Complete Beginner Guide on How to Use a Manual Meat Grinder?

June 15, 2021

Guys, there are two types of meat grinders; manual and electric. I am a person who loves manual stuff, simply because it brings me a kind of joy when doing something with comprehension. Anyway, if you are thinking about how to use a manual meat grinder, here is the article you get answers for it. Come and join me; I’ll explain a wee bit about meat grinder basics, meat grinder uses, and everything in between. Let’s get started.

What is a Meat Grinder?                

First things first, it is imperative to define a meat grinder before we discuss how to use a manual meat grinder. A meat grinder is a machine that helps you grind, mix or chop raw and cooked meat. In fact, it is not just meat you can grind with a meat grinder; you can work with fish, vegetable, or similar sort of food as well.

Are Manual Meat Grinders Hard to Use?

As far as I’m concerned, the answer would be NO, and I do have facts to justify my claim. A hand grinder, a manual food chopper, or whatever the term you use to call a meat grinder is not a complicated machine.

There are no motors or any other electronic components on a hand meat grinder, but if you learn how to use a manual meat grinder (yeah, I will explain it, keep reading), you would realize how easy it is to work with these tools. 

What are the Essential Parts of Manual Grinders?

As I said, manual meat grinders are way simple compared to electric ones and consist of fewer parts than the counterpart. Although these components might vary from one brand to another, the following are the common sections you can see on a manual meat mincer machine.

Hand Crank

This is an integral part of a manual grinder, and with this component, you can grind the meat without much of a problem. The installation and removal of the hand crank aren’t the hardest. Stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, and iron are some of the materials used to design this part of a manual meat grinder.

Suction Base

This is what keeps the meat grinder in its place, and the suction base prevents the grinder from slipping. My suggestion would be to keep your hand grinder on a wooden surface as it helps you avoid disturbances when you are in full swing.

Meat Loader and Dispenser

Obviously, there is a meat loader and dispenser to feed and take out the ground meat.

In addition, auger, auger stud, clamp screw, blades, and stuffing tubes also are ingredients of a meat grinder.

How to Assemble a Manual Meat Grinder? (Step By Step Guide)

 Have you ever wondered how does a manual meat grinder work? For you to get a good understanding, you must know the assembling process because you will get to see all the important parts and how they get combined to accomplish the task you anticipate from a grinder. 

First Step

Make sure all the components are dry, clean, and rust-free. Also, I always double-check on the blades to figure out whether they are at optimum levels in terms of sharpness. 

Second Step

My recommendation is to fix the handle to the machine as the second step. The fit with the main body should be as tight as possible. If not, you will find difficulties in cranking. In addition, it will cause damages to the surface, machine, and the user as well. 

Third Step

Now you can fix the extrusion plate and cutting blade to the unit. You have to make sure to choose the correct extrusion plate, and the holes of this part decide the quality of the final output; the smaller the holes are, the better the meat would be. 

Fourth Step

It’s time to mount the meat grinder to your work surface. As I mentioned earlier in the article, the surface should be stable and strong and must prevent the grinder from slipping. Moreover, I strongly advise you to use wedges under the surface that are at least 11/2 inches in thickness. Long story short, a stable grinder is super important for high-quality results. 

Step by Step Guide on How to Use a Manual Meat Grinder?

How to Use a Manual Meat Grinder?

Yes, manual machines are awesome, as far as you know how to use them properly. Here, I’m answering how to use a manual meat mincer question. You will get to know some of the important factors as well as how does a meat grinder work after reading the following steps. 

First Step

The first step would be to fix the meat grinder onto the surface. You can do it as we elaborated on earlier and make sure it doesn’t wobble after the mount. Give it a good crank and see how it feels in hand; you should feel comfortable and confident about the unit before you do anything. If not, you won’t be able to get the maximum use of a meat grinder. 

Second Step

In my books, the second step is to prepare the meat. There are certain works to be done with meat before you put it in the meat grinder. You should get rid of excess fat, cartilage, and tendons to make the work easy and get good results.

If you happen to put these into the machine, there are chances of the grinder getting clogged, which becomes a barrier to a smooth operation. Moreover, it won’t be easy to clean the machine as well. 

Then, you will have to cut the meat into small cubes, Japanese knife helps you on this. Smaller pieces make it easy to grind, and feeding also would become much convenient. 

After you cut the meat, you should transfer the meat into a fridge until the pieces get cold. Colder meat is a must in a meat grinder user manual (for sausage stuffer as well) as it is crucial to retain the texture of meat. If not, you could end up with sticky meat, which will make executing of after duties difficult. 

Third Step

Now, keep a container below the dispenser of the meat grinder to catch the fresh ground meat. Then, insert the cold meat cubes into the grinder using a meat pusher.

Maybe I’m not a pro but experienced enough for you to suggest not to use your fingers to push the meat into the machine; the consequences can be catastrophic as hell!

Another factor you have to keep an eye on is that the quality of the cutting knife. It should be as sharp as possible to get neat results. Using blunt blades can only provide you with smashed and chewy meat, and I think that is something that you don’t want to see happening. 

