Mastering your grilling technique is impressive, but taking it a step further by grinding your own burger and sausage can elevate your culinary game. While store-bought ground meat is convenient, grinding at home grants you more control and the freedom to create custom blends, saving money in the process.
You can choose from a range of options, including large and powerful professional models or hand-cranked manual machines. These grinders not only chop meat into pieces but offer various settings for speed, coarseness, and attachments to stuff sausages or even make pasta.
Having extensively researched the available options, Food and Meal have curated a list of best meat grinders of 2024 in all shapes and sizes. Whether you crave gourmet burgers, juicy meatballs, or ground beef for various dishes like spaghetti sauce, casseroles, or tacos, we have you covered with the best meat grinders.
What to Look for in a Meat Grinder
Meat grinders come with various parts, typically made of plastic or metal. Plastic parts are cheaper but less durable and harder to clean, especially as they get scratched with use. On the other hand, stainless steel is pricier but hypoallergenic, rust-resistant, and stays sharp for longer. While a metal grinder may require a higher upfront investment, it will last longer without needing repairs or replacements.
Using a metal grinder allows you to refrigerate or freeze the parts before grinding, keeping the meat colder during the process. Grinding generates heat that can melt the fat and result in a slimy and uneven final product. While plastic parts can be chilled, they won’t retain the cold for as long, necessitating grinding smaller batches at a time.
Accessories and Extras
If your primary use for the grinder is grinding chuck roast into hamburgers, a basic model with an on/off switch will suffice. However, there are plenty of options available to expand its functionality. Some machines come with multiple plates for coarser grinds, ideal for dishes like chili, or extra-fine grinds for smooth-textured sausages. Speaking of sausages, some grinders include nozzles of varying sizes to stuff sausage into casings. Some grinders offer multiple motor speeds for grinding tougher ingredients at a slower pace, and a reverse mode to unclog blades if they get stuck.
Additionally, grinder accessories can take the machine beyond just meat processing. Pasta extruders are a popular option, with various sizes and shapes of plates to create different types of noodles from dough. Specialty attachments, like the STX model mentioned above, allow you to make specific dishes, such as kibbeh. The versatility of these accessories opens up a world of culinary possibilities beyond meat grinding.
Meat grinders come in two types—powered by either an electric motor or a hand crank. Manual grinders are cheaper and easier to clean as you don’t have to worry about electrical parts. However, they require more effort and might be limited to handling only a few pounds of meat at a time before causing fatigue.
Electric grinders vary in power and capacity, with even small low-wattage machines outperforming hand-cranked ones in terms of speed and handling larger quantities of meat. Some grinders can be attached to a stand mixer’s motor, but ensure compatibility with your specific mixer model.
Whether manual or electric, it’s advisable, as suggested by Flannery, to grind everything twice to achieve an even fat-to-lean blend. However, avoid grinding more than twice as it can negatively affect the texture.
6 best meat grinders of 2024
This grinder has a few great features you didn’t even know you needed. For example, there’s a reverse button to quickly and easily clear clogs without having you get your hands dirty. Its 300-watt motor can grind up to three pounds of meat per minute, and at under $100, that’s quite the value. When it comes time for clean up, use the included cleaning brush to avoid getting your hands in all the nooks and crannies. This grinder is an excellent deal for the price because it has all the power and features you want without any useless extras that you don’t. The body is stainless steel, but the attachments and other pieces are made of plastic which can feel flimsy and break easily, so we would handle it with caution.
The Sunmile SM-G50 is a powerful meat grinder capable of handling up to 200 pounds of meat per hour, according to the brand. While we didn’t test it with that amount, we effortlessly processed 2.5 pounds of fatty chuck roast in less than a minute, showcasing its impressive capabilities. The durable gearbox allows for speedy performance on lighter tasks and increased power for tougher cuts and even bones if you’re grinding pet food.
