Whenever barbecue season rolls around, burgers are at the forefront of every barbecue lovers mind. Making your own burgers from scratch using a meat grinder to create your own minced beef, can be an excellent way to create that interactive vibe at your next barbecue. Let your guests have a go making their own minced beef or ground turkey, before shaping their own burgers and sparking the barbecue. Meat grinders are not a necessity, but they are a fun addition to any meat lovers kitchen. Also, if you want to ensure that the minced meat you are consuming is 100 percent meat, rather than connective tissue and other undesirable substances, then a meat grinder might be a necessary purchase for you.
What is A Meat Grinder Anyway?
Most people know what a meat grinder is, but for those of you who do not know. A meat grinder is a device that grinds meat. It turns any red meat, or white meat into minced meat that can be used to prepare burgers, pasta sauce and chilli con carne. Most meat grinders on the market today, can be used for other food items like nuts, vegetables and in some cases, even fruit. Let’s take the guess work out of buying a meat grinder, and provide you with the necessary information to facilitate the buying process.
Different Types of Meat Grinder
There are different types of meat grinder available on the market. You can either choose an electric grinder, or you could opt for a good old fashioned manual grinder. Obviously, with the latter there is a lot of work involved. Whereas, with the electric grinders, you can feed the meat in, and watch it do the work for you.
What to Look for in a Manual Grinder
Here are some of the things to look for when buying a manual meat grinder.
- Sturdy high quality plastic or stainless steel
- Stainless steel blades
- Must have at least 2 blades to choose from, a fine mincing plate and coarse mincing plate
- Must be user friendly
- Value for money
It is essential that any manual meat grinder you purchase has at least 2 blade options to choose from. The blades have to be stainless steel, this is imperative because you don’t want to purchase a product that could eventually rust. It can be somewhat laborious to use a manual meat grinder therefore, it is essential that the grinder is user friendly, and easy to use. Most manual meat grinders like the Gideon 8482 can be used to grind nuts, vegetables and fruit too.
What to Look for in an Electrical Meat Grinder
- Robust design
- Stainless steel blades
- At least 2-3 blade options
- Good value for money
- Warranty for electrical goods
When purchasing an electrical meat grinder, it is also essential that it has stainless steel blades to prevent rusting. You want the grinder to be durable with a robust design, there are some on the market that are made entirely from stainless steel. These are ideal, but if your budget cannot stretch far enough, you can opt for the robust plastic electrical meat grinders available on the market. Most electrical meat grinders have a sausage making feature too. Look out for this, because you could essentially end up with several products in one, which is ultimately better value for money.
You can purchase a manual meat grinder for less than $40, these would often be crank operated and would require a bit of manpower to operate. Some manually operated meat grinders cost as much as $60. However, realistically for that price you could purchase an electrical meat grinder. Having said this, it is possible to purchase an electric meat grinder for $30, and you can pick one up for as much as $200 for a domestic meat grinder. Depending on your budget, if you stick with a price point of around $80, you should be able to acquire a decent quality electrical grinder with stainless steel blades, and 2-3 blade options.
Brands to Look Out For When Buying a Meat Grinder
There are a number of brands available, it all depends on your budget, and how much you are willing to spend. If you have $160 to spend on a meat grinder, STX International is a good brand to consider. However, if your budget simply will not stretch to $160, then you could possibly opt for the Vonshef meat grinder which is just under $80. If you would prefer to purchase a manual grinder, Gideon is a decent brand, as mentioned above. Also, Bellemain is another brand to look out for, you can get a Bellemain manual grinder for just over $20.
Are Meat Grinders Necessary ?
Some might say that meat grinders are unnecessary because essentially, you could just use a food processor to grind up the meat. However, food processors only crush up the meat, they do not actually create minced meat in the way that meat grinders do. Ultimately, meat grinders are not essential, but they can be very useful. Because you could actually save money in the long run, why? Because if you purchase a large batch of meat that has not been minced from the butcher, it is actually cheaper than buying minced meat. You can also be certain of the ingredients in the minced meat, these are just some of the benefits of owning a meat grinder.
Most Meat Grinders are Versatile
Modern meat grinders are actually versatile, you can not only grind meat in them. You can also grind nuts, vegetables and fruit. Ground nuts can be used to make cakes and desserts, ground fruit can be used in smoothies and desserts. Ground vegetables can be used in soups and stews, and you can use the ground veg to make veggie burgers. Perfect for vegetarians and vegans, so meat grinders don’t just have to be meat grinders. You can essentially transform them into veggie burger factories if you so desire.
Not every product comes with a full warranty, but if the product costs more than $50, it should automatically come with a full warranty package, for a minimum of a year. However, if the product you wish to purchase is less than $50, and you are unsure of the warranty conditions. It is always best to make contact with the customer support team to clarify their policies before you purchase.
So, whether you are seeking a manual or electrical meat grinder, always remember that it is essential that the blades are constructed using stainless steel. Not only is stainless more durable, but it is ultimately rust resistant. Most meat grinders are relatively easy to use, but manual grinders can be slightly laborious, especially when using the crank operated type. However, if you are not bothered about the necessary labor involved in using a manual meat grinder, then you could save yourself a pretty penny purchasing one of those instead of an electrical one. Although, it is possible to get an electric meat grinder for under $40, it definitely will not be high in the quality stakes for that price. Therefore, it is probably wiser to opt for an electrical grinder that is around $70 or above, that is if your budget can stretch that far. It is always better to opt for a middle price range product, than a lower budget product that will not adequately meet your needs.