Those of us who are grateful for our meat slicer wants to be sure to keep it in good condition. Not only by making sure that we regularly clean it, but also by making sure that it continues to operate in a safe and efficient manner for a long time to come. Unfortunately, many of us are also new to owning or operating meat slicers, so it might not seem all that straightforward as to how we keep them in good condition. That’s why we’ve decided to write this article. We wanted everyone to know how to clean and maintain their slicers so they can keep them in good condition for as long as possible.
As most of our readers are going to realize, we’re going to kick things off by talking about how to properly clean their meat slicer. Cleaning the slicer properly is probably one of the most important things a person can do to keep their slice in tip-top shape. Remember, even the best meat slicer can be dangerous if it’s not kept in good condition.
Step One: Prepare For Cleaning
Before cleaning your slicer, you should think about the areas that are the likeliest to get the dirtiest. The areas where meat particles can become trapped and hard to remove during everyday wiping. Some of these “problem” areas include ring guard mounts, under the slicer handle, and inside of the blade guards. Knowing how to access and clean these areas is extremely important. Of course, those aren’t the only “hidden” areas found on a meat slicer. There are also seals, seams, and gaskets that you’re going to want to clean, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with your slicer as much as possible.
The next thing that you’re going to want to do is to gather the tools that you’ll need to clean your meat slicer. Not only will you need a sanitizing spray, but you’ll also need a spray lubricant and cut-resistant gloves. Cut-resistant gloves might look like they’re made of chain-mail, but they do a great job of protecting your hands against incidental cuts and slices. It’s also a good idea to have a cloth to wipe down the slicer, especially if the slicer needs to be cleaned in the middle of using it.
Step Two: Clean The Slicer
Once you’ve gathered all of your cleaning supplies together, it’s time to clean the slicer. In a restaurant or deli, the slicer needs to be cleaned every single four hours. However, if you’re using the meat slicer at home, you probably aren’t going to use it that much and can make do with cleaning it just once a day.
It’s important that you read the instructions to your meat slicer thoroughly and follow all of the instructions. Using a solution of 1:1 soap to water and a clean sponge, thoroughly clean the blade of the slicer. Make sure that both the front and the back of the slicer’s blade is cleaned by wiping from the center outward. Before cleaning the blade though, make sure that it’s set to zero.
Using a clean towel and hot water, wipe down the exterior of the meat slicer. The entire meat slicer needs to be disinfected with a sanitizing spray and that spray is usually left to air dry on the slicer’s surfaces, but be sure to follow your machine’s specific instructions.
Step Three: Keep The Blade In Good Condition
It’s extremely important for the consumer to take very good care of the blade. A poorly maintained meat slicer blade not only does a poor job of slicing meat but can also be dangerous, so it’s important that you regularly inspect the blade and take the steps necessary to keep it in good condition.
Although it’s beyond the scope of this article, you should make sure that you use a sharpening stone and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to use that stone to keep the blade sharp. If you feel that is beyond your abilities, then take the blade to a professional and have them sharpened. Remember, a sharp blade is safer to use than one that’s dull and pitted.
When sharpening a meat slicer’s blade, it’s important to do it when it’s clean. It’s also important to follow all manufacturer’s instructions. Some meat slices also require the consumer to regularly have the meat slicer serviced, and if that’s the case, then take it to a company that specializes in slicer maintenance.
Step Four: Lubricate The Slide Rods
It’s also a good idea to regularly lubricate the slide rods using some sort of spray lubricant. This should be done after the slicer is clean and dry. Once the slide rods have been lubricated, then you can replace the blade, product tray, and faceplate that you removed for cleaning.
Step Five: Use The Meat Slicer Properly
It’s also an extremely good idea that you use the meat slicer in a responsible fashion. This is good not only for the proper operation of the slicer but also for your own personal safety. Start off by washing your hands and wearing disposable gloves before loading the meat into the slicer. Once the slicer is loaded and properly seated, set the blade to the correct thickness, and then use the push guard to guide the meat through the blade.
While operating the meat slicer, it’s extremely important to focus on the task at hand. You should begin slicing in a distraction-free environment (as much as possible) and you shouldn’t deal with anything but the task of slicing. If you do have to do something else or talk to someone else, then stop the machine before doing so. Many accidents have happened by not paying attention to the slicer while using it.
When done using the slicer, make sure to set the blade to zero and properly clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After it’s been properly turned off, and cleaned, it should then store it in a safe and dry location.
If you follow all of these steps, then you will get a lot more life out of your meat slicer and you’ll be a lot safer using it in the process. Meat slicers are wonderful tools that can be used for a variety of slicing jobs, but they can be dangerous if used improperly, so be sure to use them responsibly and with care.