TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Top 5 Best Meat Grinders of 2021 – Reviews by Consumer Reports
- #1. Best Overall: STX International STX 3000 Turboforce Speed Electric Meat Grinder
- #2. Best High-End Meat Grinder – LEM Stainless Steel Big Bite Electric Meat Grinder
- #3. Bet Budget Meat Grinder – ALTRA Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder
- #4. Best Attachment for a Stand Mixer – KitchenAid Metal Food Grinder Attachment
- #5. Best Manual Meat Grinder – LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder
- Why Grind Your Own Meat?
- What is the Best – Electric vs. Manual vs. Stand Attachment Grinders
- What You Must Look for in a Meat Grinder
- How Do You Use a Meat Grinder?
For this post, I have listed the best meat slicers (reviews by Consumer Reports) currently available on the market in 2021.
It is true that buying pre-ground meat is convenient, but you can only make the best meatballs, sausages, and burgers if you grind meat on your own.
That is because you get to control everything that goes in, you have the freedom to experiment on a variety of cuts and a combination of lean meat and fat.
You can purchase meat grinders of varied types and sizes that range from small hand-operated grinders to nearly industrial grinders to process large meat quantities.
Top 5 Best Meat Grinders of 2021 – Reviews by Consumer Reports
If you want to start grinding your own meat, but do not know which grinder to buy, this guide will help you with that. The best meat grinders of 2021 are listed here.
#1. Best Overall: STX International STX 3000 Turboforce Speed Electric Meat Grinder
The choice to be the best overall meat grinder is probably a bit of an overkill if you are looking for a casual look.
However, if you frequently want to grind your own mean, getting stuck because of a cheap grinder is the worst thing that can happen.
What you need is a heavy-duty grinder and that is what the STX-3000 grinder that brings 12,000W in total to handle any kind of meat feed it.
You have the option to grind as much as 360 pounds of meat per hour, which is a lot.
You can get it done quickly if you are only going to grind a few pounds.
The internal components of this product are either stainless steel or polished aluminum.
What We Like
- Great attachments – This one comes with an attachment for a meat pusher. This is useful if you want to put larger amounts of meat into the grinding funnel. It also comes with an attachment for making kubbe/kibbe, and different tubes for sausage stuffing with variable sizes.
- Construction is industrial quality – The plates and blades material are stainless steel and polished aluminum.
- Circuit breaker/speed selection – The truth is you have the option to choose between high or low speeds. There is a very useful reverse function. The circuit breaker makes this grinder to be a safer model to use.
- Can handle a lot of food – The Advanced Variable Intake Technology (AVI) of this grinder allows you to safely and quickly grind big meat quantities in a shorter span of time. The grinder is a strong choice if you have to grind a lot of meat right away.
What We Don’t Like
- Auger pressure – The auger does not seal tightly, which makes filling a sausage case challenging
- Can have a hard time with large cuts – The monitor can easily stall when you process large meat chunks, so it is best to cut up meat beforehand.
#2. Best High-End Meat Grinder – LEM Stainless Steel Big Bite Electric Meat Grinder
There are several products that you can choose from. You have the choice between 0.35 and 1.5 Hp depending on the amount of meat you want to grind. The Hp motors gives great speed and capacity. This is an excellent choice for hunters who need to process large amounts of fresh meat, or make their own dog food. It never slows down, even with large meat chunks.
The 1 Hp model is the one being reviewed here that can grind approximately 13 pounds of meat in a minute.
Its construction is made from modern brushed steel to lessen fingerprints so it always looks great. Aside from that, the head has a rifling pattern so it can push meat forward consistently.
There is a storage drawer that is located right beneath the grinder head so you can easily organize the accessories.
What We Like:
- The speed and capacity are excellent – The rifling pattern, motor, and extender augur are all for churning meat through the grinder at an impressive rate. This is by far one of the best meat grinders that you can choose if you require a lot of meat for grinding in a short span of time.
- Quiet – Even if it is a very high-powered machine, you will not hear a loud sound. Compared to other grinders, this is quiet and is less likely to disturb once you get used to mild humming.
What We Don’t Like:
- It is expensive – This is quite expensive in comparison to other options. Even it has a great motor and works well, it is worth it if you have to grind large amounts of meat.
#3. Bet Budget Meat Grinder – ALTRA Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder
If you want an affordable electric model, this is your best bet. The price of this one is closer to many manual meat grinders. It has an electric motor that can go up to 350W.
Part of the purchase are two blades for cutting, a sausage tube, food pusher, and 2 kibbe attachments.
There are also 3 different cutting places for different consistencies or textures.
These are hardly the same as coarse, fine, or medium grinding.
A lot of the important parts are stainless steel. This steel has 3 layers for better durability and rust resistance.
Other parts are high-end ABS, and aluminum alloy.
