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Kitchen Aid Meat Grinder -- Gray Ooze

I finally used my meat grinder (for Asian chicken patties with semi frozen breasts) and a gray ooze was coming out of the middle area. I tried flicking that part out. I'd washed it well before use. Now, I'm reading reviews on Amazon about this and some people think it's a bad design and harmful. Those who called Kitchen Aid about it were told it's harmless.

Also, mine came with the plastic pusher; I'd rather have the wooden one; any suggestions on this?

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  1. May be caused by packing grease, try running some bread through it to clear it out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SanityRemoved

      I've read through some reviews on Amazon and some people think it's metal shavings. Ugg! One person solved the problem by putting a cap from a marking pen over the round metal thing in the middle -- it catches the ooze. Now, I'm a bit put off and sorry I bought this.

    2. The only thing that made my KA meat grinder usable was by first slicing and then basically freezing the meats before grinding. Otherwise it ended up getting pushed through the edges of the die causing that awful grey mush.

      2 Replies
      1. re: escondido123

        Mine was way more than half way frozen.

        1. re: escondido123

          you can also stick the FGA in the freezer a few hours before grinding.

        2. Then I have no more help....right now our KA grinder is sitting in the very back of the cabinet, too much trouble to deal with!

          1. we've had a kitchenaid grinder attachment for over 25 years. used it exclusively until we got a commercial grinder. still use it when we grind small batches (2 lbs or less). with the exception of sharpening the blade every year or so, have never had a problem of any kind. both of our daughters have newer ones and also have never encountered "gray ooze". maybe there are some defective ones out there?

            1 Reply
            1. re: justanotherpenguin

              Although I don't use my KA grinder much since getting a dedicated 1/2 hp grinder, I did get the gray lubricant ooze. Not when the mixer was new but as the motor struggled to keep up I did start to get more grease in my ground meat.

            2. If you Google the subject dozens of people have the same problem, so I don't think it is random defective pieces.....though I would be they made better ones 25 years ago.

              1 Reply
              1. walker, I've been using mine for about two years and haven't had any problem. When you say "gray ooze," are you talking about something that's meat or something else? I've not done chicken but have turkey with no problem. So far I've only used the large holed thingy. Maybe the small one causes more liquid to be exuded?

                Regarding the plastic pusher, I like it cause it's so easy to keep clean.

                If I can help in any way, please let me know.

                4 Replies
                1. re: c oliver

                  First and only time I've used it: very white chicken breasts, once on large holes. From reading on reviews, some think it's lubricant and others think it's metal shavings.

                  I actually have another meat grinder that I bought to make "cat food" because it also grinds bone. Never saw any ooze from that one but I later got the KA because it's smaller, easier to set up. (It's also really noisy -- the big one.)

                  1. re: walker

                    I hope you'll give it another try. I GUESS I can see the possibility of a lubricant in the finishing process. I've never had any problem and I want it to be a success for you too :)

                    1. re: c oliver

                      I had the exact same problem. It's grease from the grinding assembly. Technically not harmful, but definitely NOT something you want in your food.

                      1. re: monopod

                        I have the same grinder, and I fail to find any grease in the grinding assembly. There is however an oil lite thrust bearing at the rear of the auger. When the off cloured "ooze" appeared on mine I disassembled and found a string of connective tissue stuck on the cutting blade and it had been dragged around and around plate with the holes in it, my best educated guess is the white commective tissue is picking carbon up off the plate turning it grey. I also pulled the auger out and the area around the thrust bearing was clean. My first thought was that the oil lite bearing had heated up and released some oil causing the discoloured ooze but that was not the case.
                        BTW it's harmless none the less

                2. A purpose-built grinder makes sense if you do a lot of grinding. We do.
                  The Waring Pro is a solid home machine that's perhaps overbuilt for casual users. I think the Kitchen Aid is a wonderful multi-tasker, a Swiss Army Knife of kitchen appliances if you will. We don't bake so we don't own one.

                  40 Replies
                  1. re: steve h.

                    It can't be metal shavings...if it were producing enough wear to push out that many metal shavings, it would be deafeningly loud and would likely be smoking just before it quit working altogether.
                    I spent many, many years in the metalworking industry, and you can't produce that many shavings (especially from cast metal parts) without a LOTof protest on the part of the motor and all the moving parts. Metal removal (espeically when it's not supposed to be happening) raises a lot of hell.


                    Metal shavings look like shiny, sparkly black and/or silver sand. They're not oozy in any way.

                    Even IF it were metal shavings, it would only produce them until the excess material between the two parts is worn away...then the noise and the vibration will stop.

                    It's a lubricant from somewhere in the machine...and I'm guessing that it's probably food grade...doesn't make it any more attractive, but it's likely pretty benign.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Great to have someone weighing in who has some background in this. Thanks. BTW, your cheese posts have been really good.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        ((hug)) thanks -- I sincerely appreciate the kind words. ( that thread's starting to get painful with a middle note of uncomfortable)

                      2. re: sunshine842

                        I know you're not talking to me.

                        Oozy stuff? I'd run two or more white-bread heels through the grinder to clean things up and establish a baseline of performance.
                        Good product (meat), properly sliced (long strips) should come out OK. Crummy product, held over in the coolerator, are doomed to failure. It's not rocket science.

                        ...just my 2 cents.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Agreed that it's not metal shavings, but I don't think it's lubricant from the machine, either, since there's nothing lubricated near the point where the stuff appears.. The power takeoff for the impeller screw is clear at the back of the grinder, and the gray ooze (yes, I got it out of my KitchenAid grinder at first, too) comes out the front. It isn't mixed with the meat, and there's no way for it to get to the front except by mixing with the meat, in which case it would be more evenly distributed.

                          My theory is that it's fat that's been melted by rubbing between the cutting blade and the die. I now wash all the parts of the grinder thoroughly (they're dishwasher safe), try to trim off as much gristle as possible (it winds around the impeller and clogs up the die), and, most importantly, don't force anything. Keep the mixer at speed "2" and don't push hard on the stuff that's in the chute. Haven't seen the gray ooze in years.

                          1. re: alanbarnes

                            Good points, ab. I think you explained that you 'guide' the meat rather than 'push' it. I keep mine at that slow speed and I let it rest periodically. I've never had the problem.

                            1. re: alanbarnes

                              What you've written is consistent with my experience. Nice post.

                          2. re: steve h.

                            It's funny. I bought my KA for pasta and meat grinding purposes. I don't bake either. Well, maybe something really simple about twice a year. We make about 6# of sausage at a time, 8# of beef last time (I call 'em Barnes Burgers cause Alan helped me alot in the beginning.) Normally I'm just removing the bowl, beaters etc. and then using it for those purposes.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              Deb and I still use the old-fashioned Atlas pasta maker, the manual guy.
                              We've been grinding our own hamburger meat for some time now. We'll never go back. This early success has led to some seriously good experimentation (the Bolognese sauce on the stove as we speak, my leftover meatballs in the fridge and so on). In short, freshly ground meats just taste better.

                              1. re: steve h.

                                Sheesh, that's what Alan uses. His poor daughter Abby didn't know they make a motorized version til I squealed :) Next on my list is lamb. I just have a hard, hard time finding lamb shoulder which I think would be what I'd want. We won't eat a burger in a restaurant anymore. It just can't measure up. I still have a couple packs of Bolognese in the freezer. And I was just saying to Bob that I've never made meatballs and need to correct that oversight. BTW, not coming to NYC in the spring; only DC. NYC in June perhaps.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  I started a thread recently asking for meatball help and got a lot of good ideas. Ground both the chuck and pork on the Waring Pro. Results were pretty good but I believe there is room for improvement. I'll add veal to the mix next go around, document results and report back on the same thread.
                                  Back to the Via Giulia in March. Always a pleasure to tune-up the taste buds.

                                  1. re: steve h.

                                    Gotta do meatballs. I know jfood bakes them rather than frying. Want to do the combo also. Rio in May.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      I brown 'em up a bit before baking. I like his idea of adding water to the meat.

                                      1. re: steve h.

                                        Thank you for all this good info here!

                                        I use a bit of red wine in my meatballs, also in my sausage. I found this thread because I need to move beyond the KA grinder to a dedicated grinder that can handle a larger amount of meat. I may give that Waring Pro a try.

                                        1. re: breadchick

                                          I do 10#s at a time with my KA. How much are you planning on doing??

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            I was up to 6 lbs, but I was thinking that it was working too hard - even at a slow speed. However, after re-reading the posts above I wonder if part of my problem is that I was cutting them in small chunks instead of long pcs. If you can do 10 without a sweat, maybe it's my method. I will try again this weekend and see if the machine likes me better. Thanks!

                                            1. re: breadchick

                                              I usually cut the meat into strips about 1" in diameter and partially freeze it. I also put ice cubes into a ziplock bag and put it on top of the motor. I don't know if it does anything more than keep the case cool, but it can't hurt.

