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The Best Meat Grinders of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

May 14, 2024 - Blog
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If you do your grocery shopping from a tree stand or you buy your meat in bulk from a co-op, you’re probably in the market for a meat grinder. But meat grinders vary from small, stand mixer attachments to commercial grinders able to process a moose. How to choose the best meat grinder for you becomes the hard part. We tested and reviewed five. Three are similar in horsepower but vary in specifics. All will help you take that pile of meat from your freezer to your dinner table. 

Best Stand Mixer Attachment Grinder: KitchenAid Metal Food Grinder

Best All-Purpose Grinder: LEM Mighty Bite #8

Best Grinder for Heavy Use: Meat! #22 1 HP Grinder

Cabela’s Carnivore Commercial-Grade 1.5 HP Grinder

LEM Big Bite #22

How We Chose the Best Meat Grinders

We tested the beat meat grinders with hearty chunks of meat. Andrea Bogard

To review the best meat grinders in each category, I used a variety of functions to create different products primarily using venison.  

I evaluated how the LEM products managed different sized-pieces of meat and subsequently converted them into straight grind, burger ratio with pork butt, breakfast sausage with pork butt, and finally summer sausage with pork butt. The Stand Mixer attachment was tested with both chicken and bread. Outdoor Life staff writer Tyler Freel also reviewed two grinders using wild game that he’d taken on hunts in Alaska.

Throughout the testing process, each machine was observed for speed, consistency, efficacy on different sizes of meat/material and quality of finished product.  

Best Meat Grinders: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Stand Mixer Attachment Grinder: KitchenAid Metal Food Grinder

See It

Key Features

Grinds meat, dried bread, cheeses, and vegetables

Comes with sausage stuffer tubes

Coarse, medium, and fine plates

Works with your KitchenAid stand mixer

Pros

Sleek, elegant design

Minimal storage/operation space requirements

All metal grinding components

Includes handy cleaning brush

Cons

 Only works with a KitchenAid stand mixer

This unit was full of surprises. My 8-year-old son read the Quick Start Guide aloud to me as we sat in the kitchen and then washed and dried the pieces and assembled the grinder.

I cut chicken breasts into bite size chunks, and the mixer whirred through them with effortless efficiency. I transitioned to strips and noted a solid performance, if not better. 

The KitchenAid Metal Food Grinder effortlessly ground both chicken and bread. Andrea Bogard

We then washed and cleaned all parts and pieces before moving along to another food group. The only other thing I had handy that could be considered grindable was leftover French bread from a previous nights’ dinner. I cut it into bite-sized pieces and put it in the tray. The “Musher” went to work, and pretty soon we had bread crumbs.  

This is one of the best meat grinders for someone who wants to grind their farmers’ market turkey breast for patties or grass-fed lamb for a gyro and does not want something heavy that takes up a lot of space in their kitchen.  

Best All-Purpose Grinder: LEM Mighty Bite #8

See It

Key Features

Function Settings: Grind, stuff, and reverse

Motor: 500 Watt (approximately 2/3 horsepower).

Construction: Aluminum

Heavy duty gearing

Pros

Solid metal construction

Compatible with the LEM optional foot pedal attachment (sold separately).

Easy to clean

Fast and efficient for its size

Cons

The Star Bolt on the side of the housing has some play in it leading to wiggle in the head assembly over prolonged grinding sessions.  

The first thing I noticed about the LEM Mighty Bite #8 was the manageability. It was sleek, compact, light and the housing came equipped with a black plastic carrying handle. The directions were clear, straight forward, and followed the same framework as other LEM products I have tried.  

I had about 30 pounds of venison I wanted to grind into burger along with a pre-measured quantity of pork butt. Working solo, I have found I prefer to use a foot pedal instead of relying on the controls typically located on the back or far side of the grinder. 

The author tested the LEM’s three grinder settings. Andrea Bogard

I pulled out my LEM foot pedal and it hooked up perfectly. The Mighty Bite #8 took strips of venison and pork that were 1-inch by 1-inch by-six inches like a champ. It chewed through the chilled venison without any audible change in motor function. The heavier fat content pork butt pieces would slow it down slightly for a brief second before resuming its steady pace once again.  

Upon transitioning to stuffing, the pace was steady and consistent, though not quick. This grinder is great for grinding, say, one deer at a time, but would not be efficient grinding multiple animals at a time.  

When all meat is ground and stuffed, clean-up is a breeze compared to a larger grinder. All washable components fit easily in my single basin farmhouse sink for a nice, hot soak. This is a great unit for quick grind sessions and new technique and recipe development, as well. 

Best Grinder for Heavy Use: Meat! #22 1 HP Grinder

See It

Key Features

Motor: 1 Horsepower

Grind Plate Size: 3.25 inches

Construction: Stainless Steel

Grade: Commercial

Course and fine grind plates

Sausage stuffing tubes

Pros

Simple parts and assembly

Grinds large chunks of meat quickly

Grind plate retaining ring is easy to remove

Great for high-volume grinding

Cons

Grinding meat a second time is slower than with smaller grinders

If you’re one of the folks who needs a no-nonsense, heavy-duty grinder, this is a great one to take a look at. A 1-horsepower grinder is overkill if you’re only handling a deer or two per year, but I regularly have to process a moose, several bears, and sometimes a caribou or two per year. This commercial-grade grinder is simple to assemble, use, and clean, and I used it to grind an entire moose this year in short order. Many grinders will bind up if you aren’t careful to remove tendon and silver skin from the meat. Not this one. I fed chunks and strips of moose meat three inches in diameter, sometimes over a foot long, and could barely keep up with the grinder’s output.

