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Mar 23, 2012 02:32 PM

Vintage Kitchenaid Metal Meat Grinder

I'm hoping someone can help me with some information.

I just picked up one of these in great condition and really want to give it a good cleaning before I use it.

The main body and auger are cast aluminum, so I know how to clean them. However, I'm embarrassed to say, I can't tell what the plates and blade are made of. I think they're aluminum, but not sure. Whatever they are, they have heavy oxidation. Before I go crazy in trying to get them all shiny again, can someone please educate me on the material and subsequent care of the plates and blade?

What I picked up looks like this including the dark plates and blade.

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  1. If the plates are attracted to a magnet, they are not aluminum, but steel or iron. If they are not attracted to a magnet they could be aluminum or stainless. (Prob. not stainless, I think.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: sueatmo

      Whatever they are, they have heavy oxidation

      If that's the case it eliminates aluminum and stainless, and iron would be to soft, all the grinders i've had are some sort of carbon steel except the KA attachment grinder , that seems to be chrome plated carbon

    2. Back in the day, I used bristle brushes to clean the holes. You can find various sizes in a gun shop for cleaning rifle and handgun bores. A hardware store will have soft brass bristle brushes about the same size as a tooth brush. An old tooth brush will work fine as will pipe cleaners (tobacco pipe) doubled over. Get the cleaners with the stiff bristles in them. And lots of hot soapy water.

      7 Replies
      1. re: dcrb

        I would do what you suggest but use Bar Keeper's Friend.

        By the way Molly, you don't have to go to a gun store for the small, brass brushes used to clean gun barrels, the Walmart sporting goods department will have them.

        1. re: John E.

          Good point on the BK Friend. And I hadn't thought about Walmart.- either.

          1. re: dcrb

            Although I've been in dozens of guns stores in my lifetime I know that for some people not familiar with guns it can be a little intimidating to go into one for the first time.

            1. re: John E.

              I agree going into a gun shop may be intimidating for some, but for some of us, a gun shop may be hard to find. I live in Chicago and although I know the laws of gun ownership have changed a bit in the past few years, I believe gun shops are still prohibited in the city. I could be wrong, of course.

              1. re: Molly James

                I believe you are correct. There is exactly one gun shop in the city of Minneapolis. Of course there are many in the surrounding suburbs. Not to mention huge stores such as Gander Mountain and Cabela's,

              2. re: John E.

                You are so correct. Intimidation, feeling like you are in the wrong place, uncomfortable, and the list could go on. I was not thinking of that.

            2. re: John E.

              The automotive department has those brushes, too. I picked up a couple last summer and the unused one has now been diverted to the kitchen.

          2. Thanks all for the info.

            I tried tried the magnet and the're magnetized. I used some Bar Keeper's Friend and a stiff bristled brush and most of the oxidation was removed, however, the pieces are still a very light grey (almost like the color of a new tin lined pan that's starting to turn dark). Perhaps that's the way they're supposed to be?

            I didn't find any rust or old food residue, and they generally look like they've been only slightly used. I'm thinking perhaps they may be carbon, so I put a little shortening on them. Is that the proper care?

            8 Replies
            1. re: Molly James

              oxidation IS rust , so they are discoloured then? For sure they are carbon steel , good thinking.

              1. re: Dave5440

                Yes, oxidation is rust and I misspoke. I meant and should have said orange colored, pitting rust. The plates and blade are totally smooth, and are a very light grey.

                1. re: Molly James

                  It sounds like they look just like they are supposed to look. They never were 'shiny'.

                  1. re: John E.

                    I agree. I have a "vintage" KA meat grinder and I remember the plates being light gray. I really should unpack that thing and grind some meat. My housing is enameled though. It dates from the 'seventies.

                    1. re: sueatmo

                      Whenever the KA thread about 'gray ooze' comes up I wonder at what point in the manufacturing cycle that problem arose. My KA was purchased in 1997. The meat grinder attachment was purchased at the same time. It has a plastic housing, wooden plunger. I've never had the gray ooze problem.

                      1. re: sueatmo

                        Thanks for the assurances the plates look like as they should.

                        The grinder was a thrift store find. I almost didn't even look in the box because it was in such horrible (dirty, greasy, musty smelly) condition, but two aisles over, I decided to go back and take a look. I'm glad I did, because what was inside was in pretty good condition.

                        Sueatmo, I have no idea how old my grinder is. I didn't even think about it missing the pusher until I started researching it on ebay. I have an old maple muddler that I intend on redirecting to use as the pusher. I may even see if I can find something in stainless steel that I won't have to worry about.

                        I'm excited to try out the grinder, but it will have to wait a tad. My mixer is on loan for a few more weeks.

                        1. re: Molly James

                          Let us know how it goes. I only ever used my grinder to make applesauce. Yes, it is true. I ground apples and cooked them in a slow cooker overnight, and the next morning, we had hot applesauce for breakfast. I never even peeled the apples, and I only added spice, never sugar. It was very good.

                          But I never used it for ground meat.

                          I have an old KA slicer too. All packed away years ago when we thought we were moving. I should really locate them.

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            cast steel older grinders disks not stainless like new ones and probably old better