                                              1. re: John E.

                                                Yeah, I think that's my issue - the way I cut the meat. This weekend it's gonna be all about the pork shoulder.

                                                btw - any other cut that would be better for sausage, or is that pretty much the standard?

                                                1. re: breadchick

                                                  Here's the sausage recipe I use:


                                                  I think cutting the meat in strips the approximate size of the feeder tube. I don't partially freeze ahead of time. And to be redundant, don't push on that plunger thingy :) Just use it to "guide" the meat.

                                                  Please report back.

                                                  1. re: breadchick

                                                    Pork shoulder is standard for pork sausage. I mix the pork with extra fat and venison to make venison sausage..

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      Fat is certainly often added to butt.

                                                      1. re: tommy

                                                        When I make venison sausage I have found that the butt doesn't have enough fat because the venison has zero fat. When I make pork sausage, I usually don't qdd extra fat and the result is a pretty lean sausage. I made chicken sausage once but didn't care for it because it mostly tasted like a cheap hotdog.

                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                          That's what I'm saying I guess. Even pork butt really doesn't have enough fat for sausage.

                                                          1. re: tommy

                                                            Most places trim pork butt before they put it out for sale. If they'll sell it to you untrimmed it's just about right. Better yet, my meat guy gives me as much of the trimmed fat as I want - for free. Works for sausage, but it's also good for home-rendered lard...

                                                            1. re: tommy

                                                              It dependes on what your looking for I guess. Recently I have been making breakfast sausage with no added fat and then forming patties before freezing. They are quite lean abd that's what we have been earing for weekend breakfasts. Not only is it better for you but it spatters the stove less.

                                                            2. re: John E.

                                                              Thanks, everyone. What extra fat should I be adding, because honestly the shoulder was a bit lean. What do I ask for fat-wise?

                                                              1. re: breadchick

                                                                Don't know if you've had a chance to look at the link I gave. Batali's recipe is 4 parts pork shoulder to 2 parts pancetta/bacon (I always use bacon cause it's WAY cheaper).

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  I just did, thanks! For a minute there, I'm thinking onions! Good grief, that was for the whole recipe!

                                                                2. re: breadchick

                                                                  Just ask the butcher for clean pork fat for sausage and they'll get you some fresh trimmings.

                                                  2. re: breadchick

                                                    In case you decide to buy a more heavy duty grinder, the one I have to make cat food to freeze, about every 6 wks, is Tasin TS - 108 (about $150) from One Stop Jerky Shop. (You can read about is on this site: http://www.catnutrition.org/supplies....)

                                                    1. re: walker

                                                      Wow, I didn't know you do that. Is there a reason the KA wouldn't work for that?

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        I too have a Tasin TS-108. Much stronger motor, bigger hopper and auger makes this a wonderful dedicated grinder for not much more than the KA attachment.

                                                        There are a lot of Tasin look a likes that are probably a Tasin under a different name. The one at Northern Tools looks identical and is only $99

                                                        1. re: scubadoo97

                                                          I don't know what the KA grinder attachment costs now. When I got it about three years ago, it was $50. I honestly work to avoid one trick ponies. I recently ran out of space AGAIN :)

                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                            While I agree that with a bigger motor, your meat grinder might be more efficient than the KA with attachment, but it is 1/2 the price of even the Northern Tools model.


                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                              Darn, I bought my KA attachment over 10 yrs ago for around $70.

                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                You should see the first VCR that Bob paid $1100 for about 25 years ago :) Record. Stop. Rewind. Play. Period.

                                                          2. re: c oliver

                                                            The "recipe" I use you need a grinder that will grind up some of the bones, too -- the cats need the calcium. On the catnutrition.org site, she says you can add bone meal that you buy from pet stores, instead. I did that for a while until I took the plunge and bought the better grinder. I go to WF and get a pint of chicken hearts, 4 lbs of bone in chicken thighs, 22 lbs of boneless chicken thighs, skin discarded.

                                                            I'd gotten the KA one for quickie jobs, not the big deal cat food things. (I keep the big one in a box; it's more trouble to take out and put together. The KA mixer lives on my counter so it's easy enough to put on the attachment when I need to. I have not tried the KA lately -- will have to see if I still get the ooze.)

                                                  3. re: steve h.

                                                    I have a great recipe for meatballs. Too bad I don't eat meat anymore. But, try using a mixture of pork, beef and either turkey or lamb ... (can't believe I am even suggesting you eat lamb) THEN, add toasted pine nuts you have crushed. I also use an egg or two, a little milk, bread crumbs and a LOT of parmesan cheese. They are to die for.

                                                    1. re: jmiller

                                                      I saw a recipe similar to yours and it was very good with the addition of baby bunny meat ; )

                                          2. I'm not real clear from where the gray ooze is coming. You said 'middle area'. Does that mean it's coming out the front of the grinder where the ground meat/fat is supposed to extrude? I recently made about 14 pounds of venison/pork sausage with our KA without a problem. Our KA was purchased new in 1997.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: John E.

                                              Not to speak for the OP, but...

                                              When I got gray ooze from my grinder it came from the center of the die in the front. The impeller is a steel shaft with a plastic screw around it. The back is large and square, and clamps into the power take-off on the mixer body. Just in front of the plastic screw is a small square that the blade seats on. In front of that is a small round piece that fits in the middle of the die.

                                              The gray ooze came out between the center of the die and the small round piece that fit into it. There's no way to lubricate this spot, and it's about as far away from the motor as you can get.

                                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                                I just re-read your post and I think you're correct. The only stuff I've ever seen that resembled what has been described as gray ooze has been what I knew was fat but I only saw it inside when the auger/blade/plate was disassembled and I knew it to be fat that collected behind and sort of changed it's molecular cohesiveness due to friction-caused high temperature.

                                                I now make sure the meat is cut into strips, is mostly frozen, trimmed of silverskin (it will get caught in the grinder), keep the speed low and recently I have started to put a bag of ice cubes (or snow) on top of the KA to help keep the motor cool.

                                                1. re: John E.

                                                  I was only doing nearly frozen strips of chicken breast; the black-gray stuff was not chicken.


                                                  Here is one of the comments from the listing above:

                                                  it is there and it is not grease. It is graphite from the blade and plate getting meat between the 2 and rubbing together. If you see this, you definitely should throw all that ground meat away and get a real grinder. This Grinder attachment is garbage.

                                                  I'm going to try again. One person put an empty cap from a pen/marker on that area and captured the stuff so it would not go into the meat. I got it several months ago and it might be too hard to return to Amazon now.

                                                  1. re: walker

                                                    I don't have any definitive answers for you. That this is occurring to newer grinders suggests a change in the manufacturing process. The last time there was an unanswered KA question on Chowhound I suggested the same question be posted over on the Cook's Illustrated Bulletin Board Equipment Corner section.There is a guy over there with the screen-name of 'Jim262' that seems to be able to answer all KitchenAid mixer questions.

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      Can I post there if I don't subscribe to Cook's Illustrated?

                                                      1. re: walker

                                                        All you have to do is register with a user name and e-mail.


                                            2. there isn't any plausible reason on the planet to put graphite into that machinery.

                                              Graphite isn't a component part of any metal alloy used in moving parts.

                                              Graphite is pencil lead...it's crazy soft and wears away immediately with any kind of friction at all...and there isn't any industrial application for it as a wear part or even as internal lubrication. (again...I've spent a lot of years poking around industrial metal-working machinery. If they don't put graphite in a machine that grinds metal parts, there's no reason for anyone to put graphite in a food production machine)

                                              alanbarnes thus far has proposed the only logical explanation.

                                              1. I've had no problem with mine, just make delicious sausage patties

                                                1. I dunno if it's a similar issue, but when I use my hand cranked food mill I get a gray "discoloration" of my applesauce appearing right in the middle (where the "spindle" is). I figure it's just a bit of oxidation from the metal that gets worn off. I've never particularly worried about it.

                                                  1. If you have some sort of grey ooze (and I can only assume you mean something gelatinous or liquid) coming out of your attachment then it would seem that it has to do with your mixer and not your attachment. The attachment is a very simple device, with no hidden lubricants or oils.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: tommy

                                                      Exactly where I though mine was coming from. The gear that the attachment fit into. It's looks like machine grease. Figured it was migrating in along the shaft of the grinder.

                                                      1. re: scubadoo97

                                                        I've seen this phenomenon also.

                                                        The ooze came from where the grinder attachment slides into the power takeoff (PTO) acceptor at the front of the machine.

                                                        Ironically, this occured while I was grinding product for a degreed engineer.

                                                        It was his humble opinion that what we were seeing was melted pork fat, badly discolored from moving across the metal parts.

                                                        This made sense, in the moment, as both product (pork and fat) and the machine were heating up...it manifested itself at the END of the 15 pound grind session.

                                                        However, this was very liquid, and not an "ooze".

