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Old 03-22-2005, 04:01 PM   #21
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momcooks
Seems obvious to me~offer CC money, and he can donate that to the church or whereever!
It would be nice momcooks, but even if I wanted to, I can't get my hands on the daggone thing. It is packed up tight in storage and I don't even know which of the bizillion boxes it is in!

I will donate it whenever I can get to it. It may be quite a while! It is in one of those storage units where you just can't take out a box, you have to take all of the stuff out of storage.
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:14 PM   #22
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Did I misread your post? MrCoffee I thought you said you have a commercial slicer?


I remember my days of having access to a commercial slicer fondly. *sigh* Our meat market had one of those big slicers and I could cut any darn thing on it! Sliced cheddar cheese wonderfully. I don't remember the brand though.
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Old 03-22-2005, 08:34 PM   #23
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You heard right. It's a Berkel 9" commercial slicer. It's not recommended to slice cheese on this machine because it is hard on a motor, and will wear out some parts prematurely, among other things. Of course, the cheese will have a tendancy to crumble when I try cutting it as well. Perhaps I could try letting the cheese get to room temperature, then greasing the blade and carrier surfaces with cooking oil. Perhaps then, the cheese would hold together well enough to be sliced. Of course, when I do slice cheese it also gums up the blade real good, and I end up having to clean it thoroughly. For everything else, the machine works fabulous.

MrCoffee

(One of these days, I'll get one of those BIG 12 inch Hobarts)
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:55 PM   #24
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Mr Coffee, not on the extreme side are we? Yes I'm jealous. Well they slice cheese at the stores, so I'd think it wouldn't be a problem. I slice it very cold, and can get it very thin without a problem. Rarely do I have to wipe down the blade.
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:01 PM   #25
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Interesting, momcooks. I guess there must be some sort of science or art to it, then. Either that, or you may have a bigger slicer. Perhaps the cheese I was slicing was a bit too cold. I'll just have to do a bit more experimentation.

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Old 03-22-2005, 11:16 PM   #26
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No mine's a small one. Looks like this.



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Old 03-22-2005, 11:24 PM   #27
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I work in a deli part-time and slicing cheese is more difficult than sliceing meat I think. How easy or difficult it is to slice cheese depends on several things. A cheese like swiss slices easier than a softer cheese such as mozzarella. Generally if a softer cheese is cold, it will slice better. The amount of pressure on the cheese from the piece that holds the cheese in place will affect how it will slice. Cheeses that have a tendency to crumble don't slice well. The only cheddars that we slice are those that have been altered by having something added to them to them in some way (horseradish, hot peppers, or having been smoked). Certain cheeses will "collect" on the slicer faster than others and when the carrier and blade are coated with cheese, it will be more difficult to slice and often the slices have groove-like marks on them. Hope somebody finds all this useful.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:05 AM   #28
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It might have been the type of cheese I was trying to slice, purfectlydevine. This particular cheddar came in a 5 pound brick, and it wasn't altered in any way. I also sliced a smaller brick of aged cheddar from a different source, and it came out just fine without any of the crumbling and the slices seemed almost as big as the ones from that brick. When I use my slicer, I run each slice through very slowly so it doesn't tax the motor or the belt. Which types of cheese do you feel are best for sandwiches, burgers, and such?

momcooks: Looking at the photo of your machine, the blade may be a bit more offset on yours, thus making your machine accomodate a longer stroke. The one I have is this one: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/bermeatslic.html. Although the article states that it's for home use, Berkel informed me that it is a commercial unit and is not rated or marketed for the home. In fact, Superior Products is a bit reluctant to sell such a unit to a home user. Mine is also belt driven, rather then direct drive or gear driven. None the less, it is still a heavy-duty unit and will shave ham and other lunch meats better then any other machine I have encountered. My machine will also ace the slicing of just about any vegetable: tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, perhaps even celery and carrots if they're cut right.

I will add a word of caution here as well: Slicers like the one I have can be dangerous. The Berkel came with several large posters with bright orange warning labels, and the machine is also placarded with warning stickers in several places. Heed those warnings, they are there for a reason. This machine should not be used by someone unless they know what they are doing. That 540 RPM blade can most definitely scare me into common sense.

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Old 03-23-2005, 09:15 PM   #29
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If you like thin slices, a "regular" swiss is a good one. Heidi Ann is popular, but I don't think it has much taste. Provolone usually can be sliced fairly thin. We sell a lot of muenster, but it must be very cold to slice well as it is a bit soft. Domestic Farmer cheese is good melted, but is hard to get very thin because it is a bit soft. Keeping it very cold helps make it easier to slice. Longhorn (Colby) and Colby-Jack are popular cheeses around here. I usually just use my hand to hold the piece in place because too much pressure will make it more difficult to slice and I find it is not easy to get that thin. Because the slices are large and round, I like to use one of these as a base for quesadillas. We probably sell more white American than anything, but I think it is a bit bland. Keep the slicer clean so you don't have to push so hard to move the cheese across the slicer and allows you to make more attractive slices. A sharp blade is important. We sharpen the baldes at least once a day. When cleaning be sure to CLOSE THE BLADE all the way (not just back to 0) and pay attention to what you are doing. If you allow yourself to be distracted you are asking to get cut. Hope this answers your question MrCoffee.
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Old 03-24-2005, 04:34 AM   #30
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That's good information, purrfectlydevine. It does seem like swiss would be a lot easier then the cheddar I tried to work with. I can get colby in a smaller round tube (wax covered). I'll do some more experimenting to determine which cheeses work best, and at which temperatures.

On the blade: You can very well bet I close that guage plate when cleaning. And yes, I pay lots of attention to what I'm doing. I take a great pride in having this machine in my collection, mainly because there aren't very many folks who have one.

MrCoffee
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