As per my experience, choosing a better quality cleaver knife for meat and a fillet knife for fish reduces chewing.

Fourth Step

Now, crank the meat using the handle, creating slow but steady motions. As said, let the meat pusher and blades inside pull the meat into the machine. Once you are done with grinding the meat, there is something special you should do.

That is cranking a couple of bread slices right after you finish grinding the meat. This will help you get rid of stuck meat out of the grinder conveniently, making the upkeep easier. 

Fifth Step

Well, now you should disassemble the meat grinder as soon as possible to clean it properly. The cleaning is as important as grinding. Since this is not an electric device, you should find it easy to clean. When you fix the components again, make sure they are properly dried and clean for the betterment of your grinder.

Grinder cleaning guide help you to clean this manual grinder properly.

Now you know how to use a meat grinder. Let’s see some of the tips that I have to offer you.

Expert Tips for Better Quality Use

Following are some of the tips of the experts, and I highly recommend for you to consider these because, on a personal note, I often receive high-quality output. 

  • Before you insert meat into the grinder, make sure you put the meat in a fridge at least for 30 minutes till it becomes cold. If not, the ground meat has the tendency of getting melted.
  • The grinder should be mounted tightly onto the surface.
  • Never use fingers to push the meat in. Instead, use a specifically designed meat pusher for the job.
  • Make sure the blades of the machine are sharp enough before you grind to prevent the meat from getting smashed. Use these sharpeners to sharpen meat grinder blades.
  • Do not put watery meat in the grinder. It should be cold, but there shouldn’t be any water. 
  • You can use a hand grinder for juicing as well, but your surroundings might get a little messy.
Complete Beginner Guide on How to Use a Manual Meat Grinder?

Benefits of Using Manual Meat Grinder

Whether you use a simple kind of stainless steel manual meat grinder, cast iron meat grinder, or heavy-duty meat grinder, there is a bucket full of advantages you get with these machines. Here are the bright sides that I see of a manual grinder.

  • The design is simple and easy to understand. You don’t need to be an expert to maneuver a hand grinder.
  • The price is relatively low compared to electric meat grinders. If you are on a budget and looking for a meat grinder, it’s a no-brainer to opt for a manual grinder. 
  • Since the manual grinders don’t have electric parts in them, they don’t take that much from your precious kitchen of space. To be honest, this is one of the tiniest appliances I have in my kitchen. 
  • You can use a manual meat grinder on the go. This makes hand grinders a valid candidate for outdoor activities as you don’t have to think about a power source to operate the machine. All you have to do is find a stable surface to fix the unit. 

What Else Can You Use A Meat Grinder For?

This is a good question and a frequently asked one as well. Personally, I use my manual meat grinder for various objectives other than meat grinding. I have mentioned my favourite tasks below for your consideration.

  • Making fruit juice: As I mentioned earlier, the only drawback of this is that your workplace might get a bit messy. Otherwise, it is a simple option you have to get fruit juices. I think you might be interest to know how to juice without a juicer.
  • Grinding veggies: There are a variety of pickles and relishes you can make with a hand grinder. Make sure to cut the veggies into digestible pieces.
  • Grinding cookie dough: Oh yes! Definitely an unorthodox idea for most, but results are superior and guaranteed.
  • Grinding bones: My pets love this. You can grind bones of chicken, cow, or goat without much of an issue with an ordinary manual meat grinder.

FAQ’s about Manual Meat Grinders

How to Sharpen Meat Grinder Blades?

There are several methods to sharpen meat grinder blades. Personally, the sandpaper method is the easiest of the lot, and here is how you do it. After you disassemble the meat grinder, you can scrap the surfaces of the blade using sandpaper in circular motions.

This process has to happen at least for 10 minutes to get optimum results, and you must put sufficient power on blades. 

This can be a little hazardous work, and you should wear protective gloves when scraping the edges of the blades. After you sharpen the blades, it is important to put the blades into the water to remove excess particles. Finally, you can wipe the blades using a clean cloth. 

How to Use a Hand Crank Meat Slicer?

The crank meat slicers come in different styles and shapes. So, the maneuvering is different from one to another. Since the cranking is more or less the same, let’s see some of the main points that you need to pay attention to. 

  • The meat must be frozen and should leave about 20 minutes under room temperature before slicing.
  • Adjust the slicer according to the thickness you want. There should be knobs or similar parts to adjust the size of the slicer.
  • The cranking should be gentle and slow. If you do it fast, you most probably won’t get the intended results.

How Much Is An Old Meat Grinder Worth?

Actually, this depends on the brand of the meat grinder. The universal old meat grinders are inexpensive, and it won’t be challenging to find one under 20 bucks. However, the price tag purely depends on the manufacturer and your preference. Overall, you don’t have to rob a bank to buy an old meat grinder.

Wrapping up..

As a meat enthusiast, I wanted to share my experience and knowledge on how to use a manual meat grinder. If you find anything in doubt with regards to the facts and details that I explained, don’t hesitate to comment on them below. I will make myself available as soon as possible to answer your question. Cheers!

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