Kitchen Slicing Equipment Buying Guide
Owning a restaurant is harsh, especially when there’s a lot of work to do and it seems like clients never stop coming. Although you want clients, sometimes it gets overwhelming, and it seems like you can barely breathe anymore.
The kitchen is the most important part of the restaurant, because there’s where the magic happens, and you cook for the customers. So, your employees cook a lot various types of foods. Therefore, they are going to need special equipment when slicing meat, bread, candy, and many other things.
This buying guide will show you some things you should consider when purchasing any type of kitchen slicer. Consequently, you will know what to expect when buying them, your employees will work easier in the kitchen, and the life in the restaurant will be easier. So, let’s get started.
Bread Slicers - Important Factors to Consider
Which one would work best for your restaurant – freestanding or countertop bread slicers? These are the two setups that are available when it comes to commercial bread slicers.
Basically, freestanding ones come with casters, meaning they can comfortably sit on the floor in your commercial kitchen. They will offer you an easy way to use them, without taking valuable countertop space.
At the same time, countertop bread slicers sit – you guessed it – on the countertop. Therefore, they require countertop space in other to store them, so if you have enough, you may consider this type of commercial bread slicers.
Is your bread ready to be sliced? All it takes is your staff to load the bread and wait for the machine to do its job. What is amazing when owning a bread slicer for your restaurant is that you can easily cut thick or thin slices. What’s even better is that the slicer machine will automatically stop when there’s no bread loaded, as a safety precaution.
Most of the times, you will notice that bread slicers come with several pre-set thickness settings. They let you streamline the bread cooking and preparation process in your kitchen.
It’s essential to read the specifications for any bread slicer upon purchase, so you choose something that fits the restaurant’s needs. There are certain models that come with pre-set configurations when it comes to slices, such as 13 mm, 10 mm, 11 mm, 19 mm, and so on. So, choosing one that slices what you need is an important factor when you want to purchase a bread slicer.
In addition, if you have more clients and need to slice a larger amount of bread, you should be aware that there are models that can handle this demand. Some models will slice a certain number of slices per hour, such as 100, for example. Before throwing money on a certain machine, check the daily demand for bread, so you know how many slices you’ll need. As a result, you’ll be able to choose a model that is perfect for your restaurant’s kitchen, and the employees will be happy as well.
Pros and Cons
|Freestanding bread slicers||- They are space-saving, as they don’t require countertop space|
- They are easy to use
|- They work with smaller amounts of bread|
|Countertop bread slicers||- They are great for larger amounts of bread||- They require a lot of countertop space|
Maintenance of Bread Slicers
As you already know, slicing bread results in crumbs, which is not the most pleasant thing to deal with. Crumbs will require your employees to clean the machine more frequently than usual because it needs to be properly maintained.
So, when looking for a commercial bread slicer, it’s essential to search for one with easy maintenance features. For instance, one that has removable parts for easy cleaning and a crumb drawer would be amazing. It will make it easier to maintain and clean when needed.
Another helpful feature a bread slicer could have is bagging. It helps when you need to bag bread more efficiently. Therefore, if that’s something you require, then you may want to look for a model that has the feature. It should offer front-mounted bagging, and it will help you save the time that would be wasted when you’re getting the bread ready for purchase.
Considerations Regarding the Design
The design is not the most important part of the bread slicers as functionality is the one that needs to be taken into consideration the most. Still, you should look at the design as well, because it needs to not get in the way of the employees. Moreover, a nice design will not only make your restaurant’s kitchen look better, but the employees will feel good using it as well.
Meat Slicers - Factors to Keep in Mind
When you have a restaurant that also cooks meat, it’s important to make sure that you prepare it perfectly, so the clients will return to your place. One requirement when cooking meat is cutting it, which means you are going to need the perfect meat slicer. You can cut it manually, but that’s going to take longer, and the last thing you want is losing customers because they’ve been waiting for too long to get their order.
Let’s start with entry-level slicers. They are the best when it comes to operations where your employees would use the slicer for about one-two hours daily. They are designed in such a way to make the process simple and safe. One thing to keep in mind is that they only work with meat, so you cannot slice cheese or other ingredients with it.
Mid-tier slicers usually come with larger blades, more horsepower, and can handle being used for longer times compared to the entry-level slicers. They can even handle slicing cheese occasionally, but they are mainly designed to slice meat. Also, they offer more safety and convenience compared to entry-level models.
