The Ultimate Guide to Finding, Using, and Maintaining the Best Home Meat Grinder for 2023

Are you tired of the bland and uninspiring ground meat options at your local grocery store? Look no further! In this article, we will unveil the best at home meat grinder options for 2023, guaranteeing you the freshest and most flavorful ground meat you've ever tasted. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, we will guide you on what to look for in a meat grinder, how to use it, and provide you with expert tips on grinding techniques and maintenance. Get ready to elevate your culinary creations to a whole new level with the 7 best meat grinders reviewed for 2023!

The 7 Best Meat Grinders Reviewed for 2023

1. Best Overall Meat Grinder – STX Turboforce 3000 Electric Meat Grinder

Read our full review of the STX Turboforce 3000.

STX International STX-3000 Turboforce Speed Electric Meat Grinder Alright, let's be honest.

Our top choice for the best meat grinder might be a little too powerful for casual cooks.

However, if you plan on grinding your own meat frequently, it's essential to invest in a reliable grinder and avoid cheap options.

The STX-3000 grinder is a heavy-duty machine designed for household use. It boasts a powerful 1,200W motor that can effortlessly handle any type of meat.

With a capacity of grinding up to 360 pounds of well-trimmed meat per hour, this grinder is more than sufficient for most people. If you need even more power, check out our enthusiast pick, the LEM Big Bite.

The advanced variable intake technology (AVI) of the STX-3000 allows it to quickly and safely accept large quantities of meat. This makes it an excellent choice for grinding meat for a large number of people within a short period of time.

Even if you only need to grind a few pounds of meat, having a grinder that can handle the job efficiently is a great advantage. Cheaper grinders often get clogged, but the STX-3000 ensures smooth and quick operation.

STX-3000 Grinder with pieces of meat The STX-3000 features stainless steel blades and plates, as well as a durable electric motor with rubber feet for stability.

Here's what we like about the STX Turboforce 3000:

  • Excellent attachments – This grinder comes with a meat pusher attachment for easy loading. It also includes a Kubbe/Kibbe-making attachment and three different-sized sausage stuffing tubes.
  • Industrial construction quality – The internal components of the STX-3000 are made of polished aluminum or stainless steel, ensuring durability and reliability.
  • Speed selection/circuit breaker – This grinder offers high and low speed settings, with the addition of a circuit breaker for safety.
  • Can handle large quantities of meat – The STX-3000 uses Advanced Variable Intake (AVI) technology, allowing it to process large amounts of meat in a short period of time.

Here's what we don't like about the STX Turboforce 3000:

  • Loud – The STX-3000 is quite noisy, but its performance makes up for the noise level.
  • Auger pressure – The auger of this grinder doesn't provide a perfectly tight seal, making it slightly challenging to fill sausage casings.
  • Struggles with larger cuts – The motor may stall when processing larger chunks of meat, so it's recommended to cut up the meat beforehand for optimal results.

In our tests, the STX-3000 handled a 4lb brisket flat in a little over seven minutes, producing a coarse grind without any issues or slowdowns.

Double grinding a pork butt started off well, but the machine experienced some difficulties during the second grind with the fine plate. The blade and plate got clogged with internal silverskin and sinew.

To overcome this, we had to stop and clean out the clogs, extending the processing time to about 30 minutes.

STX International STX-3000 Test Results

TaskGrind time
4lb brisket flat single grind7:27
6lb Boston pork butt double grind30:14
The reverse function came in handy during this process, as it helped to clear any slowdowns. Additionally, the STX-3000 allows you to choose between high and low speeds for better control over the meat flow.

grinding meat with STX-3000 Grinder It's important to trim your meat by removing excess silverskin and tendons before grinding. When grinding a whole pork butt or processing game, the blade may struggle to cut through sinew. It's advisable to have clean and well-trimmed meat for efficient grinding.

If you're looking for a grinder that can handle any task without slowing down, we recommend checking out the LEM Big Bite that we review below.

Apart from these minor issues, the STX-3000 is a fantastic choice. It effortlessly grinds through tough cuts of meat and provides options for fine or coarse grinds. Just remember to trim tendons, silverskin, and sinew for optimal performance.