                                                    2. If it's the standard grinder that locks onto the mixer's "nose," there's no really connection with any internal lubricants that might seep into the attachment--just doesn't work that way. Think you need to clean EVERYTHING thoroughly before you grind. Have had one for almost 20 years--no grey ooze, ever. Lube leak stories are iffy. Just get a length of approximate diameter oak or maple dowel and start whittlin' a new pusher.

                                                      8 Replies
                                                      1. re: Kagemusha

                                                        I bought the KA meat grinder 5 years ago and it broke withing 2 years. I replaced it with one I saw on Amazon, heavy duty, better quality and 2 grind plate sizes. http://www.amazon.com/Northern-Indust... I had the same problem with my KA grinder regarding the "ooze" and it really turned me off. I smelled it and it smelled just like lube oil. Why this was happening evry time was a mystery to me. I don't have that problem at all with my replacement grinder. BTW, because I am very concerned with e-coli and the fact that we really don't know what goes into ground beef, I make it a point to buy a 3+ pound chuck roast and grind my own beef. Not only do I KNOW for sure that my grinder is sanitized, but I know EXACTLY what is going into my ground beef. My FoodSavor keeps the premade burgers perfectly for several months.

                                                        1. re: The Drama Queen

                                                          Did you end up getting your KA mixer fixed? Because I'm pretty sure if it's leaking fluid you wouldn't want to use it!

                                                          1. re: tommy

                                                            No Tommy I didn't have a chance to do much with it. It split at the point where it attaches to the hub. I ordered the one I discussed in my post. Here is a picture of it. I could grind a school bus with this baby.

                                                            1. re: The Drama Queen

                                                              I mean to say if you smell (or see) fluid the mixer is likely leaking fluid. That's not a good thing whether you're using an attachment or making whipped cream.

                                                              1. re: tommy

                                                                Oddly enough there is never a problem with any of the other attachments, (the ice cream maker, the pasta maker and the ravioli maker) so I'm not sure what the problem was. I have no idea where the gray matter was coming from.

                                                                1. re: tommy

                                                                  Where did you buy this meat grinder? I have the regular meat grinder plastic that you buy now for the Artisan mixer. I have been thinking of buying a vintage one that is all metal but then I saw yours Drama Queen. I wondered where I could purchase one.

                                                                  1. re: Tinker

                                                                    Check out the DQ's reply from Mar 31, 2011 01:13PM there is a link to Amazon where that meat grinder is on sale for $130. If I did much more meat grinding than I already do, I'd be tempted to buy it. So far, the KA grinder still works well enough for me.

                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                      Thanks John E. . Here it is again: http://www.amazon.com/Northern-Indust...

                                                                      This really easy to operate although it's heavy. It has a reverse button that does a great job of unjamming the chute.

                                                        2. Hi

                                                          I am a KitchenAid employee, and here are some helpful tips when using the Food Grinder Attachment

                                                          The FGA housing has an ―oil impregnated copper bearing that can produce an oily
                                                          discharge when it becomes warm.
                                                          The oil will be present in the item being ground.
                                                          The oil is FDA approved, so it will not harm the consumer if digested.

                                                          We do not recommend grinding more than 3 - 5 pounds in one session.
                                                          Mixer must rest for a minimum of 45 minutes in between each session.
                                                          Meat should be extremely cold, even partially frozen, for best processing. It should be
                                                          able to be pierced with a sharp knife. Making sure the meat is very cold will:
                                                          1. Reduce likelihood of blood backing up into the mixer.
                                                          2. Reduce the likelihood the oil-impregnated copper bearing from leaking.
                                                          3. Help the fat in the meat process through more easily. When the meat is not
                                                          extremely cold or partially frozen, the fat in the meat can build up on the knife blade
                                                          and slow the processing down.
                                                          Meat should be cut in 1- inch strips before processing to help it feed into the worm gear
                                                          more easily.
                                                          For better mix and more tender results, grind meat twice. Fatty meats such as pork
                                                          should only be ground once.
                                                          When grinding bread, bread should either be completely dried out or not dried out at all.
                                                          Partially dried breads may jam the Food Grinder.
                                                          Very hard, dense foods such as totally dried homemade bread should not be ground in
                                                          the Food Grinder. Homemade bread should be ground fresh, then oven or air-dried.
                                                          Nuts ground in the FGA will come out mealier than chopped nuts.
                                                          If liquid appears in the hopper when processing large amounts of high moisture foods
                                                          such as tomatoes or cranberries, continue to operate the mixer until all the liquid has
                                                          drained from the hopper before adding more food to be ground.
                                                          Other Attachments Using the FGA Housing
                                                          Fruit and Vegetable Strainer
                                                          Sausage Stuffer
                                                          Pasta Maker Plates
                                                          Food Tray

                                                          Also the wood pushers for the FGA are no longer available.

                                                          68 Replies
                                                          1. re: KitchenAidUSA

                                                            Thank you very much!! I think the steps you recommend are all in the manual so I followed them as directed and always got great results. There was nothing said about the oily substance that came into the grind so that was puzzling to me. Thanks for clearing that up. Unfortunately my grinder split at the hub for some reason and I had to throw it out.
                                                            I'm sure your input is appreciated by many.

                                                            1. re: KitchenAidUSA

                                                              I've always wondered about that stuff. It only happens from time to time and now I know why. I usually would just take a knife and remove it. I was slightly concerned at first but simply scraping it off seemed work. After a few uses and having to do this I noticed a complete lack of death on my part and nevermore worried about it.


                                                              1. re: KitchenAidUSA

                                                                I purchased a FGA (with plastic pusher) last year that produced the gray ooze when grinding meat, even from the very start. When I ran it dry, without the meat or anything, it produced a fine metal dust, again from the very start. I still think that my gray ooze was meat juices mixed with the dust.

                                                                I was actually able to find a FGA (with wooden pusher and coarser coarse plate) new at BB&B and exchanged for that one. Haven't had the ooze since. It's also worth nothing that the blade that came with the wood model was made of a completely different material. It was dull, heavy, and dark colored, like the plates, whereas the plastic pusher model's was light, bright and shiny. Whether this has anything to do with the dust, I don't know. The grind worm was also of higher quality. My plastic-pusher model had metal flaking off the end that goes into the mixer's power hub, as soon as I took it out of the box.

                                                                Of course, when I posted all this on the now-defunct KitchenAid forums, I was attacked and told I wasn't using it correctly. Oh, well... all I know is that I'm hanging on to my big-holed, dark-bladed, wooden pusher model for as long as I can.

                                                                1. re: phrekyos

                                                                  there was something wrong with the first one, and you done good by taking it back and exchanging it.

                                                                  The presence of dust that doesn't go away is a sure sign of something rubbing that shouldn't ought to be rubbing, and you would have overheated and possibly killed your mixer.

                                                                  The darker blade sounds like it's probably carbon steel -- which does make a superior blade.

                                                                2. re: KitchenAidUSA

                                                                  I'm VERY happy to have you here! Love, love, love my KA FG. You mention that pork should only be ground once which is what I do. But I've been thinking that the next batch, I may take a part of it a grind a second time for breakfast sausage. It's a rather fragile patty. But I've been using the large-hole die; would switching to the smaller one give me what I'm looking for Thanks a whole lot.

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    Hi, Thank you, glad to be here. KitchenAid has actually just started monitoring Chowhound.
                                                                    What I suggest is grinding the 1st time with the large grinding plate. If your going to grind the second time then switch to the small grinding plate.
                                                                    Remember when using the FGA:
                                                                    1. We do not recommend grinding more than 3 - 5 pounds in one session. The mixer must rest for a minimum of 45 minutes in between each session.
                                                                    2. Meat should be extremely cold, even partially frozen, for the best processing.
                                                                    3. Food should be cut into 1- inch strips or small pieces before feeding into hopper.
                                                                    4. Turn the mixer to Speed 4.
                                                                    5. Food pieces should be dropped into the top of the Feed Tube and gently guided and
                                                                    pressed with the stomper.
                                                                    Note: Excessive pressure is not necessary to feed items through the Food Grinder because the
                                                                    worm gear assembly is self-feeding. Excessive pressure can cause juices to back up into the mixer, causing damage. It can also cause the FGA housing to crack near the hub.
                                                                    6. When all food has been processed, let the mixer run for an additional couple minutes to feed through the bulk of the food left around the worm gear.

