If you are considering purchasing a meat slicer you may be looking at the different meat slicer brands out there. But your concern should be less with the brand that manufactures the meat slicer and more geared to the meat slicer itself.
Most brands that make meat slicers offer a range of different appliances geared towards different target markets so it’s all about what you need in a meat slicer more so than the brand that is etched into the appliance.
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Decide What Your Needs Are
When considering the purchase of a food slicer you want to take into consideration what it is that you will be slicing as well how much you will need to use the machine. You will find that different machines will have different capabilities and limitations when it comes to slicing different foods including meats, vegetables and cheeses.
You will find that entry level models will come at more affordable prices but they may have limitations in their capacity to slice different foods. Meat slicers in this category will also tend to burn out quicker when you are constantly burdening them with more than they are designed for. For example most entry level slicers do not have the capacity to slice cheese.
Heavy duty models will on the contrary offer more versatility on the things that they can slice. Heavy duty models tend to also have more safety features. Of course these models will come at a higher price but it will work out in the long run when you see how they offer better safety, increased productivity and better quality slices when compared to their less expensive counterparts.
Guidelines for Purchasing the Best Slicer
Entry Level Slicers – These types of slicers are ideal for use of less than two hours per day. It is not recommended that you use an entry level slicer for slicing cheese because of the lack of convenience and safety features.
Mid-Tier Slicers – These slicers will be designed with larger blades than your entry level slicers along with a bit more power when it comes to the motor that it is equipped with. These will be able to handle a larger work load and some models may come with the ability to perform some amount of cheese slicing.
Premium Slicers – You will find only the top of the line offerings from the different meat slicer brands here. These slicers will be heavy duty equipment that are designed to be on the go constantly. They will come with a number of features that enhance the operation of the machine as well as the resulting slices of food.
Meat Slicer Parts
No matter which meat slicer brands you choose the parts of a meat slicer are all typically the same. While some brands may have some slight differences the basics of a meat slicer are all the same. The parts of the typical commercial food slicer include;
- Blade – this is the part of the meat slicer that does the actual slicing. In most models the blade is permanently attached; however in high end models you will have the opportunity to remove the blade for cleaning.
- Blade Guard – this is also called a ring guard and is a safety feature for protecting against the blade. Some of these can be removed or moved at an angle to facilitate easy cleaning.
- Gauge plate – this is the area that surrounds the blade of the slicer. This is the part that moves to adjust the thickness of the slice you would like to produce. You move this with the use of a control knob on the body of the slicer.
- Product table – this is also called the product tray or carriage in different models. This area is where you will place your meat to be sliced. On most models this area is grooved and is set at an angle to ensure the product will slide into the blade easily. Some models will have this area having the ability to tilt up so that cleaning can be easier.
- Pusher – this is also called the meat grip on some models. This part of the slicer is attached to the product table and is made removable on some models to facilitate easy cleaning.
- Sharpener – This helps to keep the blade sharp and many models will feature a removable one so that you can clean it easily.
Horsepower – slicers with a higher horsepower are better for more frequent use.
Blade size – a 12 inch blade is the average blade size across the various meat slicer brands. Light duty slicers tend to have blade sizes from 9 to 10 inches. Mid-Tier to Premium slicers typically has blade sizes ranging from 12 to 14 inches.
Product Tray Size – typically product tray sizes range from 1.5 inches to 12 inches. This may mean you may need to precut some items prior to placing them on the meat slicer.
Automatic or Manual – An automatic slicer can be left unmanned. This is a great option for large amounts of product to be sliced. For smaller operations one can suffice with a manual slicer which will need staff attention constantly.
Gear Driven or Belt Driven – slicers with gear driven blades tend to be more durable. However if these break down they are very costly to repair.
Maintenance and Cleaning of your Meat Slicer
No matter which of the meat slicer brands you look at, you will find that cleaning one of these devices is pretty similar because they all have the same basic design. Your meat slicer will need to be sanitized on a regular basis.
Your meat slicer must be properly lubricated to ensure that all the moving parts work seamlessly. You do this by using any food grade lubricant on a regular basis and this will help to ensure the longevity of your meat slicer.
All in all, what you will be using the meat slicer for and how often you will be using it are the two most important questions you can ask yourself prior to choosing a meat slicer.
The answers to these questions are far more important than the meat slicer brands that you choose from. Pay attention to customer reviews for the products that best meet your needs and make your choice wisely.