How Do Meat Grinders Work?

A meat grinder is like a blender specifically designed to work for meat, fishes, and vegetables. They are vital kitchen aids used to make meaty meals like sausages, soups, appetizers, and sandwich spreads. With a meat grinder, you can determine your meat’s level of fineness and not just rely on the mincemeat from the store. If you want to know more about how meat grinders work, you are in the right place.

Do you think using a meat grinder is hard? Not so! You can learn how to use a meat grinder in no time so much that subsequently, you can use it without a guide.

For anyone to use one, it would be useful to understand how meat grinders work, as it will help you to know better how to assemble it and how to use it.

Components of a meat grinder

Components are the parts that make up a meat grinder. There are different types of meat grinders; therefore, while some components are common to all grinders, some are found only in certain types. Here are some of the components that make a meat grinder work

1. Meat pan or meat tray

This is the uppermost part of the grinder. It is the highest point and also where you put in your meat for grinding. The size of your meat tray determines how much meat you can fill into your grinder without choking it.

2. Pusher

Often called the food pusher or meat pusher, it pushes the meat into the tube. With it, you are not to use your hand to push the meat deep into the grinding plate.

3. Feeding tube

The feeding tube is found at the lower part of the meat tray. It often comes in a stick-like shape that allows you to push the meat down.

4. Screw ring

It moves the meat towards the grinding blades, which does the cutting. It is found at the lower part of the feeding tube.

5. Cutting blade or grinding blade

This is the part responsible for the actual cutting of your meat into smaller pieces. They often come in different shapes and sizes but still performing the same function. They can also be adjusted to suit your need in some grinders. You can sharpen them when they go blunt due to years of use.

6. Cutting plate

This works together with the cutting blade to do the cutting and to push the meat out after cutting.

7. Motor

Found in the electric and commercial meat grinders, the motor serves as the part that powers the grinder.

8. Power on/off

The button helps to turn on the grinder. As expected, you can only find it in the electric grinder or other more prominent grinder types.

9. Sausage stuffer

The sausage stuffer is perfect for when making a sausage. It helps to stuff the meat into the sausage, therefore saving you the stress. Again, not all grinder has it because it is an extra accessory that can be attached and removed.

10. Gearbox

The gearbox is also found in electric grinders. It works together with the motor to power the grinder, and usually, there is a need to oil it frequently. The gearbox may be plastic or metal, and although their durability differs, they still perform the same function.

11. Hand crank

This is a part found in a manual grinder. Instead of the motor and gearbox found in electric, the hand crank is found in the manual. It is with the hand crank that users control or power the manual grinder. It is connected to the cutting blade and cutting plate.

Working principle: How meat grinders work

As previously stated, not all of the parts above are found in all grinders. While some are common and typical parts, others are unique parts that are model products.

Here is how a typical grinder operates

  1. When the meat, placed in the freezer to cool is removed. It is placed in the grinder, which you must have assembled.
  2. The size of the meat to be placed in the grinder is determined by the diameter of the feeding tube, while the size of the tray determines the quantity of meat. Therefore, you may need to cut your meat into significantly smaller pieces if the diameter of the feeding tube is not very large.
  3. In the case of the manual type of grinder. There is a need to turn the hand crank before action can take place in the grinder. Manually turning the cutting blade sets things into motion.
  4. For the electric grinder, turning on the grinder kickstarts activities as the blade rolls
  5. The blade in any grinder cuts down the meat as soon as it comes in contact with it. The size of the cut meat is determined by the space left by the hole in the cutting plate.
  6. After cutting, the meat is pushed outward to be collected by a bowl.
  7. If you want to make other types of meals, like a sausage. Then you can attach a meat stuffer to stuff the meat.

Things to avoid when operating a meat grinder

  1. When operating a meat grinder, ensure that you have it appropriately assembled. An improper arrangement may lead to the grinder causing an accident or falling apart.
  2. Do not use your hand as a meat pusher when the grinder is on.
  3. Place a bowl beside your grinder to collect your grounded meat as soon as it is grounded.
  4. If you cannot operate the grinder, first learn how to use it before operating one to avoid accidents.
  5. Do not put a hard bone into your meat grinder


Are meat grinders dangerous?

No, they are not. As long as you adhere to instruction, follow how to assemble it, assemble it correctly and use it with care. They are pretty safe.

What does the meat grinder number mean?

The grinder number refers to your grinder’s size. The grinder plate often determines it in your grinder. They are not stable and therefore vary from one grinder type to another.

Do meat grinder blades get dull?

Yes, consistent use of your grinder makes it go blunt with time. However, that is not permanent, as you can always sharpen a blunt grinder blade.

Can meat grinder blades be sharpened?

Yes. You can sharpen your grinder blade with a sharpening stone, sandpaper, or a knife sharpening system. 

How long do meat grinder blades last?

How long your meat grinder lasts depends on the level of maintenance. If you often sharpen them and do not use them for the wrong purposes, they could serve you for years.

Which way does the meat grinder blade face?

In positioning the blade, ensure the flat side is placed on the outer side of the machine. The blade rotates, so there is actually no left or right. 

What meat grinder plate sizes should I have?

You can have different sizes of grinder plate based on your domestic or commercial needs. However, for the home, a size 5, 8, 12, 22, or 32 is ideal.

Are meat grinder plates interchangeable?

Yes, based on the size of meat you want, you can decide to change your grinder plates to fit. The size of the meat is determined by the space between the grinder bladed and the grinder.

Are meat grinder blades universal?

Yes. You can use them for any and every type of meat. Just be sure to remove the bones and fat before grinding.


You can carry out many of the activities related to maintaining the meat grinder yourself. However, when you cannot figure out what to do in the case of grinders like the electric and the commercial grinder, it is best to see an expert. 

The lifespan of the grinder is determined by how well you are able to utilize it while still maintaining it.