When my meat grinder broke down after years of use, I was literally blown away at the variety of options available when shopping for a new one.
But the Lem and Cabela’s were two names that seemed to crop up often, and for several good reasons.
After thorough research, I found both Lem and Cabela’s meat grinders to be quite similar in terms of superior performance and long-term durability. But just like any other appliance, they do have their fair share of differences, making one better than the other such as Lem’s lightweight footprint, and Cabela’s fast grinding speed.
Table of Contents
- 1 Brief History of Lem Meat Grinders
- 2 Brief History of Cabela’s Meat Grinders
- 3 Main Features of Lem Meat Grinders
- 4 Main Features of Cabela’s Meat Grinders
- 5 Differences Between Lem and Cabelas Meat Grinders
- 6 Similarities of Lem and Cabelas Meat Grinders
- 7 Advantages of Lem Meat Grinders
- 8 Advantages of Cabela’s Meat Grinders
- 9 Disadvantage of Lem Meat Grinders
- 10 Disadvantage of Cabela’s Meat Grinders
- 11 Top Meat Grinder Models from Lem
- 12 Top Meat Grinder Models from Cabela’s
- 13 Conclusion
Brief History of Lem Meat Grinders
Conceived in 1991 by Larry Metz, Lem Products has come a long way since its inception, and is today regarded as an industry leader in the meat grinder segment.
This grabbed my attention, given that the company has been around for a few decades, hence in my opinion is extremely trustworthy.
I then took a look at the company’s portfolio, and found they boast a massive portfolio of products that are geared towards avid hunters, processors, and home cooks.
Speaking of which, the Lem lineup consists of more than 800 different products, which are sold across 3500 stores in Canada and the USA.
I was curious to know where these products are manufactured, and found that Lem meat grinders are designed in the USA, but manufactured in China using superior quality materials.
I see most products today manufactured in China, but that doesn’t make them poor quality, so I was confident that any model I buy from the company’s stable will serve me well for many years to come.
Brief History of Cabela’s Meat Grinders
Founded by Richard N. Cabela in 1961, all Cabela’s meat grinders are manufactured in the heart of the United States.
Products manufactured is the USA always win me over, but when choosing a product there’s a lot more to look for than just that.
Today, Cabela’s seems like one of the most beloved, and well recognized brands in the United States with over 200 retail stores across the country.
I read the company is a subsidiary of Bass Pro Shops, and has a massive 250,000 square feet retail facility in Hamburg, Pennsylvania.
My parents have shopped at Bass Pro shops for ages for all their fishing gear, hence Cabela’s could be a winner for me.
Cabela’s also has other leading businesses including Trophy Properties LLC, and the Gun Library, where the former was sold to Sports Afield in March 2014.
Main Features of Lem Meat Grinders
When I checked out the list of features, I found Lem meat grinders arrive with a rich set of features, which is one of the reasons I believe they are some of the best you can get in this segment.
Class Leading Motors
The customer reviews made it clear to me that the Lem Big Grinder series offers professional grade grinding each time, thanks to their class leading 1.5 HP motors, which can grind at a whopping rate of 17 lbs of meat per minute via its #32 head.
Big Bite Technology
Further, the reviews say that meat grinders from Lem feature the company’s Big Bite technology, which speeds up the process when grinding larger cuts of meat, without clogging up the machine.
Compact & Lightweight
I also don’t have a very large countertop, and the good thing is that meat grinders from the Cabela’s family also boast compact and fairly lightweight footprints, somewhere around 24.49 x 12.09 x 18.90 inches and 55 lbs.
Plus, they come with everything I needed to get grinding right out of the box including stainless steel grinding plates, and a sharp stainless steel knife.
Main Features of Cabela’s Meat Grinders
I wanted to delve deeper to see what key features made Cabela’s meat grinders such a hit in the market, and noticed that even though they weigh a bit more than Lem meat grinders, roughly around 90 lbs, they did offer a high surge of power, with their top rated 1-3/4HP induction motor.
High Powered Motor
This motor allows Cabela’s meat grinders to grind up to 19 lbs to 23 lbs of meat per minute, which is exactly the rate I need for my raw meals for my puppy.
Heat Sink Technology
Adding to this, I noticed they came with heat sink technology, which retracts heat from the grinder’s head to keep it smooth and cool during use.
Heavy Duty Gear Drive
But that’s not all that caught my attention, Cabela’s meat grinders are equipped with a hardened, heavy-duty steel main gear and drive gear, both tucked away in a permanently lubricated gear housing.
Similar to Lem meat grinders, I took note that Cabela’s grinders arrive with several different accessories including three sausage stuffing funnels, a two-piece snack stick funnel, and two or more grinding plates, so I won’t have to buy these separately.
Differences Between Lem and Cabelas Meat Grinders
But one of the most noteworthy differences for me between Lem and Cabela’s meat grinders is the manufacturer warranty period.