If sausage-making is your priority, consider the select model options that include a foot pedal for hands-free operation.

2. Best High-End Meat Grinder – LEM Products Stainless Steel Big Bite Electric Meat Grinder

Read our full review of the LEM Big Bite grinder.

LEM Products Stainless Steel Big Bite Electric Meat Grinder LEM is a prominent name in the meat and game processing market, and their products reflect that.

Among all the models we tested, the LEM Big Bite stands out as the most capable grinder, grinding through pounds of meat quickly and efficiently.

The LEM Big Bite electric meat grinder offers several motor options, ranging from 0.35 to 1.5 Hp. The higher horsepower motors provide exceptional speed and capacity.

This grinder is an excellent choice for hunters who need to process a large amount of raw meat or for making homemade dog food. It can handle large chunks of meat and even some silverskin without slowing down.

For our review, we selected the 0.5 horsepower model. It can grind approximately 13 pounds of meat per minute without any issues.

With its modernized brushed steel design that minimizes fingerprints and a rifling pattern in the head for consistent meat feeding, the LEM Big Bite combines aesthetics with functionality. It also includes a storage drawer for organizing accessories.

Here's what we like about the LEM Big Bite:

  • Excellent speed and capacity – The motor, rifling pattern in the head, and extender auger work together to grind meat at a phenomenal rate.
  • Grind strength – The LEM Big Bite effortlessly handles sinew and leftover silverskin, unlike other grinders that struggle at the blade. It cuts right through.
  • Quiet when in use – Despite its high power, this grinder produces relatively low noise, ensuring a pleasant grinding experience.

Here's what we don't like about the LEM Big Bite:

  • Expensive – Compared to other grinders we've reviewed, the LEM Big Bite comes at a higher price point. However, its excellent motor and performance make it worth the investment if you regularly grind a large amount of meat.

In our tests, the LEM Products Stainless Steel Big Bite Electric Meat Grinder easily handled a 4lb brisket flat in approximately 3 minutes without any issues. It completed a double grind of a 6lb Boston pork butt in about 12 minutes, including the time to switch plates.

grinding meat with LEM Big Bite Electric Meat Grinder The grinder's construction feels rugged and sturdy, providing a commercial-grade heft and high-quality components. It surpassed our expectations and left us wishing we had more meat to grind.

The .5HP motor effortlessly handled the grinding process, maintaining a steady pace even with a full auger and hopper.

.5HP LEM Big Bite Test Results

TaskGrind time
4lb brisket flat single grind3:08
6lb Boston pork butt double grind12:20

The LEM Big Bite is an excellent choice for bulk processing. We processed ten pounds of meat in under half an hour, including cleaning parts and switching plates. You could easily grind 50 pounds of meat without breaking a sweat.

We have very few criticisms for the LEM Big Bite, and if budget is not a constraint, it's one of the top options due to its superior power output. However, considering customer support and brand reputation, LEM edges into the top spot.

3. Best Budget Meat Grinder – ALTRA Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder

The ALTRA electric grinder is more affordable compared to many other electric models we've tested.

In fact, it's priced closer to manual grinders, making it an economical choice.

Despite its affordability, the ALTRA grinder remains a reliable option for low-volume meat grinding.

The electric motor of this grinder can reach up to 350W. It comes with two cutting blades, one sausage tube, a food pusher, and 2 Kibbeh attachments. The Kibbeh attachments simplify the preparation of spiced lamb packed inside a wheat shell. Additionally, the grinder includes three cutting plates for different consistencies.

Many of the crucial parts of the ALTRA grinder are made of stainless steel, with a triple-layered stainless steel design for enhanced durability and resistance to rust. Other parts are constructed from aluminum alloy and high-end ABS plastic.

The grinder features an easy-to-use on/off/reverse switch, but it lacks speed variability.

