Meat grinders are often billed as one of the unsung heroes in the kitchen appliance space, but are a must have in any home kitchen, and for several reasons.
Adding a meat grinder to your kitchen appliance arsenal isn’t just about convenience, but it’s about gaining complete control over the meat you buy, so you don’t have to worry about food related illnesses that stem from stale meat.
Another noteworthy reason of owning a meat grinder is that you save a handsome amount of cash on trips to the butcher to get special cuts, when you can make these cuts and properly in the comfort of your home.
Buying the best meat grinder however can be a tricky task, given the many options available.
But after diligently scouring this space, and comparing several options alongside, we’ve rounded off on 7 top models that won’t disappoint you in terms of features, performance, and longevity.
We’ve also included a detailed meat grinder buying guide, so that you can make the right choice for your needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why do You Need to Buy a Meat Grinder for Your Home?
- 2 What are the Benefits of Grinding your Own Meat?
- 3 Different Types of Meat Grinders
- 4 7 Best Meat Grinders of 2021
- 4.1 1. STX Turboforce II”Platinum”
- 4.2 2. Powerful ALTRA Electric Food Meat Grinder
- 4.3 3. Manual Meat Grinder with Stainless Steel Blades
- 4.4 4. KitchenAid KSMMGA Metal Food Grinder Attachment
- 4.5 5. Metal Food Grinder Attachment for KitchenAid Stand Mixers
- 4.6 6. LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder
- 4.7 7. Sunmile SM-G31 Electric Meat Grinder
- 5 What to Look for in a Meat Grinder Before Buying?
- 5.1 How does a meat grinder work?
- 5.2 What type of meat grinder should I buy? Electric vs. Manual meat grinder
- 5.3 What is the best power for a meat grinder?
- 5.4 What is the best material for a meat grinder?
- 5.5 How does the reverse feature of meat grinders work?
- 5.6 Should I buy a meat grinder with rubberized feet?
- 5.7 What is a kubbe attachment on a meat grinder?
- 6 Difference between Meat grinder vs. food processor
- 7 How to Use a Meat Grinder?
- 8 Meat Grinder Maintenance
- 9 Tips to Get Best Out of Your Meat Grinder
Why do You Need to Buy a Meat Grinder for Your Home?
There are myriad reasons why you should buy a meat grinder for your home, most notably:
1. Food Safety
Food safety today is more important than ever, given the recent and ongoing E. coli outbreaks.
When meat is ground at commercial spaces such as factories or even at your local butcher shop, it is considerably prone to being exposed to E. coli and salmonella bacteria, which puts you at an extremely high risk of foodborne illnesses.
Grinding your own meat either with any grinder, be it one of the best manual meat grinders or best electric meat grinders significantly lowers your risk of meat contamination.
What’s worse is, and contrary to what you may think, meat in your local butcher shop isn’t ground daily, but is processed a couple of days ago or even a week, and then stored in the freezer.
But according to the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service, freezing meat doesn’t destroy bacteria, but simply inactivates any microbes — bacteria, yeasts and mold present in the meat.
And once thawed, i.e., after you buy it and thaw it, bacteria can become active again, and multiply in the right conditions.
Meat ground over the counter tends to lose quality and flavor over time, and here’s why! One notable reason for loss of quality when buying ground meat at the butcher is freezer burn.
The environment of a freezer is really dry, cold and chilly, which generally is the root cause of freezer burn, especially when the meat is stored for longer periods of time.
When meat is exposed to the dry air inside the freezer, it gets tough, and results in a stale, off taste.
Adding to this, certain fats in meats such as duck, pork and goose can tend to become oxidized, therefore go rancid, and often exhibit dramatic changes in flavor.
Even if you buy a top of the line commercial meat grinder, grind meat in it in your home, and compare it with store-bought meat, you will notice the difference in quality and freshness almost instantly.
3. Cost Efficiency
Making trips to the grocery store or butcher shop is precious time wasted, and needless to say cash spent in gas for something that you can do right in the comfort of your home.