I prefer to grind my burger a second time with the fine grind plate, and it was a chore to push it through the grinder a second time—perhaps because of the large diameter tube. My ¾-horsepower grinder pulls once-ground meat through much faster. Perhaps keeping the burger partially frozen would speed that up. It comes with sausage-stuffing tubes, and accessories can be stored in a pull-out drawer under the base of the unit.  —Tyler Freel

Read Next: Best Vacuum Sealers

Cabela’s Carnivore Commercial-Grade 1.5 HP Grinder

See It

Key Features

Motor: 1.5 Horsepower

Grind Plate Size: 3.875 inches

Construction: Stainless Steel

Grade: Commercial

Course and fine grind plates

Sausage and snack stick stuffing tubes

Cooling ice pack

Pros

Powerful enough for high volume grinding

Quickly grinds large chunks of meat

Cooling pack helps keep grinder and auger cool

Grind plate ring is easily removed

Storage Drawer for accessories

Cons

Overkill for small tasks

Second grind feeds slowly

If you’re looking for the largest grinder you can reasonably find, this is a great option. It’s big, heavy, and excessive for most hunters’ needs. But if you process large volumes of meat, it’s your huckleberry. One of my annual tasks is grinding the meat from several black bears and turning them into sausage. The meat is stored in freezer bags, which I then thaw just enough to break apart and feed them into the grinder. This grinder works as fast as you can feed it, and it won’t hang up on anything. The only hitch I ran into with this grinder is that running burger through for a second grind is slow and requires a lot of effort. 

Freel ran a high volume of wild game through the Cabela’s grinder. Tyler Freel

This grinder has some cool features, and comes with a freeze-pack jacket for the grinding tube. Grinding non-frozen meat can create lots of heat, and it can sometimes cause ground meat to cook in the grinder. Leave the jacket in the freezer overnight, then clamp it around the grind tube to help remove that heat. The Carnivore comes with sausage stuffing tubes and augers, fine and coarse grind plates, and features a nice storage drawer under the fan-cooled grinder motor. This unit is a beast, but it’s one of the best meat grinders for folks who do a lot of meat grinding. – Tyler Freel

Read Next: Is Ultra High Heat Really the Best Way to Cook Venison?

LEM Big Bite #22

See It

Key Features

Motor: 1 horsepower 

Construction: Stainless steel

Heavy duty gearing

Grinds 13 pounds per minute 

Pros

Compatible with the LEM optional foot pedal attachment (sold separately)

Accepts very large pieces of meat

Large meat pan accommodates 10 to 12 pounds of meat

Cons

The user interfaces are really high and far apart (if stuffing), which can require two people to feed the machine and stuff, based on height and wing-span of the operator.

The guard in the meat pan is very difficult to clean around.  

The LEM Big Bite #22 is a passionate grinder’s grinder. It’s big and heavy. Its 1-horsepower motor happily chomps through the stubbornest sinew and biggest chunks. This is mainly for someone with multiple deer or other animals each fall who wants to grind burger and sausage, make their own summer sausage and brats, and stock their meat needs for the year themselves. This buyer may have a dedicated meat processing room or space prioritized in their home for their food processing passions. 

The Big Bite #22 has a speedy pace. Andrea Bogard

In my first experience with this unit, I found it hard to keep up with its pace. I learned a few things on how to maximize the capabilities of this meat grinder. First, use thick, long strips of meat (2-inch by 2-inch by 6-8 inches) to feed into the grinder. Second, fill the meat pan. This gives you the ability to go as fast as the grinder can without stopping and starting to grab meat from your prep bowl.  Third, make sure you have plenty of meat to grind before you start. It can take as much time to clean and sanitize as it does to grind and package one deer.  

When set on the counter, the Big Bite #22 has a meat pan height of 18 ¾ inches. In comparison, the Mighty Bite #8 has a meat pan height of 15 inches. That’s important from the standpoint of leverage when attempting to stuff burger or casings with one person. I ended up using a step stool to get enough height to see in the meat pan, use the stomper and hold the casing with my right hand.  

How to Choose the Best Meat Grinder

Whether buying a car, a gun or a meat grinder, first assess your needs by answering these three questions:

What am I going to use this for? Are you a farmer’s market turkey patty grinder or a six deer a year grinder?  

Do I have the space to store and use this grinder?

How much am I willing to spend?

FAQs

Q: How much wattage do I need?  

Best wattage depends on desired end usage. For efficient grinding and stuffing with deer-sized animals, 500 watts is a comfortable bench mark.  

Q: Can I use my food processor to grind meat?

A food processor will chunk or puree more than grind. You also can’t use a food processor to stuff sausage casings.

Q: Should I grind meat once or twice?

It depends on your end goal. If you want a finely ground meat to create succulent pastries, grind twice. If you want coarse ground burger for summer grilling, once is most likely sufficient. The coarse or fine plates on your grinder will also help you determine how many times to grind.

Final Thoughts on the Best Meat Grinders

The best meat grinder of 2023 depends on your goals. What are you going to do with it?  What are your needs and wants? The best meat grinder is the one that fits you.  From single-serve sessions to high volume game processing, there is a best meat grinder for you.  

Best Stand Mixer Attachment Grinder: KitchenAid Metal Food Grinder

Best All-Purpose Grinder: LEM Mighty Bite #8

Best Grinder for Heavy Use: Meat! #22 1 HP Grinder

Cabela’s Carnivore Commercial-Grade 1.5 HP Grinder

LEM Big Bite #22

The post The Best Meat Grinders of 2024, Tested and Reviewed appeared first on Outdoor Life.

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