What Does A Food Slicer Do?
An ordinary kitchen knife cannot always cut food as smoothly as circumstances require. It is in these cases that a slicer comes to the rescue, which has been presented on the domestic market of kitchen appliances for more than a decade. This unit is indispensable in catering establishments, cafes, restaurants, and supermarkets.
What is a Slicer?
A slicer is essentially a slicer machine. This device is used to quickly cut food into perfectly even slices. The device works with almost all dense products that can be cut with an ordinary knife, for example, with sausages and meat products, cheeses, fish, vegetables, and bread. The output will be pieces of equal thickness, with a perfect cut due to sharp thin blades. The thickness of the slices usually ranges from 1-16 mm. This device is capable of cutting a standard stick of sausage in 3-4 minutes; by hand, this is done in at least 7-10 minutes. In addition, even the most experienced chef can hardly make the slices as even and uniform as the equipment.
Technically, a slicer is a combination of a circular knife for slicing products and a carriage that safely transports these products to the knife for the operator. All of this is installed on a single platform. After each cut, the carriage returns to its original position, presses the product more tightly to the working surface, and then the procedure is repeated. Sometimes the product will immediately fit too tightly to provide downforce. In hand-held devices, the product is moved directly by the operator.
Main advantages of a slicer
The gadget has several advantages over its counterparts. The first thing you should pay attention to is a high degree of household safety. The knife of the device is protected by a special casing, which allows you to avoid the fear of injury during use. You won’t be able to cut yourself due to the successful design of the pushers, and besides, the device cannot be turned on by accident.
Another significant advantage is the high degree of productivity. Where, under normal conditions, wielding a knife, you would have to spend quite a lot of time cutting vegetables, fruits, and meat using a slicer-slicer, the same operation will take much less time.
The slicer has an adjustable slicing width. The maximum is up to 17 mm, and the minimum varies from 2 to 3 mm, depending on the device and its purpose. Various manufacturers offer their solutions for cutting widths, for example, some models come with additional blades. Thus, at home, it is possible to quickly and safely cut not only baked goods but also hard meat, vegetables, and fruits.
Even though most of these devices are professional equipment for narrow purposes, there is a wide choice of them on the equipment market. It will be easier to choose a slicer for food production or as commercial equipment, knowing what they are in general, and how they differ from each other.
- According to the location of the circular knife, there are vertical (in them the knife stands straight, at an angle of 90 degrees to the table surface) and gravitational (the knife is, as it were, overwhelmed at a small angle).
- According to the method of control and supply of the product to the cutting edge, there are manual, semi-automatic, and automatic devices.
- According to their purpose, slicers can be universal (they often have a wavy disc, and they are quite expensive) and profile, for example, meat or cheese.
Below is detailed information on each type of device.
By location of the slicer knife
Slicers are vertical and gravitational. In the first type, the knife is perpendicular to the horizon. In gravitational devices, the angle is less than 90 degrees, the table with the knife is, as it were, heaped on one side, due to which the cut slices fall under the force of gravity on the food tray, they do not need to be “taken” by hand.
The tilt angle is indicated in the documentation for a specific device, and before purchasing it, you can check with the seller or on the manufacturer’s official website.
By the way of controlling the slicer
The type of appliance that is most popular today is called an automatic slicer. Its functioning does not require any additional manipulations. The product, which needs to be divided into slices, is placed in a special movable compartment and fixed there with reliable clips. Then you just need to press a button, and the gadget will do the rest of the work on its own.
Electric cutting is most used in foodservice establishments, shop kitchens, hot shops, etc.
The main difference between the semi-automatic slicer is the manipulation of the movable compartment (carriage), which must be done manually. Cutting in automatic mode is carried out by a knife hidden behind a reliable casing. Such a device can be seen in small cafes or on the trading floor when tasting meat products, where fast cutting of goods is required.
The last type of slicer can come in handy in any kitchen. Most of all, a manual slicer resembles the most ordinary grater. True, there are several design differences, such as a different arrangement and structure of the blades, etc. In addition, not everything can be cut with such a device. For example, it will be quite difficult to cut a meat delicacy or fish with a manual slicer.
