If you’ve been salivating over the possibilities of fresh bison burgers, elk sausage, or perfectly processed bavette steak, an electric meat grinder should be on your to-buy list. For anyone intending to get serious about only consuming the highest-quality, ethically sourced meats, an electric meat grinder will open up a world of culinary possibilities.
In this guide, we’ll be introducing you to everything you need to know before purchasing a the best electric meat grinder for you. Follow along as we explain the fine details of the two major types of electric meat grinders, as well as what considerations you should take into account before purchasing one for your home kitchen. To round things out, we’ll include our top recommendations for the best electric meat grinder in each category.
What Is An Electric Meat Grinder?
At its most basic, an electric meat grinder includes a top-loading chute that safely carries meat into an electrically-powered rotating drum. Inside that drum, a variety of attachment sizes and shapes can process the meat into everything from a fine paste to a lightly tenderized strip.
A vast improvement over the hand-cranked models of old, electric meat grinders can make quick work of grinding meat for burgers and sausages. Choose the right type of electric meat grinder, and you’ll even have settings dedicated to tenderizing tougher cuts of meat while maintaining their structural integrity.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Electric meat grinders offer a number of advantages:
No longer do you need to dedicate time and effort into cranking the handle manually. Electric models take care of this for you, leaving more time to enjoy your freshly-made burgers, sausages, or hand-mix burgers.
Electric meat grinders boast superior consistency in the finished product. This is because electric models apply significantly less pressure than their manual counterparts.
When you buy an electric meat grinder, you’re not just getting one specific shape and size of attachment. With the right grinder, you’ll be able to process any thickness or texture of grind you desire.
Disadvantages include the following:
Though electric meat grinders might cost more upfront, they tend to be much cheaper in the long run. What’s more, their increased efficiency means that they will save you money through extended use. If you’re opposed to spending extra cash on a piece of kitchen equipment, you might want to look into a manual model or single-use meat grinder.
Unlike the manual models that offer one of countless attachments for specific tasks, electric models are limited in their range of options. Manual grinders offer more flexibility, but an electric meat grinder will certainly get the job done.
Takes Up Space
A meat grinder takes up some amount of counter space in your kitchen. This is mainly due to the size of its components, especially if you intend on installing it underneath or within a nearby drawer.
How To Use an Electric Meat Grinder
Using an electric meat grinder is easy, but you’ll need to make sure that your components are properly assembled beforehand. Here’s how it all works:
- Attach the desired blade, plate, or drum to the base of your grinder . Make sure that they’re securely attached before proceeding.
- Remove any bones or sinew from the meat that you want to grind.
- Place the food in the top-loading chute, making sure its wide enough to accommodate what you’re grinding .
- Choose the desired course of the grind , whether it’s coarse or fine. If your grinder is equipped with multiple settings, choose accordingly . For best results, try grinding at the highest level your product can handle.
- Ensure that the roller’s auger is properly attached to the grinder before turning it on . If your unit does not have one, feel free to skip this step.
- Flip up the switch or press down on the button of your electric meat grinder , and allow it to run until the meat comes out as desired. Ensure that you keep an eye on the product emerging from the grinder’s spout, and adjust accordingly.
- Empty your grinder of any ground meat . If there’s still some food left inside the drum, slide off its parts and empty it into a separate container.
- Wash your grinder by hand or toss it in the dishwasher, depending on its parts and components.
Types of Electric Meat Grinders
Essentially, there are two types of electric meat grinders that are suitable for home use:
First, there are attachments for electric mixers, or stand-alone grinders. Depending on what equipment you already have in your kitchen, as well as what type of recipes you want to be able to make, one or the other will be a better choice for you.
Second, there are electric meat grinders that come as attachments for a KitchenAid mixer are an inexpensive, convenient, durable, and versatile solution — if you already own one of KitchenAid’s famous stand mixers, that is. If you don’t, a new KitchenAid mixer will set you back around $500. It’s a worthwhile investment if you plan on doing any baking or preparing your own meat and sausage mixes, but not the most economical way to dip your toes in the water for ground meat or sausages.
Stand-alone electric meat grinders, however, are an all-in-one solution for grinding meats and making sausages. They’re exceptionally affordable, with decent quality grinders starting at around $80, and a high quality model retailing for about $150. If you don’t have a KitchenAid mixer already, or don’t need the added functionality of one, then a stand-alone model is the way to go.
Considerations for Buying An Electric Meat Grinder
To help you decide on the right meat grinder for your kitchen, we recommend weighing the following considerations against your budget:
Type of Grinder
As discussed in the previous section, a KitchenAid mixer with grinder attachment is the most versatile and durable option — but also the most expensive. If you don’t have a KitchenAid mixer, and don’t need the added utility of owning one, then a stand-alone electric meat grinder is a better choice.
Ease of Use
If you do choose to go with a stand-alone grinder, picking one that is simple and intuitive is better than going for one with a lot of moving parts. The more individual parts the machine has, the higher the chance of it malfunctioning while you’re grinding.
Ease of Cleaning
Going along with ease of use, the number of separate parts in an electric meat grinder will also make it much easier or much harder to clean. The fewer parts the machine has, and the tighter its connections, the easier the grinder will be to clean.
Attachments and Feed Capacity
The final extruder of an electric meat grinder can be fitted with a variety of grind types, from pastes that are better for sausage to large grinds that make for great burgers. Once again, go for the grinder with the simplest and most elegant construction, and you’ll prevent cleanup and maintenance hassles in the future. You can also consider a standalone sausage stuffer if that’s your focus.
Frequently Asked Questions about Electric Meat Grinders
Here are a few common questions about electric meat grinders.
Does motor power matter for electric meat grinders?
