A meat slicer may also be referred to simply as a slicer, or as a deli slicer, a food slicer or a slicing machine. Back a couple years ago these machines were only found in butcher chops and delis. They were used to slice meat, sausage and cheese along with vegetables used in delis.
Traditional meat slicers were used with a crank whereas newer ones are used by the operation of an electric motor. Traditionally the meat slicer was a commercial product but now there are many versions marketed for use within the home.
Meat slicers are that one gadget right now that you are not so certain you should get. Do you need one? Can it do more than slice meat? Will I even use it? Should I just invest in a good set of knives?
Those are probably just a couple of the questions that are currently going through your mind and hence why you chose to come here. We aim to answer your questions by delving into the different features of food slicers.
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Food Slicer Blades
The blades of food slicers come in a variety of blade sizes. You will find that most food slicers that are designed for use in the home will have a blade size of 7 to 11 inches. What the blade size indicates is the size of the food that the blade will be able to slice. So a 7 inch blade will be able to cut through a piece of food that is seven inches high.
If there is any part of the food that is higher than the blade size then you will find that the food will not meet with the blade and so will not be cut. If you are considering a food slicer for use in your home then a 7 inch blade will do just fine since you probably will only be slicing whole boned cooked turkey or other joints of meat for your immediate family.
Pros of a Home Meat Slicer
- Save money – pre sliced foods such as deli meats and cheese slices can really add up at the deli counter. Over a year of owning a meat slicer in your home you could save enough money to purchase a second food slicer. Also you can now buy cheaper cuts of meats and cut them to your liking instead of purchasing pre sliced and pre-packed meats at higher prices.
- Saves time – if you like to prep your food then you can really benefit from a food slicer. These can help you make better cuts for dehydrating to make your own snacks and for freezing your vegetables for use in recipes later. Saving time is especially important when you are cooking for a larger family.
- Replaces your knives – if you have an elderly person in your household that has arthritis or who has had their hand and arm movements compromised they will be happy you purchase a food slicer. They will now find it easier to have their meals without you having all the extra work of cutting their food into smaller more manageable pieces for them to feed themselves.
- Convenient – imagine having the convenience of having the ability to slice your foods to your desired level of thickness. This is great especially when following recipes that have precise cut and size indications.
- Versatile – if you purchase a good quality meat slicer you will be happy to know that it will have the capability to do more than simply slice meat. A good quality slicer will also be able to slice vegetables and even some cheese depending on how high end you go with your purchase.
Cons of a Home Meat Slicer
- If you expect deli quality slices you will need to spend the big bucks
- Cleanup can be a chore depending on the model you purchase
- Slicing bread leaves crumbs everywhere
How to Use Your Meat Slicer
Electric meat slicers are the most common units you will find today and they aren’t very complicated. They however can be dangerous due to the fact that their blade is extremely sharp. Food service workers know how dangerous a meat slicer can be.
As a matter of face most restaurants have regulations that require that no one under the age of 18 can use a meat slicer and that the person operating the slicer must be properly trained in its use. With blade guards on these machines it is not while using the machine that most people have accidents.
Rather it is when washing the blade that many people encounter a run in with the blade of the slicer. It is important for you to have blade safe gloves if you will be purchasing a model with a removable blade and will be removing the blade to clean it. Prior to using your meat slicer you want to ensure that you inspect the machine to ensure that none of the parts are loose or missing. Ensure that the machine is properly grounded to the surface it is placed on and that there are no obstructing items in the way.
Once you have made those checks you want to switch on the machine and listen for any weird sounds. If you hear anything you are not used to, you must switch the unit off right away and have it inspected by someone who specializes in meat slicer repair and maintenance.
Once you hear no weird noises you start by placing the food you want to slice onto the food tray. You can stack smaller items such as vegetables on top of each other instead of cutting them singly. Most models will have a pressure plate that you can use to feed the food into the blade properly without getting your hands in the way.
With the blade spinning you can adjust the slicer to the level of thickness you require you’re slickest to be before moving the food in towards the blade. Make a slice and check it you need to make adjustments and do them as necessary. Once you are done slicing you can clean the machine and leave it until your next batch of slicing needs to get done.
Meat slicer uses go well beyond slicing meat. You can slice a variety of foods on your meat slicer if you opt to purchase a higher quality product. There are many advantages of purchasing a meat slicer for use in your home and you can reap those rewards buy purchasing a meat slicer today.