When I was on the shopping trail for my first home meat grinder, I was truly overwhelmed with the myriad different options available.
Not only did the shelves have manual and electric meat grinders, but also these compact grinder attachments that simply plugin to your existing KitchenAid stand mixer.
And since the prices of some electric meat grinders and KitchenAid attachments were about the same, I wondered how the two types stack up in terms of performance, ease of use, and value for money.
That said, here’s the lowdown on standalone electric meat grinders, and KitchenAid grinder attachments to ease your buying decision.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are KitchenAid Meat Grinder Attachments?
- 2 What Are Standalone Meat Grinders?
- 3 Comparing the KitchenAid Meat Grinder vs. Stand Alone Meat Grinder
- 4 Advantages of KitchenAid Meat Grinder
- 5 Advantages of Standalone Meat Grinders
- 6 Disadvantages of KitchenAid Meat Grinders
- 7 Disadvantages of Standalone Meat Grinders
- 8 Overall – Final Thoughts
What Are KitchenAid Meat Grinder Attachments?
A KitchenAid grinder attachment transforms your KitchenAid stand mixer into a meat grinder. Unlike an electric meat grinder, the KitchenAid meat grinder attachment doesn’t have its own motor, but is powered by the motor of your KitchenAid stand mixer.
The KitchenAid mixer was conceived in 1919, but the grinder attachment was introduced several years after.
Today, there are several companies apart from KitchenAid that manufacturer KitchenAid meat grinder attachments such as this top selling model from the Antree Store.
The Antree Store KitchenAid meat grinder attachment is made from a mix of food grade stainless steel and plastic, and comes with everything you need to grind right out of the box including two stainless steel cutting plates (coarse and fine), two grinding blades, two sausage maker tubes, and a food pusher.
You can even buy a meat grinder attachment from the KitchenAid store. It costs more than the Antree model, but is made from stainless steel, so it’s not dishwasher safe.
It does however come with a cleaning brush, a large food tray, three grinding plates (fine, medium and coarse), and two sausage stuffer tubes.
What Are Standalone Meat Grinders?
Standalone meat grinders, just as the name suggests are appliances that are either fitted with a motor or hand crank.
There are two types of standalone meat grinders—manual and electric models. Manual meat grinders use a hand crank and handle for the grinding process, whereas electric meat grinders are powered by a motor.
The first meat grinder was invented by Karl Drais—a forest official by education and profession in the early 19th century.
It was a manual meat grinder made from metal, and looks similar to the manual models available now in the market.
Best Meat Grinders
CAM2 304 Manual Meat Grinder
The CAM 304 manual meat grinder is crafted entirely from heavy duty stainless steel, making it rust resistant, and easy to clean.
It comes with a wide opening clamp, so you can mount it to most countertops. In the box, you also get two stainless steel plates, a 420 stainless steel blade, and rubber pads to prevent damage to your countertop.
AAOBOSI Electric Meat Grinder
The AAOBOSI electric meat grinder is fitted with a 1200-watt max motor, and comes with a reverse function to unclog any food items stuck in the grinder head.
It can be used as a meat grinder, sausage stuffer and kubbe maker, and comes with three stainless steel cutting blades, dual safety switch, and one-year manufacturer warranty.
Comparing the KitchenAid Meat Grinder vs. Stand Alone Meat Grinder
As mentioned earlier, the KitchenAid meat grinder attachment sources power from the motor of the standalone mixer, which offers 300-watts of power.
The best standalone meat grinder models offer around 350-watts to 500-watts of power, but there some commercial models that run on 3000-watt+ motors.
Quantity of meat ground per minute
KitchenAid meat grinder attachments can grind approximately three pounds of meat per minute, which is the same for most mid-range electric meat grinders.
But then there are high end meat grinders such as the LEM Big Bite meat grinder that cost a bit more, but can grind approximately seven pounds of meat per minute.
Quality and types of grinds possible
Both KitchenAid meat grinder attachments and electric meat grinders come with three grinder plates—coarse, medium and fine, and the quality of grinds is the same.
However, there are a few bestselling yet affordable electric meat grinders that come with three grinder plates, and two blades such as the CHEFFANO grinder.
One of the other noteworthy features of the CHEFFANO meat grinder worth mentioning is that it is available in two colors including a highly appealing metallic blue model.
Ease of use
In terms of ease of use, the KitchenAid meat grinder attachment has to be installed on the mixer to use it, but with an electric meat grinder, you can simply load the food tray, and hit the pulse button, so you save time and effort skipping this step.
But on a brighter note, KitchenAid meat grinder attachments can be put away easily when not in use, whereas electric meat grinders take up precious space on your countertop.
While both the KitchenAid and an electric meat grinder come with three grinding plates, you can do a whole lot more with an electric meat grinder apart from grinding such as make kubbe.
However, the KitchenAid meat grinder attachment and most electric meat grinder models do come with sausage making tubes, which allow you to make a variety of fresh sausages in the comfort of your home.
Both also come with large food trays, so you can process more meat each time.
Ease of cleaning and maintenance
To clean the KitchenAid meat grinder attachment and electric meat grinder, you need to remove the grinder head, which consists of several other components such as grinder plates and grinder knife.
However, the parts of most KitchenAid meat grinder attachments aren’t dishwasher safe, so you will have to wash them by hand.
Most parts in the grinder head of electric meat grinders are dishwasher safe, but it’s still recommended that you wash each part thoroughly by hand to prevent food contamination.