Here's what we like about the ALTRA Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder:

  • Easy to disassemble for quick cleaning – Cleaning this grinder is a breeze, as it can be taken apart easily. All the blades, plates, and meat-touching parts are dishwasher-safe.
  • Good durability – The ALTRA grinder is made with high-quality materials like stainless steel and aluminum alloy, ensuring durability. The reverse switch also facilitates easy cleaning.
  • Storage box – The grinder comes with a concealed storage box for organizing parts and accessories.
  • Affordable – Compared to other electric meat grinders, the ALTRA grinder is budget-friendly.

Here's what we don't like about the ALTRA Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder:

  • Weak loading tray and pushing handle – The loading tray for feeding meat into the grinder can feel unstable and flimsy. The pushing handle is made of thin plastic and may not provide enough force. Additional tools or implements may be required for added force.
  • Easily gets bogged down – Overloading the auger or packing down a large amount of meat can cause the motor to bog down and result in inefficient grinding.

In our tests, the ALTRA grinder managed to grind a 4lb brisket flat in approximately 9 minutes using a coarse plate. However, it struggled a bit with the pork butt, even with the coarse plate. To prevent the machine from getting stuck on the internal silverskin, we stopped halfway through and trimmed as much sinew as possible.

Altra Test Results

TaskGrind time
4lb brisket flat single grind9:41
6lb Boston pork butt double grind44:25

The loading tray wobbled a bit when using the pushing handle, so we had to feed the meat into the grinder slowly. The ALTRA grinder performs best with a slow and steady approach, allowing the auger to work at its own pace.

It's a great choice if you're seeking an electric grinder on a budget without compromising too much on performance. Although it's lighter than other grinders, it can still handle clean, trimmed meat without clogging up.

4. Fastest Meat Processor – Meat! Your Maker .5HP Meat Grinder

Read our full review of the Meat! Grinder.

Meat! Your Maker Grinder ReviewIf you do a lot of meat processing and prefer complete control over sourcing and handling your food, consider the grinders from Meat! Your Maker.

Meat! is a relatively new player in the industry, offering a range of meat and game processing gear directly to consumers.

Their grinders have gained popularity, and we wanted to see how they compared to the competition.

The .5HP grinder comes with coarse and fine stainless steel grinding plates, as well as a stainless steel stuffing plate and three stuffing tubes for sausage making. It features an accessory drawer for easy organization.

While it can sit unobtrusively on your countertop, this grinder is designed for heavy-duty, bulk grinding. Additionally, Meat! offers a slightly less powerful 500W grinder and a 1.5HP grinder for those who regularly process large amounts of meat.

Here's what we like about the Meat! .5HP Meat Grinder:

  • High quality – The Meat! grinder is built to high standards, delivering excellent performance and durability.
  • Fast processing – Meat! claims that the .5HP grinder can go through approximately 5.5 pounds of meat per minute, and our tests confirmed its speed and efficiency.
  • Quiet power – Despite its high power, the Meat! .5HP grinder operates relatively quietly, and the motor can handle meat intake without clogs or excessive noise.

Here's what we don't like about the Meat! .5HP Meat Grinder:

  • High demand – The popularity of Meat! grinders has led to increased demand and sometimes longer lead times due to low stock. However, this speaks to the quality of their products.

In our tests, the Meat! .5HP grinder ground a fully trimmed 4lb brisket flat in approximately 41 seconds. This was significantly faster than the Altra grinder, which took 9 minutes.

Meat! .5HP Grinder Test Results

TaskGrind time
4lb brisket flat single grind41 seconds
6lb Boston pork butt double grind84 seconds

The Meat! grinder maintained its speed and efficiency throughout the entire grinding process, producing satisfying results. It was surprisingly quiet and didn't require any additional force to feed the meat into the grinding head.

Overall, the Meat! .5HP grinder is an excellent choice for volume processing. It comes at a higher price point compared to other grinders, but if you regularly process a significant amount of meat, it offers great long-term value.

The Meat! .5HP grinder competes directly with the LEM grinder for the top spot in terms of high performance. While the Meat! grinder processes meat faster, the LEM grinder offers the advantage of a well-established brand and a reliable customer support system. Both are exceptional choices.

