Your kids love hamburgers, but you go green when you think of all the stuff that could be ground up in there… so what’s a Mom to do?
Processing your own meat is a great way to provide your family with delicious hamburgers, meatloaf or sausage, with known ingredients – and it is quite rewarding.
Why don’t more people grind their own meat? Many shy away from processing their meat because they think they have to kill an animal themselves to do it, but that’s absolutely not true! Have you considered grinding your own ground beef, chicken, or pork? Meat grinding is quite easy and economical. You can purchase a much higher grade (quality) of meat and then grind it yourself for a fraction of the cost. By processing your own meat, you also have the freedom to develop your own sausage mixes without all the preservatives and other unknowns that are not always listed on the back of store-bought sausage! I want to be able to SAY the ingredients in my food! Fortunately, there are a lot of options for the mom who wants to process meat at home.
There are a variety of meat grinders and I think we may have tried them all! When we started grinding our own meat, we purchased a $30 LEM hand grinder that clamped to our kitchen table. They are lightweight but sturdy and are easy to store when not in use.
On the other hand, for large jobs, they’re just not sufficient. My husband processed a deer he’d shot with the hand grinder, and did not like it at all. He said, for example, that it was slow, exhausting, and seemed to jam a lot. But, for small batches, a lot of people swear by hand grinders, as they are inexpensive and can easily be found online.
Meat Grinder Attachments
If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, you’re in luck! KitchenAid offers meat grinder attachment that works well for processing small batches of meat. We used our KitchenAid attachment for several years and never had any problems with the grinder, or our mixer.
The grinder attachment has a smaller top basin to feed meat into the grinder so it takes longer than a larger grinder but it gets the job done. It’s compact and easy to store, but the plastic it’s made of is harder to clean. My biggest concern was wearing out the motor on my mixer but that didn’t happen.
Learn more: You could use any kind of ground meat in this ravioli recipe.
Full-Sized Meat Grinders for the Home
Maybe you’ve tried grinding your own meat with either the hand crank grinder or the mixer attachment and you really enjoyed it. You’re ready to move on. I can’t recommend highly enough the LEM line of grinders. LEM offers a variety of sizes of grinders. It’s easy to expand your machine to process sausage into links and to neatly bag your meat. Replacement parts are also very easy to find.
We purchased this LEM grinder two years ago and haven’t looked back. We don’t purchase a lot of beef in our house, but the venison we process feeds us year-round. We opted to purchase a larger grinder because of the amount of meat we process, and in 2 years, we’ve probably processed 20 deer of our own and for friends.
I love the easy break down of the machine and the well-made parts. The biggest disadvantage is the fact that this machine is heavy… very heavy. But you don’t want a light weight, cheap grinder.
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Feeding my family high-quality food (with ingredients that I know and can pronounce) is a priority for me. I feel like processing my own meat allows me to control what goes into our bodies and our overall health. In the past, the idea of processing our own meat grossed me out, but now, I love to watch those bags fill and stack up in the freezer each year.
Do you own a grinder and process your own meat? If not, what’s holding you back?