                                                                    Using the SSA:
                                                                    1. Meat should be ground with the FGA and seasoned as desired before putting it into the
                                                                    2. Prepare the casings for use (see "Casing Information" under SSA General Information).
                                                                    3. Grease the selected SSA tube with shortening so casings will slide onto it more easily.
                                                                    4. Cut a 3 to 4 foot length of casing and tie a knot in one end of the casing or tie it closed with string.
                                                                    Note: The ground sausage meat can be fed into the FGA/SSA before putting the casing onto the SSA tube just until it comes to the tip of the SSA tube. This will help eliminate air bubbles in the casing.
                                                                    5. Starting at the open casing end, slide the casing onto the stuffer tube until the knot is at the tip of the stuffer tube.
                                                                    6. Turn mixer on to Speed 4.
                                                                    7. Slowly feed "pinches" of the ground, seasoned meat into the hopper tube. Filling the housing full will cause the meat to "compact" in the tube and "bunch up" instead of feed into the worm gear.
                                                                    8. The stomper should be used for guiding the meat into the hopper tube and gently pressing small amounts into the worm gear. Using excessive pressure to force meat into the worm gear can cause juices to back up into the mixer causing damage.
                                                                    9. It takes a couple minutes for the meat to fill the worm gear and stuffer tube and begin to
                                                                    feed into the casing. Air may cause the casing to "balloon" before the meat starts feeding
                                                                    into it. The air can be released by making a small puncture in the casing with the tip of a
                                                                    sharp knife or toothpick.
                                                                    10. As the meat begins to fill the casing, hold the tied end of casing in one hand and guide the meat mixture as it fills casing.
                                                                    11. Do not pack the meat mixture too tightly into the casing; allow enough room to twist the
                                                                    sausage into smaller links and for expansion during cooking.
                                                                    12. As the last few inches of casing is reached, turn off the mixer and slip the casing end off the stuffer tube and tie off.
                                                                    13. Cut the next casing length and repeat the process until all meat is used.
                                                                    Removing FGA and SSA:
                                                                    1. Turn the mixer OFF and unplug unit from the outlet.
                                                                    2. Loosen the attachment knob by turning counterclockwise and pull the housing from the
                                                                    attachment hub.
                                                                    3. Unscrew the securing ring by turning counterclockwise to remove. If the ring is too snug to loosen by hand, use the securing ring wrench to loosen.
                                                                    4. Remove the Sausage Stuffer tube and retainer bar.
                                                                    5. Push the square end of the worm gear back into the housing to remove so it pushes the
                                                                    worm gear out of the housing (this is simplest way to remove the worm gear because it may have ground meat packed around it, causing it to be difficult to remove).

                                                                    Hope this helps and answers your question.

                                                                    1. re: KitchenAidUSA

                                                                      Howdy KA,
                                                                      Thanks for participating on this board. You guys gain great face by being accessible/accountable.
                                                                      Having said that, "gray ooze" sounds nasty and, in my opinion, shouldn't happen in a well-engineered home appliance. "Resting" the machine for 45 minutes after grinding 3-5 pounds of meat says this is a casual grinder at best.
                                                                      I mean no disrespect here. Kitchen Aid, in the past, both earned and enjoyed a sterling reputation. Still, these two shortcomings (ooze!!, rest times after grinding a bit of meat) should be addressed from an engineering standpoint. You can do better. I urge you to try. Marketing can only go so far.

                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                        Hey, steve. You know that you and I hold different opinions on this. The last time I used it I ground 10# of beef with no problem. I, however, use the second lowest speed so I'm sure that must help. I do stop but only for a couple of minutes at a time. I'm sure the "ooze" could be quite off-putting but gratefully I've never had an issue with that. Also, I doubt that KA would describe the product as anything other than a "casual grinder." I wonder if the average person (not that YOU or I is average, ya understand!) ever grind more than a few pounds, enough for a few burgers.

                                                                        And, yes, KA, thanks for speaking up. I haven't used my sausage stuffer though I've had it as long as the grinder. First, I needed to find a source for casings and then I was intimidated by the idea :) I've saved this thread and will forge on.

                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          I didn't have the lubricant ooze in the beginning but certainly did have it and it was usually noted when doing bigger jobs. I used mine for small jobs and larger jobs like grinding a couple of large chuck roasts which could be close to 10#. I would describe it as a casual grinder and even though I have a larger dedicated grinder I pulled out my KA grinder to grind a couple of pounds of fish for making gefilte fish recently. I do like it for small light jobs

                                                                        2. re: steve h.

                                                                          Hi Steve,

                                                                          Thank you for your imput. When using the grinder because it has an oil impregnanted bearing in the housing, when the Mixer gets hot and the bearing heats up it causes the grease to leak. The grease is non toxic and will not harm anyone.

                                                                          The KitchenAid Mixer is for home use, and is not a commercial mixer, therefore, it is important not to exceed 3 to 5 lbs of meat ,and then give the mixer a rest for 45 minutes between batches or it can damage the unit.
                                                                          Thank you.

                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                            Yes "gray ooze" does sound nasty, and no it shouldn't happen in a well-engineered home appliance. But you forgot one important qualifier - "properly used."

                                                                            What the folks from KA are saying is consistent with my personal experience - the gray ooze appears only when you overload the machine and cause the bearing to overheat. If you treat the KA attachment like a 200 lb/hr commercial grinder you're going to have problems. If you use it as intended, there's no gray ooze.

                                                                            Complaining about gray ooze on the KitchenAid food grinder is like complaining about engine overheating on a Camry - the circumstances are important. If it happened while you were commuting to work on a spring day, there's something wrong with the car. If it happened while you were towing a 5,000 pound trailer across Death Valley, operator error is the root of the problem.

                                                                            Sure, KitchenAid could probably "do better" by making a heavy-duty commercial grinder attachment. And Toyota could "do better" by making a vehicle with greater towing capacity (oh, wait, they do - the Tundra). But different machines are appropriate for different applications. Don't judge any of them by their inability to do jobs they were never intended to perform.

                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                              Hi alan,
                                                                              Gray ooze is inexcusable. A grinder capable of grinding three pounds before it overheats and dribbles lubricant is not a masterpiece of engineering. Using only the posts on this thread, I'm going to conclude that some of the KA owners were not aware of the limitations. My take is that there is room for improvement within the scope of the machine's intended purpose.

                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                Gray ooze is a direct result of overheating. If the grinder overheats during ordinary use, than yes, it's inexcusable. If it overheats because it's being abused, then it it's the operator - not the machine - that needs to be looking for excuses.

                                                                                Yes, KA could certainly idiot-proof the machine by limiting the motor speed or increasing torque. Other modifications could improve performance even further. And with enough such incremental changes, the machine would eventually be close to ideal for grinding meat. But by then it would be a dedicated meat grinder that would be really lousy at, say, beating egg whites.

                                                                                Compromises are inherent in any multi-function machine; a dedicated unit will almost always be better at its particular job. And I'm not saying that there's no room for improvement. But so long as users RTFM and follow the directions, the KA grinder does a pretty good job at a very competitive price. It's not bad for what it is.

                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                  Hi alan,
                                                                                  This thread has performed a service by shining a light on a problem. Hats off to KA for stepping up and clarifying the source of the gray ooze and the limits of the machine.

                                                                                  Six sigma.

                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                    +1. The limitations of the machine and the importance of proper operation have both been highlighted. Hopefully the info - especially from the folks at KitchenAid - will make it easier for everybody to get the results they're looking for, whether from the KA attachment or this bad Larry:


                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                      I have not "abused" this attachment, only used as directed and got the gray ooze. I would not have bought this if I had known it would do this; it's too late to return it.

                                                                                      I would rather have paid a bit more for this and gotten a better product.

                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                        Tor Rey is napalm for body crabs at the home level. Waring Pro works for us.

                                                                                        KA had to be called out. This thread has shed a little light on a problem and will help some folk down the road.

                                                                                    2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                      Sorry alanbarnes but I gotta disagree with you that overheating is the cause of the gray ooze. I started getting the ooze as soon as I started grinding. I was able to pick out the pieces that contained the ooze and it did bother me, but since I didn't die or get sick I figured it was harmless. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my grinder split open a the point where it connects to the hub so I had to replace it.

                                                                                      I replaced it with a new grinder not an attachment to my mixer and the new grinder has no problem with oozing.

                                                                                      My point being that the grinder will ooze without being overheated. I hope KA corrects this problem.

                                                                                      1. re: The Drama Queen

                                                                                        Well, according to KA, that IS when it will "ooze." I think it's a matter of determining what overheating is. I regularly put my hand on the top of the mixer. Even a hint of heat, off it goes. And rarely does it get to that point. I always err on the side of less rather than more.

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                          Hi c,
                                                                                          Life's too short to routinely take the temperature of your favorite kitchen appliance. ;-)

                                                                                        2. re: The Drama Queen

                                                                                          Forcing food into the worm drive causes the bearing to overheat pretty quickly. It also causes the grinder to split at the hub. Coincidence?

                                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                            Oh, right. Way too many people PUSH rather than GUIDE.

                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                              I resemble that remark. Took a while to learn to use the tool. Works well for me now.

                                                                                            2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                              No forcing, no pushing. Been doing this a looooong time. Worked for me for a couple of years; I grind all of my meat so it gets a workout. Why wouldn't it split far sooner than it did? I'm sure there was another reason.

                                                                                              1. re: The Drama Queen

                                                                                                I'm confused by your posts. Did it split sooner or later?

