Ground meat is practical and allows you to prepare some popular and delicious dishes. While you can find it at your local grocery store, it is difficult to determine what is the fat content and you won’t be able to choose how finely the meat is ground. If you are a fan of meat and want to be able to prepare meatballs, homemade burgers, lasagna and more, whenever you want, buying a meat grinder can be the best solution. Before you get your own meat grinder, it is important to find out what you need to look for in this kitchen appliance. There are great options and here you will learn more about the best meat grinders available and how to choose the right one for you.
Advantages of a Good Meat Grinder
The main benefit of having a meat grinder at home is that you will be able to create a large variety of dishes without having to make constant trips to the butchers. More importantly, you will be able to decide how finely you want to grind the meat and you will not have to worry about the fat content. Usually whole cuts of meat are cheaper than low fat ground meats, which means that having your own meat grinder enable you to save money and improve your diet at the same time.
A good quality meat grinder will also allow you to enjoy flavour variety as you can add herbs and spices during the grinding process. Since animal protein only absorbs flavours during the cooking process and not afterwards, if you add salt, herbs and your favourite condiments while the meat is being ground, you can enjoy great flavours that suit your own taste.
Furthermore, a good meat grinder will enable you to make sausages at home. You just need to get meat tubing from a local supplier and look for recipes before starting the grinding process. You can add the ingredients that you prefer or experiment and create new exciting flavours. Whether you select an electrical or a hand-cranked meat grinder, you will enjoy versatility in the kitchen.
Choosing the Best Meat Grinder for You
The first aspects that you need to consider before getting a meat grinder are the materials and manufacturing quality. It is important to get an appliance that will not tarnish or leave plating materials in your meat while you grind it. One of the main elements of craftsmanship is the quality of the blades used to grind the meat. A meat grinder with stronger, sharper blades will ensure that you can get finer cuts.
It is also important to pay attention to the way in which you stabilize the meat grinder. The majority of hand-cracked grinders can be tightly adjusted to the counter using a vice or clamping mechanism. Some basic models simply sit on a level surface, meaning that you will need to control the stability. If you opt for a cranking grinder, make sure that you choose one that features a good quality handle that will not break or deform when you have to grind a tough cut of meat.
Electric meat grinders on the other hand, are very easy to use and all you need to do is to place the meat in the appliance and it will take care of the grinding process. Regardless of the type of meat grinder that you choose, it is worth comparing brands and models of this appliance before making a purchase. Reading reviews will help you to find the meat grinder that better suits your needs.
Important Aspects to Keep in Mind When it Comes to Meat Grinders
Although mincing meat may seem like a time consuming task, the truth is that it can make your dishes better and more versatile. Furthermore, it can help you to save money in the long run and will give you peace of mind as you will know exactly what is on your meat. The ground meats that you get from the shops are made from the leftovers of the animal in most cases, so the quality wouldn’t be the best. However, when you use your own meat grinder, you can use leaner, prime cuts of meat to ensure that you get the best out of the meat.
In case you are preparing particular dishes that use lard or fat as an ingredient, a meat grinder can also be useful as it will allow you to control how much fat is actually included. You will be able to select the specific amount of fat needed for the recipe and will also be able to reduce the fat in order to make your dishes healthier. Mincing meat with your own appliance at home can also reduce concerns of potential food allergens and E.Coli in the meat since there is less risk of cross-contamination in a home kitchen.
Another benefit of grinding meat at home is that you can be sure that you are getting a fresh product. In many cases, the ground meat in supermarkets and grocery shops comes from reprocessed meat byproducts, products that have already passed their sell-by date or that have been frozen to preserve their quality.
While getting the perfect grind may seem like a difficult task, there are some things that you can keep in mind and that will help you to obtain good quality grinds at any time, regardless of the kind of appliance that you are using. Here are the most important tips that you need to consider while grinding meat at home.
The first thing you need to do in order to get better grinds is to use firm cuts of meat. Choosing firmer animal protein will improve your grinding experience considerably. Instead of using breast meat, use the darker meats of poultry. Short ribs, chuck and butt roasts are also good options. When it comes to seafood, opt for tuna and swordfish as they are better suitable for the grinding process.
Before starting the grinding process, it is advisable to put your meat as well as your appliance in the freezer. While it shouldn’t be frozen, it has to be firmer so it is a good idea to place both the grinder and the meat in the freezer for about 15 minutes before you start the process. This will help you to get clean cuts of meat.
