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How hard is it to clean a manual meat grinder?

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I'm also wondering if I could just store the thing in the freezer after using it, so I wouldn't have to clean it as often.

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  1. No, you may not store it in the freezer to avoid cleaning it. You must clean it after each use. It's not that hard.

    After you're finished grinding whatever you're grinding, put a couple slices of bread through it -- stale bread is fine. That'll clean out the worst of the meat and most of the grease.

    Take it apart. Place it in hot, soapy water. Wash it. If it's the old fashioned, galvanized sort, put it in the oven at a very low temperature (like 150F or 200F for a half hour to dry it well. Put it back together. Put it away. Easy-peasy

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dorothy

      Exactly what I was going to say, Dorothy. My grandma and mom always ran through bread or stale leftover rolls through it. Don't substitute anything with something sticky in it (don't use old raisin bread). Usually 2 regular slices of bread got most of the crud out. This is one instance where white bread, with it's finer texture, works much better than a whole-wheat/multigrain type bread. Use cruddy wonderbread or something like that.

      The dogs always loves the ground up bread-pulp with bits of raw meat sticking to it that was the product of this cleaning.

      DO NOT buy any meat grinder, manual or electric, that doesn't completely dissassemble. This is very important -- as it must be pristinely clean every time you use it. People have gotten very very sick from unclean meat grinders because, if they are the not cleaned properly and harbor rotting meat on the inside parts, they may not even look dirty from the outide. Solve this problem by getting the kind that completely comes apart.

      If you do decide to go electric (not necessary, but it's nice if you're going to use it a lot), I second the recommendation for the Kitchen Aid meat grinder is a great buy if you already have the big machine. It's inexpensive and it works really well, and it's very easy to get clean.

    2. Do you only grind one thing in it? You want to at least not mix flavors.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wally

        I don't even have one yet. I'm just at the beginning stages of thinking about buying a grinder.

      2. You must clean it every time. It must be very clean to grind properly.

        We use the grinder attachment to the Kitchenaid mixer. Many of the pieces are top shelf dishwasher safe!

        1. Here's a suggestion from what I learned.....run ice through the grinder at the end to get most of the food particles out. Many kitchens and butcher shops then store the blades and parts (after being cleaned) in mineral or approved machine food safe oil (def NOT Olive or cooking oils) to prevent any rusting.