What We Like:
- Easy disassembly for quick cleaning – This was built to make it easy to take apart so the major pieces can be individually cleaned. When you put everything back together, it is also very easy. In order to make it more convenient for things, all the plates, blades and other parts that touch meat can easily be put in the dishwasher.
- Excellent durability – Most parts of the grinder is made from stainless steel or aluminum alloy. Since it has a reverse switch, you can easily clean it well.
- Storage box – The grinder has its own storage box where you can easily store parts that you do not use all the time.
- Great price – In comparison to other electric grinders, this one is very affordable.
What We Don’t Like
- Weak loading tray and pushing handle – The loading tray is kind of short and flimsy.
- Pushing handle is made of plastic – It is not strong enough to push meat with a solid force. You need to use another tool if you need the extra force.
#4. Best Attachment for a Stand Mixer – KitchenAid Metal Food Grinder Attachment
If you already own a KitchenAid mixer, the attachment lets you grind your own meat even if you do not buy a stand-alone grinder.
There are 3 different plates that lets you grind many things. The coarse plate has enough strength to grind vegetables, fruits, and cheeses aside from many kinds of meat.
In addition, there are 2 sausage stuffer tubes, a cleaning brush, and a food pusher.
The unit is very sturdy and made using durable aluminum, and the plates are durable steel.
Everything can easily be taken apart and cleaned. In case you want to save some money, you can choose for a plastic version that has 2 grind plates without sausage stuffer tubes.
There is an all metal version that works great.
What We Like:
- Easy to use – Attaching the grinder to KitchenAid mixer takes only a few seconds. Cleaning the machine is easy because everything pulls apart into wash pieces.
- 3 grind plate – This one can give you a lot of options for grinding. For burgers, there is a coarse option you can use the fine plate.
- Affordable – If you own a KitchenAid mixer, getting the grinder attachment is a lot cheaper compared to buying a stand alone grinder and offers that is as good as good performance.
What We Don’t Like:
- The grind quality is average – The downside to this is that it tends to struggle with fat and smear that can easily cause clogging.
#5. Best Manual Meat Grinder – LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder
If you are looking to do an occasional or experimental meat grinding, this is what you should get. A manual grinder is a lot cheaper than the electric ones but they are still built to last.
It has a heavy-duty construction made of stainless steel making it easy to clean and rust damage resistant.
It has a coarse 3/8” and fine 3/16” steel plates and stainless steel knife, 3 stuffing tubes, and a stuffing star. This is helpful in getting you to grind meat faster.
The handle is easy to turn, which helps reduce muscle fatigue.
What We Like
- It is all stainless steel – Everything is made of stainless steel, including the plates, handle, and the outside. Only the handle’s edge, where your hand grips to the crank, is wood material. This helps to make sure that it will last for a long time.
- Mounting clamp is wide – The grinder will use a mounting clamp that is the size of wide surfaces. This lets you place the grinder on the majority of countertops or tables that lets you maintain stability while turning the crank.
- Good accessories – The grinder has 2 choices of stainless steel plates, which are either fine or coarse. The knife, stuffing tubes, and stuffing star are all stainless steel.
What We Don’t Like
- The clamp is not deep – Even if the mounting clamp is a bit wide, especially if it is compared to other manual meat grinders, it is not deep. This can limit the surfaces where you can mount the unit on because the table or countertop must be thing enough.
Why Grind Your Own Meat?
When you grind your own eat, there is more effort that goes into it rather than just buying pre-ground meat from the store.
There is a reason why you should go through this effort.
Actually, there are plenty of reasons why grinding your own meat is better than the store-bought ones:
- Improves flavor – Since you have control on the kind of meat to use, the fat content, and the cut, you have the freedom to decide how each bite will taste once you grill or bake it.
- Meat texture – Your meat is not going to spend a long time oxidizing inside the package. Every meal you eat is going to be fresh and the meat stays loose and moist.
- Health – It is healthier to grind your own meat compared to buying a prepackaged stuff most of the time. With store-bought meat, you do not know where the meat came from and you cannot control what kind you get.
- It’s cool – It is cool to do your own meat grinding. All your meals and cookouts will have a touch of authenticity and self-reliance that the majority of people admire or envy.
Lastly, people who hunt their own meat can use the meat grinder to create different kinds of foods using their skills.
What is the Best – Electric vs. Manual vs. Stand Attachment Grinders
In the market, there are 3 types of grinders.
Each of them has pros and cons, but what you consider to be the best one depends on how you will use it.
Grinders are not reliant on manual power, which means they are excellent when you must grind meat in just a short span of time.
If you are planning to make sausage from scratch, then using an electric grinder that just allows you to start and stop easily is important.
- It can grind a lot of meat all at one time
- Great for quickly grinding meat
- Can produce meat made of great consistencies
- More expensive than the other options mentioned here
- Might require a lot of maintenance
Electric grinders are also useful to hunters because deer could have up to 30 pounds of meat. If you grind all of that manually by hand is very exhausting for anyone.
