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 2022 – Reviews
Here are my absolute favorite 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.