Many amateur chefs and sausage makers presume that the top-quality grinding plates that they use are made of stainless steel, just like their other stainless-steel knives and tools. Thus, when they come to use these meat grinder plates after a while, they witness a not-so-good surprise. (Read RUST) They are unaware that the grinding plates they use are composed of ‘carbon steel.’
Carbon Steel – What is it exactly?
You might not have heard about carbon steel before, but the fact is that it is very commonly used in the making of meat grinder plates and knives. This is because it is a softer steel, can be shaped easily, and gives a beautifully sharp edge to the tools. This softness of steel makes it prone to rust.
Although the steel can get harder with the addition of certain elements in the formulation, it is not recommended because the sharpness can get compromised in the process.
Therefore, it is essential to maintain a perfect balance of metals to give your tools the right edge and also keep them rust-free.
Despite the limitations of carbon steel, pro chefs still prefer it because of the sharpness and edge it possesses. With a little effort and practice, you, too, can maintain your carbon steel tools and use them effectively.
Here are a few quick tips to maintain your carbon steel tools:
- Don’t wash your grinder plates and knives in the dishwasher, as it can damage them significantly.
- Wash your grinder plates and knives in hot and soapy water for the best results.
- After washing, make sure to wipe any moisture that pertains on the surface and dry it well to prevent rusting.
- You can also dry them carefully inside a low-temperature oven, toaster oven, or a dehydrator (150 – 200° F)
- Use a light coating of mineral oil on the surface to prevent rust.
- Store these lightly coated grinder plates and knives inside an air-tight container.
- In case there is rust present on the surface, make sure to rub the surface with a light pad like Scotch Brite to get the rust off. Once the rust is off, follow the above tips to ensure no rust piles on it again.
Why mineral oil?
Proper maintenance of your carbon steel grinder plates can be ensured with the usage of food-grade mineral oil. This oil has smoothening properties that lend a clean and sparkly sheen to your grinder plates. It is the best lubricant you can use for your food processing equipment as it is food safe.
Maintaining your carbon steel grinder plates and knives can be a little demanding, but we assure you, it’s worth the effort. With a bit of extra effort and maintenance, not only will you enjoy cooking with it, but also witness your equipment’s long life.Stay tuned to the Brennan Group for more tips and tricks related to butchering equipment. You can also shop for a variety of meat processing, packaging, and hygiene apparel from our site.