A meat grinder is one of those kitchen appliances that often gets overlooked as an unnecessary space filler. After all, it’s easy to pop down to the store and buy ground meat that’s ready to cook. For those of us that grind our own meat, we’ve discovered that the opposite is true. Their meat grinder has become an indispensable item that plays a key role in their kitchen. It provides incredibly good mince meat that’s fresh, nutritional, and full or taste.
Let’s get started!
Where does a meat-lover start when they’re looking to buy a meat grinder? The options are endless. Who has time to weight up the pros and cons of each model? No one, that’s who.
The good news is, here at Italian Barrel we’ve used loads of different grinders over the years. If we haven’t used it, we know someone that has. This insight allows us to pull together a review that, we think, will really help you make a good decision.
We hope you agree!
Why your kitchen needs a meat grinder
⇒ Produce fantastic tasting ground meat that’s fresh.
⇒ Combine different meats to create exciting flavours.
⇒ Reduce the fat content by choosing lean cuts of meat.
⇒ Save money buying and processing bulk cuts of meat.
⇒ It’s actually a fun activity you’ll look forward to.
I guarantee that when you produce your first pound of meat at home, you’ll be impressed. Taste, texture, freshness, price: making your own wins hands down whichever way you look at it.
Now let’s take a look at the recommended brands to find out which is best for you.
Quick Comparison of Meat Grinders
|LEM Products .75 HP Meat Grinder||Betitay Meat Grinder||STX-3000 Meat Grinder||Artence Meat Grinder|
|Number of Cutting Blades||1||1||3||1|
|Number of Cutting Plates||3||3||3||2|
|Number of Speeds||1||1||3||1|
|View on Amazon|
Domestic Vs Commercial Grinders
The difference between the two are significant. Commercial units are beasts with huge blades that carve through anything that gets ion there way. You could toll a whole dear into one and it would process it with ease. They have huge capacity and require a massive investment to purchase one. The domestic version is obviously designed for much smaller runs and you’ll need to cut up much smaller pieces. Some of the higher end models should be more than enough for at-home use. Even if you’re needing to process a whole beast – you’ll just need to cut it up to fit into the feeder.
This review will focus on domestic models only.
How does a meat grinder work?
There are very few parts to a meat grinder and they are quite simple to operate.
- Clean all the components of your meat grinder. Hygiene is an important part of meat processing.
- To improve your grinding, thoroughly chill all the parts of your grinder in the freezer. This includes the blade, plates, and grinding tray.
- Decide what meat to use. See the above section on choosing the best meat.
- Use a sharp knife to cut meat into small enough pieces to fit in the opening of the grinder. Remove any skin on the meat.
- Pop the meat onto a lined baking tray, cover with wrap and freeze for 1 hour. Firm the meat but don’t let it freeze.
- Select which grinder plate to use: coarse or fine. Note: if you’re making sausage a finer plate is a good choice.
- Switch on your grinder and feed the meat into the grinder. Use the stomper to push down the meat, not your fingers!
- Catch the meat in a large bowl.
- Get cooking! Burgers, sausages, meat balls? It’s up to you and your imagination.
Each meat grinder in this review requires you to use the same basic steps. To learn more about this process visit this article about how to grind meat.
Although grinders are simple in concept, don’t assume that choosing the right product for your needs will be simple. There is actually a bit more to it and we’ll look at all this now.
What to consider when buying a meat grinder
1. Commercial Vs Domestic
As I mentioned above, this article looks at domestic machines only. If you have a large budget, plenty of space, and you’re going to be making a lot of sausage, you may want to consider a commercial unit. But for the vast majority of people, this will be an unnecessary expense.
2. Grinding Performance
Stop and think for a second. How much meat are you likely to grind in one session? If you hunt, and need to process large quantities of meat then you’ll need a unit that churns through the meat. Some domestic models can process six pounds of meat a minute or more. You’ll be thankful for this when you have a deer and a couple of pigs to process at the same time!
Fingers are fairly important to most of us so you probably want to keep them. Meat grinders were notorious for injuries a few decades back; thankfully modern appliances have a lot of focus on safety.
4. Number of cutting plates
Would you like the option to grind really fine meat for sausage, then thicker meat for Shepherds Pie? The more plates that come with your machine, the more flexibility you have.
5. Number of sausage attachments
Most of us are partial to the occasional sausage. Check to see how many sausage attachments there are. Some units will have multiple sizes for different types of sausage.
6. Speed options
It’s handy to have a slower option for when you first start grinding, then faster options for when things get a little tedious.
Peace of mind is a good thing and that’s what a warranty gives you. The well known brands will generally offer at least a 1 year warranty. If you have the option to extend this, I’d recommend doing it.
It can be tempting to choose a cheap model to save a few dollars. If you can get a good deal then that’s great! But remember that often the cheaper models will lead to headaches further down the track. Production capacity, build quality, speed options: they’re all features you may trade off by choosing the low-cost option.
When choosing a meat grinder spend a little more to get yourself a higher quality appliance that’s made to get the job done.
Top Meat Grinders for 2020
Here are my absolute favourite meat grinders all on one page.