This versatile machine comes with plates for coarse, medium, and fine grinds, along with a sausage stuffer, making it suitable for various tasks. You can enhance the grinding process by chilling the grinder head, blade, and plates in the fridge or freezer to keep the fat solid and well-integrated. Its 2-inch feed tube eliminates the need to cut meat into small pieces, saving time when working with larger quantities.
The Sunmile also features a convenient storage compartment at the back, keeping the cord and extra plates and accessories organized and easily accessible. Cleanup is straightforward as the blade and grinding plates are dishwasher-safe. However, the grinder head and other parts require hand washing, and the machine lacks cleaning tools to remove all the stray bits of meat. While the construction is solid, the appearance of the Sunmile might not be appealing to everyone, with a white plastic housing that looks cheap and utilitarian for its price.
The grinder boasts an impressive 3,000 watts of peak power, translating to 800 to 1,200 watts while grinding and the ability to handle 180 to 240 pounds of meat per hour. It offers two speed options, with a slower mode ideal for tougher, fattier cuts.
The STX’s standout feature is its range of attachments and extras, maximizing its usability. It includes three blades, three grinding plates, and three sizes of sausage-stuffing tubes. You’ll find a special nozzle for making homemade kibbeh, a dish with meat stuffed inside a shell made from bulgur wheat and more meat. Additionally, the plastic pusher conveniently stores extra parts when not in use. Pre- and post-grinding tools like a burger press for standard- and slider-sized patties, and meat claws for shredding and handling hot items are also included.
The only drawback to the variety of grinding options is that assembling the machine can be complicated, as different functions require different sets of pieces. It’s important to keep the manual handy for reference. Regarding cleaning, the blades are dishwasher-safe, but the other parts require manual scrubbing.
The KitchenAid stand mixer is more versatile than you might realize. With its “Power Hub,” you can attach accessories like the meat grinder and use the powerful motor for various tasks. This inexpensive attachment includes coarse and fine plates, capable of handling meat, stale bread for breadcrumbs, grating cheese, and processing fruits and vegetables. The included pusher also functions as a wrench to securely tighten and remove the unit when grinding is done.
While the basic meat grinder attachment is sufficient for meat grinding, there are compatible add-ons that enhance its functionality. An optional food tray expands the surface area for holding food, making it faster and easier to feed ingredients. The sausage stuffer attachment pairs with the grinder to feed prepared sausage mix into casings, with both narrow and large tubes for various sausages.
For those seeking a comprehensive package, KitchenAid offers a metal food grinder attachment with three grinding plates (fine, medium, and coarse), small and large sausage stuffer tubes, a large removable tray, a food pusher, a storage case, and a cleaning brush. However, it comes at double the cost of the basic plastic grinder.
The “Big Bite” lives up to its name, with a massive feed tube, oversized hopper, and a powerful three-quarter-horsepower motor that can grind 11 pounds of meat in just 60 seconds. This heavy-duty machine is akin to those found in butcher shops, delis, or sausage establishments, designed to withstand constant use and abuse. Perfect for big-game hunters, aspiring charcutiers, or serious meat enthusiasts.
The LEM 12 grinder includes coarse and fine plates, along with three sizes of sausage stuffer for versatile options like breakfast links, snack sticks, and salami. You can also explore additional compatible LEM accessories, such as a jerky slicer or a full cleaning and maintenance kit. Operating this machine is a breeze with a single switch. While it lacks a reverse function common in most grinders, its robust design minimizes the likelihood of getting stuck and needing reversal.
The Big Bite grinder comes with a higher price tag, making it a substantial investment. While not suitable for casual meat grinding, it’s a long-lasting machine built to serve you for a lifetime.
If you’re on a budget and seeking a meat grinder, a manual machine is an economical choice. Despite lacking a motor, this model offers features comparable to more expensive electric grinders. It includes fine and coarse grind plates, along with three sizes of sausage funnels. Additionally, you can use attachments to process pasta dough into spaghetti or rigatoni, and even create baby food from fruits and vegetables.
