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Meat Grinder Recs?

Title pretty much says it all: looking to start making some of my own sausages, and am in the market for a meat grinder. Any feedback much appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. If you have a kitchenaid, buy the grinder attachment. About $50.00-comes w/ a coarse and a fine plate depending on your preference. Very happy w/ mine... adam
    p.s. You can buy the sausage stuffer kit along w/ the grinder on certain kitchenaid package deals.

    3 Replies
    1. re: adamshoe

      Do have one, but had heard some mixed reviews. Thanks for chiming in. If a preponderance of votes here go in favor of the KitchenAid I'll certainly revise my opinion. Thanks again.

      1. re: eight_inch_pestle

        I know this post was over a year ago, but I have to chime in. DO NOT buy the Kitchenaid attachment! I bought it yesterday to grind some chuck and sirloin for burgers. I followed all the instructions (cut meat into small pieces and chilled them, chilled the grinder, etc.). It ground nicely for about 10 seconds, and then got clogged with fat (and these weren't particularly fatty cuts). I cleaned the disk and blade out, started again, and within five seconds it was clogged again. I then noticed that there were specks of grey in the ground meat, which upon closer examination turned out to be little globs of grease from the drive mechanism of the grinder. Yuck.

        I'd seen poor reviews at Amazon (including many complaints about the same grease-in-the-meat issue), but took my chances anyway. After a total of about 30 seconds of grinding, I'm returning it and looking for something better. Boo on Kitchenaid.

        1. re: monopod

          Because this thread got a bump, I'm just seeing this post. MY pasta attachment must be five years old and is fantastic. I've never had a single problem with it and I do sometimes 10# at a time.

    2. http://ruhlman.theopenskyproject.com/...

      Here's the one recommended by Michael Rulman and he's pretty serious about the process of sausage making.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bookhound

        The grinder pictured on his site is a copy of the Tasin TS 108.

        The power of your KA grinder will be depend on the power and condition of your mixer. That's one reason why you hear mixed results on the KA grinder. One big problem with the KA grinder is the hopper tray is really small. I still use my KA for very small grinding duties but pull out my Tasin for larger grinding jobs. I recently made chicken sausage and grinding with the Tasin was a breeze but stuffing was a little challenging . It doesn't come with a stuffing plate. Something I will need to order. As a side note, does anyone have a good way to get all the meat out of the stuffing tube?

        If I was doing a lot of sausage I would invest in a piston type stuffer.

         
        1. re: scubadoo97

          That grinder comes under a variety of labels and you can find it on several web sites. The best price I found was at Northerntool.com. My experience with this particular cheap model has been better than Porker's. It's been used a couple of times a month for 3 years to make 5 lb batches of sausage with no problems.

          Northern Tool also sells a 5-lb capacity stuffer for about $100 if you're ready to make that leap.

          As for getting all the meat out of the grinder, put something bulky and inexpensive into the grinder after the meat is done. Old bread, leftover rice, raw potatoes, whatever.

      2. Have made many pates using the KitchenAid grinder, and have had no problems grinding stuff. The secret is to make sure that your meat is chilled, not frozen, when you grind it. The KitchenAid can handle that with ease. I have the sausage stuffer attachment with the KitchenAid (bought it as part of a package deal). It works fine.

        1. I don't have experience with KitchenAid, so can't comment on that.
          I was introduced to the world of sausage making by an old Italian friend who has since passed. We'd buy whole pork legs, skin them (saving the skin for cotichino), then debone the meat.
          We'd season the meat, prepare the casings then grind and stuff, all the while enjoying his wine made the previous year. He used an old hand-crank grinder that attached to the table (his father brought it from Italy in the 40s).
          I'd ask him about using an electric machine, but he just laughed and said no. Very old-fashioned (he also shook his head, thinking I was crazy when seasoning my meat different from his usual practice).
          I bought my first grinder, a hand-crank, with the sausage stuffing tube. Its almost indestructable.
          I then bought a $100 machine which broke the first time I used it (it didn't like the bits of gristle that got by me and ruined the plastic gears).
          About a year later, I was given a similar machine for Christmas. It was returned on boxing day as the locking ring over the plate broke off.

          For what its worth, I'd suggest starting off with a hand-crank model; cheap, sturdy, and a good start.
          If you start grinding alot, I'd suggest a more professional-type model, not your garden-variety $100 machine. My next machine will be a step up, steel gears, beefy parts, etc, maybe $500 or so.
          Just my 2c. {;-/)

          4 Replies
          1. re: porker

            I started with a hand crank grinder and I don't recommend it. First, it costs almost as much as an electric grinder, and second, depending on the model, you need to screw it down or clamp it down. Assuming you don't want to drill holes in that expensive counter top, that means clamping it, and with my counter tops that wasn't easy, and after clamping it tended to shift about too much. With an electric grinder, just put it anywhere on the counter top, plug it in, and grind.

            1. re: Zeldog

              I dunno,
              I bought my hand crank for less than $50 and I know it will outlast me (OK, I'm 45 and this might not mean so much, but I did get it about 10 years ago).
              You are right on the shifting-around bit.
              However, I made a meat-grinding dedicated table and I drilled the holes.

              I think it all depends on how much you're gonna be using it - frequency, lbs per session, etc etc.

              Like any new hobby, I'm just saying start small and see where you're going. Electric or hand crank doesn't really matter, whatever works for you at an entry-level, so-to-speak, then go from there.

            2. re: porker

              You did not mention what brands you bought for 100 dollars, Porker that did not work out. I have a KA but think I want to step up to a standalone meat grinder electric without a lot of expense. Need ideas.

            3. I used the KA attachment for years. Works fine, and stores easier. Good way to get started.

              I finally bought a standalone grinder (online from Northern Tool), and I wish I had one earlier. Much faster and more power than the KA. Looks like the one in the photo above. I'd recommend it if you're serious. Don't forget to use it for grinding hamburger meat too.