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                  My post is pretty clear. It was in response to alanbarnes comment that forcing the meat causes the bearings to overheat and caused the splitting. My response is that I never forced the meat through the worm. If I wasn't grinding the meat properly, why didn't the split occur long before it did?

                                                                                                  alanbarnes point is well taken but I didn't force the meat - ever, I know better.
                                                                                                  So it's still a mystery why, after 2 years of use, it split. I'm thinking now that maybe I tightened the screw too much. Who knows? I'm wondering if anyone else has ever had an attachment split open where it attaches to the hub?

                                                                                            3. re: The Drama Queen

                                                                                              Mine started to ooze (or produce metal dust) from the very start of grinding (all components, FGA and mixer, are cool). I don't think KA themselves really know (or want to admit) what the problem is.... or maybe there are different types of "oozing" with different causes. All I know is that getting the older model grinder made the problem disappear. (See my previous post about the differences between the current model and the previous one.) So, I suspect it has to do with the gradual cheapening of this accessory (it used to be made of METAL!) more than misuse.

                                                                                              1. re: phrekyos

                                                                                                could you please elaborate as to how an accessory that isn't made of metal as you assert can produce metal dust?

                                                                                                As *I* posted previously, there was something wrong with the first one and you did the right thing by returning it.

                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                  The housing and grind worm used to be made of metal. Look it up. They go for a lot of money on eBay.

                                                                                                  I've seen other grinders with the "metal dust" problem, so mine was not an isolated case. (I think there are pics on Amazon) Furthermore, I didn't exchange the grinder for one of the same model. I returned it and found an older model at another store.

                                                                                                2. re: phrekyos

                                                                                                  I just want to add that this problem appears to be the exception rather than the rule. I wouldn't want someone considering a purchase of it to decide not to based on this. It exxeeds my expectations and is probably the easiest thing in my kitchen to use, clean, store, etc. I've said on other threads that it's the best $50 I've ever spent and I still feel that way.

                                                                                      2. re: KitchenAidUSA

                                                                                        I think I made every mistake possible.

                                                                                    3. re: KitchenAidUSA

                                                                                      It may seem rather bold of me to say this but I am certain that KitchenAidUSA is wrong about where the grey ooze is coming from. The oil impregnated copper bearing is in the rear of the grinder where the auger shaft sticks through the housing and into the mixer. If this bearing did discharge an oil it would be mixed into the meat and it wouldn't be noticeable.

                                                                                      I used my grinder for the first time last night and I am 100% sure of the source of the ooze that I also experienced. It originates where the metal auger shaft rotates against the metal grinding plates. The ooze is metal dust mixed with fat and oil from the meat being ground. If you look at the shaft where it contacts the grinding plate you will see groves that are formed from the rubbing. Where do you think the metal that used to be where the groves are went? Does anyone notice that this black ooze looks very similar to the black ooze that might be found around a previously clean oiled or greased bearing? You wont get this ooze while grinding dry items like bread crumbs because it falls into the bread crumbs as a very fine powder which isn't as noticeable as drops of what looks like black grease. You also probably wont notice it when grinding very wet items like tomatoes because it will mix in with the juice and thin out to the point where you cant see it anymore.

                                                                                      In any case if someone were to have the ooze tested I am certain all you would find is steel particles and animal fat. It is also not related to overheating as my grinder and meat was still cold when I finished. The reason that it may take a few minutes for the oozing to start is because enough dust has to be created and it takes a little bit for the animal grease to be pushed out of the center hole and collect the dust.

                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                          I read your post and I'm going to disagree. There is no oil in the grinder to leak and there is no way for oil to be transported from the mixer to the grinder. If there was a problem on the mixer side you would surely see a lot of the black substance on the square drive shaft. The center hole in the grinding plate is the origin of the black substance, I saw it dripping out of there and only there last night. The only place the substance was present was near the interface between the axle and the grinding plate. Oil cannot pass along the metal axle underneath the plastic auger and out through that hole.

                                                                                          The grinding plate center hole is essentially a poor bushing and i'm guessing the quality of the metal in the axle isnt the highest grade steel either. This machine operates slowly enough to be able to rub metal dust off without making a lot of noise. I hope the issue will go away once the axle seats with the grinding plate.

                                                                                          Additionally the grooves on the shaft gave a source for the metal dust. It doesn't take much metal dust to turn a little bit of fat black.

                                                                                          I can't tell from your post if you have actually seen this problem first hand or not. Have you actually seen it?

                                                                                          1. re: bwalt822

                                                                                            but it is NOT metal dust -- as I stated, if it's got enough contact to grind metal, it's going to make an unholy racket. Friction between hardened machine parts makes a LOT of noise and heat and vibration. If there are metal parts contacting hard enough to make dust, then it's not going to meekly weep a little lubricant to gently advise you of its pain -- it's going to (literally) jump up and down and scream at you that there's a problem.

                                                                                            And as above...even if it WERE metal dust, with the accompanying noise and vibration and heat -- as soon as the metal is worn down enough to eliminate contact between the moving parts, the noise and vibration and shavings will be gone...unfortunately by the time that happens, the motor has burned out or is close to it, the bearings are toast, and you've effectively killed your mixer.

                                                                                            You cannot make a contact part that bears the kind of load that a KA mixer is subjected to out of soft or substandard metal -- they'll fall apart immediately.

                                                                                            And as far as where oil can or cannot pass? You'd be surprised how miniscule a hole it takes to deposit an enormous puddle of machine lubricant in the middle of a shop floor. The stuff materialises out of nowhere from time to time, it seems, and just because you can't *see* a gap doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

                                                                                            Follow the directions that KitchenAidUSA posted and the oozy grey stuff will go away.

                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                              Again, have you actually seen the problem or are you trying to apply your knowledge of a machine shop to a meat grinder?

                                                                                              I'm not doubting that grease and oil can flow from small holes but why would it only flow through a rotating part and then out of the device that at the furthest point from any possible oil source without flowing anywhere else. The nearest source for the oil is the copper bearing on the other side of the auger and then after that its the mixer itself. I would certainly see it on the side of the auger closest to the copper bearing can purportedly leak small amounts of oil. The small bits of fat wrapped around the auger upstream from area where the leak was visible were still perfectly clean and white which proves that it originates at the metal to metal interface of the grinder plate.

                                                                                              Otherwise the oil would have to leak out of the bearing, travel along the axle, around a tight o ring, then under a very tight fitting plastic piece, then underneath the fat that builds up near the grinding plate, and then out of only the center hole. All the while it leaks nowhere else and leave no trace of a leak on the axle around the bearing.

                                                                                              I had followed kitchenaidUSA's directions and still had the problem.

                                                                                              1. re: bwalt822

                                                                                                I'm applying the way I know metal behaves when it's inside machinery - and that doesn't change, whether it's a CNC lathe, a punch press, or a mixer. The type of machinery doesn't alter the basic physics of metal rubbing against metal.

                                                                                                And yes -- grease can find its way into the damnedest places, and it wouldn't surprise me at all that it followed the path that you describe. The motion of the gearing itself is more than enough heat and pressure to carry the food-safe lubricant used in the machinery along the driveshaft and down the auger.

                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                  How could the grease travel the along shaft of the auger and leave no trace of itself on the auger, auger shaft, o ring, or the bearing from which it supposedly originates?

                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                    Obviously you've never seen this problem first-hand or you wouldn't keep making an argument which goes against all observation.

                                                                                                    1. re: sezme

                                                                                                      Nope that's for sure, I really like how it would scream and jump and vibrate from metal on metal contact. Guess they've never seen a plain bearing in action

                                                                                                  2. re: bwalt822

                                                                                                    @bwalt822: Sorry for so many posts to this thread, but I am really interested to know if your FGA has yet stopped producing metal shavings. Has it seated yet? You have had your FGA a lot longer than I as I only today have started to use it. If after all these months the problem remains, I will seriously consider returning it. Today, I ran it holding a small (1/2" or less square) folded piece of napkin over the auger shaft coming through the plate. It caught the metal shavings/meat juice/meat fat mixture before contaminating the meat. I see that another person used a marker cap to cover and catch the shavings. I might try that until the metal is worn down. Also, last question: do you suppose it is the plate being grinded away or if it's the auger shaft? If it is the former, perhaps I can buy another plate of a different, harder, material. Although, I can see risking wearing more on the auger if it hasn't already being do so. Not sure if I'm making any sense...

                                                                                                  3. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                    You're wrong. It is dust. I don't know what types of metal the pieces of the modern grinders are made from, but it's soft enough to produce fine dust/shavings when you run it without any food. I saw it build up myself. I could take it apart and tap the pieces onto a white sheet of paper and see all the metal dust. It's real, and it's disgusting. That's why I returned the POS.

                                                                                                    Now compare that to an older grinder I found (wooden pusher, large hole plate has REALLY large holes) which does not produce the dust. The metal the blade is made from is completely different; totally different color and weight. The other pieces are probably different as well, although appearance-wise it's hard to tell.

