WHAT IS A MEAT GRINDER, AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
A meat grinder is made up of a hopper or tray that feeds food through grinding plates to finely mince and mix ingredients. Types of meat grinders include: a manual grinder that operates with a hand crank, an electric grinder with an internal motor and a stand mixer attachment that uses the mixer’s motor to power the grinding action.
IS GRINDING YOUR OWN MEAT WORTH IT?
A food and meat grinder gives you a level of control over ingredient sources, flavor and texture that makes it a worthwhile addition to your repertoire. Some key benefits to using a food and meat grinder include:
- Source: Grinding your own meat lets you decide not only where the meat comes from, but also the varieties and cuts you use in recipes, whether locally-raised or purchased at a grocery store or butcher.
- Flavor: It’s easy to maintain flavor integrity with fresh ingredients and without commercial additives and preservatives. Fine-tune the flavor in your recipes by combining different meat blends such as beef and lamb for tagine cooking or easy kabobs, chicken and pork for homemade dim sum, ground meat for Swedish meatballs or lean beef with pork for the ultimate burgers.
- Texture: Grinding your own meat lets you control the texture of the grind from fine to coarse and lets you shape items such as meatballs and sausage loosely so they are tender when cooked, unlike packaged products that might become compressed, which can make them feel tough once cooked.
- Versatility: You can also use a KitchenAid® food grinder for foods such as potato, sweet potato, squash and other cooked soft vegetables to make gnocchi, pierogi, hash and more. Or, pair it with the Fruit and Vegetable Strainer attachment to create fresh jams, sauces, baby foods and more.
HOW TO USE A MANUAL OR ELECTRIC MEAT GRINDER ATTACHMENT
Whether you use a manual grinder, a standalone electric grinder or a stand mixer attachment, follow these tips to help you achieve the best possible results.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO GET STARTED
- Seasoning (optional)
- Cold or partially frozen meat
- Kitchen shears
- Refrigerator-safe bowl
- Meat grinder (electric or manual)
1. TRIM THE MEAT
Prepare your meat by trimming any excess fat and skin so you’re only grinding the prime parts of the meat. This will help the grinder chop the meat efficiently and help you avoid smearing.
2. REMOVE BONES
Make sure to remove any bones and bone fragments. Trimming out bones is critical for your safety and longevity of the product.
3. CUT THE MEAT INTO PIECES
Be sure you cut your meat into pieces that are sized to move easily from the tray into the grinder opening. If you cut pieces too large, they may clog the grinder.
If you plan to season meat, let the trimmed cut rest in the fridge coated in a dry rub. Seasoning the meat before grinding ensures even flavor distribution throughout the final product.
5. CHILL THE MEAT
For best results, grind meat that is very cold or partially frozen. Chill for around 30 minutes depending on the size and cut of your meat. If you’re grinding large quantities, keep it in the fridge and remove small amounts to grind in batches.
6. CHILL THE GRINDER
To help maintain cool temperatures while in use, chill the grinder and food tray for at least 30 minutes prior to grinding. The KitchenAid® Metal Food Grinder can be pre-chilled in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain a cold grinding temperature, while giving you a clean grind when preparing meat
7. SET UP THE GRINDER
Remove your meat grinder from the freezer or refrigerator and assemble it for grinding. Once assembled, a KitchenAid® Metal Food Grinder can be connected to the power hub of any KitchenAid® stand mixer by inserting the attachment shaft into the hub, then tightening the mixer hub knob clockwise to secure the grinder.