Must-Have Clothing and Equipment for Butchers
Butchery is the best place where you can go to buy meat because they always have the freshest meat. Butchers know their job very well. They know how to properly cut and take care of the meat so we can get the finest pieces. Also, they can often give a piece of good advice on how to cook the different cuts and what to do for a superior taste.
A butcher’s job encompasses several things besides cutting meat. They need to negotiate with suppliers, inspect and store the meat, prepare, package, and display the cuts, provide good customer service and prepare special-order cuts upon request, and make sure that the working area and equipment are clean and safe. In order to do this effectively, they should have the appropriate clothing and equipment.
So, if you want to become a butcher or have your own butchery, there are some essentials that you need to provide your customers with the best products and service possible.
What Kind of Protective Clothing Do Butchers Need?
Aprons to Protect Against Spills and Cuts
Aprons are key pieces of clothing that you need for your safety while preparing the meat and to leave a good impression on your customers as well. For this reason, you should buy butchers apron made from high-quality materials.
There are various styles that you can opt for but the most popular one is probably the bib apron. Unlike waist aprons that cover your body from the waist down, bib butcher aprons cover your torso too. These usually have adjustable neck and waist straps and one or two pockets. For greater security and to take the strain off your neck, they can be cross-back aprons. They have straps that go over your shoulders and cross in the back, ensuring ease of movement. These can be found in many different materials which make them the ultimate choice for the shop floor.
Aprons can be made of polyester, cotton, denim fabric, and others. For a stylish look and durability, the straps can be of leather or some kind of fabric and they’re replaceable. You can have a whole new look by just getting straps in a different colour or design. You could get custom butcher aprons with an embroidered logo on them. This a great way to look presentable in front of your customers and know that there aren’t any other shops that have the exact same type of aprons. Just choose the type of material you want and then have your brand embroidered on them. You can choose the position where to put the logo, the size, design, and colour.
For cutting and preparing the meat, you need to buy butchers apron that’ll be more resistant to spills, cuts, and tears. There are heavy-duty aprons made from vinyl, urethane, or cotton-polyester that can have a water-proof coating. If you want something lighter, you can get disposable aprons that are made for one use and are an efficient way to avoid contamination problems.
Gloves and Boots to Prevent Severe Injuries
Gloves are necessary to protect your and your workers’ hands from injuries. For cutting meat, metal mesh gloves offer the greatest protection. They’re made of small metal or steel rings that can be easily cleaned and sanitised. There are cut-resistant gloves that offer a different level of protection depending on the needs. They’re made of strong, synthetic materials.
Cotton gloves are great for protecting your hands from the cold and you can use disposable latex gloves which provide sanitary protection while handling meat.
When it comes to footwear, you need appropriate work boots. Above all, they need to be comfortable so you can spend more hours a day on your feet. They should be water-resistant and anti-slip to keep your feet dry and prevent slipping in wet conditions. For extra protection, choose a pair with a toe cap that will protect your toes against sharp objects and with cold insulation to keep the feet warm.
What Kind of Equipment and Tools Do Butchers Need?
Cutting Table and Blocks
Usually, stainless steel cutting tables are used with a heavy-duty top. The materials need to be safe for food and durable to withstand all kinds of cuts and scrapes. Apart from an integrated tabletop, you can get butcher blocks that are large and sturdy surfaces for chopping, deboning, filleting, etc. They need to be heavy and made from end grain wood. End grain ensures a long-lasting and cut-resistant surface. Due to constant exposure to water, they should be properly cleaned after use to keep them in a good shape for a longer time.
Knives and a Knife Sharpener
Knives are essential to make nice cuts of meat. There are various types of knives that can make your work easier. A knife sharpening device is needed to keep your knives sharp and prevent accidents. It can be a sharpening machine, sharpening steel or stone.
- Boning Knife – This type is used for removing bones from different kinds of meat. They’re sharp, narrow, can have a straight or angled blade, and can be found in many lengths;
- Cleaver – This is a larger knife that has more of a rectangular shape. It’s strong enough to cut through bones and thicker pieces of meat;
- Chef’s Knife – This simple knife will help you effectively trim, mince, and chop meat.
Meat Grinders and Slicers
Since butcheries make and sell sausages and minced meat, you’ll need a quality meat grinder to please your customers. Depending on your needs, they can be smaller for small quantities of meat or larger floor units capable of grinding more meat at a time. Also, they can be manual or electric.
Meat slicers are used for cutting the meat instead of knives. They’re faster and more efficient. They’re easy to use, come in various sizes, and allow you to do your job with ease. You just need to choose the thickness that you need for that particular piece of meat and start the machine. The sharp blades can go through different types of meat and give you nice, equal cuts.