If you have seriously, or are at least semi-seriously into cooking, then you are probably aware of the existence of meat grinding devices. In fact, you might have even seen one at your grandma’s! But you may have wondered why a meat grinder is so important. What can a meat grinder be use for?
Why should you grind your own meat instead of buying it from the supermarket? What is the big deal with meat grinders?
There are plenty of advantages, and if you’re also asking yourself whether you should buy a meat grinder, then you probably already know the answer. Here are just a few of the advantages.
First of all, it is healthier. If you are concerned with health and safety, which you most probably are, then you most definitely do not want meat that comes from unknown animal sources. And usually this ground meat does not come from the leaner bits.
This means that medium or rare meat is out of the equation, since you should be more careful not to introduce yourself and your family with whatever contaminants and bacteria this ground meat might contain.
Also, grinding your own meat will make it tastier. The flavor will be better because unless you work in a slaughterhouse, you will have to buy the meat from the supermarket, which has been likely been sitting on a refrigerated shelf for a period of time. It’s usually from cheap and old cuts of meat.
If you are going to do it yourself, however, you will be able to choose what kind of meat you want to grind, and you will also be able to modify the fat content based on your tastes and health needs.
And since pre-ground meat is sealed and sitting there for days or even weeks, it will not only be compressed, but it will also begin to oxidize. If you grind fresh meat, however, you will give it a smooth and nice texture, which will not only make it better and moist tasting, but will also improve its texture after it is cooked.
Acknowledging the uses of meat grinder will instantly make you a better cook. When I saw my grandma use it, I knew I had to use one if I wanted to cook as well as she does.
Even though it is not impossible to use a food processor to grind your meat, buying a meat grinder will be a sound investment if you are planning to use it frequently. This article will guide you through the process of picking a grinder, as well as keeping it clean and functional.
Its components are not particularly difficult to recognize; however, one must educate oneself on this matter. The uses of meat grinder are not many—it just grinds meat—which is why its components will not be particularly complicated.
The pusher is used in order to move your meat down the feed tube and to keep it moving. Most of these machines have a tray located on the upper portion of the grinder that is designed for meat before it goes down the tube.
The screw is the working component of the device as it pushes the meat into the blades.
The components that are mostly involved in the actual grinding process are the blade and plate. The blade is usually X-shaped, or cross shaped, and it rotates against the die (also known as the plate). The plate has small holes inside it. These holes will determine the form of the final grind.
There is also a piece that keeps all of the components immobile as the meat is being chopped—this is known as the cover.
Even though every grinder has virtually the same parts, there are plenty of options when it comes to buying one.
The least expensive grinders are metal, but they are still good at delivering a good ground product. You basically have 2 options here:
- A bolt-mounted manual grinder which costs about $50 and requires a table, but is also going to last you a long time. My grandma still has one of those, and it’s about 60 years old. However, these grinders are going to be quite difficult to mount and/or remove, which is also going to take some time.
- The second option is the standalone grinder, which is obviously going to be a bit more expensive and a bit less sturdy. Although they do come with a lot of options, including various feed tubes and shafts, the motor itself is only going to be as efficient as the money you will be paying for it. Its main advantage is this one feature: it has a reverse function, which is going to be particularly helpful if you are trying to grind meat that has too much connective tissue. If you can afford a good one, a standalone grinder might be your thing.
In order to keep your grinder undamaged, you must keep everything cold. This might be the best tip when it comes to meat grinders. Warm meat is going to be problematic—it will come out dry and the fat will leak out. Not only will it be a mess to clean up, but this could also damage its parts.
All in all, a meat grinder is a good investment. As long as you use common sense, keep it clean all the time and keep your meat cold, you should not encounter any obstacles if you want to cook using your own ground meat. Good luck grinding, and may your food be ever delicious!