1. LEM Products .75 HP Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder
- Unit size: 20″ L x 9″ W x 15″ H
- Capacity: 6 lb/min
- Weight: 37.5 lb
LEM is a US based provider of meat processing and jerky making equipment. They’ve been in the game since 1991 so they know what makes a good meat grinder. They produced their range to help game hunters process meat into ground meat, sausages and other end products. As you can imaging, processing an entire deer requires some serious equipment, and the LEM range delivers.
The LEM .75HP Electric Meat Grinder is a high quality stainless steel appliance with all metal gears. It’s a higher priced product but, if you’ve used it, you’ll probably think its worth the investment! The LEM gets the job done fast.
It grinds a whopping 6 pounds of meat per minute which is a lot. This unit is for the serious contenders who have a lot of meat. If you only need to produce a small batch of sausages of some meat for dinner each week, this probably will be overkill (excuse the pun).
This machine comes with a large meat holding tray, three stainless steel plates (stuffing, fine 3/16″, coarse 3/8″) and three sized stuffing tubes for making sausage.
- Built with quality materials.
- Grinds meat and even the bones.
- Powerful unit designed for the serious meat processor.
- 3 stainless steel plates.
- 3 stuffing tubes.
- Very noisy.
- Some will find it hard to move due to its weight.
2. Betitay Electric Meat Grinder
- Unit size: 9.4″ L x 9.4″ W x 16.9″ H
- Capacity: 1.7 lb/min
- Weight: 9 lb
The Betitay Electric Meat Grinder is another solidly built unit although not quite in the same ballpark as the LEM unit above. At a production capacity of 1.7 lb/min, this model has the lowest capacity of the electric grinders on this page. That isn’t necessarily a problem though. If you don’t need to grind loads of meat, this is a sensible option. Need to grind the burger meat for dinner? The Betitay will have you sorted in 5 minutes.
The unit comes with three cutting plates to grind a variety of meats. Fine, medium chunkier options mean you can make any dish you could imagine.
There’s also a sausage attachment – we’d love to have seen some different size sausage attachment sizes. If you are really into your sausage, and creating chipolatas through to chorizos, you may want to consider the STX International model mentioned next.
- Lightweight and easy to move.
- Excellent value for money.
- 3 cutting plates.
- Quiet when operating.
- Only 1 sausage attachment.
- Not all parts are stainless steel.
#3 STX International STX-3000 Electric Meat Grinder
- Unit size: 14.5″ L x 6.5″ W x 16.5″ H
- Capacity: 3.75 lb/min
- Weight: 12lb
The STX-3000-TF Turboforce Electric Meat Grinder is another powerful model that churns through almost 4 pounds of meat per minute. Make no mistake, this should be powerful enough for most households.
This is a well built unit with three cutting plates to give you a variety of meats as well as three sausage attachments.
Having three grinding speeds is a huge bonus. Once you get your rhythm going, chuck it into top gear and watch that beast do it’s thing.
The advanced variable intake allows the user to grind larger pieces of meat than most other models.
- 3 processing speeds
- 3 sausage attachments
- Aluminium grinding head and meat hopper
- Advanced variable intake
- Plastic casing is vulnerable to damage
#4 Artence Meat Grinder
• Unit size: 9.2″ x 5.3″ x 5.3″
• Capacity: 1/2 lb/min
• Weight: 2lb
LEM is a US based provider of meat processing and jerky making equipment. They’ve been in the game since 1991 so they know a thing or two about sausage stuffers. They produced their range to help game hunters process their meat into ground meat, sausages and other end products. As you can imaging, processing an entire deer requires some serious equipment, and the LEM range delivers.
The Artence Meat Grinder is a little different from the other options on this page. To start with, it isn’t an electric grinder so you crank the handle to work it. For many this won’t be a problem but if you like the easy life, go for an electric option.
It looks a little different too in that it’s green. I love the look of this appliance and I think it’d look good in most kitchens.
The Artence will only produce half a pound of meat per minute. For those that don’t eat a lot of meat, this will be fine.
- Lightweight appliance that doesn’t use up a lot of space.
- An impressive looking unit.
- Quiet and simple to use.
- Includes a sausage attachment
- Only two cutting plates.
- Relatively low grinding performance.
- Turning the handle can be tedious if processing a lot of meat.
A brief summary
As with any appliance, choosing the overall best option can be a challenge. The reality is, everyone has different needs. If money is no option, then I’d definitely opt for the LEM Meat Grinder because it’s an absolute beast. It makes short work of even the most challenging meat. The build quality is excellent with stainless steel used for the body and all metal gears.
For those on a tight budget, the Betitay Grinder is a good option. Was to really save some money? Go for the Artence meat grinder that looks pretty stylish and is fine for small amounts of meat processing. Remember this is a manual grinder so you’ll have to turn the handle to get the job done.
I encourage you to do a little research on meat grinders before paying out any money. Make sure you understand the main features each model has and that it suits what you need. Before you know it, you’ll be making your own sausages, beef patties, dumplings, meat pies and so much more.
I wish you well on your meat grinding journey!