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Mar 14, 2011 11:38 AM

Grinding your own ground beef?

Would like to boycott the pricey "organic" gourmet shops here in nyc and grind my own.

I have a KA Mixer with the Grinder attachment.

Will this do the job? I mean im going to grind small batches... nothing crazy.

Now what cut of beef do you suggest ?

And how does one go about creating ratios with fat in the final grind?

Thanks so much

also.. if you know a good place to read info on this.. please link me


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  1. I also use a KA mixer with the grinder. So far, I have cut into chunks, tossed with s&p, then froze for about 2 hours to assist with the grind process. I use the coarse grind attachment and it works out well. I did about 6 lbs Saturday for burgers; make sure the KA is not too high or your arm may get tired after a few lbs. Once ground, I form gently form into reasonably-sized patties, smush flat, press an indentation into middle, then put on wax paper for the grill.

    I like a mix of beef and pork, about 60-40. Saturday I used chuck (although it is kind of spendy these days) with some beef heart mixed in (for extra beefy flavor) plus some boston butt.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Dax

      This is good advice. I semi freeze my meat too before grinding. I also fashion a spray guard with a piece of parchment taped to the KA like a visor. Maybe the new ones come with one, but I find mine likes to send out a fine meat mist when I grind. Parchment solves that.

      I use chuck roasts for beef and butts for pork. I cut any fat blobs into smaller pieces and feed them into the machine with the meat so the fat gets evenly distributed.

      I also use the cuisinart to zap up chunky chili meat.

      1. re: Sal Vanilla

        I can't say I've ever experienced any kind of spray while grinding...

        1. re: mcf

          Me neither. I mentioned that below. Can't for the life of me figure what would cause that. Unless it's using too high a speed or forcing the meat through. I use the second lowest speed. Mine comes out of the grinder the exact same "wetness" as it goes in.

          1. re: c oliver

            The most I ever get is some juices on the counter if I'm not careful about bowl placement, so I put some wax paper down.

        2. re: Sal Vanilla

          I experimented with the kA coarse blade for chili Sunday (flat iron and rump), but it wasn't coarse enough. Is the Cuisinart food processer better?

          1. re: Shrinkrap

            Not sure but how it rump roast for taste when ground for chili? You can always use coarse then fine grind on the KA.

            1. re: Dax

              I don't think the rump added much, but I mixed both meats, and mixed hand cut and "coarse" ground, so it's hard to know . I was experimenting, as i am contributing for a charity event next week, and wanted to try some things on "just" my family first.

              I DO know that I ate the remaining flat iron steak the next day, but the remaining rump roast isn't tempting me at all. So LEAN looking!

      2. I've ground my own beef for decades, most of which were with the Kitchenaid grinder -- it works just fine.

        I use whole prime chuck, which is about 22 lbs of meat -- likely more than you need. Just get as much chuck roast as you need and seam it out (separate the individual muscles and segregate the fat). If you do it carefully, you'll likely have some fairly lean meat, some that has more marbling and some pure white fat. Use whatever ratio of pure lean to fat you like, but less than 10% is going to be pretty dry and tasteless. Use the somewhat marbled as stew meat. I tend toward 25%,fat sometimes even higher if i'm going to use the end product for hamburgers done in a cast iron pan where the extra fat can render out without causing immolation as on a grill.

        Get your meat and especially the fat very cold -- semi frozen is best -- and grind twice using the small plate, cleaning it out in between grindings. When done, knead the meat as you would bread dough for about a minute, no more unless you want a denser, more sausagy consistency. Most recipes will say to handle the meat as little as possible, but the short kneading develops the protein a bit and keeps the mass hold its shape. It also helps retain the juices inside the burger rather than making it so loose the juice leaks out all over the place when cooking.

        Good luck

        1. The KA grinder will do a fine job. A lot depends on the KA mixer and it's motor the grinder is attached to.

          The type of meat and blend depends on what you're doing with it.
          For burgers many people like a basic chuck roast which is around 70/30 lean to fat. Good ratio for burgers. You can get different taste by combining different cuts. Brisket, flat iron, boneless short ribs and sirloin are all good additions to a chuck for burgers. Keeping everything very cold helps to keep the fat from emulsifying and coating the inside of your grinder.

          I'm in the camp that says don't handle the meat too much. I like burger meat loose, tender and juicy.

          1. It''s easier to buy a chunk of beef when it's on sale at a good price and ask the butcher to grind it for you. I have never had a butcher refuse to do this.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Querencia

              I use to do this too. The only thing I had a problem with is when they use their big grinder instead of the smaller units they have. I always felt the first pound coming out of the machine was what they were last grinding and not what I bought.

              1. re: Querencia

                For me, that would defeat the whole purpose; control over meat quality, purity and handling so I can safely cook it less than well done.

                1. re: mcf

                  But if you don't have a way to grind at home this is an alternative. This is what I use to do for quite a few years before getting my KA grinder and now a stand alone grinder.

                  1. re: scubadoo97

                    I suppose at least you get the cut you want. But I would never cook less than well done from the store grinder. I don't have a KA, so I bought an inexpensive Waring grinder that I just love. After making all the recommended combinatisons, flank steaks makes the best tasting burgers, in our estimation.