Buying a meat grinder is an investment that will pay itself off many times over, and not only will it save you a serious amount of time and cash in making trips to the store, but is also a guaranteed way to enjoy fresh cuts as and when you need it.
What are the Benefits of Grinding your Own Meat?
1. Health Benefits
When you buy a small meat grinder or a large one if your budget permits, you gain complete control over the grinding process.
This means that you can avoid buying meat that’s been sitting on a shelf waiting to be prepared, but also create your own working area, and ensure that it is clean as possible.
If you love customized meat such as blending your own burgers, corn fed or grass-fed meat or locally raised, a meat grinder will definitely serve you well.
You can even cut the ridiculously high costs of pork butts if you’re making items such as sausages (bratwurst) with a home stainless steel meat grinder or better yet a hand crank meat grinder.
3. Family Affair
Grinding meat in your home can be a home activity, and a nice way to spend quality family time. Further, it could also be a great way to keep yourself and neighbors entertained by sharing recipes, grinding meat, and cooking them together.
Different Types of Meat Grinders
When on the shopping trail for the best meat grinders, you will come across three different types to choose from — manual meat grinders, electric meat grinders, and stand attachment grinders.
Manual Meat Grinders
Manual meat grinders just as the name would suggest showcase a basic design, and are run by hand — manual operation.
Also referred to as non-electric meat grinders or hand-crank meat grinders, manual meat grinders do require a fair bit of effort to grind meat, therefore are an ideal choice for grinding small batches of meat at a time.
Manual meat grinders also work well when grinding softer meat cuts such as sirloin or tri-tip, Chuck steak, round, brisket or hand chops for hamburgers.
Additionally, manual meat grinders are preferred by most meat aficionados for grinding meat for homemade sausages, as they provide great control over the grinding process.
Adding to this, manual meat grinders come with a limited set of features, but on a brighter note feature a compact and lightweight footprint.
This makes it easy to grind meat anywhere you go or use in rural areas that don’t have access to electricity. In terms of pricing, manual meat grinders carry price tags between $25 and just under $200 for high end models.
Electric Meat Grinders
Electric meat grinders are powered by electricity, allowing you to grind meat without much effort.
Even though they aren’t designed for commercial use, electric meat grinders can grind large amounts of meat with ease, making them a great fit for large families or those looking to grind large amounts of meat at a time.
Electric meat grinders also provide a higher number of functions to choose from to customize each grind with the flick of a switch such as the size of the grind.
Most of the best electric meat grinder models can grind up to two to three pounds of meat per minute.
Furthermore, they also come with an array of different size cutting plates and a meat grinder plate size chart to easily produce small (3/16 inch) or large (½ inch) bits of ground meat.
Adding to their long list of features, some electric meat grinder models come with a food pushing tool, and several different sausage extrusion tools to direct the flow of ground sausage directly into the various types of casings.
Owing to their rich set of features, electric meat grinders cost a bit more than manual meat grinders, somewhere between $70 to $400 for a commercial grade model.
Stand Attachment Meat Grinder
If you have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, you can attach the innovative metal food grinder attachment to the appliance to grind meat, hard cheeses, make bread crumbs, and much more.
This attachment costs roughly $70, and is a perfect choice if you don’t want to add another appliance to your kitchen cabinet, yet would like to enjoy fresh ground meat at home.
7 Best Meat Grinders of 2021
1. STX Turboforce II”Platinum”
The STX Turboforce II”Platinum” slots in at the #1 position on this list of best meat grinders for several great reasons, most notably its unmatched 2000-watts grinding power.
It offers three speeds to choose from — high, low and reverse, allowing you to grind meat just the way you like it. The STX Turboforce II”Platinum” meat grinder can be paired with the included food pedal for handsfree meat grinding.
The Turboforce II”Platinum” meat grinder features a patented Quad Air Cooling system, which is designed to enhance the service life of the appliance, thanks to its integrated four air cooling intakes.
