Grind Your Own Meat




Working my dream job in the Telecom industry, so chances are, i'll never have time to respond to ...

This instructable comes about from the prodding of caitlinsdad, so feeling challenged I decided to find out how hard it was to grind my own meat.

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Step 1: First, of Course

You need a grinder. Grinders are generally made from cast iron covered in zinc or tin, which means, being sturdy, there are thousands available at thrift stores and church rummage sales for just 3-4 dollars. Personally I own four, but I'd never used any of them. I have two Universal No.2's an Enterprise No.10 and an attachment to my kitchenaid mixer.

I choose to use one of the Universals as the Enterprise has Tin Disease"* and the kitchenaid would just be no fun.

*If anyone knows an easy method to strip Tin plate from cast iron it would be appreciated.

Step 2: Clean

Start by cleaning your grinder, you have no idea who or what was last ground up with this thing.

You can see that they disassemble into just a few parts, now wash with soap and water.

Step 3: Meat Prep

Here I've cubed about 2.5 Lbs of pork cut from some "assorted chops" that we accidentally acquired. I've mixed the meat with some salt, pepper and coriander for seasoning. Now I'll stick the meat into the freezer until it's almost frozen about 45 minutes, the colder the meat the better the grind I've gathered from scouring the internet.
Don't trim the fat, your ground meat will end up dry and mealy without sufficient fat.

Step 4: Reassemble

The grinder and clamp it to something sturdy. Fill the hopper with meat cubes and start grinding. It is very important not to stick your fingers into the hopper, the screw will happily crush your finger before you can stop cranking. I simply over filled the hopper and laid my palm on top gently, don't squish.

Step 5: It Took About 5 Minutes

to grind the 2.5 Lbs of pork, it went much faster than I expected.

Step 6: Finally

I packaged up two one Lb packages for the freezer. The 1/2 Lb I wanted to mix with cilantro and chopped red onion to make a Cubanesque Pork Burger. But alas the cilanto was wilted and the red onion was eaten, so I just made a patty and fried it up.

So how did it taste? Like Pork Chops with coriander salt and pepper but with a burger consistency. Not bad, but it needed the cilantro and onion. Oh and a chipolte mayonnaise would have been excellent.

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    10 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I know this 'ible is quite old, but if you are still wondering a way to remove the tin plating, I suggest trying nitric acid. The Iron and Steel Institute journal suggests concentrated nitric acid will remove the tin without attacking the base.

    I would try a small inconspicuous area at first to see how it goes. Should remove the plating very quickly. Gloves, apron and face mask are a must and ensure really good ventilation because nitric acid >70% is likely to fume up a lot more than you'd expect.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I am wondering about what kind of grinder to get that will be the most versatile and will last the longest. I plan on using it for turkey, chicken, and pork. We don't eat beef so we buy these meats ground and I would like to start grinding it myself rather than the higher and higher prices we are paying for the pre ground stuff so I would like more information about the grinder. What type, where to get, what I should look for.

    1 reply

    Sorry I didn't see this earlier. If you're willing to hand grind, go to some thrift stores or rummage sales, hundred year old, perfectly functional grinders can be had for less than $5.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    It's a good thing we were only talking about ~~bea~~ chopping your meat. Cranking a machine by hand is definitely more fun than the Kitchenaid. If only the handle were permanently fixed on my pasta machine. Coarse ground meat makes for a much better chili as I prefer the chunkier texture.

    2 replies

    Agree about the Pasta Maker!!  Very Annoying!  I also agreed about the hand cranking of meat until I was faced with 175 Lbs of pork one night.  I found muscles that I didn't even know that I had...  Electric grinder for large quantities (over 10 Lbs) from now on.

    We need to work on making that Pasta Handle stay in - Maybe an Instructable, any Ideas?


    Come to think of it, might as well drill holes in the pasta machine base to screw down to the counter top, that clamp is annoying as well.  Maybe hook it up to a bicycle to pedal for power if you want it...


    10 years ago on Step 6

    When I learned to grind meat in school, we were taught to keep the equipment as cold as we could; I believe we did it to keep the meat and fat from from separating in the grinder. It may not be a problem if you aren't grinding a lot of meat all at once, but why don't you try keeping the grinder in a freezer for a few hours before you use it, and even throwing an ice cube or two in there along with the meat every now and then. Again, we were grinding a lot of meat and using a motorized grinder so maybe you won't have to worry about it. But just thought I'd make the suggestion in case it does help.