We all know the expression people make when their tastebuds explode with flavor when they taste a homemade burger. Their eyes slightly widen in disbelief as they make that "Mmm, this is good" sound upon taking the first bite. It really speaks volumes, and having people react that way when tasing our burgers speaks volumes.
But to prepare a good burger, besides adding the seasoning, you must mince the meat using a meat grinder. We'll review some of the best meat grinders on the market and their essential features in today's articles. We also included a Buyer's Guide in the article to help educate you on the essentials you need to know when purchasing the best meat grinder.
Note: Here are some tools to get will ease your meat cooking
Top 10 Meat Grinder You Can Buy In 2021
LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Hand Grinder
LEM #10 is among the best meat grinders that are operated by hand, thanks to its heavy-duty design and all stainless steel construction. Thanks to smooth operation and outstanding performance, the #10 has incredibly high ratings across multiple online stores and e-commerce websites.
The LEM #10 is a manually operated meat grinder made of highly polished food-grade stainless steel. Since it doesn't rust and features excellent durability, you can expect years of use from the #10, given proper but minimal maintenance. It features a clamp with rubber pads that accommodate 1¼ -inch thick surfaces without damaging or scratching them.
Unfortunately, the outlet sits relatively low, so you'll need a shallow bowl or a plate to catch the outflow. Still, it's durable enough to grind even through soft poultry bones, like chicken neck and wings. The unit ships out with two grinding plates – a coarse ⅜" plate, a fine 3/16" plate, and several sausage stuffing tubes ranging from ½" to ⅞“. This gives you more options in terms of sausage thickness.
The considerable downside is that, despite being marketed as stainless steel, the grinding plates aren't actually made of stainless steel. For some reason, the unit ships out with carbon steel grinding plates, which are prone to corrosion unless adequately cared for. Still, you can purchase replacement grinding plates made from solid stainless steel directly from LEM.
Despite its minor shortcomings, the LEM’s #10 is still one of the best manually meat grinders on the market due to its performance and affordability.
ALTRA Electric Heavy Duty Meat Mincer
Altra's electric meat grinder comes from its Comfy Life line of products and makes the right choice for anyone with intermediate requirements. It's affordable, and its performance mirrors its price, though not necessarily in the wrong way. If you plan on using it occasionally for smaller quantities of meat, this meat grinder will serve that purpose.
The entire contraption comes in a nicely designed aluminum body, which isn't exactly the strongest and most durable of metals. But for the housing, it's more than enough. Like the augur, the hardworking parts, the plates, and the cutter are made of layered stainless steel, so they're quite durable and won't rust over time. There are three grinding plates for fine, medium, and coarse grinding and two plastic attachments for stuffing sausages.
The mechanism is driven by a 350W motor, which isn't precisely the highest-rated motor out there. But it certainly gets the job done by mincing two pounds of meat per minute. Of course, you'll need to cut away any bones before adding the meat into the feeder tray. The operation is also quite simple since it only features an On/Off button and a reverse function.
Unfortunately, the motor tends to overheat when used continuously for prolonged periods, which poses certain limitations in terms of running time. You can expect to rest the grinder for five minutes after every ten minutes of grinding. Still, the device is meant for domestic use, which makes these limitations reasonable. It comes with three grinding plates for fine, medium, and coarse grinding and two plastic attachments for stuffing sausages.
STX-4000 Turboforce II Platinum
The STX Turboforce II Platinum is what you might refer to as "the beauty and the beast" because of its appearance and exceptional performance. It's a top-notch product that easily satisfies any meat grinding needs you might have, taking home the title of the best meat grinder on our list.
Equipped with a powerful 2000W electric motor, it's capable of dealing with any type of meat, whether it's poultry, pork, beef, or venison. It grinds anywhere from 170lbs to 240lbs of meat per minute, though with more meticulous meat preparation, this quantity can go up to 300lbs. Flexing that kind of power obviously requires speed control, and STX-4000 Turboforce II comes with three-speed control, one of which is reversed.