Further, it is made from high quality polished stainless steel, yet weighs just 13 lbs, and measures a compact 19” L x 8” W x 14” H.
The Turboforce II”Platinum” by STX is also fitted with a size 12 polished grinding head with a meat hopper, which holds the meat until you’re ready to grind.
Also included in the box is a meat pusher/stuffer, beaner sausage stuffing plate, three stainless steel cutting blades, five grinding plates, and three sausage stuffing tubes complete with an adaptor and kubbe attachment.
The kubbe attachment simplifies the preparation of Middle Eastern dishes such as koubba and kibbeh.
The Turboforce II”Platinum” meat grinder operates on 110/120 volts power, and can grind up to an impressive 225 lbs meat in an hour when set on its highest speed.
- 2000-watts grinding power
- Comes with foot pedal
- Weighs just 13-lbs
- Size 12 polished grinding head with meat hopper
- Grinds up to 225 lbs meat in an hour
- Can grind soft bones
- Not rustproof
2. Powerful ALTRA Electric Food Meat Grinder
The ALTRA meat grinder is perhaps one of the best meat grinders under $100 in the market, because it comes with features only seen in much higher priced models.
For starters, it offers 2000-watts max grinding power, making it an ideal choice for grinding meat and making stuffing.
Further, it is equipped with a strong crossing cutting blades that collectively provide superior cutting action.
It is made from food grade material, making it safe to grind meat without worrying food contamination. The ALTRA meat grinder is crafted from three-layer reinforced stainless steel, thick aluminum alloy, and high quality ABS plastic.
Furthermore, it is highly durable and corrosion resistant, so you expect it to last for several years with proper care.
The ALTRA meat grinder comes with an array of accessories right out of the box including three cutting plates, three different mesh diameters that can be used for coarse, medium, and fine grinding.
But that’s not all, the ALTRA meat grinder also comes with sausage funnels and a kibbe attachment to make items such as tantalizing meat loaf, meat balls, sausages, and much more.
It is easy to operate with its onsite on/off switch, and a dedicated reverse switch to unclog the grinder.
The grinder is easy to clean by dissembling the components, and features a built in concealed storage container, which can be used to store the accessories, without taking up precious counter space.
- 2000-watts power
- Made from 3-layer reinforced stainless steel, thick aluminum alloy, and high-quality ABS plastic
- Durable and corrosion resistant
- Several accessories included such as sausage funnels and kibbe attachment
- Reverse switch to unclog the grinder
- In-built concealed storage container
- Motor may emit smell after long periods of use
3. Manual Meat Grinder with Stainless Steel Blades
For a budget-friendly meat grinder that offers a no-frills meat grinding experience, and is a joy to use to grind small amounts of meat, the LHS manual grinder is worth second look.
It is made from superior quality plastic, and fitted with stainless steel blades, making it a great choice for grinding meat for egg salads, meat balls, chicken burgers, and baby food.
The LHS manual meat grinder showcases a unique design, and arrives complete with a powerful suction base, which keeps it place during use.
Speaking of design, the LHS meat grinder is equipped with an ergonomic handle, and a non-slip base, resulting in a smooth and safe grinding process.
Additionally, it comes with a larger size hopper to grind more meat at one time. With regards to safety, the LHS meat grinder doesn’t fall short with its fully enclosed blades.
The LHS meat grinder comes with a meat pusher to push the meat into the grinders, which greatly reduces waste, and saves time.
It comes with two different size cutting plates for coarse and fine grinds, and four different shape cookie cutters for cookie desert.
The LHS manual meat grinder weighs a little over 2 lbs, making it highly portable, and allows you to see the entire grinding process through its transparent design.
- Transparent design
- Large size hopper
- Made from high quality plastic and fitted with enclosed stainless steel blades
- Ergonomic handle and non-slip base
- Lightweight at just 2 lbs
- Comes with pusher, 2 cutting plates and 4 cookie cutters
- Limited to one color option
4. KitchenAid KSMMGA Metal Food Grinder Attachment
If you own a KitchenAid Stand mixer, and don’t really want to buy a separate meat grinder, the KitchenAid KSMMGA grinder attachment is perhaps a great option for you.