Lem grinders come with a five-year warranty, whereas Cabela’s grinders are backed by a manufacturer lifetime guarantee. This means that my investment is safeguarded for years to come.
Lem meat grinders are lighter than most Cabela’s grinders, which is something I’d would consider if I was going to move the units often. But I probably won’t as I have dedicated a permanent space for it on my countertop.
If I was to move the grinder, it was nice knowing that Cabela’s meat grinders do come with an onsite carry handle to haul them around.
With regards to power, Cabela’s top models offer more power under the hood compared to models from the Lem stable.
Adding to this, Cabela’s meat grinders can grind more meat per minute than Lem meat grinders, since I do want to grind a large amount of meat quickly, a Cabela’s meat grinder seems like a better option.
The head of Lem grinders features a rifled design, whereas Cabela’s with a deep-cut auger design.
Lem meat grinders come with Big Bite technology to prevent clogging, and Cabela’s meat grinders come with a reverse switch.
Similarities of Lem and Cabelas Meat Grinders
When on the shopping trail for the best meat grinder, I found both Lem and Cabela’s meat grinders to be high performance items, hence I knew that there were several similarities between the two.
For starters, both come loaded with features, starting with high performance motors for quick grinds per minute.
Next, they both are heavyweight units, yet they feature robust build quality, making them highly durable for years to come with proper care.
Cabela’s and Lem meat grinders come with a super sharp knife, which will allow me to cut through the toughest meats with ease.
I also get a storage drawer that’s located at the side of the grinders, which I can use to store all the accessories of the unit.
And to top things off, Cabela’s and Lem meat grinders come with all the essential accessories needed to start grinding, and long warranties.
Advantages of Lem Meat Grinders
It’s clear to me that one of the biggest advantages of Lem meat grinders is their ability to grind meat in a single pass, thanks to their double-edged knife and two grinder plates.
This means that I can grind meat faster, and will help me achieve consistent results each time.
Furthermore, Lem meat grinders are fitted with a large diameter head that is mated with powerful 1 HP motor, which grinds meat like a hot knife through butter.
Advantages of Cabela’s Meat Grinders
When exploring several Cabela’s meat grinder models, I couldn’t help but notice that they also rang in with a slew of great features such as superb performance motors that allows users to grind quickly.
They are equipped with a high output, air-cooled fan, which keeps the grinders cool, and greatly reduces heat air transfer to the grinder head area.
Adding to this, Cabela’s meat grinders feature a unique air-cowl design, and a ribbed motor cover, which again optimizes airflow in the grinder.
Meat grinders from Cabela’s also come with a commercial grade head ring nut, which allows me to easily disassemble the blade, auger and grinder plates.
Disadvantage of Lem Meat Grinders
I didn’t have a big budget, so the biggest disadvantage of Lem grinders is their price tag, but if I also want long term performance and service life, which in that perspective are both worth the investment.
Lem meat grinders also don’t come with reverse functionality, but are outfitted with Big Bite technology to prevent clogging at the grinder head.
Manufacturer warranties are also shorter compared to Cabela’s meat grinders, but I was confident that Lem meat grinders won’t disappoint me the long term.
Disadvantage of Cabela’s Meat Grinders
Most Cabela’s meat grinders are much more expensive than Lem meat grinders, but again do come with lifetime manufacturer warranties. But this simply means that I will have to choose a lower priced model from the company’s product portfolio.
They are also heavier than Lem grinders, but this shouldn’t an issue for me, because as mentioned earlier, I wasn’t going to move my meat grinder often.
Top Meat Grinder Models from Lem
1. #32 BIG BITE MEAT GRINDER – 1.5 HP – Review in Brief
It is powered by a 1.5 HP, 1100-watt motor, and comes with a high quality #32 stainless steel head.
The Lem #32 meat grinder measures 24.49 x 12.09 x 18.90 inches, and tips the scales at a little over 57 lbs, making it easy to move around if I ever need to.
It can grind meat at the rate of 17 lbs per minute, which is much faster than most other models I checked out in this segment.
Additionally, the #32 Big Bite meat grinder comes with a 420 x 308 x 130 mm rounded meat pan complete with a hand guard for ease of use.
It features quieter gears, and a rifled head for seamless second grinds, without using the stomper, so I won’t wake up my neighbors when grinding in the wee hours of the morning.
The #32 Big Bite grinder is backed by a five-year warranty against any manufacturer defects.
2. DUAL GRIND #22 BIG BITE MEAT GRINDER – 1HP – Review in Brief
One of the key features I noticed that made the Lem Dual Grind #22 Big Bite meat grinder stand out from the crowd is its ability to grind twice in a single pass, so I get more done in less time.
It comes with a double-edge knife, and two grinder plates for consistent results every time you use it.
This meat grinder from Lem is fitted with a 1.0 HP, 750-watt motor, which allows it to grind 13 lbs of meat per minute.
