Food slicers are a necessity in many kitchens. Useful for cold cuts, sliced bread, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, and so much more, every good kitchen should have a food slicer on hand. Using a slicer is faster and more uniform than slicing large amounts of food by hand, so you end up saving both time and capital. This week in What’s Cooking, we bring you some quick tips so you can get the most out of your slicers and keep your kitchen running efficiently.
Care and Maintenance
Be good to your food slicers! Just as with any other piece of commercial restaurant equipment, food slicers can last a long time with the right maintenance and treatment. Keep these tips in mind as you operate your food slicers.
• Make sure that the blade diameter you choose is approximately equal to the diameter of the product being sliced.
• Lubricate your food slicer’s blade with mineral oil rather than cooking oil, since the latter can eventually jam up the machinery.
• Keep your food slicer’s blade sharpened.
• Lock your slicer’s blade when not in use.
• Return your food slicer’s blade to its original setting if you adjust it to cut thinner or thicker slices.
• Never slice frozen meat—it will damage the slicer.
• If your meat is of an uneven texture, it will slice much more easily if partially-frozen.
• Never use your hands to move meats toward the blade; instead, use the food pusher to steadily apply pressure and move the meat.
• Make sure the meat is completely boneless before you slice it.
• Choose light or standard duty slicers for slicing deli meats.
• Lightly wetting the slicer’s blade will produce a finer cut when slicing cheese.
• Cold cheese is easier to slice, especially if dealing with a soft cheese.
• Medium or heavy duty slicers are best for cheeses.
Slicing Produce and Breads
• De-seed fruits and vegetables before slicing.
• Produce is easiest to slice when cold.
• Always slice bread at room temperature.
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