Besides the power it packs, the STX-4000 also comes super-equipped with a variety of cutting tools. The manufacturer included four different grinding plates, a wagon wheel plate, and a sausage stuffing plate. Of course, the plates are made of stainless steel, as are the three accompanying cutting blades and augur. Additional accessories include three sausage stuffing tubes, a Kibbe attachment, and a meat pusher, all made of food-safe ABS plastic.
For additional comfort during use, the manufacturer included an optional On/Off electric foot pedal for hands-free operation. Its use isn't mandatory, as the device operates without it anyway, but connecting it is especially useful when stuffing sausages.
Power-packed and not lacking features and accessories, it's relatively easy to understand why we chose the STX-4000 as our top-pick product. A different product on this list can hardly overshadow it.
And the award for the second-best meat grinder on our list goes to STX-3000 Turboforce because of its unparalleled power and high-quality design. It's genuinely a heavy-duty meat grinder that will turn anything you throw in it into a pulp.
The Turboforce is a meat grinding kitchen monster that features some exciting design ideas "under the hood." The housing is made of food-grade aluminum that reduces the unit's overall weight, provides good durability, and doesn't interact with the food. It's also protected by a built-in circuit breaker (stop and reset switch) that protects you against an electrical surge in case of a malfunction.
The grinder features a 1200W electric motor that's capped at 3000W in a locked state. If, by any chance, you drop a hard object in the grinder, it will stop the motor to avoid damaging the unit. This is a neat feature to have since, depending on speed, the unit outputs anywhere between 180lbs and 240lbs of meat per hour. But it will stop if you accidentally drop a larger piece of bone inside.
STX-3000 Turboforce includes three 304 stainless steel grinding plates for coarse, medium, and fine grinding. The manufacturer also included three stainless steel cutting blades, one beaner plate, and three sausage stuffing tubes of varying diameters.
Other features include a three-speed control, reverse function, detailed instructions with parts diagram, and a comprehensive three-year warranty.
LEM Big Bite Electric #12 Meat Grinder
Among the most powerful grinders on our list is the Big Bite #12, featuring excellent performance and almost noiseless operation, with only a handful of drawbacks. An unreasonably high price tag is unquestionably one of those drawbacks, and we'll explain why. But first, let's start with highlights.
The unit features a rugged housing made of stainless steel with a brushed finish that houses a 0.75HP motor. This roughly translates to 560W of electrical power, which might feel insufficient, compared with other models on our list. However, the Big Bite #12 features a permanently lubricated motor with a fantastic transmission system that ensures lossless work in terms of power.
With an all-metal gear mechanism and roller bearings, the 560W motor produces enough force to go through 7lbs of meat per minute. This translates to 420lbs per minute. It even grinds through poultry bones without breaking a sweat while producing minimal noise.
But the good stuff ends there. The device lacks any type of speed control and a reverse function. Grinding 7 pounds of meat per minute is fantastic – if you're making a family barbecue every other day. Otherwise, paying a hefty price for a grinder with such output and no speed control or reverse function is pointless. Even if it grinds poultry bones to dust, you'll still have to disassemble the grinder's body to remove harder objects that accidentally fell in.
We hardly recommend this unit to owners of small or fast-food restaurants, due to its power and speed. If you’re looking for a domestic model with a more affordable price tag, check out our top pick.
Sunmile SM-G31 Electric Meat Grinder
If you're in the market for an affordable and straightforward electric meat grinder with enough power for basic tasks, the SM-G31 might suit your needs. It's a relatively simple device with a 250W (800W max.) electric motor and several essential accessories.
The device is simplicity incarnate, so to speak, as it features a single On/Off switch for easy operation. Its easy assembly allows for a more straightforward setup, while its aluminum and stainless-steel housing allows for more straightforward cleaning and storing.
Though not very powerful, the motor self-regulates between 250W and 800W, grinding through both the tough and the tender meat with relative ease. This preserves the motor and increases its longevity while saving on the energy bill. Still, it provides just enough power to grind up to 150lbs per minute, given proper meat preparations.
