The use of a Meat Grinder is basically simple. All you have to is to assemble the entire grinder according to its manual and not forgetting to place the plate you want. Take the trimmed meat without all the connective tissues and sinew, feed all the meat unto the hopper, turn on the grinder and push the trimmed meat through it. Keep in mind that you have to use the fast setting on your grinder especially when it attached with a stand mixer. If using any brands of stand mixer like the KitchenAid, a setting of 6 to 8 speed would relatively give the best results. After all the grinding, you now got a completely ground meat.
Though the process of grinding meat is simple, you should be aware of some things first whenever you are using your Meat Grinder. It is necessary that you are aware of these things to make sure that you can take care of your equipment and make it last for a long period of time. The following are some of things that you should take note of:
- Cold is the best temperature for using your Meat Grinder.
This is the most important thing that you should keep in mind when talking about grinding. When you use warm meat, this will make the meat smear on the grinder, the fat leaking out and will give the meat a cooked texture as it comes out. This texture is like those in papier-mâché a dry and pulpy texture that you would not even want to eat. Aside from the meat, you should also put your grinder as well as its parts in your freezer for about an hour prior to grinding while keeping the meat well-chilled and ready to be grounded. When making sausages, the process will take several batches of grinds. Once the first batch is done put the meat in a bowl filled with ice to keep its temperature in between grinds.
- Have the meat trimmed well
Small pieces of sinew are the main reason why meat smears on your Meat Grinder and around its blade, making the blade dull. Instead of chopping your meat, you will end up pressing the meat through holes of the plate ending up in a texture that is like completely chewed up. So, to prevent these things trim your meat properly.
- Watch out for smearing
Make sure that you always watch the meat when coming out of your grinder to ensure that it is coming out of every hole in little pieces and meat and fat are clearly identifiable. Once it starts coming out in one mass, looking wet and collecting on the die surface, there is a problem with your Meat Grinder. Use the “reverse” function of grinder if it has and observe is it is fixing itself. If not, disassemble the grinder, have the blade cleaned and start all over again.
- Sharpness of blade is a must
Blade is the part needing utmost attention and care. Smeared meat is the result of a dull blade. Fortunately, the blade as well as the plate should be working better and better when used repeatedly. The metal tends to grind microscopically every time it is use, which makes the contact of the blade and plate tighter. Take note that a well taken care and well used grinders always grinds smoothly. When your blades tend to get dull, have it sharpened once or twice a year. For convenience you can always provide extra replacement blade that may cost a few dollars.
- Have the plate kept clean
Never risk your health’s safety with letting meat drying and sticking on the blade. Make it a point to have all parts removed and washed completely after every use. Keep in mind that even stainless steel grinders may tarnish when placed on a dishwasher, making it advisable to wash the Meat Grinder in hot and soapy water and dry it carefully using a clean towel.
- Grind meat from big to small dies
Since particular types of sausages need extra-fine grind, it is necessary that you will take the first batch in a larger die first then through a smaller die for the second grind. This will prevent the meat from smearing and will provide an even grind.
- Have the meat for sausages salted first before grinding and for burgers after it is formed.
This will help in adding some texture on the meat. When salted before grinding, some proteins will be dissolved and will allow meat to crosslink through the tight matrix and will give a more sausage-like texture.
For the final quick tip, wad up some paper towels and have it passed through it as if you are grinding meat. Do this before taking the parts apart. Though meat will not come out on the other side, it will help in pushing the stray bits out on the Meat Grinder and will also help in cleaning out the inside part of the shaft and feed tube. This will not only help in making more better yield but will also provide easier results with the cleaning up process.