In a word, yes. The motor power is one of the most important features when shopping for an electric meat grinder to buy. In order to make sure your grinder will be able to effectively grind through all types of meats and other materials you’ll want a heavy-duty motor that’s specifically designed for this purpose.
Machines with weaker motors can produce choppy, poorly ground meat that contains gaps and air bubbles in it. The best type of grinder will have a durable heavy-duty magnetron along with a powerful rpm rating for efficient grinding through thicker pieces or strings necessary when making sausages or very tough cuts of beef, pork or venison from hunted animals where bone particles need to be crushed before being fully processed into meat.
How do you sharpen meat grinder blades?
A meat grinder blade typically has two sharp edges, and it’s up to you to maintain these two angles. You must sharpen both of the cutting edges each time you use your grinder. The intent is always to keep one edge thinner than the other (roughly 2/1000” thin for high-temperature applications), because if one side get too thick it can easily get stuck in an animal or get brittle when chopping bone fragments.
Why you need a meat grinder?
Because the act of grinding something creates molecules that are similar to each other. For example, throw two hamburger patties into a blender and you’re guaranteed an extremely juicy patty. Grind the meat up instead, and what you get is heavy, dense stuff with less flavor – even before it hits your grill or skillet. The texture is different too; instead of the coarse chunks common in ground beef, small grinds transform steaks and roasts into spongy cylinders stuffed with pockets of our delicious fat.
Can meat grinders grind bones?
Most meat grinders are not made to grind bones. While they could potentially work to process smaller bone fragments into extreme ground beef, commercial meat processors typically do it other ways.
What can you do with a meat grinder?
You can use a meat grinder to grind up and mix together all kinds of ingredients for burgers, meatballs and more! You’ll find there are many different styles of electric and manual machines on the market today so you can choose one that suits your needs.
How powerful do you need your grinder to be?
The more powerful the motor, the quicker your grinding will be.
For most home cooks, a medium-duty grinder is entirely adequate. Heavy duty grinders are for people who produce large amounts of ground meat on a weekly basis for restaurants or food trucks etc. Medium duty models are able to process softer cuts of meat like beef or pork with ease but can still function just fine with tougher meats if you exert enough force when grinding it through the tube so don’t think you need to buy an industrial grade grinder just because you hunt game sometimes!
A low-power device may take up to an hour and a half per pound of meat, whereas high power motors can easily create ground beef in 10 minutes or less – without any significant drop of the meat’s flavor.
Do all meat grinders work with sausage casings?
Yes, all home-use grinders can work with the right size stuffer attachment of course, but some models come with a more advanced type of stuffing system that allows for fewer clogs and longer production times.
How do you clean a meat grinder?
A meat grinder should be washed after every use. Wipe the exterior clean with a damp cloth. The interior can then be scrubbed by running lots of hot water through it, putting some soap on the brush that comes with the grinder and then cleaning everything out before rinsing well.
What else can you do with a meat grinder?
A meat grinder can also be used to create fresh, wet pasta! While many people are unfamiliar with this use for their kitchen appliance, it’s easily the second most popular task you might find that grinders are used for. Whether you’re making linguine or your favorite ravioli filling, a fresh batch of noodles is within arm’s reach with little more than flour and water. Just stick the hopper end into your receptacle of choice (bowl, bucket) fill it up with some tasty dough-mixing ingredients and crank away until the desired amount has been kneaded by these powerful metal gears.
Why should I grind your own meat?
People often prefer to grind their own meat because they can control what goes in it, opt for different cuts and flavors, and the grinder increases the surface area of the ground beef making it cook faster.
Where to Buy An Electric Meat Grinder & Best Options
There are plenty of options available for electric meat grinders online, but they’re definitely not all of the same quality and durability. We’ve compared and reviewed dozens of meat grinders, and are confident in our recommendations of the two found below: One stand-alone, and one KitchenAid attachment.
First, in the stand-alone category, is Cuisinart’s upright electric meat grinder. It’s made of solid stainless steel, with a minimum of moving parts that makes it durable, easy to use, and easy to clean. Powered by a top-of-the-line 300 Watt motor, it’s capable of grinding up to 3 pounds of meat per minute. Included with the grinder are both coarse and medium grinding plates, as well as two sausage attachments for breakfast sausages and standard links. Coming in at just under $100, it’s a fantastic choice for a stand-alone electric meat grinder.
- Grinds a wide variety of meats, including beef, chicken, turkey, venison and more. Cord length : 34 Inches
- Powerful 300-watt motor grinds up to 3 pounds of meat per minute
- Features two metal cutting plates for varying degrees of thickness: medium and coarse
- Includes two sausage attachments for making breakfast links and regular sausages
- Reverse function releases clogged foods to ensure smooth operation
For those fortunate enough to have a KitchenAid mixer in their kitchen, the KSMMGA Metal Food Grinder Attachment is a heavy duty addition that will make quick work of sausages and burger grind. The attachment keeps the meat completely separate from the gears of your mixer, making it the easiest to clean of any meat grinder that we’ve seen. Fine, medium, and coarse grinded plates are included for a wider range of recipes, as well as two sausage extruders and specialized cleaning tools. If you’re invested in making the widest range of ground meat recipes possible, the KitchenAid mixer attachment is the way to go.
- Connect to any household KitchenAid Stand Mixer* power hub and use the power of the motor to run the metal food grinder attachment. *sold separately.
- The possibilities for creating fresh, inventive foods are endless with the included fine, medium and coarse grinding plates and two sausage stuffer tubes.
- The larger food tray* allows you to process more ingredients in one batch, cutting down on food prep time. *Compared to model FGA.
- Pre-chill the grinder in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain a cold grinding temperature for a neat and clean grind every time.
- The KitchenAid Metal Food Grinder is packed and organized inside its own storage case, designed for easy storage and quick access.
Happy meat grinding!