Meat slicer care and maintenance

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    Jonathan any chance of a video on general cleaning/sanitation and long term care of the meat slicers. I know they are all slightly different but a good general vid. might be informative.

  • Power User Regular Contributors Cast Iron Big Green Egg

    And necessary equipment. Cut resistant gloves are important when cleaning that blade.

  • Cast Iron Canning Green Mountain Grill Team Orange Masterbuilt Power User Military Veterans Regular Contributors Yearling

    samspade To include blade sharpening. That’s a bit intimidating to me.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    Yes for me too. Maybe care and maintenance of the sharpener. Also when sharpening would no longer be an option. Like does a nick take the blade out of service?

  • Team Orange Power User Veteran

    Yeah Jonathon what the H… Thinking you’ve been slacking off long enough. “insert a laughing emoji”.

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    PapaSop Get after him papasop, we can’t have slackers!

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    A lot of new equipment comes with an owners/operators manual. If your slicer has one, that would be a good place to start for cleaning and maintenance. If you have an older piece of equipment or purchased a used piece of equipment then finding a manual can be more difficult but they may still be available on-line or from the manufacturer.

    My slicer is an old Hobart unit, probably at least 35 years old and no manual. Fortunately, it is pretty simple and the only parts that disassemble for cleaning are the carriage and the blade guard. They are held in place with a single thumbnut. Everything else is clean-in-place. I am guessing a lot of other slicers are at least somewhat similar in that respect, but your mileage may vary.
    When I first got the slicer, it was filthy and the carriage slides did not work very well because they need cleaning and lubrication. It’s been 10 year now and it still slides just as well as it did after I did the original refurbishment. I also needed to clean and lubricate the mechanism that adjusts the depth of cut. The basic motor and gear box on my machine are sealed and require no maintenance.

    The aforementioned removable parts can be just cleaned in the sink with hot soap and water and allowed to air-dry.
    The rest of the machine is all clean-in-place, including the blade. The knife can be removed on my machine by taking off three screws, but that is more for replacement, not cleaning. That means wiping or brushing off the big chunks first with a dry cloth. Then I wipe down with hot soapy water. The hotter the better which means you may want to wear disposable rubber gloves. Really helps protect your hands when working with hot water.

    Just start on one end and get all the greasy meaty bits off. When you think you got it clean, check again, there are always hidden areas that are easy to miss. I usually make multiple passes over all areas and finish up with a wash towel soaked in plain hot water. You can finish up with a sanitizer like Star-san solution if you wish. Be careful around the blade, since it is obviously easy to cut yourself badly on a sharp blade. Cut resistant gloves are a good idea, although I just try to be careful and forgo the gloves.

    After everything is cleaned and dried, reassemble it and put a clean cover on the slicer to keep it from getting dirty while it is in storage. That way it will be ready to go, or else you may have to just clean it again the next time you use it.

    My slicer uses the sharpener jig with two rotating sharpening stones. The sharpener attaches to the slicer with a lock screw when it in use. With the blade rotating, the sharpener stone is brought into contact with one side of the blade. A second rotating stone is used to remove the feather edge on the back edge of the blade. I would recommend watching someone with experience do the blade sharpening the first time. If you do it wrong, you could hurt yourself or damage the blade.

    In reality, I seldom use the sharpener. For the hobbyist like me, I just use a flat diamond hone to touch up the blade from time to time while the knife is rotating and it seems to work pretty well. If you do production or commercial slicing on a daily basis, you might need to use the sharpening jig more often.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    samspade said in Meat slicer care and maintenance:

    Yes for me too. Maybe care and maintenance of the sharpener. Also when sharpening would no longer be an option. Like does a nick take the blade out of service?

    I think it would take a pretty bad nick to take a blade out of service. As long as the blade isn’t bent or badly out of balance, it should continue to work ok.

    As I mentioned above, once the blade has a good edge on it, it just needs to be touched up periodically. As long as the blade doesn’t hit bone or make contact with metal, it should stay in good condition.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    processhead great thanks. I got this slicer off offer up with no manual or sharpener. I emailed Bizerba and got a pdf file of the manual. Pretty much repeated what you wrote. Mine was filthy. Took 6 hours to get the dried vegetable oil off.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    samspade Which model did you get?

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    processhead I found a Bizerba HD33 on offer up for 300. Has the auto slice and 13 in blade. Got to find a sharpener now. Its huge and probably way more than I need. Screenshot_20211219-034317_Gallery.jpg

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    samspade The price was definitely right.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    bocephus yeah I was looking for a 12 or 10 since it’s just for the house, but I couldnt not buy it for that.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    samspade your slicer story sounds similar to mine. I won my Hobart slicer at an auction for relatively little money. It didn’t come with a sharpener either. I found the right sharpener for it on ebay for about $100 and had to purchase two new stones for it another $25.
    I paid almost 4 times for the sharpener what I paid for the slicer. I sharpened the blade with it maybe twice in the last 12 years.
    Like I mentioned, I usually just touch it up with a diamond hone from time to time and it is still scary-sharp.
    In hind sight, I probably should have just paid to have it sharpened and skipped buying the sharpener.
    I suspect the correct sharpener for your slicer will be pricey, if and when you find it. It may cost more than what you paid for that fine German slicer.

    Here are some pictures of the sharpener for my Hobart slicer. It stores behind the gray door by my thumb in front of the slicer when not in use.

    Different slicer models may use different sharpeners but the principal will be essentially the same


    The sharpener attaches in the slot on the lower edge of the depth adjust shelf with a thumbnut.
    The sharpener has two rotating abrasive stones. The stone with the bevel sharpens the back side of the blade by adjusting the depth knob while the blade is rotating under power. Note that the back edge of the blade has a bevel profile and the stone shape and angle maintains that profile.
    The flat stone dresses the feather edge from the front of the blade in a similar manner. The front edge of the blade has a flat profile.


    The next two pictures show how I use a diamond hone to touch up the back edge and the front edge of the blade. Again, this is done while the blade is spinning so you need to be extremely careful and pay attention to what your are doing. It only takes a couple minutes to sharpen the blade with a diamond hone.



  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    processhead thanks, the replacement sharpener on this one attaches to the top of the guide tray. With the thickness dial opened all the way you attach the sharpener to the tray in the notch. Once on, you dial number one for 30 seconds the number 2 fir 3 sec. And it’s done. Simple, but $180 for the attachment. Guess it’s worth that.
    Where did you get the hone? That looks quite small and might work well.Screenshot_20211225-153041_Chrome.jpg

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    The one I pictured is actually made by DMT. It is a combination coarse/fine diamond sharpener that I use on knives, and just about anything that has a cutting edge.
    They area available on Amazon and elsewhere. I think I may have gotten this one at Scheel’s sporting goods. The website will remove the amazon header.

    [https://www.[link removed]/DMT-FWFC-Double-Diafold-Sharpener/dp/B00004WFTW/ref=sr_1_9?crid=30ZPVXOXKIYPT&keywords=DMT+diamond+sharpening+stone&qid=1640476163&sprefix=dmt+diamond+sharpening+stone%2Caps%2C164&sr=8-9](link url)

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    processhead thanks looks like I can pick that up at home depot down the street. Might serve as a stopgap untill I can afford the assembly.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    samspade If the blade is in relatively decent condition, I suspect all you will need is the DMT sharpener.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    processhead if you can get a close up of your blade sometime it will tell me where mine is at.Screenshot_20211225-214942_Gallery.jpg

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    Here is a shot of my blade from the back side. Does your blade feel dull to the touch? The edge looks rough, but photos don’t always tell the whole story.

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