Meat slicers are an amazing convenience, perfect for getting the optimal thinness on your charcuterie and thickness on a hunk of cheese. While they used to be exclusive to commercial settings like delis and butcher shops, they are becoming increasingly popular for professional and amateur chefs at home.
Whether you’re investing in a slicer yourself or you’re just borrowing one, they can be very dangerous if used carelessly with their sharp, rotating blades. Check out these safety tips for using a meat slicer.
Read the instructions first This may sound basic, but it rings true for almost any task. Whether you’ve used a slicer or not, each piece of machinery is different, so make sure you understand how to use it. If you can help it, never operate a slicer alone.
Clean up your work area Before you even think about starting the slicer, make sure your work space is clear of anything that can get caught in the blade.
Focus on what you are doing Don’t try to hold a conversation or complete any other tasks while operating the slicer. Keep your eyes on whatever you’re slicing so you can be sure to keep your hands clear of the blade.
Wear protective gloves It’s great to invest in a pair of cut-resistant gloves to protect your hands from the blade. Also, don’t use your hands to push the meat. Use the food pusher on the slicer.
Never reach across the slicer This goes for the person operating it and any bystanders. If you have to retrieve something near the machine, always turn it off first. Always lock the blade when the machine is not in use, and use caution when cleaning the blade.