This innovative device simply attaches to your KitchenAid mixer, and starts grinding as soon the mixer is turned on.
Even though the KitchenAid meat grinder attachment boasts a compact build, it offers endless grinding possibilities, thanks to the included fine, medium and coarse grinding plates, and two sausage stuffer tubes.
It features a larger food processor hopper, so you can grind more meat at one time, and a convenient front opening to catch the meat directly into a bowl below.
The KitchenAid meat grinder attachment comes with a storage case to store the grinder, as well as all the parts after use.
- Connects with KitchenAid mixers
- Electrical grinding capabilities
- Comes with fine, medium and coarse grinding plates
- Large food capacity hopper
- Conveniently located front opening
- Includes storage case
- Doesn’t work without KitchenAid mixer
5. Metal Food Grinder Attachment for KitchenAid Stand Mixers
The Kenome meat grinder attachment is yet another great way to turn your KitchenAid mixer into a meat grinder. It features an all-metal design, and is designed to fit all KitchenAid mixers.
Additionally, the Kenome metal food grinder attachment offers superior speed, durability, and a cleaner grind, making it an ideal choice for grinding meat with great texture.
The Kenome meat grinder is topped with a larger loading tray, so you can grind more cheese, meat, breadcrumbs in one go.
Furthermore, the box included two sausage stuffer tubes, and four different grinding plates, giving you more options over the type of grind you need.
In the box you also get a food pusher to push the meat or other food items through the meat grinder attachment.
The Kenome meat grinder attachment for KitchenAid mixers weighs 2.5 lbs, and measures 8.86 x 6.18 x 5.43 inches, making it easy to store when not in use.
- Fits all KitchenAid mixers
- All-metal design
- Large loading tray
- Comes with 2 sausage stuffer tubes, 4 different grinding plates, food pusher and cleaning brush
- Lightweight at 2.5 lbs
- Parts not dishwasher safe
6. LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder
The LEM Products 821 #10 is a clamp on style meat grinder that can be mounted on any table or countertop using the included 1 1/4″ thick clamp.
It showcases and durable build, thanks to its heavy duty stainless steel construction, and is rust resistant and easy to clean.
The LEM #10 clamp style meat grinder comes with everything you need to get grinding right out of the box including two stainless steel grinding plates for course 3/8″ and fine 3/16″ textures.
The box of the LEM #10 meat grinder also includes three stuffing tubes of different measurements — 1/2″, 3/4″ & 7/8″, and a stuffing star.
- Can be mounted on any table or countertop
- Comes with a 1 1/4″ thick clamp
- Heavy duty stainless steel construction
- Includes 2 stainless steel grinding plates, 3 stuffing tubes and stuffing star
- Easy to clean and rust resistant
- May not be a good choice for grinding large amounts of meat
7. Sunmile SM-G31 Electric Meat Grinder
Sunmile is one of the leading names in the grinder space, and the SM-G31 meat grinder is yet another hit addition to the company’s vast lineup of products.
This electric meat grinder by Sunmile is in a league of its own with its impressive 250-watts rated power, and 800-watts max locked power.
In terms of performance, the Sunmile SM-G31 meat grinder doesn’t disappoint with its ability to grind up to 150 lbs of meat per hour.
It is easy to operate with single On/Off switch, and is easy to dissemble and easy to clean. This meat grinder model comes with a large tray, which allows you to grind generous amounts of meat each time.
It is ETL certified, meaning it has been tested to meet certain safety standards. The Sunmile meat grinder comes with three various steel cutting plates for coarse, medium and fine grinding of meat.
The box also includes a plastic food pusher, and a sausage attachment to make homemade sausages.
All the cutting plates and cutting blade are dishwasher safe, making the grinder easy to clean, and store when not in use.
