good sense as it would be sturdy when slicing. However, if you have a small kitchen and these slicers are only used a certain time of the day and kept after, choose one with a lighter base. Also if you place it on a countertop – its footprint should be checked that it does not exceed your table size.
D. EASY TO MAINTAIN
A good meat slicer would be made of stainless steel and some alloy steel for its blade. It should also be easy to clean where its blade can be easily removed for wash. As meat is prone to contamination, if you use the slicer to cut other products it is important that the unit is cleaned thoroughly before you use it again.
E. BLADE SIZE & POWER
Blade size matters. In the market – smaller units have 7”- 9” whereas the bigger units have blade size of 10” to 12”. Also, if you have chosen an electric automated model, know the produce that you would be slicing. Something too hard might overwork the motor. So check and inform your supplier the size of raw produce that they send to you before you choose one.
F. TYPES OF FOOD
Some slicers are used to cut other produce such as cheese. If this is a regular practice, check if the unit can accommodate and that it can be washed easily.
See comments below from our panel on how to pick the right meat slicer.[box style="rounded" border="full"]
CHEF FRANCK BRUWIER
“When it comes to this type of equipment, I don’t compromise as they will be a very good investment. I use it not for only meat but also for thin slices of vegetables, fruit and other frozen products to obtain different texture and shapes. Many good models will also allow you to sharpen your knives.”
F&B Equipment Sdn. Bhd. – Manager
“If you are slicing frozen meat, know that most slicers are recommended to slice meat that is in between -4°C to -7°C. Anything lower would be bad for your slicer. Also think of the machine’s weight and if you need an automatic or manual carriage to help in your daily production.”