All grinding components, including the grinding plates and the blades, are made from stainless steel and lubricated, along with the moving components, with food-grade lubricants. Other accessories, like the meat pusher and the sausage stuffing tubes, are made of food-grade plastics. Extra features include a built-in circuit breaker that prevents motor burnout.
Kitchen Basics 3IN1 Manual Meat and Vegetable Grinder
If you're on a really tight budget but in need of a good meat grinder, the Kitchen Basics 3IN1 model has got you covered. It's a fantastic product that handles the basic needs of occasional meat grinding without breaking the bank.
This hand-cranked model is made almost entirely of dishwasher-safe plastic that allows for easier cleaning and maintenance. It's quite understandable and not necessarily bad, given the plastic's durability and the product's price point. On the other hand, certain parts, like the grinding plate, the handle, and the cutting blades, are made entirely of stainless steel, making them dishwasher-safe as well.
The product is easily attached to the surface via a suction cup at the base. It's a relatively straightforward process and does an excellent job of holding the grinder in place unless you get too wild while grinding meat. As for the quantity of meat, you can easily go through 1-10lbs of meat without breaking a sweat. And when you're done grinding meat, throw in some pasta, and make some delicious rigatoni or spaghetti.
The manufacturer threw two grinding plates, two stainless steel screens, and two sausage funnels for added versatility. Purchasing Kitchen Basics is genuinely a bargain at this price point – one you won't be disappointed with.
KitchenAid Food Grinder Attachment
In all honesty, everyone loves the premium quality of KitchenAid culinary and kitchen appliances. The next product on our list is actually a meat grinding attachment made for KitchenAid stand mixer, and as such, uses the mixer’s power to grind meat.
So, if you're a proud owner of a KitchenAid stand mixer, you can now use it grind meat and vegetables and stuff sausages. The Food Grinder attachment is made of dishwasher-safe, food-friendly plastic. And though aluminum-made models exist, the plastic models offer a perfect blend of quality, durability, and price.
The product includes a food grinder that houses a stainless steel augur, two stainless steel grinding plates, a stainless steel blade, and a plastic meat pusher. Optionally, you can purchase additional accessories, like sausage stuffing tubes and more oversized food trays.
When it comes to power, the attachment uses the power of the mixer to grind meat. It's not strong enough to grind through bones but features sufficient power to go through all types of meat and soft and hard vegetables and fruit. However, it performs better on leaner meat, which is to be expected from an attachment-type device. If you're willing to pay a few extra dollars for better performance, we suggest you purchase the all-metal version of the product.
Weston Pro Series #32 Electric Meat Grinder
Restaurants usually require large quantities of minced meat, and a high-quality commercial mincer is a must-have for almost any restaurant. The Weston’s #32, with its 2HP electric motor, provides enough juice to grind large quantities of meat, astonishingly fast.
If you're in the market for a heavy-duty, sturdy, and reliable grinder, the #32 is right up your alley. It features a stainless-steel construction that houses the powerful motor and precision-engineered steel gears that combine exceptional durability and quiet operation.
The mechanism is combined with a 3-inch feeder tube and a large meat tray, allowing the grinder to swallow an entire cow in less than an hour. In other words, it's capable of processing up to 725lbs of meat per hour. This processing power might be excessive in domestic use, but it's more reasonable for commercial use.
And given the commercial nature of the product, you can expect it to grind through soft bones, such as poultry, rabbit, or even pork ribs. Though it probably won't grind the bones of bigger animals, it's suitable for the preparation of BARF-diet based pet food. It also features a reverse function, in an unlikely event of having a bone jam the device.
The grinder comes with two grinding plates, a cutting blade, three stuffing tubes, and a knife sharpener that will keep your favorite butcher’s knife in good condition.
