1. Cabela’s Meat Grinder
Cabela’s Meat Grinder is a heavy-duty meat grinder with a 0.5HP motor and grinding capacity of 7 pounds per minute. It is fast, requires minimum stomping, and has no overheating issues. You can use it for grinding soft and tough meat, stuffing sausages, and making snack-sticks, with no variations in performance.
Built to last, Cabela’s Meat Grinder is mostly made of stainless steel. It is easy to use and maintenance takes just a few minutes. It comes with 1 stainless steel knife, 2 plates (0.2 and 0.4 inches), 1 meat tray, 1 auger pull tool, 1 sausage stuffing star, 3 stuffing tubes (0.9, 1.1, and 1.5 inches), 1 snack-stick funnel (0.5 inches), 1 stuffing auger, 1 stomper, 1 Cool Tek Ice Pack, and 1 accessory drawer.
The entire unit measures 19.1 x 7.8 x 17.2’ inches (HWD) and weighs 44 pounds.
Cabela’s Meat Grinder is available in 4 more powerful variations (up to 1.75HP) and it is compatible with various accessories, including meat tenderizer, jerky slicer, and tomato attachment.
|Dimensions||19.1" x 7.8" x 17.2"|
|Processing power||5-7 lb/minute|
|Grinding plates||0.2" and 0.4"|
Best manual meat grinder
2. LEM Manual Meat Grinder
LEM Manual Meat Grinder is a high-quality clamp-on hand meat grinder that can handle even the most problematic game meat. It features an ultra-durable, all stainless steel construction, its clamp is strong and wide enough to fit most tables and countertops, and its large hopper opening allows you to grind up to 3 pounds of meat per minute.
The grinder doubles as a sausage stuffer and boasts smooth performance regardless of whether you are grinding meat, pureeing produce or making Italian sausage. While it is not dishwasher-safe, it is easy to clean and maintenance takes just a few minutes. The well-designed clamp ensures maximum stability, so the grinder does not slide during use.
LEM Manual Meat Grinder comes with 1 stainless steel knife, 2 stainless steel plates for coarse (0.4 inches) and fine (0.2 inches) grinds, 3 stuffing tubes (0.5, 0.75, and 0.8 inches), and 1 stuffing star.
The unit measures 11.5 x 8.3 x 5.3 inches (HWD) and weighs approximately 9 pounds.
|Dimensions||11.5" x 8.3" x 5.3"|
|Grinding plates||0.2" and 0.4"|
Best For Game Meat
3. LEM Meat Grinder
Highly praised among hunters, LEM Meat Grinder is an electric meat grinder with a permanently lubricated .35HP induction motor and grinding capacity of 8 pounds per minute. Its Big Bite auger and wide throat allow for fast grinding with virtually no stomping. The grinder handles all meat types with extreme ease. LEM Meat Grinder is durable, ETL sanitary certified, and easy to maintain. Its performance is above-average, whether you are grinding elk or stuffing sausages. Compatible with a juicer attachment, it can be used for processing fruit and veg as well. The grinder features all stainless steel housing, 1 extended auger, 1 stainless steel knife, all-metal gears, 1 stainless steel meat pan, stainless steel stuffing, coarse (0.4 inches) and fine (0.2 inches) plates, 3 stuffing tubes (0.5 , 1, and 1.125’ inches in outer diameter), 1 meat stomper, and 1 built-in accessory tray.
The unit measures 13.9 x 17.44 x 9.13 inches (HWD) and weighs 26.5 pounds.
LEM Meat Grinder is available in 3 additional variants (up to 1HP). It comes with a 5-year warranty.
|Dimensions||9.13" x 17.44" x 13.9"|
|Processing power||4 lb/minute|
|Grinding plates||0.4" and 0.2"|
Best plastic meat grinder
4. Gideon Meat Grinder
Gideon Hand Crank Manual Meat Grinder is a durable and reliable manual meat grinder that produces excellent results whether it is grinding meat or pureeing fruit and veg. It is best suited for softer meats, but its performance is more than satisfactory with tougher meats as well.
The grinder’s housing is made of heavy-duty plastic and its sharp blades and plates are made of top-quality stainless steel. It is compact, lightweight, and easy to use, carry, and store. Thanks to the powerful suction base, it is optimally stable during use. Most parts are dishwasher-safe, allowing for quick and simple maintenance.
Gideon Hand Crank Manual Meat Grinder comes with 2 stainless steel blades, 2 stainless steel plates for fine and coarse grinds, and 1 food pusher.
The unit measures 10.9 x 6.7 x 6.1 inches (HWD) and weighs just 2.55 pounds.
|Dimensions||10.9" x 6.7" x 6.1"|
|Grinding plates||2 sizes|
Best for sausage mixtures
5. Weston Manual Meat Grinder
Weston Manual Meat Grinder is a budget-friendly, hand-operated meat grinder characterized by great construction quality, versatility, and invariably excellent performance. It is suitable for all meat types, including the toughest game meat. Its grinding capacity is 2 pounds per minute.
