Food slicers are handy kitchen appliances that make it easy to create uniform slices of various types of foods. The food slicer is often constructed to work with a particular type of food, such as boiled eggs or meats. Food appliances of this type are available in simple models appropriate for use in the home. Larger food slicers are also available that are ideal for use in restaurants and other types of commercial kitchens.
The slicer is available in models that are simple devices operated by hand. Larger and more complex models make use of electricity to aid in the process of slicing meat or cheese with a great deal of accuracy. In general, the basic food slicers are composed of a mixture of metal and plastic components and are small enough to be operated with one hand. Larger types may require both hands to work the device properly.
Among the basic home slicer options are the handheld devices that expedite the preparation of meals. The egg slicer uses a series of blades to create more or less equal sections of a boiled egg. The egg is placed into a small tray that holds the egg in place during the slicing. The blades are then lowered on the egg, gradually cutting into the body of the egg at strategic points. When the blades have completely sliced the egg, they are lifted away and the slices can be added to salads or used to top casseroles for a more effective presentation.
Along with the egg slicer, the apple slicer is another common kitchen appliance. The apple slicer usually features a round body that is segregated into sections by the use of blades mounted in the interior area of the device. The blades all point to a small inner circle located in the center of the slicer. Handles located on the exterior sides of the slicer make it possible to position the device on the top of the apple and apply pressure to push the device down into the body of the apple. As a result, uniform slices or wedges of apples are created, while the interior circle of the device also effectively separates the core from the slices.
The cheese slicer is handy for creating slices of cheese as thin or as thick as desired. A basic cheese slicer makes use of a body featuring a wire-thin oblong blade that is mounted across the body of the slicer. A single handle is attached to the body, making it easy to place and press down to create the slices. One hand is used to work the slicer, while the other hand serves to hold the wedge of cheese in place during the slicing process.
A meat slicer is normally associated with use in restaurants although there are smaller home models as well. Meat slicers are normally configured with a shelf where the side of meat is placed and held in position. A sharp blade then moves back and forth across the meat, creating a slice with each pass. The blade can be repositioned to allow for thick or thin slices.
Industrial food slicers usually tend to be powered with electricity and are used for mass production of slices of various foods. Commercial slicers for meat and cheese are often found in restaurant kitchens and are considered to be essential food appliances. Toward the latter part of the 20th century, manufacturers began to produce smaller electronic versions of these commercial models for home use. While many home kitchens still make use of manual food slicers, the smaller electronic versions have gained in popularity, especially in homes with a number of children.