This is a number I could work with, but is a bit less that what I was looking for. However, a grinding speed of 13 lbs per minute is much better than even some of the higher priced models in this space.
It measures 22.83 x 12.08 x 48.90 inches and weighs roughly 50 lbs, so carrying it around wouldn’t be a strenuous task.
The Dual Grind #22 Big Bite meat grinder comes with a 3” head in hole opening, and a side mounted on/off switch, making it easy to use for me.
It is both US and Canada ETL and ETL sanitary certified, comes with a wide range of accessories including 4 stainless steel plates, a stainless steel dual blade knife, and five-year warranty.
3. DUAL GRIND #8 BIG BITE MEAT GRINDER – 0.5HP – Review in Brief
The Dual Grind #8 Big Bite meat grinder from Lem provides two grinds in one pass, and is powered by a .50 HP motor, which means I don’t have to spend the entire day grinding.
It features a #8 stainless steel head, measures 18.5 x 9.13 x 15.59 inches, and weighs just 28 lbs.
Adding to this, the Lem #8 dual grind meat grinder can grind up to 4.5 lbs per minute, making it a great entry level model, and something I can definitely afford.
It features a large stainless steel pan that measures 12-1/4″ x 9-1/8″ x 2-1/4″ deep, so I can load more, and grind more meat.
The Lem Dual Grind #8 Big Bite mat grinder comes with four stainless steel plates, a stainless steel dual blade knife, and three plastic stuffing tubes.
It is US and Canada ETL and ETL sanitary certified, and comes with a five-year manufacturer warranty.
Top Meat Grinder Models from Cabela’s
1. Cabela’s #5 Meat Grinder – Review in Brief
Cabela’s #5 meat grinder is a budget friendly model that does come with a long list of great features including a powerful 400-watt motor. This makes is highly affordable for me, and means that I can grind quality similar to the butchers.
It measures 12.25″L x 7.75″W x 14″H, weighs a little over 8.5 lbs, and can grind both wild and domestic meat without any hiccups.
Additionally, it is equipped with a dual-sided cutting blade for smoother grinds, and comes with two grinding plates, so I can achieve my desired coarseness.
It features a large die-cast aluminum made meat tray, and arrives with sausage stuffing funnels, a sausage stuffing ring, meal stomper, and a one-year warranty card.
2. Cabela’s Commercial-Grade 3/4HP Carnivore Meat Grinder – Review in Brief
The 3/4HP Carnivore meat grinder is one of the higher end models by Cabela’s, and gives me a lot more bang for my buck, owing to its Cool-Tek Ice Pak technology.
This technology keeps the grinder head cold for smoother grinding even after using the machine for a long period.
As its name suggests, it is powered by a 3/4HP, 550-watt induction motor, which allows me to grind a relatively high 8 lbs to 10 lbs of meat per minute.
This commercial style meat grinder by Cabela’s is fitted with a hardened heavy duty steel main gear, which transfers power uninterruptedly to the grinder’s auger.
Speaking of which, the auger of the Cabela’s 3/4HP Carnivore meat grinder is equipped with a handle, making it easy to remove for easy cleaning—a task that I plan on doing frequently to prevent food-borne bacteria.
The 3/4HP Carnivore meat grinder features a side entry storage drawer that keeps all the accessories withing reach, and is ETL sanitation certified for commercial use.
3. Cabela’s Commercial-Grade 1-3/4HP Carnivore Meat Grinder – Review in Brief
The 1-3/4HP Carnivore is the bigger brother of the 3/4HP Carnivore meat grinder, hence is fitted with an upgraded and much more powerful 1320-watt induction motor.
With this robust motor onboard, I can grind up to 23 lbs of meat per minute, making it a great choice for grinding large amounts of meat quickly.
It boasts a unique air-cowl design that’s complete with heat sink technology, which collectively dissipate heat via the grinder fins.
This commercial style meat grinder from Cabela’s comes with a heavy duty stainless steel meat tray, making it easy for me to load the grinder,
The package of the 1-3/4HP Carnivore mat grinder includes three sausage stuffing funnels, a meat stomper, coarse and medium grinding plates, and a two-piece snack-stick funnel.
When shopping for the best meat grinder, I narrowed down on Cabela’s and Lem as the two names that are truly hard to beat.
Both companies offer a massive portfolio of products, all that come standard with a rich set of innovative features.
Cabela’s meat grinders did come with powerful motors compared to Lem meat grinders, but also tend to be a bit pricier.
Lem meat grinders also come with robust motors and can grind meat quickly.
If you’re wondering which one is a better choice—Cabela’s or Lem, there is no sure shot answer, because it all depends on your grinding needs, the features that you’re looking for, and of course your budget.
For me, I chose a mid-range Cabela’s model that ground a large amount of meat per minute, but did not come with certain features in the company’s higher priced models—features I wasn’t going to use anyways.