By purpose of the slicer
Slicers can be versatile, like those used in supermarkets. And there are specialized, for specific products. Such devices are usually installed in production.
Depending on the product with which the device works, it may have additional attachments, design differences, or its knives may be made of different materials.
For example, for cutting cheese, the discs have a special Teflon coating to prevent the slices from sticking in them. The bread knife is serrated to prevent crumbling during slicing. Fish slicers are equipped with a carriage that transports the raw material at a certain angle.
How to choose the right slicer?
The first thing to decide for yourself is the purpose of the device. In large industries, for example, in restaurants with high traffic, even small, but specialized slicers are installed. A specialized store is also suitable because only sausages and cheese of hard and semi-hard varieties are cut there. Narrow profile slicers are usually cheaper.
An important question is the type of circular cutter that is installed on the device. The material from which the cutting tool is made also matters. Good steel, reliable, high-quality coatings – all this will prolong the service of the device between sharpening and allow it to cut slices as thin as possible. Typically, the size of the disc is 22-35 cm, according to statistics, the best characteristics of the quality of work have a knife of 25 cm.
The type of control should be selected based on the potential performance of the device. Automatic devices are more expensive, but they can work tirelessly for 5-8 hours per shift, without the participation of an operator.
For a small or medium-sized cafe or a regular grocery store, it is worth choosing a semi-automatic slicer, since in any case, it will have to work with rather long breaks. Overpaying for an automatic model, in this case, is inappropriate.
A huge advantage for the slicer is the built-in knife sharpening system. If it is not there, you will have to regularly disassemble the device and give the disc for sharpening.
The type of sharpening depends on the type of knife and can be straight, wavy, and serrated. The most expensive type of cutting tool is undulating. This knife handles all products.
Straight knives are generally suitable for meat, cold meats, and cheese, the narrower specialization depends on the edge material. The serrated knife cuts the bread evenly without crushing or coloring it.
Of the settings that can be set for the slicer, the most necessary is the thickness of the slice and the rotation speed of the circular knife. The first characteristic is clear: for different needs, pieces of the product of different thicknesses are required.
The second adjustment is needed to adjust the operation of the device for products of different densities. For example, it is better to cut dry sausage quickly, I am soft cheese slowly. Performance is determined by the maximum rotational speed of the disk and can reach 2500 operations per minute.
The decisive aspect of the choice should be safety. The disc colter must be securely covered with a protective cover.
Correct operation of the slicer
This gadget is pretty easy to use. Working with a slicer does not require any special training. In the case of automatic and semi-automatic devices, you should carefully read the instructions before using them.
Having unpacked and prepared the device for work, you need to connect it to the network and make sure that power is displayed on the case. Next, you should prepare a piece for slicing.
The product mustn’t exceed the value specified by the manufacturer, otherwise, inconvenience during operation may occur. After immersing food in the movable compartment, close it and direct it towards the rotating knife (in the automatic version, the carriage will do this by itself).
Setting up the slicer is done immediately after unpacking and does not take much time. Some manipulations can be performed during operation. If necessary, the speed of rotation of the blade can be controlled: this is done using the buttons on the body of the device.
The sliced food should be free of all kinds of bones, stretching cartilage and tendons, as well as any hard objects that the rotating blade, fixed in one position, cannot handle.
After using the gadget, it should be cleaned. For this, any household chemicals for cleaning dishes are suitable, but only if approved by the manufacturer. You can store the device anywhere within a wide temperature range.
The device is unpretentious not only in operation but also in storage. It is easy to use the slicer, besides it allows you to save a lot of time and delight yourself with wonderful slices of a wide variety of products.
What Does A Food Slicer Do?
The Slicer is a complete all-in-one solution for cutting food. There are several varieties of it. Many firms are engaged in the production of solutions within the characteristics inherent in this type of device. In addition to easy use, the slicer is favorably distinguished by a fairly affordable price and high reliability, which is easily confirmed by many positive reviews.
See also: Choosing An Electric Mill For Your Home