A meat slicer can be quite a useful tool if you own a restaurant or you’re someone who loves to make deli meat at home regularly. Manually preparing deli meat isn’t going to give you as smooth cuts as a meat slicer can. Meat contains hundreds of types of pathogens, and if you’re not careful about sanitization, it can get risky.
It’s important to know how to clean a meat slicer. Herein, keeping a clean meat slider isn’t anything complicated but knowing the right cleaning steps is necessary.
Maintaining a clean meat slicer is easy. You have to have two things – first, sometimes, and secondly, a desire to maintain a sanitized meat cutter.
We’ll talk about everything you need to know about cleaning a meat slicer in this guide. But let’s talk about the difference between sanitizing and cleaning first. These two are some of the most commonly confused terms.
Sanitizing vs Cleaning
Cleaning, simply, is the process of removing the visible dirt – meat leftover, fat, and other bits. Sanitizing is the deep clean part. Pathogens and other microscopic creatures contaminate the surface of the slicer, and they don’t die without getting sanitized.
That’s just a slight difference, and these two terms can be used interchangeably. When you clean your slicer, if you take some extra steps, then you can easily do both the cleaning and sanitizing in a single batch.
How Often a Meat Slicer Should Be Cleaned
Both cleaning and sanitizing should be done before and after every use. Every time you use your slicer, you should take the time to do it. People think it’s unnecessary and just want to be done with a plain water wash, but it’s never enough. Plain water won’t kill the bacterial grounds.
You can skip cleaning once in a while if the work you’re doing is continual and there’s no break, or at least no significantly long break. But if you do take a break for an hour or so, you should do the proper sanitization before continuing the cutting again.
Also, clean the machine well after using and before storing. Metal is a favorite ground for bacteria to grow on. Without proper cleaning and sanitizing, the whole bacterial ground gets a good breeding space on the slicer surface.
How to Clean a Meat Slicer
Cleaning a meat slicer is easy, and if you can only maintain the correct order of operations for cleaning it, it doesn’t take much time to complete the task. Let’s see how you can do that –
Step 1: Cleaning the Blade
The process should start with cleaning the meat chunks off the cutting blade. This is quite easy to do and should be quick.
Get the blade to the lowest thickness and turn it on. As it rotates, hold a scrubbing brush or a clean cloth on both sides of the blade. Let the blade go through some turns. The meat particles will gather inside the cleaning cloth or scrubber.
Step 2: Cleaning Grease and Sanitizing
Now that you’re done with cleaning the main blade, it’s time to take apart the removable components. Disconnect your meat slicer if you haven’t already.
Take all the parts: the tray, blade, and other components out. And let them soak in some light acidic water. The acid should help with the easy removal of the grease from the components. You can use any dish soap or vinegar for this. All of these are acidic.
Once they’re soaked in the water, scrub the grease off with a scrubber. Let the water rinse off for some time.
While you let the components dry off, take a sanitizing chemical spray and drizzle lightly on the meat slicer. Since some parts are electrical and can’t be soaked in water, spraying on them is the only viable solution.
Now take a clean, dry cloth and remove the excess sanitizers. Put careful attention to the slicer corners. The corners gather dirt the most. Clean them off with the cloth. Reattach all the components back together, and you’re done. Repeat the same process before and after you use your machine every time.
Things You Should Keep in Mind as a Meat Slicer User
You can use your meat slicer to cut not only deli and raw meats but everything else that’s soft and cuttable with the slicer. Sausage, hard-shelled cheese are some of the stuff you can cut with a meat slicer. You’ll easily get uniform cuts this way.
If you’re cutting various items at a time, then you should try to start with the non-meat items first; then, deli meat, and finally, raw meat. The main idea is to cut raw meat in the last step. Let me tell you why.
Raw meat leaks out a juice from it. The juice looks like blood, but it’s not what it seems. This is discolored protein, and the juice smells stinky.
When you cut cheese or deli meat after cutting raw meat, the pungent smell of meat juice will penetrate through them and change their fresh smell to a pungent, disgusting one. That’s why it’s advised to cut raw meat last and slice the fresh items before.
You should try to avoid using the slicer to cut hard-shelled vegetables and fruits. The blade is powerful and strong enough to cut through them. But it wasn’t designed to be used this way.
Cut only the soft items to help your slicer blade retain its sharpness and shape. Keep the blade properly washed and dried to keep it free of permanent markings as well as foul smells.
How Often to Clean a Meat Slicer When It’s in Constant Use?
The more you can clean your meat slicer, the better it is. Cleaning them isn’t complicated and can be done very quickly. But sometimes it can get too much of a hassle, right?
Suppose the machine is being used constantly. For example: if you’re a restaurant owner and your slicer machine is always kept running, you can get by cleaning it twice a day. The constant motion won’t let much bacterial growth in a short time.
But if you’re using it in your home and use it maybe once in a while, then you should clean it every time you use it – clean it before and after use. Not using the machine for a prolonged period is helpful for bacterial growth, so it’s a must to keep the machine sanitized before and after storing.
Nothing can beat a meat slicer in terms of cutting precision and speed. Imagine how hard it’d be to cut a lot of deli meat without using the machine manually. A meat slicer can last for years if it’s maintained and kept clean. The good thing is you now have some solid ideas on how to clean a meat slicer.