- 250-watts rated power/800-watts max locked power
- ETL certified for safety
- Comes with plastic food pusher and sausage attachment
- Dishwasher safe cutting plates and cutting blade
- Can grind up to 150 lbs of meat per hour
- Assembly may be a bit challenging for some users
What to Look for in a Meat Grinder Before Buying?
Buying a meat grinder can be a big-ticket purchase, and given the plethora of models to choose from, here’s what to look for in the best meat grinder.
How does a meat grinder work?
Meat grinders can be ordered in manual and electrical versions, so first let’s understand how does a manual meat grinder work?
Before using a manual meat grinder, you should chop the meat on a cutting board.
You then have to place the cut pieces of meat in the hopper, and manually push the pieces down with a pushing tube, and turn the hand crank on the side to grind the meat.
In electrical meat grinders, a motor does most of the work for you, so you just have to push the meat down with the meat pusher, and the appliance grinds the meat for you with little or no effort.
What type of meat grinder should I buy? Electric vs. Manual meat grinder
As mentioned earlier, there are three common types of meat grinders to choose from, but the biggest debate among consumers is whether to choose a manual or electric model.
Manual meat grinders such as the budget friendly LHS manual meat grinder feature a simplistic design, and are easy to use, but don’t come with the bells and whistles of an electric meat grinder.
They are mostly made from plastic, and fitted with stainless steel blades, which work collectively to grind the meat. Further, these blades are enclosed in most models, making manual meat grinders safe to use.
Manual meat grinders are also fairly lightweight, and since they don’t require the use of electricity, you can literally grind fresh meat on the spot such as at tailgate parties, etc.
But even though manual meat grinders are lightweight, owing to the lack of motors, they may not be the best choice when looking to grind a large amount of meat at one time or seniors or the elderly who lack arm strength.
Contrarily, electric meat grinders, again taking the budget friendly Zolko electric meat grinder as an example comes with a long list of features including a stainless steel design.
Additionally, it offers an impressive 2000 watts of power, and comes with three different cutting plates, which allow you to grind meat your way — coarse, medium or fine grinds.
Even though manual meat grinders may cost a bit less than their electric counterparts, you may be better off paying a bit more for an electric meat grinder, especially if you grind meat often, and in large quantities at a time.
What is the best power for a meat grinder?
The power rating is perhaps the most important factor to consider when shopping for the best meat grinder, as it dictates the speed and overall performance of the respective model.
The right power rating largely depends on the amount of meat you’d like to grind, and how fast you’d like to get the job done.
Take note that the higher the power rating, the higher the price tag of the meat grinder, so you don’t really have to splurge in a high-end model.
High powered meat grinders – 1200–1400 watts
High powered meat grinders are commercial grade electrical models that come with most of the bells and whistles.
It goes without saying that these models are come with higher price tags, but if you want to grind a large amount of meat at a time such as more than 5 lbs of meat per minute, choosing a high wattage model such as the STX Turboforce II”Platinum” mentioned on this list is your best bet.
Medium-powered meat grinders — 800 to 1200 watts
Most of the electric grinders mentioned on this list including the Powerful ALTRA Electric Food Meat Grinder are the middle ground between high and low powered meat grinders.
They are ideal for home use, and can generally grind 2 lbs of meat or more per minute. Plus, they come with several different accessories including meat pushers and sausage tubes to easily make a variety of specialty sausages.
Low-powered meat grinders — 400 to 800 watts
This range of budget-friendly meat grinders can process small amounts of meat per minute such as the Sunmile SM-G31 Electric Meat Grinder mentioned on this list.
Even though they may not be able to process large amounts of meat at a time, low powered meat grinders are an ideal choice for small families.
It is also worth noting that powerful meat grinders do use more electrical power, so it is wise to calculate the amount of meat you will be grinding to avoid adding numbers to your electric bill.
What is the best material for a meat grinder?
Meat grinders can be made from several different materials, most commonly plastic, metal or a mix of both metal and plastic.