Premium slicers show the top-of-the-line offerings from every manufacturer. These slicers are meant for constant use and are great if you have a big restaurant where there are always meat orders from people. They are specially designed for heavy-duty use and are also able to slice cheese when needed. What’s more, these models have features that enhance the smoothness of operation, safety, and slice precision.
There are two other categories of meat slicers.
So, you have manual meat slicers that are great if you don’t want to rely on electricity. They are an alternative that will save on electricity costs, and also work in case there is no electricity. They perform slower compared to electric slicers, so your team has to work harder to be able to slice the meat and cook for the customers.
Still, if you need a slicer that handles a higher food volume, then this isn’t the best option for your restaurant. It doesn’t handle that much, so you should choose another model. Also, this model is harder to find on the market because the electric one is much more popular. Manual meat slicers are made from heavy-duty materials and are great for commercial use when you need to use them daily.
Electric meat slicers can be found in every kitchen appliance store. What makes them so great is that they’re affordable, easy to use, and you don’t have to put too much effort to use them. The electric motor will do all the work, as it will move the carriage, and you can simply do something else until it’s done slicing.
Obviously, this appliance will be connected to electricity in order to work, so you won’t have to move a finger. You only have to place the meat there and push the start button for the process to begin. Your meat will be nicely sliced, and none of your employees will be exhausted from doing all that work.
Gear Driven or Belt Driven
Meat slicers can either be gear driven or belt driven. Most of the time, a slicer that has a gear driven blade is more durable compared to a belt driven one. However, if the gear driven one actually requires reparations, it’s going to cost a lot more compared to the other type.
Product Tray / Carriage Size
Usually, meat slicers have carriages that can hold products ranging from 7 1/2” to 12” in diameter within it. You need to take the products you are using into consideration because that’s how you will be aware of the carriage size you are going to need. For instance, if you are slicing products that are larger than 12”, you need to check if a slicer’s carriage will handle that upon purchasing the slicer.
Cleaning Leg / “Kickstand”
There are slicers that come with a special kickstand-style leg, and it’s meant to help you prop up the meat slicer so you’re able to clean underneath it.
Pros and Cons
|Electric meat slicers||- They are easier to use, as they don’t require you to do anything|
- They are easy to find on the market
- You won’t be exhausted from using them
|- There will be more electricity costs|
|Manual meat slicers||- You can save on electricity costs|
- They’re a good alternative if there is no electricity
|- They are harder to find on the market|
- Harder to use
- The employees will have to put effort when using them
As you’d probably expect, meat slicers require a lot of cleaning, because you’ll be cutting a lot of meat each day. So, you have to clean them daily, as you can’t leave them dirty, considering you’ll be going to need them again.
So, if you are owning a restaurant and you have meat slicers in the kitchen, you should be aware that they will need proper cleaning and sanitizing daily. You can easily do that if you use a properly mixed solution of commercial sanitizing concentrate and water. There are meat slicers that come with safety cleaning kits, and they have everything that’s needed to clean the slicer the right way. They even come with detailed, step-by-step instructions, so if you’re lucky enough, you may find a slicer that has the kit included.
Another thing you must know is that you should lubricate each moving part within the feeder tray, and the carriage assemblies as well. If you use a food-grade lubricant, you will make sure that you have a slicer that operates smoothly. Consequently, it will last you years, and you won’t have to worry about spending more money on another meat slicer too soon.
Considerations Regarding the Design
Maybe you’re wondering “Why does the design matter?” and you’re right to an extent, as functionality is the one you should be thinking about. Still, there are some things that you should take into account, and you’re about to find out more about them.
Basically, meat slicers are operated by hand, and they use a razor-sharp spinning blade in order to slice products. This means that safety should be a concern because it’s no child’s play. Accidents can happen without proper attention, and that’s the last thing that you want. So, you should give the employees proper training before they are allowed to operate the slicer.
One design feature you should look for is the knife guard. Usually, slicers don’t expose all of the blade – they expose as little of it as possible, so they prevent cut hazards. Some slicers allow you to detach the blade in order to clean the knife, whereas others have it permanently attached.
The meat slicer should also have a power button. It’s a safety feature, and it allows you and your team to restart the slicer after it was unplugged for cleaning. Before cleaning, you should always ensure that there’s no volt release, so nothing bad happens.
You should also look for meat slicers that have the gauge plate interlock feature. It requires the gauge plate to be set at “zero”, so you’ll be able to remove or tilt the product tray/carriage when you need to clean it. It’s a great feature, as it doesn’t only protect the blade’s edge, but the operator’s fingers as well.
