Suggestions for a meat grinder

magothyrivergirlDecember 10, 2009

I am thinking of purchasing a meat grinder. I already did a search here and was surprised at how many people have one - why I'm surprised with this group - I don't know why - LOL

I do not have a Kitchen Aid mixer, I probably have everything else, but I do not bake, so a KA attachment is not going to work and I'm not going to get one.

I want to specifically grind turkey breast. I have a great butcher who grinds anything else I want, but Health dept says he needs a separate grinder for poultry, so that put an end to that years ago. I need to control what goes into the ground turkey breast. Any suggestions what to look for? I don't want to spend alot - and I really don't know what to consider. I would like something electric, unless you tell me otherwise, easy to clean, and not to huge.

Any recommendations?

I do have a Cuisinart food processor - but I think it would mash the meat (maybe I am wrong). Do you use your meat grinders often?

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Try the cuisinart....use very short blips and don't put much in the bowl at a time...
I can chop cooked meats very takes a bit of practise.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 9:03PM
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I have a Northern Industrial purchased from Northern Tool about 3 yrs. ago. It has been a real workhorse for me, 2 months ago we ground up 75 lbs. of pork butt in one sitting and it didn't flinch. I paid $89 on sale but it has since gone up in price.

I think it's really easy to clean (you do need a bottle brush),and all grinding plates get gunky (a small nail/tooth brush to clean the holes).

We also really use the sausage stuffer a lot. I have no patience for stuffing breakfast casing, so I just extrude them and pinch them off into lengths, flash freeze on sheet pans, and bag. Italian sausage and bologna are easier to get into casings and I won't ever buy a manual stuffer.

Anyhow we really love it. I had a Kitchenaid with the grinder attachment, but between this grinder, the bread machine, food processor, and hand mixer, I never used it.
Shipped the Kitchenaid to my daughter and found I don't even miss the beast(the mixer, not my daughter). ;0)

Hope this helps.


Here is a link that might be useful: harbor tools grinder

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 9:11PM
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Perhaps I need to clarify-I want to grind uncooked meat - specifically raw turkey breast for ground turkey to make sausage, turkey burgers, etc.
I am quite proficient at using the Cuisinart for chopping & slicing everything except raw meat, which I have never tried.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 9:13PM
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Thanks Joan - Good information - wow 75 lbs at one time.
What does the #12 mean in the description? I've seen # & a number and don't know what it means.
Funny you don't miss the beast LOL

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 9:29PM
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I think the # 12 just refers to the model #, it doesn't seem to relate to any of the numbers in the specs down below. They have higher numbers for higher $$$$.

Yeah, we had a sausage-a-thon that day. Some foodie friends showed up unexpectedly after the pork was thawed and the guys had a great time cubing and grinding away. All I had to do was chop herbs, mix spices, provide bowls, and refresh adult beverages.

We did 1/3 ground pork meat, 1/3 breakfast links and 1/3 Italian sausage. Great Stuff!


    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 10:04PM
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OK, so I got curious and looked in an Allied Kenco (butchering) catalog they just sent.
The #12 refers to the grinding plate size. I'll bore you further, here they are:

# 5 = 2 1/8" diameter (kitchenaid's size)

# 10 or 12 = 2 3/4" diameter

# 22 = 3 1/4" diameter

# 32 = 3 7/8" diameter

And that's all I have to say about that.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 10:26PM
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Cabela's and Bass Pro may have something you can use. If you have a Bass Pro in your area you can get a hands on look. I just bought a 1 hp commercial grade one from Cabela's and love it. But that's for large quantities. However both places sell smaller counter top ones. Joan is right on the number. It's the opening and grinding plate size. If you're just grinding turkey breast a small one will work fine with little stopping to clear the blades. The more fat, marbling and sinew in the meat the more the small ones will clog. I use to use my kitchen aid one to put up 20 lbs or more of ground venison and it took forever because of the composite of the meat. My commercial grade one does it in about 2 minutes. It takes longer to clean then work up. Mike

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 12:38AM
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Joan-thanks for your research -the few I looked at online had smaller #'s - that's when I knew I needed to find out a bit more about these before I looked further - I didn't know enough to know what I didn't know - LOL -
What fun your sausage - a - thon must have been - I'm sure they acted like little kids!!

mike -I do have a Bass Pro store not too far away.
Thanks for explaining the # and and how the size is affected by the meat composition. Great explanation. I'll only be grinding meat for small quantities, but I don't want it to be so frustrating I never use it because I bought the incorrect size.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 7:58AM
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A tip when grinding meat - cube it and put it in the freezer until it's firm but not frozen. This will allow the blades to cut it cleanly and not turn it into "mush".

Keep everything very cold - I even put the grinder parts (not the motor) in the freezer.

Off to finish grinding the rest of the venison from yesterday's unexpected "delivery".

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 9:10AM
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I guess I have an early Christmas present to play with! I asked for a meat grinder last year, received one from my dad and my wife (gotta blame somebody!) hid it in the back of the cupboard and I kinda forgot about it. Just took it out....a new toy! What to make...what to make....

By the way it's a 200 watt Rival. Doesn't look industrial strength but I'll see how it works.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 9:39AM
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mag, I have an old "clamp onto the kitchen table and turn the crank" meat grinder and I'll tell you that it's work. Go for electric.

I do use the attachment to grind with the KitchenAid and it works fine, but the food processor chops meat very nicely. Just don't overfill the bowl and be sure to pulse and watch carefully, you'll go from sausage to puree very quickly.

Elery and I did 25 pounds of Italian sausage with the food processor and it was fast and easy. That was cubes of pork, not frozen. I don't see any reason why you couldn't use it to do turkey breast. I'd try a small amount first and see if it turns out OK.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 9:50AM
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You say you have a say you have never tried to grind raw meat. Might I suggest you try it?? Partially freeze the meat then chop a small amount at a time in short bursts. The booklet that came with my cuisinart gives directions and it works well. I have never tried turkey but if it works for steak tartare I can see no reason why it wouldn't work for grinding turkey. You say you are quite proficient in chopping and slicing but obviously you have never tried to grind raw meat.
The other easy and cheap possibility is an old clamp on the table hand grinder.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 10:08AM
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LOL, LindaC, we must have been writing at the same time. That's just what I said! Kind of.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 10:29AM
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Joan (nosnowtn) thanks for your recommendation (and link) for the meat grinder at Northern tools - I just ordered it! Got it on sale for $99.00 . Looked around online and kept coming back to your suggestions and help.

If you have any tips, hints, recipes, or suggestions for first timer I'll pay attention! I have my bottle brush and nail brush ready for cleaning.

Thank you again! This is how the forum is suppose to work ~ sharing valued opinions, recommendations and experiences to help others. I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 11:01AM
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I'm so glad no one has said 'Where's Jessy?'

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 11:26AM
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