Manual meat grinders such as the LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder are built tough of pure stainless steel, making it one of the best meat grinders for raw dog food and other tough meats.
If you’re going to buy a metal meat grinder, make sure it is rust proof, as the last thing you want to see is your investment rust in a short period of time.
Apart from the exterior material of the meat grinder, you also need to consider the material of the auger conveyor.
This is the component that pushes the meat towards the cutting plates, and should be made from metal for effective grinding, and long term durability.
The cuttings plates come in different sizes to grind textures such as coarse and medium, and should ideally be made from stainless steel.
Depending on how often and what type of meat you grind, stainless steel meat grinding cutting plates require sharpening twice a year, and more if you grind meat with soft bones, tendons, etc.
How does the reverse feature of meat grinders work?
This is perhaps one of the most important features of a meat grinder. This feature allows you to put the meat grinder in reverse to remove any meat that may be stuck in the cutting plates of auger.
Should I buy a meat grinder with rubberized feet?
Meat grinder, especially those made from stainless steel can be heavy appliances, and may damage your counter over time.
Rubberized feet not only prevent damage to your countertops, but also reduce vibration, and keep the meat grinder in place during use.
What is a kubbe attachment on a meat grinder?
Meat grinders such as the STX Turboforce II”Platinum” on this list come with a kubbe attachment, but what exactly is it used for?
To explain briefly, you can use the included kubbe attachment to create tubes of mince meat to make the Middle Eastern specialty kubbe.
After you form the kubbe with the kubbe meat grinder attachment, you can seal it and then deep fry or cook as desired.
Difference between Meat grinder vs. food processor
One of the common question’s consumers ask is whether you can you grind meat in a food processor? Yes, you can grind meat in a food processor, but if you’re looking for finely ground meat, you’re better off buying a meat grinder.
When choosing between a food processor and meat grinder, you should also take into account the texture you’re looking to achieve, because the cutting mechanisms between the two may vary.
Food processors are generally fitted with stationary, rotating or pump based blades, whereas as grinders with a series of blades, and additional parts to filter the meat.
How to Use a Meat Grinder?
Using either a manual or electric meat grinder is pretty much a straightforward process. If your meat grinder (most do) came in bits and pieces, you will have to read the user guide on how to assemble the appliance.
It is best to chop the meat into smaller pieces before placing it into the hopper, as bigger pieces tend to get stuck in the cutting blades. If you’re using a mounted meat grinder, you will have to secure to your countertop or table with the included clamp before use.
Meat Grinder Maintenance
Since all meat grinders are built differently, you should refer to your manufacturer owner’s manual for care and maintenance instructions. That said, here are a few common tips on how to maintain your meat grinder for long service life.
- It is a good idea to store your meat grinder’s parts in the freezer at least an hour before grinding, and keep your meat chilled not frozen right up to you are ready to grind.
- We’ve already mentioned earlier that you should chop your meat into smaller pieces before grinding. But it’s even better to trim your meat to prevent bits of meat getting stuck around the blades.
- The blades are yet another very important component of your meat grinder, and will dull after a period of time. Even though the blades do get sharper with repeated use, you should pay attention to ensure they stay sharp at all times.
- Always clean all parts of your meat grinder after each use, or else you risk food contamination.
- To prevent your meat grinder from clogging, don’t overload the meat grinder, and clean the blades, and dry them thoroughly before each use.
Tips to Get Best Out of Your Meat Grinder
- To prevent rusting of the parts of your meat grinder, you should periodically use special food grade machine oil to lubricate the parts.
- The fat content of your meat should be included in your grind, especially when grinding lean cuts of meat.
- It is a good practice to do a first grind through a coarse before grinding it any finer, as the output texture cannot be reversed.
- Even if you think all the ground meat has come out of the grinder, there’s great chances that some is stuck in the head or the blades, so be sure to remove it manually with a soft food cleaning brush.
- If you’re making specialty sausages, you should ideally grind your meat twice — first through a larger plate, and second with a smaller plate.
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