The rise in popularity of pre-sliced meat has made a meat slicer a must-have item for restaurants and food processing facilities alike.
The ability to quickly and easily slice meat product, rather than slicing it apart by hand, allows for faster service, greater output, and ultimately, more satisfied customers.
If you’re looking to provide perfectly sliced meat to your customers, a meat slicing machine is one of the most important tools you can purchase. But how do you know what slicer to buy? How do you determine what features and options you need?
5 Most Important Options in a Meat Slicer
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Large Product Infeed
The larger the product infeed of your meat slicer, the more opportunities you have to provide a variety of sliced meat.
Bigger pieces of meat, lengthwise cuts of meat, no need to reduce the size of meat being sliced before putting it into your slicer, all are real needs you’ll face when providing sliced meat. A meat slicer with a larger product infeed — at least 8 inches wide by 3 inches tall — will give you the ability to provide multiple styles of sliced meat.
If you purchase your meat slicer from a custom manufacturer, you can customize the product infeed to your needs. Check with the slicer manufacturer to see if customization is available.
Slice Non-Tempered Meat
Many meat slicers on the market require you to temper (take the chill out) of your meat product — a process that takes time and slows down your processing operation.
Imagine being able to slice meat without the need to temper and still get perfect slice thickness. No need to bring your meat product up to temperature — just place the fresh meat into your slicer and out comes perfectly sliced meat.
Find a meat slicer capable of handling fresh meat — anywhere from 32-40 degree — and still provides perfect slice thickness. Doing so will save you time (and ultimately money) in your daily operation..
Tool-less Removal of Guarding
When it comes time to clean your meat slicer, you’ll want one that offers fast and easy removal of any guarding and components. A meat slicer that doesn’t require any tools to remove the guarding is even better.
Imagine the time your team will save when guarding can be removed without the need for a tool — no searching for the right sized tool to take the guarding off, no losing screws or bolts, no worrying about getting it all back together again. Simply pushing a few buttons to remove the guarding and put it back on will save you time in your cleaning process.
Easy Wash Down
Sanitation is a huge concern in any food processing facility or restaurant, making it incredibly important to find a meat slicer that is easy to clean.
Look for a meat slicer made of stainless steel components with a wash down motor and control box. When all the electrical components are safely sealed from water and bacteria, clean up is easy. The slicer can be washed down like every other piece of equipment in your facility.
Safety is a feature you don’t want to overlook.
Meat slicers can cause serious injuries to your employees if they do not include a number of safety features, such as:
- Emergency On / Off Buttons
- Eliminating the ability to stick your hand in the machine
- Lock Out / Tag Out features
The less contact your employees have with the internal mechanisms of the machine, the safer they will be when operating the machine.
The Slicer You Want
Looking for a meat slicer that comes with the five options listed above will save you time, money, and reduce the risk of employee injury that can happen when operating a machine with sharp blades. Many processors have found these five options to be non-negotiable on a slicer.