                                                                                                    It has nothing to do with using it correctly or not, it has everything to do with KitchenAid continually cheapening the build quality of this accessory over the years.

                                                                                                    1. re: phrekyos

                                                                                                      the older grinder has already worn off any irregularities in the castings.

                                                                                                      The first time or two, there's shop dust present in the machinery that very well may not come from YOUR machinery, and brand new machinery *might* be knocking off a few burs or casting irregularities. By the time you've run a piece of bread or two through it, it will be gone.

                                                                                                      I stand by my statement that if there's enough friction to produce a measurable amount of metal fines (not counting the initial use where the machine regurgitates any residual issues) that there will be enough accompanying noise, heat, and vibration to make you pull the plug long before you have enough fines to measure.

                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                        I said it was an older model, NOT a used one. It was brand new. I had cleaned both of them thoroughly and used both of them several times. The newer model kept producing dust, the older one did not.

                                                                                                        Not all metals have the same hardness. Not all metals are hard enough that it requires a large amount of effort (by a machine or otherwise) to produce shavings.

                                                                                                        Just turning on the mixer with the newer grinder installed would cause visible amounts of metal filings to collect at the center hole (where the grind worm inserts into the grind plate).

                                                                                                        1. re: phrekyos

                                                                                                          Ok i just did some testing because I am going to make sausage tomorrow and dont want a bunch of black spots in the sausage.

                                                                                                          I assembled the grinder and then ran it dry for a few minutes. Almost immediately metal dust started dropping from the axel/grinding plate interface and there was a very quiet squeaking noise. There was no "leftover machine grease" anywhere else which shows that KitchenAidUSA is full of it. Then not wanting to run the machine dry for too long I put some crisco on the areas where the metal rubs. It quickly became dirty with the metal dust and eventually melted from the heat. A few minutes after the crisco melted i turned it off, cleaned it and repeated. The next time there did not seem to be as many shavings as I believe what was causing it is being rubbed down. After a few more repeats there a lot less grey ooze and the crisco does not melt very fast which is indicative of less friction and less rubbing. So I think these grinder just need a break in period.

                                                                                                          1. re: bwalt822

                                                                                                            Gray ooze, any ooze in any amount, can never be good.

                                                                                                            1. re: bwalt822

                                                                                                              Thanks for posting. I just used my new Christmas gift for the first time yesterday, and had the same exact issue as you describe. I also read the instructions first, and followed them exactly. As well, I stopped using it, and washed in the middle of the batch thinking I must have missed something the first time. Nope!

                                                                                                              I'm wondering if after repeated use your gray ooze has now disappeared, or are you still getting it? Are you sticking with your FGA, or returning it?

                                                                                                          2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                            As I posted upthread, a long time ago, I have a very analogous grey ooze when I use my hand-cranked food mill. It's right in the center, right where the rotation occurs. There is no question that it is a bit of metal dust. I can certainly believe that a similar thing *could* happen with the grinder.

                                                                                                          3. re: phrekyos

                                                                                                            I am totally with you.
                                                                                                            I just chatted with a kithchenAid customer on-line helper. I was told, according to their specialist, the gray stuff is the meat rubbing the meatl and heated (to charcoal).
                                                                                                            I am not convinced at all. I am trying to find somewhere to test the dust.

                                                                                                            1. re: bluedevils

                                                                                                              Yeah Kitchenaid is full of it, their customer service just says whatever will delay customers enough to have the 1 year warranty expire. If they had to admit what the real problem is they would end up doing a recall or shipping out new plates, blades, and augers to anyone that wanted them. Meat heated to the point of carbonizing, lol. It cooks and grinds the meat at the same time saving you hours in the kitchen!!!

                                                                                                    2. re: bwalt822

                                                                                                      Thank you for such a thorough and well-though through explanation. I believe you to be correct. I understand sunshine842's objection to your explanation, but seeing is believing. I do see the metal contacting metal (the end of the auger shaft that is closest to the opening rubbing against a part of the center hole of the plate) and the shavings are indeed coming from that. All the reasons you used to support this conclusion I can back. As for why it doesn't make a lot of noise or vibration, all I can say is that maybe the contact between has just enough force to create shavings and also that one of the metals is very soft.

                                                                                                      My only worry is that if I ingest these metals if they will cause me harm or if they will pass through me without a problem. It was a Christmas gift. Maybe instead of worrying, I should just try to get it returned.

                                                                                                      1. re: alizais

                                                                                                        There's nothing on the blade or screen that will harm you , the drive shaft on the other hand I think is chrome plated and I wouldn't want to eat that. How tight are you cranking the collar down to squeeze everything together? If you are using that wrench that comes with it , it's too tight, just do it hand tight.

                                                                                                        1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                                          Just like the instructions say, I do not use the plastic wrench to put the collar on. As for how tight, it's wasn't on very tight at all. When I saw the problem happening, I loosened the collar until I felt the slightest resistance to my torque. But it was too loose: it actually began to turn a little on its own because of the meat coming out. I finger-tightened it slightly so it didn't move anymore.

                                                                                                          It's not the tightness of the collar that is the problem. I see with my eyes shaft rubbing against the plate. The reason, I believe, is because that plate doesn't appear to be EXACTLY center around the shaft so parts of the plate hole rest against it. Also, the shaft seems to have a little leeway and can move from its center position by a 1/16" I estimate. This is enough to touch the plate and produce some shavings.

                                                                                                          1. re: alizais

                                                                                                            Hum , that is strange indeed , I just put mine away after grinding and stuffing 6;bs of sausage and the only part that touches the plate is the blade, is it possible the hole in the blade is to big and not holding the shaft back?

                                                                                                            1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                                              I'm not certain if we are misunderstanding but I think I need to clarify something: when I say the auger shaft touches the plate, I don't mean the outside surface of the plate. I mean the walls of the hole in the center of the plate. The center of plate rubs the auger shaft as it spins around inside of the plate.

                                                                                                              An analogy I can think of on top of my head is think of a floating donut that has a thick stick through the hole. (If the donut were flat on a plane, the stick would be perpendicular to that plane). The donut is our plate and the stick is the auger shaft. Now, imagine the stick is spinning around inside the donut hole. If the hole were much bigger in diameter than the stick, the stick wouldn't touch the donut. But in my case, the stick is just barely thick enough to not touch the donut (if perfectly centered in the donut hole). Now, here are the problems: the stick kind of wobbles. Also, the donut is not exactly centered around the stick. Both not being centered and the slight wobble causes the inside of the donut to be eaten away as the rotating stick rubs against it. It will continue to be worn out until the donut hole diameter is widened such that eventually, the stick cannot touch the inner donut walls. When I said I'm waiting for the shaft and plate to be "seated" that's what I'm waiting for: the donut hole to become wide enough.

                                                                                                              Now, another scenario can be happening. It could be that the donut is made of something harder than the stick and now the stick is being worn down by the donut. In this case, I will have to wait until the stick is worn down and reduced in diameter until it no longer touches the donut.

                                                                                                              As for the metal shavings being safe to eat, it seems your advisory is against chrome. I don't know much about chromium except for that Erin Brokovich movie talking about the highly toxic hexavalent chromium. Is that what I should be worried about? And if I'm worried about chrome, all stainless steel contains at least a little bit of chrome. Chrome is the key metal in stainless steel that gives it its resistance to oxidation. And to me, both the auger shaft and the plate look like stainless steel. I feel like I should be worried...Perhaps the chrome is now inert or perhaps the small amount of shavings I will eat isn't going to hurt me...

                                                                                                              Upon closer inspection of the auger shaft, it looks like it has been slightly eroded. I see where it was rotating in the plate and it's duller than where it wasn't rubbing against the plate.

                                                                                                              1. re: alizais

                                                                                                                I hope you are not giving your donut/stick analogy because you think I'm stupid, I know what you are saying, but on my mine only the rounded stub of the shaft extends through the plate and it doesn't touch the the plate. On mine (again I say mine) the plate appears to be carbon steel (it will rust quickly) but the blade doesn't so I'd say it's stainless. I can't tell you what ingesting the stainless would do to you, I just know I wouldn't eat it on purpose. It sounds to me like your shaft is bent(not in the good way) or the whole thing is junk, so if you have the ability to return it do it, and get another. I have to add I would not be using this grinder I got for x-mas if my real meat grinder was returned to me after I lent it to someone, with it I don't have to half freeze my meat to run it through, It's shorter so I don't reach up, and I don't have to push meat into it , just drop it in and the auger pulls it in and spits it out, all in all I think the KA grinder is poorly designed , poorly built and a pain to use. And I have to add who ever designed that @#$% push stick should have his/her degree revoked and sent to collect garbage in alaska, no better yet siberia

                                                                                                                1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                                                  I gave that donut/stick analogy probably because I'm stupid (I'm not understanding you for some reason) or we're talking about different models. I'm not sure how what you're describing is like mine. For instance, you asked, " is it possible the hole in the blade is to big and not holding the shaft back?" That question confused me because if the auger shaft sticks out more than it should, why will it be rubbing against the plate more (or less)? I mean, the diameter of that shaft is the same in the distance of 1/4" which it could move isn't it? Also, mine looks exactly like the image I've attached below. It sticks out as much as the picture shows (looks like 1/4"). I think it's normal.