The grinder is compact, portable, and entirely made of tinned cast iron. It features a large hopper measuring 3 inches by 4 inches. Its strong clamp accommodates widths of up to 1.5 inches. Although not dishwasher-safe, Weston Manual Meat Grinder Weston is easy to clean and maintain. It is made of food-grade materials and it is perfectly safe to use.
Included in the package are a steel knife, 2 grinding plates for fine (0.2 inches) and coarse (0.4 inches) grinds, and a sausage-stuffing kit including a spacer, an adapter, and 3 sausage stuffing funnels (0.5, 0.7, and 0.9 inches).
The unit measures 10.2 x 8 x 11 inches (HWD) and weighs 8 pounds.
The grinder comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
|Dimensions||10.2" x 8" x 11"|
|Grinding plates||0.2" and 0.4"|
Benefits Of Getting A Meat Grinder
For many hedonistic carnivores, the sheer fun intrinsic to meat grinding projects is reason enough to invest in a powerful machine that can grind up a whole deer in no time should the occasion arise. However, there are plenty more reasons why you may want to have such a useful appliance in your home, many of which are related to better health and greater enjoyment at the table. Let us list some of the most important benefits of getting a meat grinder.
Avoiding Health Risks
Buying minced meat at a store is often a necessity, but that does not mean that it is the best choice for your well-being. First of all, there is the inevitable danger of cross-contamination in large processing plants where the meat of numerous different animals is processed and mixed together; not to mention how easily meat can pick up bacteria while sitting at the store waiting to be bought. If you grind your meat yourself, you can control the processing environment, sterilize the area, and pack and store the meat properly as soon as you grind it, thus minimizing the chance of contamination.
Enjoying Superb Taste
If you have ever tried freshly ground meat, you probably know that its taste is far superior to that of meat that has spent weeks in transport, various warehouses, and the meat department of some chain store. Thus, not only is fresh meat healthier, it is more delicious as well. Plus, since you are in charge of picking the cuts you want to grind, you can enjoy the most exquisite flavors instead of just eating whatever they have ground up in some processing plant.
Knowing What You Eat Speaking of dubious quality, it is also true that you cannot always trust product labeling. Even if the label says 100% beef, this may not be the case. Even if it is, not every cut is of the same quality. Furthermore, large-scale production leaves less room and time for neat trimming and there may be plenty of sinew and silver skin left in the meat after processing, which spoils the texture of the end product. When you are in charge of trimming and grinding, you know exactly what you feed into the grinder. You can choose your favorite cuts and you can remove everything you do not want to see in your meal.
Customizing Your Food
True meat lovers may not always be satisfied with the meat-to-fat ratio and other important aspects of the products found in stores. With a meat grinder, you can customize and experiment to your heart’s content, mixing different kinds of meat, using different amounts of fat, and simply tweaking the texture and taste to your preferences.
Saving Money On Grinding Services
Whether you buy minced meat products at a store or are a hunter relying on a butcher to do the grinding, you are bound to spend more money than if you grind the meat yourself. In either scenario, you are paying for grinding services and the difference in cost is not insignificant. While spending a few extra bucks on a pound or two of minced meat may not sound like much, with a meat grinder of your own, you can save quite a lot in the long run. A good meat grinder is an investment that certainly pays off and if you go with a high-quality model, you are looking at more than a decade of pleasurable use and savings.
Types Of Meat Grinders
While there are many different models on the market at the moment, meat grinders generally fall into 3 large categories. There are commercial-grade meat grinders normally used in industrial settings, there are standalone meat grinders for home use, and there are meat grinding attachments for kitchen appliances such as stand mixers. The second category of standalone meat grinders can further be divided into 2 major sub-categories, including electric and manual meat grinders.
Commercial-Grade Meat Grinders
Made with daily use and extra-large batches in mind, commercial-grade meat grinders are significantly bulkier and more powerful than grinders for home use. Usually, they can grind close to 20 pounds of meat per minute. They are best suited for restaurants and butcheries, but some models can also be used at home by hunters or people who simply have a lot of meat to grind.
Manual Meat Grinders
Manual meat grinders are smaller, cheaper, and much simpler than their electric counterparts. They contain no electronic components and they have long lifespans, particularly those made of stainless steel. Their main distinctive feature is that they come with a crank that you need to turn to grind the meat. Based on all of their key characteristics, manual meat grinders can work well as budget-friendly solutions for small batches and less demanding grinding projects. Due to all the manual labor required, they are not suitable for grinding large amounts of meat, as you can quickly grow tired of turning the crank. Some of the best manual meat grinders can grind hard meat and chicken bones, but keep in mind that this is not the case with most manual models.
Electric Meat Grinders
In contrast to manual models, electric meat grinders are equipped with motors and they require minimum human assistance. They are often significantly larger than manual grinders and they cost more, which makes sense since their components are more expensive. With an electric meat grinder, your only job is to plug it in, turn it on, and feed meat into the head, stomping occasionally. The grinder does all the hard work. As electric meat grinders are equipped with rather powerful motors, they can handle harder meat and some of them can even grind softer and smaller bones. They are suitable for larger batches, the more powerful models can grind up to 10 pounds per minute, and the grinding process is virtually effortless. All of these qualities make electric meat grinders much more popular than manual models.
