Choosing the Right Meat Slicer

Meat Slicers

Choosing the Right Meat Slicer 

Not every commercial meat slicer is built for every food service operation. When it comes to choosing the right slicer for your establishment, understanding your needs, and knowing your products are important pieces of the decision making process. Slicing is all about strength. Whether you’re slicing meat once or twice a week, cheese all day long, or frozen foods every now and again, one of the key features you need to consider is horsepower. The duty your slicer needs to perform is directly related to the demands of your operation.  

Here are a few basics to get you started:

  • Light duty slicers have 1/4-1/3 horsepower, and are designed to slice deli meats for less than one hour per day. They are not built for all textures, such as cheese. Light duty slicers can, however, produce expert results with meats. If you need to save a little space, they are typically more compact in nature. 
  • Medium duty slicers are 1/3 horsepower, and are ideal for slicing meats and slicing cheeses for 2-3 hours per day. 
  • Heavy duty slicers are 1/2 horsepower, and are designed to slice meats, cheeses, vegetables and frozen products for 4-6 hours per day. In some cases, depending on the model, heavy-duty slicers can operate all day long. 

If your operation does, indeed, require your slicer to operate all day long, think about the difference between automatic and manual. Automatic meat slicers are perfect for busy environments. The carriage moves product automatically, without operator assistance. Designed with different numbers of speed settings, an automatic slicer also will allow you to set the number of slices per minute according to your volume, increasing efficiency and reducing waste. Manual meat slicers, on the other hand, require the operator to move the carriage back and forth to feed the food product through the blade. This means a little more work for you or your employee, but they are a great fit for operations with limited slicing requirements and limited space. They can also fit well with most budgets. 

Whether you’re in need of light duty or heavy duty, manual or automatic, it’s also always important to keep sanitation and safety in mind. Look for NSF certification. The NSF certification means fewer seams, and a machine that is easier to clean. The blade should be built in and easily accessible, and either carbon steel, surgical stainless or a hardened stainless steel. And your commercial slicer should disassemble quickly and without tools.

Need help deciding which commercial slicer is best for your operation? Call your Boelter Representative today. Or call us at 877-523-3290.