Tips and Tricks When Using A Meat Grinder
Using a meat grinder to grind your meats in house can be a wonderful thing. It also gives you a chance to create different combinations of ground meats for recipes like burgers and sausages.
When you grind your meat fresh, the difference from buying it already ground is night and day. Freshly ground meats are the way to go if you really want your foods to shine. But using a meat grinder for the first time can be somewhat daunting if you don’t know what you are doing. And even if you read the manual and figure out how to grind your meats, even then it just doesn’t always turn out how you wanted originally.
So, we compiled a list of some tips and tricks to help you get a better grasp on grinding meats with your meat grinder at home. Follow these tips and you will become a pro in no time.
Using the Equipment Correctly
To start, you want to make sure you have the best meat grinder you can find. They make a lot of cheap meat grinders that will break after a few uses or that just will not work very well in the first place. When you start to use your meat grinder, you want to make sure that is has been properly cleaned.
You also want to make sure that the gears have been properly oiled and are all running correctly and safely. Any meat grinder also works best when you use cold equipment. So before attaching everything to the meat grinder, place it in the fridge for about an hour to get very cold. This helps the meat pass through the grinder with ease.
Choosing the Right Cut of Meat
There are all different types of meat to choose from and of those meats several different cuts. Knowing which cut of meat will be the best will determine how well your recipe turns out.
For instance, if you are grinding meat to prepare for burger patties, you need to make sure you have a good ratio of meat to fat. There are a lot of cuts of meat that will work well with burgers, but they may be a very lean cut of meat with almost no fat content at all.
When making burgers, you need to have a good fat content otherwise they will come out very dry and almost tough. A good rule of thumb to go with is a ratio or 75% meat to 25% fat content.
So, if you are deciding to go with brisket for your burgers, which is a good choice but it is very lean, then you need to add another meat with a higher fat content. A good meat to use to add fat content is always going to be pork shoulder. So, make sure you have a good ratio of fat to meat when choosing your meat products to grind.
Prepping Your Meats
When you start getting your meats ready to pass through the grinder there are a few things to remember so that the grinding process goes smoothly. First off, if you are planning on seasoning your meats, it’s a good idea to season them first and then pass them through the meat grinder. This will help to really get all the spices and seasonings into the meat and help penetrate and marinate whatever you are grinding. It is also a good idea to add a little cooking oil or vegetable to the meat to help them pass through the grinder smoothly. To add to that note, you may want to think about using the best meat tenderizer as well before passing them through the meat grinder. This will also help to allow the meat to pass through the grinder easily.
Additionally, not all parts of the meat are going to grind up very easily. So, you will want to make sure to trim off any unwanted parts of the meat that won’t grind up. Some of these will be excess sinew, silver skin and tendons that you normally wouldn’t eat anyways and should be trimmed from the meat. If you do not trim these parts, most likely they will jam or clog up the meat grinder and its components.
Another great tip and probably the best tip to grinding meats is to partially freeze the meat before you grind it. When you grind meat that is fresh, it can be hard to pass through a meat grinder and may gum up the machine or just get clogged up. Thus, you will be having to constantly take the machine apart and put it back together after cleaning it properly. It is best to cut the meat up into 1–2-inch chunks or pieces and them place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. You don’t need to freeze them all the way through but you do want to get them partially frozen. This will help the meat to pass through the meat grinder seamlessly and fast. You can still season your meat beforehand but always try and pre freeze the meat before passing through the meat grinder and it should work like a dream every time.
The Grinding Process
As long as you follow all of the other rules we listed, then the grinding process should be smooth and fast. When grinding the meat, use a higher speed so it doesn’t stop or get clogged up. Some cuts of meat are tougher than others and will need to be passed through at a higher speed to break down the meat fibers.
Also, don’t just jam a bunch of meat in the meat grinder at once. You want to make sure to slowly add pieces or chunks of meat one or two at a time slowly. This will give the meat grinder a chance to make sure it works properly and efficiently. When adding the meat to the meat grinder, try and use the tool that pushes the meat into the grinder. It looks like a tube and is literally called a meat pusher. This tool is critical to using a meat grinder properly.
After grinding the meat, the first time, it is also a good idea to pass it back through the meat grinder one or two more times. This will ensure that the meat was all ground properly and nothing was missed in the grinding process. It also helps to meld the flavors of the meat if you had seasoned everything beforehand.
Using a meat grinder can be tricky and may seem like a nuisance to some people when they could just buy their meat in the store already ground up. But if you are looking for freshness and a better overall taste then grinding the meat at home will always be better as an option.