This article is your ticket to processing ground meat without the use of a grinder. It’s actually not that difficult. If you already have an appliance to grind meat, be sure to check out my article on how to grind meat using a grinder.
Ground meat is an incredibly versatile ingredient that’s delicious is a wide variety of dishes. What’s your favourite meal? Lettuce wraps stuffed with meat, hamburgers, lasagne or sausages? Freshly ground meat is your ticket to creating amazing dishes on a budget.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The ground meat you buy at the supermarket won’t provide the perfect launch pad for creating your dish. Using freshly ground meat could take your dish from a 9 to a perfect 10/10!
Reasons to grind your own meat
1. The meat tastes better.
Believe it or not, grinding meat with your own hands tastes better than using a machine. Most of us are used to ground meat that is already packaged and readily available in the store. Getting your meat this way is a lot easier. But once you try making your own ground meat, you’ll see the difference in terms of texture and flavor. Hand-chopped meat is more flavorful and has texture.
2. It’s healthier
Ground meats sold in the supermarket appeal to the masses. What most people don’t know is what goes into that package. More importantly, how clean is the kitchen and machinery used in the grinding process.
You’ll also notice that when buying ground meat at the supermarket, there is a higher fat content in the cheaper products.
3. The meat looks better
Meat that’s been sitting on the shelf tends to have a dull, lifeless look to it. Sometimes it’s even turning grey which is far from ideal. It probably won’t hurt you, but it also won’t give you a burst of fresh flavour you can get from freshly ground meat.
But what if I don’t have a meat grinder?
Can you really get the job done without one? I’m happy to let you know the answer is yes! In fact, a lot of people prefer to process the meat without using a grinder.
3 options for grinding meat without a grinder
Are you ready to hone those cooking skills? Producing mince meat without using a grinder will require a new cooking technique. It’s actually not difficult to learn. The best news is: you will have control when it comes to the texture of the meat. Fine or chunky? You decide!
Option 1: Chopping with a Sharp Knife
For this method, all you need is a sharp knife and a chopping board.
Slice the meat at a 45-degree angle using a sharp knife. Do not cut the meat all the way down. When you cut the meat, it should be about a ¼ inch thick.
Next is flip the meat over and repeat the first step. Just cut the meat at the same angle, but this time in opposite direction.
Toss the meat over and cut it at 90-degree. Same as the first step, you should cut it 75% all the way through. There should be about ¼ inch. in between slices.
Flip it over and repeat Step 3.
Pile up the meat. Using the cleaver close to the handle, chop the meat rapidly from left to right several times. Now, if you want fine textured meat, you can do Step 5 until you have achieved the perfect texture for your dish.
Option 2: Grinding Meat with a Food Processor
Do you own a food processor. Excellent! You have your very own meat grinder.
What you will need
- food processor (or blender)
- raw meat
- baking tinfoil
Cut the meat into smaller chunks with a sharp knife.
Place the meat on the tinfoil and put the sheet in the freezer for about half an hour. You want the meat to be firm but not frozen.
Add a handful of meat to the processor and blend. Once you’re happy with the consistency scoop it into a bowl.
Repeat step 3 until all the meat is processed.
Option 3: Visit your local butcher
Visiting the butcher is the easiest option and it’s also the best option if:
- you don’t have a food processor
- you aren’t comfortable using sharp knives
Your local butcher will be more than happy to grind your meat for you. The best part about using a butcher is that they’re full of useful knowledge about meat. Well, you’d hope they would be! Have a chat with them about what you’re going to use the meat for and they’ll point you in the direction of the best meat for the job. They may even recommend a mix of meats as is found in some homemade sausage recipes.
Which is the Best Option for Grinding Meat?
Personally, we prefer using a meat grinder as it’s purpose built for doing that one job, and many of them do it well.
But we understand everyone has different needs. If you’re short on time or don’t have a processor, taking a trip to the butcher makes sense. It’s quick, easy and there’s no chance of cutting yourself with a knife or blade.
If you’re the type that likes learning new skills in the kitchen then it’s hard to beat the knife method. This is how it was done back in the day. The best advantage of this method is you can control the size of the chunks.
Make sure you use a very sharp knife. A blunt knife actually increases the chance of injury and it’ll take you a lot longer to chop the meat.
Using a food processor is also a good option. It’s super fast and you’ll still create excellent ground meat.
Grinding meat without a grinder is easy, produces a fantastic end product. With any of these methods, you can have your own ground meat. Next step is to use the ground meat in your favorite recipe.
Do you have additional methods for grinding meat? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.