The meat grinder is a culinary tool for grinding meat and finely shredding it into bits. The utility of a meat grinder is that it allows you to grind large amount of meat in the shortest time with little effort. Meat grinder does not cut meat alone. It is a versatile kitchen tool that can also be used for chopping all kinds of vegetables, fruits and dried fruits. It can make bread crumbs out of dried bread, chop herbs, crack grains and even make nut butter and flour.
Whether electric or manual, meat grinders operate on the same basic principle. Meat is added to a grinding wheel through a hopper which is positioned over a sharpened turn screw. This forces the meat through a series of chopper / grinding screens which push the meat in and out of appropriate sized screens. Meat grinding and processing time is immensely speeded up with electric meat grinders.
Manual meat grinders are less expensive and a sturdy and cheaper version would cost somewhere around $ 50. A good meat grinder, be it electric or hand powered would cost about $ 150. Of course there are very sophisticated larger meat grinders that cost up to even $ 1000. Antique meat grinders are popular because they are available for 'bargain' prices, for as less as $ 5 to $ 15. They can be bought from flea markets or during garage sales. The old grinder can be easily restored and brought back into action.
Before using a new grinder it is essential to wash it thoroughly with warm soapy water. Small pieces of fat should be run through using each blade followed by a few crackers. It should be re-washed and dried before actual use. A hair dryer can also be used for the purpose of drying a meat grinder. Do not at any time push down the food/meat using fingers into the meat grinder. It can be very dangerous and can cost you your finger.
Meat grinder advantages
Electric Meat grinder
The electric meat grinder operates on a strong powerful motor with longer life. Usually there is high power operating from 220 watts to 550 watts. The electric meat grinder grinds meat quickly and clearly. You can opt for an additional attachment to make homemade sausages. It has interchangeable die-cast metal parts for three different types of cut options. Feed forward and reverse instructions facilities are available.
Electric meat grinders come in heavyweight cast iron material with electro chrome plated coating which is extremely clean and sanitary. The grinding head comes in stainless steel. Cleaning up no longer becomes a chore. Durability, ease of cleaning, portability, functionality and style are the salient features of electric meat grinders. Modern electric meat grinders are economical on power consumption.
Hunters, farmers, ranchers and meat lovers prefer small electric grinders to manual meat grinders. The hunters harvest a single/double kill during the season. They prefer small electric meat grinders which are less expensive than large electric meat grinders. This is more practical and economic for them.
Manual meat grinder
Manual meat grinders come in a variety of styles and models. They are made of hardened steel or die cast iron. Nowadays they come in molded plastic chopper. Handcrafted meat grinders are of two types. One has the food chopper cutter blade on the outside of the grinder body. The second type has a knife fitting inside the grinder body. Both types come with a clamp and suitable for tabletop mounting.
Manual meat grinders offer the same functions as electric meat grinders. Manual grinders normally have course and fine cuts. They need to be hand washed and dried. After the meat is cut into small chunks, the gristle should be removed from manual grinders as otherwise it will clog.