Electric Cheese Graters & Shredders
Is there anything better than a lot of pasta with some grated cheese? If your restaurant has delicious pasta recipes, and the clients often order piles of pasta, you should consider electric cheese graters and shredders. You should especially consider this if most of these clients are cheese lovers, and they always want the topping on their food. Here are the things you should consider when purchasing commercial electric cheese graters.
Before anything, you should think about your budget when it comes to buying new things for your restaurant’s kitchen. Does the unit cost much? Why do you need it? How often are you going to use it? These are all things you should think about before diving in and buying the graters straight away. If you must buy cheese graters, look for ones that are affordable, and compare prices before you buy the first product you see. This is the best way to find one that has a good price and is easy to use and safe at the same time.
How Often It’s Used
Do you have a large group of people who love cheese on their pasta, or it’s just a random person who comes to your restaurant once every month? If it’s the latter, then you shouldn’t think about purchasing a heavy-duty piece, because you aren’t going to need so much grated cheese. However, if you have to use it a lot as there are many clients requiring it, then you have to look for one that can be used a lot and handles larger quantities of cheese.
Pros and Cons
Let’s see the advantages and disadvantages for both heavy duty and non-heavy-duty cheese graters.
|Heavy-Duty||- They are very versatile|
- They’re great if you have a large group of customers who require grated cheese on their order
- Easy to use
- They work with both soft cheese and hard cheese
- They’re durable, so you’re going to own them for a longer time
- The design looks great and professional
- They have larger-capacity, meaning you can grate a bigger quantity of cheese
- Some models are dishwasher safe, so you can easily clean them
|- They are quite large, and heavier compared to non-heavy-duty ones|
- They can be pricier, so you’ll have to spend more from your budget
- Some have to be assembled upon usage
- You need storage space for them in the restaurant’s kitchen
|Non Heavy-Duty||- They are easy to clean|
- Some models can be really versatile
- They are great if you don’t have many clients who love cheese on their order
- They are smaller in size
- They aren’t so heavy
- They are easy to store
- They are not so expensive, compared to the heavy-duty ones
|- Some of them can be a bit underpowered|
- There are models that won’t let you grate cheese finely
- Some can be noisy
- May not be as durable as heavy-duty ones, depending on the model
Maintenance of Electric Cheese Graters & Shredders
One of the worst things when owning kitchen appliances for your restaurant is when they don’t work anymore and require reparations. Not only that you will spend a lot of money on the product itself, but you will need more money if it’s not properly maintained.
Therefore, it’s recommended not to let it run continuously for a long time. If the product works all the time, the motor may be ruined, as it risks overheating. This is especially a problem if you opt for a non-heavy-duty unit. Smaller graters won’t handle large cheese volumes and may ruin the product as well.
One thing you should definitely avoid is overfilling the product. You will be able to notice that the grater has a specified capacity inside the container. If you fill it too much, it won’t hasten the grating process. It may actually work negatively, and all you’re going to do is stress the motor and even slow down the speed. Moreover, it could cause spills or waste.
Another thing you should consider is to not use it for other things besides cheese. There are models that are also suitable for nuts, vegetables, and many other things. However, some don’t handle these things, and they may end up damaging over time if you use them for something else besides cheese. So, you should think about your needs too when purchasing a cheese grater. Are you only going to use it for cheese, or other things too? Think well about this, so you don’t end up ruining it.
Moreover, you shouldn’t operate a product that has frayed cords/wires. If you do that, not only that the product is going to get damaged, but you or your employees are also at risk of getting an electric shock. Worn-out wires are a thing, and they should be replaced with high-quality ones, to avoid unwanted scenarios.
The graters will also need to be cleaned, especially if you use them very often. Cheese may get stuck and your grater/shredder will end up having a crust on it, and that’s not very hygienic. So, it’s essential to clean the graters very often.
Produce Slicers - Why You Need One
Slicers have numerous functions in a commercial kitchen space. Most notably, though, they are associated with a wide range of benefits. For one thing, they notably diminish the time required for preparing certain dishes. At the same time, they are efficient. Therefore, these two characteristics will contribute to diminishing the manual labor required from behalf of your employees.
With that in mind, there are several types of produce slicers, including vegetable cutters, vegetable dicers, vegetable wedger, and so on and so forth. Depending on the results you wish to attain, you should consider this factor.