Size, weight and portability
KitchenAid meat grinder attachments boast a compact footprint, and sit atop your KitchenAid stand mixer. They weigh roughly two pounds, making them easy to store away after each use.
Electric meat grinders are bigger in size to accommodate the motor and other electric components, and also weight more between eight pounds to twenty pounds+.
With regards to portability, they aren’t your best choice, because some models are heavy to move around.
KitchenAid meat grinder attachments, manual meat grinders and electric meat grinders can be made from plastic, metal or a mix of both.
All are highly durable and offer long service life, as long as you buy the right products. Metal made meat grinders tend to last longer than their plastic counterparts, but may rust after a long period of use.
Warranty type and duration
This depends on the model you buy, but KitchenAid meat grinder attachments such as the Aomixag grinder come with a one-year manufacturer warranty.
The warranty period for electric meat grinders can range from one year to five years. Both warranties protect the appliance against any manufacturer defects.
The price of KitchenAid meat grinders ranges from $40 to under $150. The cost of electric meat grinders starts at $50, and can go up to more than $1000.
Value for money
If you already own a KitchenAid stand mixer, and don’t want to add another appliance to your countertop, buying the KitchenAid meat grinder provides great value for money.
However, if you’re buying a KitchenAid stand mixer to do more than just grinding meat such as straining fruits and vegetables, making juices and sauces, grinding wheat, oats, corn or rice or spiralizing your veggies, you can do it all with a single appliance.
Of course, you will have to buy each attachment separately, but this works out to be much more efficient than buying several different appliances for each task.
If you’re just going to grind meat, then buying an electric meat grinder or manual model is a great option, because some models cost the same as a KitchenAid meat grinder attachment.
The best between the two—KitchenAid meat grinders and electric meat grinders boils down to your needs.
You can buy both types for approximately the same price, but for the KitchenAid meat grinder attachment to work, you will need a KitchenAid stand mixer, so you have to buy two appliances if you don’t own one already.
For meat grinding purposes only, buying an electric or manual meat grinder is perhaps a wise choice.
Both the KitchenAid meat grinder attachment and electric meat grinder offer the same quality of grinds, are durable, and can grind meat at the same rate.
Advantages of KitchenAid Meat Grinder
1. Plates and accessories
KitchenAid meat grinders do come with the essential accessories needed to start grinding such as two to three grinding plates and one sausage maker, so you won’t have to buy anything separately.
2. Compact footprint
Meat grinder attachments for KitchenAid stand mixers measure approximately 8.8 x 5.5 x 8.4 inches, making them easy to store when not in use.
Adding to this, they are also fairly lightweight with most tipping the scales at a little over two pounds, so they can be installed and uninstalled on the KitchenAid meat grinder without breaking a sweat.
3. Safe material
Whether you buy a meat or plastic made KitchenAid food grinder attachment, both types are made from food grade material, hence won’t cause any food contamination.
4. Come with a storage case
The package of the KitchenAid meat grinders I checked out came with their own storage case, so less chance of misplacing any parts.
Advantages of Standalone Meat Grinders
1. Sturdy build quality
Standalone meat grinders boast a robust build quality, hence are able to resist a fair bit of wear and tear. They are mostly made from all metal or a mix of metal and plastic, so they will last for years on end with proper care.
2. Powerful motor
If you’re going to be grinding things such as wild game or a full cow, a standalone meat grinder with a high wattage motor will do the job well.
3. Faster grinding rate per minute
The best standalone meat grinder can grind more than seven pounds of meat per minute, so just imagine how quickly you can grind large quantities of meat.
4. Many sizes available
Standalone meat grinders are available of different sizes including larger #22 size models, which give you access to more grinding plate configurations.
5. Dishwasher safe parts
The parts of most standalone meat grinders can be washed in your dishwasher, making them easy to clean and maintain.
Disadvantages of KitchenAid Meat Grinders
1. Limited power
Since KitchenAid meat grinder attachments do not have their own motor, you are limited to the power of the motor of the KitchenAid standalone mixer, which is roughly 300-watts.
2. Doesn’t grind quickly
300-watts of motor power means that you will not be able to grind a lot of meat per minute.
Furthermore, you will also be limited to the type of items you can grind such as bones, which may clog the grinder head, and cause damage.
The KitchenAid meat grinder takes about ten minutes to grind two and a half pounds of meat, which is a long time compared to electric meat grinders.
3. Parts not dishwasher safe
The parts of most KitchenAid meat grinder attachments aren’t dishwasher safe, so you will have to wash them by hand.
Disadvantages of Standalone Meat Grinders
1. Not portable
Even though most standalone meat grinders weigh just a few pounds, they sit on your countertop, therefore take up counter space.
Electric meat grinders are costlier than KitchenAid meat grinders, but can grind faster and a larger amount of meat per minute.
Due to their onsite motor, electric standalone meat grinder models can be noisy, especially when grinding for longer periods of time.
Overall – Final Thoughts
Choosing between a KitchenAid meat grinder attachment and standalone meat grinder truly depends on your needs.
If you already have a KitchenAid stand mixer, and you don’t have high grinding needs, then the KitchenAid meat grinder is perhaps a better option for you, as you won’t have to buy another new appliance for the task.
But if you don’t have a KitchenAid stand mixer or just want a more powerful meat grinder, then buying a standalone meat grinder will hardly disappoint.
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