The majority of electric grinders can be set up to produce made of different textures or consistencies because you can choose between several plates.
Electric grinders are usually a lot more expensive than the others. They are also mostly larger and takes up a lot of space in the kitchen.
Based on the name, manual grinders need human labor to do the work. That means they are best for smaller amounts of meat, and excellent if you only want to make gourmet burger patties from time to time.
- Cheaper compared to electric
- You can use it anywhere
- Maintenance is easier
- Grinds a lesser amount of meat than the electric one
Since manual grinders do not need electricity, they can be used anywhere.
They do not need a lot of maintenance, but they still need thorough cleaning like electric grinders.
Aside from that, manual grinders are usually cheaper than the electric ones.
Lastly, if you own a Cuisinart or KitchenAid stand mixer, there might be an attachment grinder that you can attach to your mixer.
If this is the case, you can save space inside the kitchen and grind meat at the same time. These stand attachments do not have the ability to grind the same amount of meat compared to the more expensive electric ones.
They also depend on the power coming from your kitchen mixer, so there is no need to worry about finding another outlet to make it work.
Stand attachment grinders of meat are normally cheaper compared to the electric ones.
- Easily fits in the kitchen
- Does not require an extra outlet
- Most of the time, they have consistency settings you can choose from
- It can only handle a small quantity of meat at a time
What You Must Look for in a Meat Grinder
If you are looking for the right grinder, you should remember these main factors so you can choose the right product for your needs.
The Amount and Kind of Meat You Want to Grind
Try thinking ahead and plan the frequency of when you will use the grinder.
For instance, if you only use it once in a while, purchasing an electric grinder is a waste of time.
Those models are for grinding large quantities of meat in a short span of time.
You are much better using a manual or attachment type. Those are good for small quantities of meat every night or once in a while, which depend son what you prefer.
Power of the Motor
If you decide to go for an electric grinder, you would have to choose one that has the right motor power. Higher wattage gives a greater grinding capability. In case you require an industrial capacity, choose a model with a high motor power.
How Easy is it to Clean?
There are meat grinders that are easy to clean unlike the others. No matter what kind you choose, they will all need regular maintenance.
If you do not have the time or patience to maintain and clean a complicated grinder, you can buy a simpler machine. It will not take long to take apart and wash it after every grinding session.
Features and Attachments
Grinders can have different features and attachments.
You want to choose one that includes several plates so you can choose different sizes of grinding.
Another thing to consider is a grinder that has a reverse function to prevent blockages.
You will find some grinders that has attachments for making sausages.
These work properly for small batches, but if you want to make sausages, you should get a sausage stuffer.
Think of all the possible cool features if you want an all-encompassing machine.
Some grinders were made from hard plastic, but others are using several kinds of metals.
You must look for excellent meat grinders with stainless steel blades when it is possible.
The reason is because stainless steel is hypoallergenic and the material is rust-resistant that will most likely retain sharpness and durability longer compared to other normal steel types.
Generally, grinders with fewer parts made using durable metal is cheaper, and grinders that are of high-quality steel are more expensive.
This initial higher price may lead to bigger savings over time if the steel grinders do not easily break often.
How Do You Use a Meat Grinder?
Now that you have chosen a metal grinder for all your needs, you must know how to effectively use it.
Before You Begin
- You want to ensure that all your equipment are cold before use.
The grinder, attachments, and meat you want grind should all be cold.
Choose Your Meat
- Cheap fatty cuts are best for grinding meat. Chuck is excellent for beef, but brisket or tri tip are also great.
Trim the Meat
- Depending on the grinder you are using, you would have to trip your meat before grinding. If your grinder is manual or cheap electric, you should cut it into one-inch pieces and get rid of any tough parts that could attach to the grinder’s entry hole.
An electric and more powerful grinder does not require to trim your meat at all.
- Exact instructions vary based on the machine you are using, so it is best to check your manufacturer instructions.
If you are making hamburgers, it is best to run the meat twice through the machine. Once for a coarse grind and then for an even grind.
- If you are making sausages, salt it before grinding. For making burgers, put salt after making the patties.
That is because salt dissolves some proteins once it gets mixed into the meat.
- Grind meat from large to small
It is best to grind meat twice, starting from large coarse grind before running it again with the fine plate.
Grinding twice is an excellent tactic in general if you want a more tender meat. This prevents smearing.
- Avoid smearing the meat.
When it comes to smearing, you want to watch the meat while it comes through the grinder.
You can easily tell whether the grinder is smearing your meat or not is to check how each tiny piece is separate from each other. The perfect grinding puts all of the meat that comes out as tiny chunks with fats you can see resting beside the protein.
Smeared meat will look mixed together.
These are the best meat grinders of 2021, and take note of all the considerations before taking your pick.