Another way to improve home made cuts is using quality condiments and fresh herbs and spices. This will ensure that you get great flavour from your meat dishes. In case you need to use dried, pre-made flavours, the best option is to go for items with short shelf-life such as chives, parsley, minced garlic and capers.
Is an Electric Meat Grinder the Best Option?
One of the most common questions regarding meat grinders is if investing in an electric model is the best solution. The main thing to consider is how often you think you will need to use the grinder. If you only want to prepare ground meat dishes from time to time, you can go for a hand-cranked grinder. However, if you wish to use your grinder on daily basis or more than once a week, you should consider getting an electric grinder as it is more practical and can save you a of of time.
Safety is another crucial aspect when it comes to meat grinders. Make sure that you don’t feed the meat through the electrical grinder using your hand. Instead, you should use something else to press push the meat through the appliance. In the case of a manual grinder, you are the one who controls the mechanism so you just need to keep your fingers away from the grinding process.
Finally, you need to pay special attention to the cleaning process, since the grinder handles raw meat. It should be cleaned after every use to avoid contamination and to reduce the risk of food poisoning and other issues. The entire grinder needs to be taken apart to make sure that there are no traces of raw meat left from a previous use. Before purchasing an appliance, look for an option that can be taken apart easily to avoid any hassle during the cleaning.
Meat Grinder Prices
The manual grinders or hand-cranked grinders are the most affordable option and you are likely to find a good model for as little as $30. If you want to invest in a high quality electric grinder, you can expect to pay over $100. These grinders offer advanced features such as multiple grinding speeds and blades, while commercial models that can cut a large volume of meat can cost $300 and above. There are also good solutions for home users that are generally available from $70.
The Best Meat Grinders Available
Sunmile Stainless Steel Meat Grinder
This practical and affordable meat grinder has an overhead tray the supports a good capacity. It allows you to grind multiple small chunks of meat at a time. The Sunmile also features a good ventilation system around the motor, which ensures that you can let the grinder work with minimal input. The maximum motor rating of 1000 watts means that you can grind practically any meat without major hassle. You can get it from less than $80.
LEM Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder
The best part of this meat grinder is that it features multiple stainless steel plates, which means that you can get a wider variety of grinding options. They are easy to use and allow you to get coarse grinds, fine grinds and to create sausages and other meat products without any hassle. You can even set up three different sizes of stuffing meat tubes of up to 1.25 inches in size. Starting at a price of $312, it is one of the most expensive options, but if your budget allows it and you are likely to use it often, it would be worth considering it.
Panasonic MK-G20NR-W Heavy Duty Meat Grinder
Panasonic is a brand trusted by millions of people around the world. Their MK-G20NR-W is a heavy duty meat grinder that is a perfect example of the quality and reliability that the manufacturer provides. This electric grinder is ideal for home use and it features cutting blades made of stainless steels, hooper and metal auger. It provides solid and discreet performance and allows you to include healthy protein options in your diet. You can get it from $100.
STX International Turboforce Meat Grinder
This meat grinder offers three basic speed settings and an impressive output power that will help you to handle even the toughest cuts of meat. It includes an attachment that is specifically designed for tubing sausages, meaning that you can make gourmet quality sausages in your own kitchen. The only downside of this device is that some components are made from plastic, which could eventually cause issues if a bone gets accidentally in the machine. It is available from under $170.
Weston Number 22 Commercial Meat Grinder
If you are ready to pay over $500 for a commercial quality meat grinder, the Weston may be the best option. It is considerably more expensive than devices designed for household use but it can produce 12 pounds of ground meat per minute. It offers an outstanding grinding capacity and can even be used to grind whole chickens, even the bones. The Weston Number 22 us a truly impressive machine and it would be a good investment if you need a heavy duty meat grinder at home and can afford it.
Other options that you can consider are the Norpro Meat Grinder, Mincer and Pasta Maker. a manual grinder available for just $25. The Weston Number 10 Heavy Duty Manual Meat Grinder which costs around $35. The KitchenAId FGA Food Grinder Attachment for Stand Mixers, which you can get for less than $60, the Best Choice Industrial Meat Grinder, an electric grinder with a 2000W power which is available for $75 or the LEM Number 10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder, which is available from less than $77. These options are more affordable and will also allow you to enjoy ground meat dishes at home whenever you want.