                                                                                                                  And to answer your question (I should have answered in the last post but I was confused): no, the blade is not too big. I assume you're talking about the square hole that receives the square portion of the auger shaft. There is no way the auger is going to slip by the blade's square hole. Also, if it did, I couldn't be grinding anything right? Because that blade wouldn't move. I ground 3 lbs of meat today.

                                                                                                                  My model is the same one sold at this link: http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-FGA-...

                                                                                                                  Is it the same as yours? I hear the older FGA models didn't have this metal shavings problem. As for the shaft being bent, it is possible that its alignment is off by like 1/32" or less. It doesn't take much to start shaving off metal. But I have a feeling getting an exchange won't help because I've been reading the reviews and people have been getting new ones with the same problem. It's a design flaw it seems. Example of someone who exchanged for a new one: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1TG3BXG...

                                                                                                                  My final comment will be that I checked the metals with a magnet and both the shaft and the plate are magnetic which means you're right: they're carbon steel. I hope they don't have a shiny chrome coating...

                                                                                                                  1. re: alizais

                                                                                                                    Yes it's the same model, mines brand new(well 4~5 months) and the stub end of the shaft sticks out about the same as the one in the pic, but the stub on mine doesn't touch the plate anywhere to create shavings. So the only thing to that would let yours touch the plate is (a) the auger is bent or wasn't straight to start with.(b) the bronze bearing at the end is worn allowing the shaft to move out of round and (c) the shaft is worn where it goes through the bronze bearing allowing it to move out of round.
                                                                                                                    Just because it's not magnetic doesn't mean it's not stainless, there are a lot of grades that are magnetic, some aren't magnetic untill they are cold worked then they become magnetic so it's still a guess unless you could get some answers from KA

                                                                                                                    1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                                                      I agree with everything you've said. Maybe it will be worth it to get it exchanged on the condition that I see the new one working before accepting it. The other thing is, maybe yours has seated in the 4-5 months. When you examine the part of the auger shaft that has the potential to meet with the plate, do you see the color being different than the part that sticks out?

                                                                                                                      1. re: alizais

                                                                                                                        No it's all the same colour,texture and I've only used the grinder part 4 times , I do get the grey chunks every once in a while but that is from the connective tissue being wrapped around the blade, it stops as soon as I remove it..
                                                                                                                        Good luck

                                                                                                      2. re: bwalt822

                                                                                                        Another ooze update... So I have since probably run another 30-40lbs of meat through the grinder and it still makes the gray ooze although it does seem to be getting better, maybe half as much or better as when it was new. The auger shaft is nearly completely polished where it contacts the plate and the square shaft where the blade goes has a nice fillet rubbed out of it. At some point I believe the black ooze will stop or become too small to worry about. However a 20lb batch put quite a strain on my mixer so I upgraded to a 3/4hp Cabelas grinder which is about 10 times faster than the KA. It too had a little bit of the gray ooze but it has decreased dramatically after some sort of coating on the shaft wore off. It was nowhere near as bad as the KA grinder.

                                                                                                      3. re: KitchenAidUSA

                                                                                                        @KitchenAidUSA What are the grades of steel that make up the auger shaft and the grinding plates? Also, do you know if shavings from either of these metals will be harmful if ingested? I don't believe your explanation but I see that bwalt822 has the best description of what is going on. I'm considering returning my FGA. My only other question is: will the auger eventually "seat" in the plate and not produce shavings? How long will this take? Thank you.

                                                                                                        1. re: alizais

                                                                                                          I'm afraid to use mine now and since I got it at Amazon a while ago it'd be too big a pain to try to return it. Guess, again!!, I wasted my $$. At least, with this notice on CH, maybe others will take heed and not purchase it.

                                                                                                          1. re: walker

                                                                                                            Maybe you can still make use of the FGA. Have you heard of the pen cap solution by D. Collingridge on Amazon? http://www.amazon.com/review/R1TG3BXG...

                                                                                                            Personally, I used a folded up piece of napkin to absorb the liquid as well as catch the shavings. I've put up D. Collingridge's picture below.

                                                                                                            1. re: alizais

                                                                                                              I was thinking of trying that; too bad I've wasted $$ on a product that has bad design.

                                                                                                      4. I just boght it and used it first time to gound the nearly 100% lean pork.
                                                                                                        I got the same gray ooze. Tried to clean it nearly ten times, and still cannot avoid it.
                                                                                                        I strongly think it is the metal shaving by look into the design in detail. The Balde shaves the Cover ring because the blade is not fastened and can be easily pushed/waggled on to the surface of the cover ring. I think this a bad design. I googled and found this site, because I want to get some answer for this problem.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. I have more info, but still puzzleing over this one. I had the grey goo happen right at the start of grinding with my older Hobart K45. I had repacked the gear grease a year ago with foodsafe grease from Grainger and didn't see the ooze the first time I ground pork for sausage with a new FGA/SSA. This time (1 year later) got goo right away and took my grinder to a friends to use with her new model mixer. No goo. I then tilted my mixer up and ran it (without grinder attachment) while looking in the grinder socket (female) on the mixer and saw the grey goo seeping inside the socket. I can't see how that goo could migrate to the front of the grinder plate, but there it was. More mystery...

                                                                                                          1. I got one of these (for free) as a promotional item. I tried it for the first time tonight,. I ground up some chicken thighs, then some chuck. This is the absolute worst piece of shit kitchen item that I have ever owned. It went directly into the garbage. I won't even grace the Goodwill with this poorly designed grinder. Not only did I also have the "grey ooze" like everyone else- it did a poor job of grinding anything but the mildest of muscle meat. My GAWD, what a piece of crap.

                                                                                                            I am online tonight ordering a decent dedicated meat grinder that actually works.

                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                              Strange. They must have changed in the 9 or so years since I got mine. Still going strong, making hamburgers and sausage several times a month.

                                                                                                              1. re: tommy

                                                                                                                They must have because everything everyone said here is true.... as well as all the negative reviews from amazon. What a piece of crap.

                                                                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                  Funny, mine works just fine, well if you adjust to the quirks. My guess is you will have to learn the quirks of a standalone as well.

                                                                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                    I had exactly the same experience - gray ooze and it had trouble with anything that had any connective tissue or fat in it at all, it just turned it to mush. These aren't "quirks" you have to adjust to - they are product design flaws. (I've used other grinders and never had this level of poor performance.) I can only guess that Kitchenaid redesigned it at some point to lower the cost, since apparently they used to work well but the consensus now - here and on other discussion sites - is that they're total crap. It's kind of shocking to me that Kitchenaid is aware of this problem (as they must be) and yet hasn't done a single thing to try to rectify it.

                                                                                                                    1. re: monopod

                                                                                                                      I suspect you don't know if they haven't done a single thing to rectify it.

                                                                                                                      Does anyone have a pic of this stuff?

                                                                                                                      1. re: tommy

                                                                                                                        Well, if they have, it hasn't worked since I bought mine new pretty recently and encountered exactly the same problem that's been reported for a while now. So perhaps I should more accurately say that they haven't done a single EFFECTIVE thing to try to rectify it.

                                                                                                                2. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                  This is where I ordered the meat grinder to grind up chicken to feed my cats "raw."


                                                                                                                  I have the Tasin TS-108 I think it costs about $150. When I get around to grinding up chicken or beef for myself, this is the grinder I will use. I have never had any gray ooze from this machine.

                                                                                                                  1. re: walker

                                                                                                                    Thanks Walker, that looks like a good one. Aside from being *grey goo free* it also looks like it will handle connective tissue well, has that been your experience with this machine?

                                                                                                                    The kitchenaid kept jamming up and mushing my beef last night to where I had to take it apart and "unstick" it. I am not willing to deal with that -or do all kinds of tricks to get it to perform it's function.

                                                                                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                      The Tasin TS-108 works fine; they have other models for sale, too. I bring home the chicken thighs from WF and put them in the fridge; I have a cleaning lady grind it up because I'm squeamish about chicken hearts, raw chicken mess. But, there's no ooze. We don't even partially freeze the chicken, either. She cleans the parts thoroughly with hot soapy water, uses a toothpick to clean the holes and does a final soaking with bleach.

                                                                                                                      We then put the "cat food" in Ball wide mouth pint size freezer jars, then into the freezer. 26 lbs of chicken at a go.

                                                                                                                      I know $150 is a bit of money but I feel I sure threw money away on that Kitchenaid grinder. I'd like to hear if the company tries to correct this.