In regard to the diversity of produce slicers, you’ll notice that, in most cases, the products are separated into different categories. Each category is designated for a specific type of vegetable or fruit. That’s because that unit is designed to perform optimally for the texture of that specific fruit or veggie.
Manual or Electric
We could also separate different produce slicers depending on the way in which they operate: that is manually or electrically. It is crystal clear that electric units might save you a lot of time. However, there is a major price distinction between the two categories.
When looking for a produce slicer, you should always assess its capacity. This, of course, will also diminish the overall time required for prepping certain meals. That is to say, investing in a slicer with a smaller capacity than needed won’t allow you to minimize the time required for cooking, but quite the opposite; it will complicate things.
Chicken Slicers - Must-Have Accessory in a Commercial Kitchen
A commercial kitchen needs a dependable chicken slicer. Still, in order to ensure that you’ve made the right purchase for your needs, we advise you to consider the following factors.
Power and Speed
This refers to electric chicken slicers; these have grown in popularity over the last couple of years because they are quicker than their counterparts – the manual slicers. As for the power of the motor, it is important because, if the motor isn’t powerful enough, then the unit is prone to overheat.
Obviously, you want to invest in a unit that will last for a few years – at the very least. Essentially, this is a noteworthy investment. To that end, the durability of a chicken slicer is usually determined by the material used in the manufacturing process, as well as the overall construction of the item.
Many of the chicken slicers you will find on the market might be used for other purposes, as well. To that end, if you intend to utilize the item for slicing other foods, make sure you don’t overlook this. This will allow you to point out the thickness options that will address your needs best.
As you probably know, chicken slicers are equipped with sharp blades. If they aren’t maneuvered accordingly, your employees are bound to get hurt. Hence, you might want to look at the safety characteristics of the unit as well. We’re referring to protective blade guards, for instance, or the non-slip feet on the bottom.
Does your restaurant or café need a commercial cheese slicer? If the answer is yes, then it’s time you invest in one, as it is really a sensible purchase. Not only that a cheese slicer will allow your employees to accomplish the same results when prepping the meals, but such a unit will diminish the hassle of cutting cheese with a knife, which usually makes a mess.
The thickness of the cheese depends on the meal you need the cheese for. This is why you should determine the thickness range of the cheese slicer you wish to purchase. At the same time, do factor in the angle adjustability of the unit, as this will also be helpful, allowing you to attain different results.
For the most part, the majority of commercial cheese slicers are made from stainless steel, because it is one of the most durable materials for kitchen appliances. When it comes to commercial grade units, the manufacturing material is even more important than when shopping for appliances for a regular kitchen. That’s because, in the first case, you will use the unit time after time.
Slicing Wire: The Most Important Thing
Ultimately, a good slicing wire will really make a difference. To that end, it should be strong, powerful and preferably non-stick, so that the job of cutting cheese is made easy.
If you own a bakery or a café, this means that you serve a wide diversity of sweets, pastries, candy, and other mouth-watering goodies.
Why Should You Consider Investing in a Candy Slicer?
In this situation, your staff should depend on something that works better than a traditional knife, which, in most cases, makes a mess. In this view, a high-quality commercial candy slicer will do the job. Not only that this will maximize the efficiency of the preparation process of the candies, but it will also allow your employees to preserve the original sizes and proportions for your pastries and other sweet products.
On top of that, these slicers can be used successfully on dense candy products such as fudge, chocolate, caramel, ganache, brownies. At the same time, you might even cut marzipan using a sturdy candy slicer. This is thanks to the precise wiring, which facilitates clear cuts each time.
Moving on, when using a candy slicer, you can cut large blocks of food products by using swift motions. What does this mean? Simply put, a candy slicer is really easy to operate and maneuver, much easier than a regular knife. What your employees have to do is simply place the products on the base and pull the unit’s handles and that’s about it.
So, if you want to obtain consistently-sized products time after time, get the right candy slicer for your café or bakery. You won’t be sorry. You’ll be surprised about the results you can obtain with the right commercial equipment for your kitchen.
Final Thoughts on Kitchen Slicing Equipment
Owning a restaurant requires a lot of work, and you may have to spend a lot of money on kitchen appliances to ensure the best performance and to keep your clients close. For this reason, you need to choose the right pieces of equipment.
This buying guide was created to help you discover the main things to look for when you need to purchase meat slicers, bread slicers, and cheese graters & shredders. Hopefully, now you can buy the perfect kitchen slicing equipment to show that your restaurant means business.