One of the often-overlooked essential kitchen appliances is the meat grinder. You use it to grind the meat into smaller pieces or any required texture. Interestingly, a meat grinder is used for meat and used to mince and chop other food products like vegetables and fish.
If you have been considering getting one for some time, here is the sign to definitely get it. Meat grinder helps you get a lot done in the kitchen, and they also help you achieve a different level of innovation and cooking styles when preparing meals. With it, you spend less time sitting with a knife and chopping board, slaving away while trying to cut your meat into smaller pieces.
Do you already have a grinder? Let’s talk about how to use one effectively. Using a meat grinder is easy. It is no less different from using your kitchen blender, the kitchen timer, thermometer, and other appliances. You only have to learn once, and you will get the hang of it for subsequent times.
Here is a list of the various types of kitchen grinders you’ll find in stores and how to use them.
Types of meat grinder
1. Manual meat grinder
More often than not, you will find the manual type of grinder in homes. They are almost like a small pepper blender, the only difference being that they are functionally designed for meat.
Manual grinders need human power to work; they can only take in small quantities of meat at once and are not as versatile as the other types of meat grinders. Nonetheless, they get the job done in their way.
If you want to use a meat grinder with a budget, then the manual one should be easy to get. They come cheap and are easy to operate.
2. Electric meat grinder
The electric meat grinder is another one made for the home. It is large and can contain large chunks of meat while still operating functionally. It uses electricity to operate and has up to three cutting plates, which allow you to achieve different degrees of meat slicing and cutting.
Advantageously, being electric means that it operates independently and does not have to rely on human help for power or control. All you have to do is put in your meat, and it will take care of the whole process of grinding it, even the tough parts. That is why they are also called automated meat grinders.
Better still, the electric grinder has settings that allow you to control what it cuts and how it cuts it. You only have to direct and supervise the cutting process while your grinder does the job itself.
3. Commercial meat grinder
More extensive than the electric meat grinder, it is for commercial use. The chances you find one of these types of grinder in homes are close to null unless you are a chef running a sort of food business from home.
Commercial meat grinders are large and therefore are best suited for restaurants and other people in the meat business. They are bigger than the electric meat grinder and can take in a very large quantity of meat.
They have numerous cutting plates and a lot of settings for adjustment and control. If you plan to have a business in the food industry, then getting the commercial meat grinder is a good deal.
4. Mixer attachment meat grinder
Do you already own a mixer that can function doubly as a meat grinder? Then you shouldn’t go out looking to get a new grinder.
A mixer attachment meat grinder is a type created by attaching a grinder to the mixer. This type of grinder only takes as much as the mixer can take and relies on whatever powers the mixer.
How meat grinders operate and how to use them
Each of the listed meat grinders depends on various things to power them. While the manual one depends on human power, the electric grinder depends on electricity. Also, the buttons and settings which come with each differ, making their methods of operation different.
How to use a manual meat grinder
Before you use a manual meat grinder at home, you should be able to recognize the different parts of it and the functions they perform. Again, your meat grinder is like your pepper blender, so you can compare the parts to understand how it works. To use your manual meat grinder;
- Ensure that parts of the grinder are well coupled and that the grinder is seated comfortably. Place it on a flat surface, preferably your balcony, a board, or some other places.
- Trim out all excess fat as it may clog your grinder if not removed.
- Cut your meat. To make grinding easy, cut your meat into smaller narrow pieces that will fit into the grinder easily.
- Place your meat in a freezer so that it gets cold. This will help it to maintain its shape even after grinding. A lot of people often do not consider this step necessary. However, when you freeze your meat before grinding, it helps you to have more control of the meat.
- Prepare yourself for the grinding by getting a bowl for the grounded meat and other things you might need.
- Lower your meat into the grinder’s tray and turn the hand crank. This should cause the grinder to pull in the meat. Do not use your hand to push the meat into the grinding blade. It’s dangerous. You should use the meat pusher.
- Continue to fill in the meat into the grinder and collect with the prepared bowl until you have no meat left.
- When you’re through grinding your meat, get a slice of moist bread. Run it through your grinder to get rid of meat pieces that may be stuck in it. Then dispose off the grounded bread.
- Wash and clean your grinder to get rid of other particles that may have gotten stuck.
- Do not store your grinder without properly washing and cleaning it; it will cause it to rust and attract rodents to it.
How to use an electric meat grinder
If you know how to use a manual type, then using an electric meat grinder shouldn’t be hard.
- Assemble your grinder so that all parts are in place. If that is your first time assembling one, you should read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to assemble the grinder.
- Do not connect the grinder to an electric source until you have cleaned and wash the grinder.
- Pressing the power-on button, turn on your grinder.
- Prepare a bowl or a plate to collect the grounded meat hygienically.
- Remove your meat from the freezer where you must have left it to freeze a little. Then place it into the grinder’s tray. If not pulled by the cutting plates, you should use a food pusher and not your hand to push the meat.
- Continue to place in your meat, push and collect the grounded one till you are through.
- When done, switch off your grinder, disconnect it and disassemble it so that you can wash and clean off the particles.
- Store in a dry place.
How to use a commercial meat grinder
Commercial meat grinders are often larger than electric grinders. However, they operate the same way.
First, to operate, check for the manufacturer’s guide as that will give you an exact direction on how to set up and use your commercial grinder.
Otherwise, here is a general instruction to follow:
- Take out your mildly cold meat from the freezer. Prepare it by cutting it into small pieces and getting rid of the fat and bones.
- Also, get a bowl, and place it where it will comfortably collect your grounded meat.
- Put as much meat as the grinder can contain into it using the feeding bar.
- Connect your grinder and turn it on.
- After grinding, disconnect your grinder. Wash, sanitize, and rinse your grinder to remove all meat.
- Air-dry the grinder and clean its body
- For maintenance, lubricate the gearbox’s oil seal occasionally.
Tips and tricks for when using a grinder
- Freeze your meat a little before grinding. It will not only help you to keep the shape but also protect it from spoiling.
- Always be alert. Do not impulsively use your hand to push your meat; use a food pusher.
- You can adjust the blade of some meat grinders to determine the size of the meat. Check your product’s manual to see if other cutting plates come with it.
- Do not overload your grinder. Give it time to grind previously filled meat before adding more.
- Always disconnect the electric grinders after use and keep them away from kids.
Why use a meat grinder?
You use a meat grinder to grind your meat into small pieces or into fine particles that can be used when cooking different meals.
Can meat grinders grind bones?
Yes. However, only the electric and commercial meat grinder do well with bones. Also, you should place only soft bones in the grinder. If you will use your grinder to grind bone, make sure the bone is cold.
Can meat grinder grind vegetables?
Yes, definitely. Meat grinders can be used to grind vegetables and even fish.
Will a manual meat grinder grind bone?
Yes. But it does not do as well as the electric and commercial grinder. If you are using the manual grinder to grind bone, then be prepared to put in the muscle work.
Will a meat grinder grind corn?
Yes. But not all meat grinders grind corn. Only meat grinders with allowance for grain attachment grind corn.
How do you clean a meat grinder?
Disconnect it if it is electric. Disembble the part and wash thoroughly. Rinse and sanitize before you store in a dry place.
A good grinder may not come cheap. However, it is always worth the price because it helps your cooking and helps you get a better end product. Using it is also not hard if you follow instructions.