                                                                                                                    2. re: walker

                                                                                                                      I started with the KA grinder which I use on rare occasion but moved on to a Tasin TS-108. Outside of being very loud the grinder works well to power through a lot of meat. I even use it to grind 5 lbs of horseradish root for our Passover seder. It struggles a little but gets through it

                                                                                                                      BTW, my KA cost me $60 and the Tasin was $100 via ebay. No contest for the cost benefit ratio.

                                                                                                                    3. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                      Your post seems like the time I tried to use my KA grinder without the cross shaped knife piece. Are you sure you had it put together right?

                                                                                                                      I have never had it not work beautifully except that one instance. There are a few rules I follow: grinder in freezer for at least 30 minutes, meat cut into 2-3 inch pieces, meat stuck in the freezer for 20 minutes. If you try to grind more than 1-2 lb, you have to clear the stuff wrapped around the knife. Also, use the pusher to guide the meat, not force it through. Oh. Kenji from Serious Eats also says to set the mixer on about 8, not 2.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                        I believe the posters when they say the old ones are just fine. I think something changed.

                                                                                                                        I have a new grinder from Cabella's and it works perfectly. No complaints. No complications. No "tweeking". No worries. No "gray ooze", No "clogging"... just perfect...right out of the box. I am happy ...........and eating great burgers!!!!!

                                                                                                                    4. I have had this problem with my KA since I bought it and have seldom used the Grinder, but each time, gray fatty particles -- needless to say it has ruined some good cuts of meat. After reading many of the comments and the excuses from KA, I think it is safe to say that this accessory to the KA is absolutley useless. and ineffective for good meat grinding.

                                                                                                                      1. It's been a while since this thread has popped up. I recently ground almost 20 pounds of venison using our KitchenAid KSM 90 with 300 watts and had absolutely zero problems with gray ooze. If it matters, the mixer/grinder was purchased in 1997.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                          I just gave away one I got in the 1970s, never any problem like this. I just didn't use it much, especially for meat; the pasta function on it was more difficult to control than my hand cranked Atlas, and I also have a 1950s hand crank meat grinder which is quick and easy. I think as with everything made in more recent years, your quality will go down as the manufacture year goes up. Look for an older model on eBay is my advice, if you are looking to buy one.

                                                                                                                        2. I have a KA Artisan that I bought in 2006. I recently got a meat grinder for it (free, BF's work gives rewards points and so that's what we picked to use the "points" on). My first task was grinding 3lbs of chuck and a lb of bacon to make burgers. I had no problems at all doing it, and no grey ooze whatsoever.

                                                                                                                          1. I know what it is... it is metal. Kitchen aid is lying to you. To prove it look at the square "step" that the blade (X looking thing) sits on. If the square sticks out past the blade's center hole, your going to have metal in your meat. It is not a lot but I am not eating the meat I ground.
                                                                                                                            That "square step" when it is turning, it rubs on the very small chamfer of the die (piece with the holes in it). That in turn grinds a beautiful Grey Ooze into your meat.

                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: hunterman

                                                                                                                              I just ground 12-1/2 pounds of pork shoulder for sausage and had zero problems again.

                                                                                                                              I'm looking at the grinding device right now and see that the square 'shoulder' on the center shaft on the grinder mechanism is not protruding past the center hole. If it was, and was rubbing on the die plate with the holes in it, there is an easy way to confirm this. There would be marks left on the plate where the blade scrapes on it. Frankly, I don't think this is the source of the gray ooze. The screeching sound of metal on metal would likely be obvious.

                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                John you are correct. there is a mark on my grinder where the metal is wearing away (both on the die and a groove on the "step). This is the source of the metal. As a machinist by trade I will be removing the extra step and I'll try grinding some more to confirm it 100 percent. This should fix it...it is the only logical explaination.
                                                                                                                                As for a screeching sound the amount of grease and oil in the meat would be more than enough to lube the parts to keep it from making any noise.

                                                                                                                                1. re: hunterman

                                                                                                                                  I think you should take photographs, before and after, and find someone at KitchenAid to send them to. If it were me, I would attempt to get it to an engineer or someone in production in addition to the customer service department.

                                                                                                                                  I'm glad you discovered this problem. What I wonder is if this the same problem others are having. It seems too obvious to me. (Of course that's coming from someone that has not experienced the problem.)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                    I'd like to support your suggestion. Ever since this issue was first raised, I've wondered why some and not all. The one time I dealt with KA, it was a pleasant experience. I think they would be glad to be shown this.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                      I think we need some sort of class action suit or something to get KA to let us return this defective item and get reimbursed.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                        I would take the money and buy a meat grinder from Cabela's. That's what sedimental upthread did.

                                                                                                                                        Interestingly enough, the only real reason I bought the KitchenAid mixer was because I wanted a meat grinder to make venison sausage. I got a 300 watt tilt-head for $150 plus the meat grinder attachment for $20.

                                                                                                                                        We like have the KitchenAid although we don't seem to be using it too much anymore. We're not making cakes, cookies or bread too often.

                                                                                                                                        The interesting thing is that I couldn't be a part of the class action anyway because my grinder seems to work just fine.

                                                                                                                              2. Just shot a video with my iphone on this.

                                                                                                                                First time I used the meat grinder, I got the awful grey ooze. Fact is, it's metal fragments.

                                                                                                                                I've run the machine without meat for about 30 seconds - when you detach it, there's a pile of shavings.

                                                                                                                                I'm going to try running the machine for a while hoping that the pieces will grind to the point that they properly "sit" together. That should be the end of the ooze.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Sausage King of Toronto

                                                                                                                                    Yeah. I would be interested in seeing if running it (grinding it down) helps. I tried that too. It didn't work after trying the better part of a day (on and off). It still put out metal shavings.

                                                                                                                                    I would be interested in knowing how long you have to grind it down to make a difference. I thought about using my little dremel tool on it but figured I would likely make the opening too big and it would be a waste of time.

                                                                                                                                    I threw mine away and bought a nicer one from Cabella's. It is heads and shoulders above the Kitchen Aid (metal shavings aside).

                                                                                                                                1. Mine does it too-- I never use it anymore because I wasn't sure if it was oil from the parts, metal or what. It'd be nice to know what it is though!

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: machellebelle

                                                                                                                                    Hunterman seems to have figured out what is wrong with his meat grinder, check out his posts.

                                                                                                                                  2. Just got the grinder in the mail today. Cleaned all parts and put back together. I found the gray parts in my meat as well. I took apart all the pieces and inspected them and all were fine. Then I looked down the main part of the grinder attachment where the grind worm fits into. Right there is the problem. The two metal 'washers' are in direct contact with one another and when spun they create the metal dust. Especially if you put pressure on the unit when pushing the meat down. Attach your grind worm into the grinder and then look down into the grinder from the top where the meat goes down, you will see where the two metal washers are rubbing and when you put meat down there it comes into contact with that area. Solution... cut your meat up smaller and make sure its very cold or par-frozen. When your meat goes down the shoot, keep it towards the front of the hole where the worm catches it and pushes it forward. Hence the reason to cut your meat smaller. Or just get a real meat grinder. Probably makes easy work out of any meat and don't have to worry about metal shavings/grease and shite.

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: msullivan8404

                                                                                                                                      I just wonder if this is an occasional issue with some cause I've never had the problem and have been grinding our meat for five years probably. We cut the meat in strips a little smaller in 'diameter' than the tube. I NEVER put pressure on the pusher-thingy. We use fresh out of a 38 degree fridge and will do 8-10# at a time with never a problem.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                        I don't use my KA grinder so much any more but a technique that works for most grinders is to cut the meat in long narrow strips and feed it down the feed tube. The spiral will catch it and you should not have to use the plunger. Just keep feeding it strip after strip. You get a better grind if you're not forcing it through

                                                                                                                                        1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                          That's exactly what we do. Thanks for weighing in.

                                                                                                                                    2. So, here it is March 2014 and there is still the problem! I just used my brand new KA meat grinder...never had a standing mixer or anything before so I was beyond excited! All of a sudden: GRAY OOZE! My boyfriend kept insisting it was probably part of the fat in the meat...after it kept happening, he finally suggested I google it and up popped this forum...VERY disappointed in this as we are grinding 10 pounds of pork and were on the last pound when I Googled.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Erica1968

                                                                                                                                        This problem perplexes me. I've not had a single issue in at least five years.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Erica1968

                                                                                                                                          I have not used mine in years because of this problem; am hanging on to it with the slight hope they'll do the right thing and offer a recall.

                                                                                                                                          I have a super duper one that cost about $150, Tasin, from One Stop Jerky Shop (on line).

                                                                                                                                        2. I would like to know why they don't have a medium disc for grinding, the fine is just to fine and when I use the coarse that isn't good either, I think I'm going to try half one way and finish with the other and mix it up really well, does anybody have any thoughts or ideas on this? Thank you