Meat slicers are a permanent fixture in grocery stores and sandwich delis and are often seen in food shows and recipe segments that call for freshly cut meat and other cold cuts. For anybody who owns one, knowing how to clean a meat slicer is a viable skill that should be learned as this versatile piece of equipment can wear out easily.
Aside from making sure that your meat slicer is hygienically clean, you should also know how to maintain it so it will not break down just when you need it the most. Maintenance is a very serious topic as it not only protects your equipment, but it also saves you your investment.
Benefits of Having a Clean Meat Slicer
A clean meat slicer brings a lot of benefits into a kitchen or restaurant, and some of these benefits include:
- Helps You Pass the Health Inspection
A health inspection is a requirement for any establishment whose purpose is to cook or serve food items, regardless if its in raw form or cooked to perfection. This is also part of the government’s efforts to keep the public safe and away from illnesses stemming from contaminated food. This being said, a meat slicer encounters a lot of meat, bones and all the other parts you can think of, it is only natural to assume that some of this stuff we pass through the slicer will stick to the equipment and this is something health inspectors look for specifically.
- Prevents Food Contamination
A genuinely clean meat slicer gets rid of all the bacteria and other contaminants that might have transferred over from the food items that have passed through the equipment. This transference is not a rare occurrence, and it does happen on a daily basis, which is why regularly cleaning your meat slicer is a best practice shared among professionals.
Most food establishments nowadays utilize the power of social media to promote their brand and the food that they make. This means tons and tons of photographs and videos revolving around the kitchen and the dining area, focusing on how each item is made and what not. This also means that your equipment is also put on the spotlight, and a clean meat slicer complements all the shiny stuff that your kitchen already has.
- Helps Build Your Reputation
A clean establishment that serves good food is a place worth supporting and spreading the news about. Following this logic, maintaining a clean kitchen and having clean equipment like an electric meat slicer is worth a million dollars when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing. When people see their food being prepared using a clean machine, they know that that food is safe to eat. Plus points if the food is tasty. The news about it and you will spread, not like wildfire maybe, but trust us, it will spread.
- Makes Slicers Last Longer
Well-maintained equipment, regardless of the industry, is bound to last longer than it should. All of the equipment that you see in the market today has a hidden expiration date, and this date is dependent on how well you treat your machine.
The Best Time to Clean a Meat Slicer
Ideally, you should wipe down your meat slicer after every use with a clean rag, regardless of what food item you passed through it. This keeps the blades clean and free of obstructions, which then prevents any miscuts from happening, especially when a bone gets lodged deeply, and you’ll have to take the entire the machine apart to get to it. A full clean-up should be done at the end of every day, and regular maintenance should be done every month to preserve the lifespan of the slicer.
Know How to Clean a Meat Slicer
Before cleaning your meat slicer, it is essential to observe some few rules to ensure that you don’t experience any untoward accident while cleaning your meat slicer.
- Always wear cut-proof gloves, which are available in handyman stores and the kitchenware section.
- Do not use steel wool to clean the meat slicer as it will just scratch and ruin the finish for you.
- Always read the instruction manuals for specific cleaning instructions.
- Do not submerge your meat slicer in water.
- Always unplug the slicer before touching it with wet hands.
Once you have you’ve set the safety reminders on your consciousness, here is how to clean a meat slicer:
Step 1: Set your meat thickness to zero and then use a soft sponge or cloth to wipe both sides of the blade as you spin it manually. If it cannot be rotated manually, then plug it back on for a bit and then let it spin slowly. Remove any large particles and make sure to watch where your hands are going.
Step 2: Once you are done cleaning the blade, make sure that the meat slicer is plugged off and that the plate is in a fully closed position.
Step 3: Remove the tray, slice deflector, and the center plate so you can wash and rinse them before sanitizing in a cool, dry area. Do not wipe it dry with a cloth, let it air dry.
Step 4: With the slice deflector and other components still drying themselves out, wipe the rest of the blade with a soft cloth.
Step 5: You can use a soapy solution to do this, or you can opt for a store-bought degreaser.
Step 6: Make sure to wipe both the front and back of the blade, starting from the center going out.
Step 7: Using a different cloth, wipe down the remaining pieces of the slicer and then rinse it with another washcloth, but soaked in hot water this time.
Step 8: Use a store-bought sanitizing spray to sanitize the blades and the plates. Let them air dry.
Step 9: Lubricate all the other non-food touching moving parts, so it maintains a steady glide while in use.
Aside from the daily cleaning requirements, meat slicers should also be maintained frequently to ensure that it is performing in tip-top shape. Here are some tips to ensure that your meat slicer works when you need it:
The blades are the most crucial part of the slicer for obvious reasons and keeping it sharp and clean is always a good way to go about it. Most manufacturers have specific instructions on how to sharpen the blade, but you mostly need a sharpening stone to accomplish this task. Make sure to clean and disinfect the blade again after sharpening it.
If for some reason your meat slice is not going to be used for quite some time, then it should be placed in a relatively dry area that is far from the usual kitchen traffic and stored in a secure cupboard or cabinet. Cover it with a tea towel or its cover to prevent dust from accumulating. Make sure to clean and disinfect it before using it again.
Most machine parts get worn out for one reason or another, and no matter how well you maintain or clean it, if it’s bound to give, it will give. Make sure to follow the instructions in the manual that it comes with or you can also contact a certified repair center to have it checked.
Maintaining a clean and sanitized meat slicer can bring wonderful benefits into your kitchen, including the fact that it can save you from health inspection fines here and there. While instruction manuals often recommend calling a certified professional to do it for you, knowing how you can do it on your own can certainly be worth it in the long run.