Meat Grinder Attachments For Kitchen Appliances
If you want to enjoy the benefits of effortless grinding but do not want to spend the extra cash, you can get a meat grinder attachment for a kitchen appliance you already own, like a stand mixer. The power and grinding capacity are much lower with meat grinder attachments in comparison to standalone electric meat grinders. The grinder’s operation is not as smooth and fast and harder meats can represent a challenge. However, if you only want to grind a couple of pounds of soft meat every now and then, a meat grinder attachment can be a good choice.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing The Best Meat Grinder
If you are getting a meat grinder, you might as well get the best one in your price range. You want to avoid complicated maintenance, slow operation, low-quality build, cheap materials, and all other issues that may cause frustration and less than satisfactory grinding results. However, you should also avoid overpaying for features that you may not need. To help you choose the best meat grinder for your needs, we have assembled a list of factors that you should take into consideration when buying your new meat grinder.
The best meat grinders are sturdy, made of high-quality, durable materials, and designed to handle chunks and batches of different sizes. While not all parts need to be made of stainless steel, the ones that come in contact with meat (e.g. the plates, the auger, and the cutting knife) should be rust-resistant. The gears should be made of metal instead of plastic since plastic easily breaks. The grinder should preferably feature a wide throat, so you do not have to cut meat into miniature chunks. The meat tray should be large enough to accommodate bigger batches of meat and it should not be prone to rust. The grinder should come with more than 1 grinding plate. Usually, the best meat grinders come with 3 plates for fine, medium, and coarse grinds, allowing you to make a variety of minced meat products, not just burger patties. The design of the auger is highly important as well. The best meat grinders are equipped with specially designed augers that efficiently pull the meat and thus require little to no stomping. Finally, the grinder should be stable and heavy enough so it does not move during operation. Lighter models without suction feet at the bottom may slide across the surface due to vibration, which can be quite problematic.
Power & Grinding Capacity
If you are thinking about getting an electric meat grinder, this is one of the main factors you need to take into consideration. In order to be able to handle tough meat, the meat grinder needs to be equipped with a powerful motor. You want to get a grinder with an induction motor instead of a brush motor since the difference in power is enormous. When it comes to horsepower, everything from .35HP will do just fine for virtually all kinds of meat.
Grinding capacity is closely linked to power and it is certainly one of the key characteristics of a meat grinder. Some models can only grind about a pound per minute, others can grind about 20 pounds problem-free, provided that you can feed meat into the head that fast. While 20 pounds per minute is hardly necessary for home use, you should choose a grinder that can handle at least 2-3 pounds per minute, so the grinding process does not take forever.
Some grinders can only grind soft meat while others are best suited for game meat. Some can only grind meat while certain models can be used for processing fruit and vegetables as well. The best grinders can grind all types of meat and they also work with produce, saving you cash on additional appliances.
While grinding is the primary function of a meat grinder, the best meat grinders on the market can do much more than that. From stuffing sausages and making kibbeh to juicing and straining produce, the finest models can do a lot with a neat set of accessories that often come in the package. Before you make your purchase, check whether the grinder comes with extras like sausage attachments, stompers, additional plates, maintenance tools, and other money-saving bonuses that can make grinding easier and expand the unit’s range of potential uses.
Ease Of Use & Maintenance
With the best meat grinders, assembly only takes a minute or two, you do not need much previous knowledge to operate the unit, and cleaning is quick and simple. If the grinder has too many parts that need to be installed and cleaned and comes with complicated instructions that are hard to follow, it is not an optimal choice. Plus, if there are too many parts that are not made of stainless steel, you need to hand-wash and hand-dry them all and spray them with food-grade silicone or cooking oil every time to avoid rust. Dishwasher-safe meat grinders are extremely rare, but if at least some parts can be cleaned in the dishwasher, you can save a lot of time on maintenance.
To make sure you have chosen a meat grinder that is perfectly safe to use, you should first check whether it is made of food-grade materials. The second step is looking at safety-related features, such as thermal overload protection, reverse auger function for eliminating jams and clogs, and protective tray and large stomper for injury prevention. Finally, some of the best meat grinders are also ETL sanitary certified, which provides another valuable proof that they are completely safe to use.
Price & Warranty
Not all meat grinders that cost a lot are actually worth the money and some of the best meat grinders are perfectly affordable. When determining whether the price is adequate, you should focus primarily on motor and material quality and durability. It makes sense to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a meat grinder that can easily last for 5 or more years, but the same is not true for grinders with key parts made of plastic. Furthermore, it is essential that you choose a meat grinder that comes with a warranty. The length of the warranty period primarily depends on the grinder’s price and quality, with more affordable models coming with 1-year warranties and the highest-quality, most expensive grinders coming with 5-year-long or lifetime warranties.