Homeasy Meat Grinder and Food Chopper
Homeasy's electric grinder and chopper isn't the most affordable product on our list, but it's certainly the smallest and most versatile. It's designed for occasional meat grinding and more frequent food chopping in domestic use.
This tiny food chopper is noticeably different from the rest of the product on this list. Unlike your typical meat grinder, the Homeasy features an enclosed cylinder that houses the motor and a large bowl that houses four stainless steel blades. The 2-liter bowl fits about a pound of meat, which has to be diced to allow the blades to fit inside the bowl.
The four stainless steel blades cut the food from above and below, regardless of what type of food you put inside. You should avoid mincing bones or nuts, but other than that, the chopper goes through meat, fruits, and veggies like butter. Using the unit is pretty straightforward since it only features two speeds: slow for meat and fast for veggies/fruit.
It's rather unsuitable for long uses and larger quantities of food, but it's great for occasional use. On top of that, it's quite versatile, inexpensive, and easy to use and clean afterward.
If you’re looking to purchase a meat grinder but know nothing about them, the chances are that the information on the box seems somewhat confusing. There are many things to look for when selecting the product that fits your needs, making sure you buy the right one. This buyer's guide will help you do just that – find the best possible meat grinder that suits your needs.
Meet the meat grinders
Meat grinders are primarily used for grinding meat, but they have evolved beyond that purpose alone. Nowadays, meat grinders come with various functions and features, allowing you to use them to make sausages, grind bones, and even make baby foods, butters, and sausages.
You can grind a mixture of bananas, strawberries, and mangos to create a mouthwatering fruit sorbet or finely grind cooked meat into a meat pate. You can also grind a mix of almonds and peanuts to make delicious nut butter or grind food in general for baby food. The possibilities are truly endless.
However, it's worth pointing out that even the best meat grinders aren't effective in grinding bones, regardless of their power rating. Some models are specifically designed for grinding soft bones of rabbits and chicken, but these are usually made for commercial use.
Grinding bones of beef or pork will most likely damage the internal workings and ruin your meat grinder. It would be best if you kept in mind that the manufacturer's warranty automatically becomes void if you grind bones in your meat grinder.
Types of meat grinders
Meat grinders are divided into two categories, depending on their power source. They can either be manual or electric, with each having their own pros and cons. Choosing between the two following types mostly depends on your budget, how much kitchen space you have, and how frequently you’ll use your device.
Manual – this type is manually operated by turning the crank on the end of the device. In turn, the crank drives the spiral (auger) that moves the meat towards the cutting blades and plates. Manual meat grinders are more straightforward to use and come at a more affordable price than their electric counterparts.
Of course, the simplicity comes with a price in terms of the effort you'll have to invest to actually grind the meat since they're hand operated. This is truer if you're planning on grinding larger quantities of meat. However, their simplicity is their main selling point; besides cleaning them up after use, they almost require no maintenance and less storage space.
Electric – Electric meat grinders are powered by an electric motor and an internal gear system that drives the augur and cuts the meat. They allow for effortless grinding of larger quantities of meat for considerably less time, maintaining the same consistent pace. They're even powerful enough to grind through some leftover bone fragments your local butcher forgot about.
However, the electric motor and the internal gear system aren't precisely space-friendly components, and they do take a substantial amount of space. That's why electric meat grinders tend to be bulkier than their manually driven counterparts and pricier.
Commercial or domestic use
Choosing between a commercial or a domestic model entirely depends on how much meat you intend to grind. Commercial models offer more power and are hence suitable for faster grinding of larger quantities of meat. However, you might not get your money's worth if you're using them to grind smaller amounts of meat from time to time.
Commercial models are quite sizable and often noisy and might not be best suited for home-use. They weigh more and require more space, maintenance, and power compared to a domestic model. For that reason, it's highly recommended that you look into heavy-duty domestic models for frequent domestic use.
Size of your meat grinder matters for two reasons: storage and meat processing volume. Larger grinders are better suited for grinding meat in larger volumes but require more storage space.
