If your meat slicer is mangling and tearing the meat as you slice it, it's time to sharpen the blade. When professional or commercial meat slicer blades become dull, they quit cutting uniformly; slice thickness varies and the meat begins to shred as you cut it. How you sharpen your meat slicer blade depends on the type of slicer you have. Some include a basic built-in sharpener attachment, while others feature an integrated knife and sharpening stones that sharpen as the blade works. Meat slicers with an integrated knife do not typically require additional sharpening.
Turn off and unplug the meat slicer.
Remove the blade cover. Clean the blade with a soft cloth, a mild detergent, such as dishwashing liquid, and water. Do not submerge the machine in water. Dry the blade with a fresh cloth.
Apply cooking oil or sharpening oil to the surface of the blade.
Adjust the slicer blade against the sharpener per the manufacturer's instructions. The surface of the sharpening stone should sit close to the edge of the blade when positioned correctly. Some blade adjustment typically is needed to sharpen the edge of the blade on slicers with built-in sharpeners and those without built-in sharpeners.
Plug in the machine and turn the power on. Let the blade sharpen for a minute or two. Turn off the machine and check the sharpness of the blade. If the blade still appears dull, repeat the process until the blade appears sharp.
Put the sharpener away, and move everything on the machine back to its original position per the manufacturer's instructions. Clean the blade again before using it.
If your slicer does not feature a built-in sharpener, you can sharpen a meat slicer blade by hand using a sharpening stone. Clean the blade and use cooking or sharpening oil to lubricate it. Then, follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding sharpening.
Work slowly and wear gloves when handling the slicer blade to prevent injury.
Tips and warnings
- If your slicer does not feature a built-in sharpener, you can sharpen a meat slicer blade by hand using a sharpening stone. Clean the blade and use cooking or sharpening oil to lubricate it. Then, follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding sharpening.
- Work slowly and wear gloves when handling the slicer blade to prevent injury.