The Kitchen Basics machine comes with a secure suction-cup base, ensuring stability while you crank. Since it lacks electrical components, most parts are dishwasher-safe. However, the main drawback is that you’ll need to supply the power yourself. Hand-cranking a meat grinder can be laborious, limiting the amount you can grind at a time before experiencing fatigue in your arms.
25 December ·
By Food And Meal Welcome to Food and Meal! In this episode, we're diving into the world of meat grinders. From crafting custom meat blends to mastering texture and flavor, grinding at home takes your culinary journey to the next level. We explore a range of grinders, from manual to electric, each offering unique advantages.
Discover the key factors when choosing a grinder, including material and attachments. Stainless steel ensures durability and cold grinding for better texture. Exciting extras like sausage stuffers and pasta extruders enhance your creativity.
Meet our top picks: Cuisinart's budget-friendly powerhouse, Sunmile's high-capacity marvel, STX International's versatile dream, KitchenAid's mixer companion, LEM 12 Big Bite's heavy-duty option, and Kitchen Basics' multitasking manual grinder.
Whether you're a pro, enthusiast, or kitchen experimenter, these grinders transform your cooking. Consider needs, preferences, and budget to pick your perfect match. Until next time, happy grinding and bon appétit!
Grinding Gourmet: Best Meat Grinders of 2023
25 December ·
By Food And Meal
Welcome to Food and Meal! In this episode, we're diving into the world of meat grinders. From crafting custom meat blends to mastering texture and flavor, grinding at home takes your culinary journey to the next level. We explore a range of grinders, from manual to electric, each offering unique advantages. Discover the key factors when choosing a grinder, including material and attachments. Stainless steel ensures durability and cold grinding for better texture. Exciting extras like sausage stuffers and pasta extruders enhance your creativity. Meet our top picks: Cuisinart's budget-friendly powerhouse, Sunmile's high-capacity marvel, STX International's versatile dream, KitchenAid's mixer companion, LEM 12 Big Bite's heavy-duty option, and Kitchen Basics' multitasking manual grinder. Whether you're a pro, enthusiast, or kitchen experimenter, these grinders transform your cooking. Consider needs, preferences, and budget to pick your perfect match. Until next time, happy grinding and bon appétit!
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the best meat grinders:
- What is a meat grinder, and why should I consider getting one?
- A meat grinder is a kitchen appliance used for grinding meat at home. It allows you to control the meat’s texture, flavor, and freshness, making it a versatile tool for various recipes.
- What types of meat grinders are available?
- There are manual meat grinders that require hand-cranking and electric meat grinders that operate with a motor. Electric grinders are more common for home use due to their convenience.
- What features should I look for in the best meat grinder?
- Look for a powerful motor, durable construction, various grinding plates for different textures, ease of cleaning, and any additional features like sausage stuffing attachments.
- Can a meat grinder handle other types of food besides meat?
- Some meat grinders come with additional attachments that allow you to grind other foods like vegetables, nuts, and more. Check the product specifications for versatility.
- What is the difference between a #5, #8, #12, and #22 meat grinder?
- These numbers represent the size of the grinder’s plate opening. Larger numbers indicate larger sizes, capable of processing more meat at once. Choose a size based on your grinding needs.
- Are meat grinders easy to clean?
- The ease of cleaning depends on the design. Look for models with removable parts that are dishwasher-safe or easy to hand wash.
- Can meat grinders handle bones for pet food preparation?
- Not all meat grinders can handle bones. If you plan to grind bones for pet food, choose a grinder with a powerful motor and heavy-duty construction designed for bone grinding.
- How do I maintain a meat grinder for optimal performance?
- Regular maintenance includes cleaning the grinder thoroughly after each use, lubricating moving parts, and storing it in a dry place. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines.
- Are meat grinders suitable for commercial use?
- Some meat grinders are designed for heavy-duty commercial use. If you plan to use a grinder frequently or process large quantities of meat, consider a commercial-grade model.
- Can I make sausages with a meat grinder?
- Yes, many meat grinders come with sausage stuffing attachments or have the option to purchase them separately. This allows you to grind meat and stuff sausages with the same appliance.