If you prefer manual grinders, you should keep in mind that larger models require tremendous effort when turning the crank. To make things easier, larger manually-operated meat grinders feature longer cranks handles. Longer crank handles make the grinding more manageable, but in turn, require even more storage space.
Electric models don't usually have cranks handles but feature an electric motor that makes them even bulkier than the manually-operated meat grinders. Grinding larger quantities of meat at a faster rate requires more power and a larger electric motor. This makes electric models generally larger than their manual counterparts.
Larger models process more meat, as a general rule, but also come at a higher cost. These rules apply to both manual and electric models, so pay special attention to the pounds-per-hour rating and storage space requirements.
Meat grinder plates size
Meat grinders, like most home appliances, comes in different size grades, and the size of the grinder is determined by the diameter of the grinding plate's neck, the neck itself, and the outlet opening. For example, a number #5 meat grinder has a 2⅛" outlet diameter, and #32 has a 3⅞-inch wide outlet diameter.
Also, different grinder plates have differently sized holes on them for different types of grinding. Plates with ⅛" and ¼" in diameter are perfect for making well-ground meat for hamburgers. Larger plates, like those with ½" holes, are suitable for coarse grinding, which is ideal for making sausages. Most manufacturers include an extra grinding plate with their grinders, though you can conveniently purchase more different plates separately.
Meat grinders come in all shapes and sizes, and depending on the quality and price, different materials are present in their build. Here's a rundown:
Plastics – plastics are mostly present in lower-end models since it's more affordable. The body is usually made of plastic, as is the hopper, and sometimes even the crank handle. The augur, along with the cross knife and the grinding plate, are still made of metal, and depending on the quality, different metals can be used.
Cast iron – meat grinders made of cast iron are among the cheapest metal meat grinders on the market. They're usually manually-operated, weighty, and hand-cleaned only. Like with the plastic models, the cutting blade and the grinding plate are typically made of carbon or stainless steel, with the body and augur made of cast iron.
Cast iron tends to rust easily when exposed to air, so an additional layer of protection is needed. Wash them immediately after use, wipe them dry, and then coat the iron with cooking or mineral oils to prevent oxidation.
Carbon steel – meat grinders featuring carbon steel bodies and parts sit at the higher end of the price spectrum. They're much more durable than cast iron but also tend to rust when exposed to oxygen. In most instances, the body and the moving and grinding parts are all made of carbon steel, though the blades and the plates may be stainless steel.
You should still avoid washing the grinder with any harsh chemicals to prevent rusting and wipe them dry after cleaning. Like with cast iron, it's highly recommended that you coat them with cooking or mineral oils before storing them away.
Stainless steel – Choose stainless steel whenever possible, as it's highly durable and food safe. Top-end models usually feature parts made entirely of stainless steel, including the augur, the plates, and the blades. You can easily wash them, or their components, in the dishwasher without any fear of damaging them. Of course, the same doesn't apply to the electric motor and its housing.
Apart from washing and applying very little lubrication from time to time, stainless steel meat grinders do not require any additional maintenance. Only the best meat grinders of the highest quality feature all-stainless-steel parts, so it’s worth paying a bit extra in the long run.
The majority of meat grinders come with some accessories included, depending on the model. Accessories might be a decisive factor when purchasing a new meat grinder, depending on what you want to use it for.
Most meat grinders ship out with at least two grinding plates, which dictate the size of mince you produce. If you want to make sausages, a range of sausage stuffing tubes may be a more reasonable option than having six different grinding plates. Check for any accessories before purchase since having them might make using your meat grinder much more enjoyable.
In conclusion, a good meat grinder isn't hard to find, if you know what you're looking for. We highly recommend our top pick for domestic use, the STX-4000 Turboforce II Platinum, as it represents a perfect blend of quality and performance.
While there are more effective products on our list, they're more commercially-oriented and considerably more expensive. We recommend the Kitchen Basics 3IN1 Manual Meat and Vegetable Grinder, which is an affordable and incredibly versatile solution for our budget-oriented readers.