                  2. re: mcf

                    I see what you're saying but don't think it defeats the WHOLE purpose. You see the exact piece of meat and know it comes from one cow only.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Sure, that's an improvement over mixed, packaged stuff, but how many different cow's parts are run through the grinder daily?

                2. I keep my process simpler than some others and never have a problem. I buy 7-bone chuck; get it at my Latino market for a good price. I don't partially freeze and have never had a problem. I cut it (fat included) in strips about the same diameter as the feed tube and use about the second lowest speed. I have done as much as 10# at a time. I grind into a pasta bowl, rotating as we go so that it's all mixed. Form into 6 oz. patties, more rounded than flat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then put multiples in zipping bags. I haven't found my FoodSaver is any advantage for this. After a few months in the freezer the meat is still red. When I'm ready to cook, I flatten it slightly into a patty shape, season with s&p, and grill. Perfect every time. You'll never go back, I promise :)

                  ETA: Since I do more than a meal's worth, I do turn the motor off occasionally to let it cool down.

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: c oliver

                    If you want to seal these using a Foodsaver -- and I believe it does add considerably to the freezer lifespan -- freeze your patties unwrapped first, then seal when they're frozen.

                    1. re: rjbh20

                      If I were keeping them for a really long time I'd do that but, as I mention, after a few months they're still bright red with no sign of ice crystals/freezer burner. I'm a real KISS advocate :) I don't hesitate to use the FF just haven't found it to be necessary for this particular product. YMMV.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Thank You All

                        Seems like theres no preferred cut.. or wrong way to make your ground beef.

                        But what i am still confused about is this...

                        For grinding beef or for making sausages.. there seems to be an emphasis on meat to fat ratio.

                        How can i be certain i have the right ratio? Otherwise it looks like a guesstimate.

                        Is there a rule for this? or just comes down to specific cuts which will have that ratio of meat to fat?

                        Like a pork butt for sausage ( 70/30)


                        Thanks again.

                        1. re: lestblight

                          Separate your meat into lean and fat and do it by weight. BTW, this is one reason that chuck works well -- the lean is lean and the fat is mostly intramuscular so its relatively easy to seam out. Or just eyeball it and do it by volume -- precision isn't necessary unless you're doing it commercially.

                          1. re: rjbh20

                            I've always just used chuck when it's on sale, and I look for the fattiest pieces(they're usually the ones nobody wants anyway). I would encourage that you put the grinder parts in the freezer 20 minutes before you start grinding. Can't be too careful.

                            1. re: slotmansc

                              I used 7-bone chuck for the same reason. Close enough for government work :) What does freezing the parts have to do with being careful? Don't know what that's about. I know some people do it because, in their experience, it grinds better.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Hi all,

                                I agree with c oliver. No clue what freezing the grinder parts would have to do with being careful.

                                That said, I do briefly freeze the cut-up meat. It grinds better and faster. Freezing the grinder parts makes sense to me. I'll do that next time. The fat in the meat would be less likely to gunk up the grinder if its cold.


                                1. re: I used to know how to cook...

                                  Ya know, I read that here but have never had a problem. As mentioned, I DO stop occasionally and let the motor cool down so that's probably keeping all the parts that come in contact with the meat cooler also. When I'm done grinding up to 10# of beef, the meat is still cold enough that my hands are pretty chilled forming it into patties. Go figure.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    Chilling the parts helps keep the meat a more ideal temp, and also helps keep it firm enough to go all the way through more readily, instead of getting smooshy/gummyish. It may not matter as much if you're doing a small quantity, but I've found that cold meat, cold grinder parts gives me a better/safer meat temp and easier handling.

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      As I've said, I do 10# with no problem. I'd guess most people at home wouldn't be doing more than that but I don't try to guess what other people do. I get no "smooshy/gummyish :)

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        I don' t use a KA, so I don't know; the meat doesn't start coming out warm after a while?

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            Sorry, that's what I get for skimming! It's definitely an issue with the Waring I use, and I never grind meat until just before I cook it, so never more than a lb or two.. If I stored it pre- ground, I still wouldn't be comfortable cooking it less than well done, though I'd be fine using it in recipes calling for well cooked ground meat. I just wanted a pink burger so bad after a while...

                                      2. re: mcf

                                        That's right mcf, plus for added safety, when I'm doing 5#'s or more, I'll put the catch bowl in a bigger bowl filled with ice to keep the ground beef more chilled, especially if I'm going through two grinds, once with the coarse, then followed up with the finer grind. I've had good results with all types of meat.

                                        1. re: slotmansc

                                          thanks for the input

                                          i will start with chuck as everyone suggests.

                                          Out of curiosity.. what would the ratio be on something like skirt steak?
                                          would that be a bad choice to mix with chuck?

                                          1. re: lestblight

                                            I wouldn't mix skirt steak in, it's rather lean and could make your hamburger too tough, plus it's getting expensive to use for hamburger. I think brisket would be a better choice, although that's not always cheap either. I've seen a mix with chuck, brisket, and oxtail. Looked interesting, can't remember the ratios though.

                                            1. re: slotmansc

                                              In my experience skirt is definitely one of the fattier cuts.