Upgrading from a HandGrinder

Upgrading from an old hand grinder

For the life of my deer processing, I have always used a hand grinder.  I am not a volume deer slayer, so it has always worked for me but let’s honest, it was always a grind.  Being the motor of the machine, it made for slower grinding and less volume when I may have wanted more.

This year I decided it was finally the year for a powered grinder but didn’t want to break the bank trying to save a little time and avoid using a processor to produce what goes in my freezer. I did a little research and read some reviews here and there and chose to get a starter level machine since my volume of grinding would never be more than 10 pounds at a time. 

I picked the #8 575 Watt Compact Countertop Grinder by LEM Products that was available on Sportsman’s Warehouse for $149.  The grinder came with two stainless steel grinding plates and knife, a stuffing tube and a stuffing plate.

The instructions say to cut your meat into 3/8” strips up to 4” long rather than cubing everything up. This saves some time and allowed me to focus on removing all the sinew and connective tissue so my meat was just that, meat.

I then mixed in some pork fat purchased from a local farmer and placed the meat in my freezer so it hardened up and would cut better in the grinder.  I also placed all the parts from the grinder in the freezer.

I tested the noise of the machine, which was a bit loud to be standing over for a while so I decided to put some ear protection on, which after getting started, was a great idea.

The course grind plate looked great, I almost felt like it was good enough at 8mm.  The instructions said to run the first grind with the coarse plate and then follow up with the 4.8mm medium grind. 

I ran the 10 lbs. of the coarse grind and the medium grind in about 30 minutes.

After the run, my impressions are this:

  • WHY DID I WAIT? I could have been saving so much time and having such a smoother run for everything.
  • Being a starter level unit, it is loud to be running in the kitchen but with some earplugs or your ear protection, this can be remedied and with the earplugs in, you can’t hear your wife tell you that you are getting meat everywhere or making a mess.
  • The coarse grind appears about as good as most grinds I see in the grocery store and it may be good enough for burgers, but for sausages, you may want to go with the medium grind plate.
  • The plate allows you to load up the meat and fat before using the stuffing tub to get the meat down to the auger.
  • As fat builds up on the tube above the auger, it does grab the ramming tube and makes it more difficult to get the stuffing tub out. A more heavy-duty tube may be needed in the long run but for a few times a year, it will work out ok.
  • Clean up wasn’t bad and after wiping all the thick fat that stuck to the plate, knife, auger and tub, it was easy to clean and dry.
The plastic ramming tube/container may need to be upgraded but does the job.

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