5. Best Budget Meat Grinder – ALTRA Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder

The ALTRA electric grinder is more affordable compared to many other electric models we've tested.

In fact, it's priced closer to a manual grinder.

Despite its affordability, the ALTRA grinder remains a reliable option for low-volume meat grinding.

What to consider when choosing a meat grinder

When searching for the perfect grinder, it's important to keep these key factors in mind to ensure you choose the right product for your needs.

Amount and type of meat to be ground

Think ahead and consider how frequently you will be using the grinder.

If you only use it occasionally, purchasing an expensive electric model may not be worth it. These models are designed to grind large quantities of meat quickly. Instead, consider a manual or attachment type that can handle smaller amounts of meat as needed.

Motor power

If you decide to go with an electric grinder, make sure it has the appropriate motor power.

Higher wattage indicates greater grinding capability. For industrial-level grinding needs, choose a model with high motor power.

However, comparing grinders can be tricky when one is rated in watts and another in horsepower. In theory, 746 watts is equivalent to 1 horsepower, but factors like gears, blade sharpness, and auger size affect power translation.

Based on our testing experience, horsepower-rated engines generally have stronger motors compared to those with equivalent wattage ratings.

Ease of cleaning

Some meat grinders are easier to clean than others.

Regardless of the type you choose, regular maintenance is necessary. If you prefer a simpler cleaning process, opt for a machine that is easy to disassemble and wash after each grinding session.

Features and attachments

Grinders come with various features and attachments.

Make sure your grinder includes multiple plates for different grind sizes. Additionally, having a reverse function, like the one on the STX 3000, can help clear any blockages.

It's worth noting that while some grinders have attachments for sausage making, they may not be ideal for stuffing sausages. For large-scale sausage production, consider investing in a dedicated sausage stuffer. Take all these cool features into account if you're looking for an all-encompassing machine.

Construction

Grinders can be made from hard plastic or different types of metals.

Opt for meat grinders with stainless steel blades whenever possible. Stainless steel is hypoallergenic, rust-resistant, and tends to retain sharpness and durability longer than other steel types.

Generally, grinders with fewer parts made of durable metal will be more affordable, while those made of high-quality steel will be pricier. For example, grinders with plastic gears may wear out more quickly, whereas those with all-metal gears tend to last longer. However, the initial higher cost of steel grinders may lead to greater long-term savings if they have a lower likelihood of breaking.

How to use your meat grinder

Now that you've found the perfect meat grinder, let's discuss how to use it effectively. For detailed instructions, refer to our guide on how to grind your own meat.

1. Preparing for grinding

Before you start grinding, ensure that all your equipment, including grinder attachments and the meat, is cold.

Room temperature meat can smear inside the grinder, causing the separation of meat compounds. The fat may leak out and change texture as it dries.

To prevent this, place all your meat-grinding equipment in the freezer for an hour before grinding. The cold temperature helps the fat stay cold and emulsify into the meat during grinding. Alternatively, you can store the equipment in the freezer permanently for convenience.

2. Selecting your meat

For best results, choose cheap fatty cuts of meat for grinding. Beef chuck works well, but brisket or tri tip are also great options. You can also experiment with different combinations to achieve desired fat and lean meat ratios.

3. Trimming the meat

Depending on your grinder, you may need to trim the meat before grinding.

If using a cheap electric or manual grinder, cut the meat into one-inch pieces and remove any tough sinew that can get caught around the entry hole of the grinder.

With a more powerful electric grinder, trimming may not be necessary. This is especially helpful when dealing with cuts like pork butt that have multiple muscles and tissues in one area. 

4. Grinding process

Follow the instructions provided by your machine's manufacturer for specific grinding instructions.

For hamburgers, avoid overworking the meat. One grind through the medium plate should be sufficient. If the grind is too coarse, you can pass it through the same plate again. However, avoid double grinding through the small plate, as it can lead to emulsification of the meat.

A desirable texture for burgers should have space for juices to flow and distribute throughout the beef, rather than being emulsified like sausage.

Grinding tips

1. Salt timing for sausages and burgers

It's best to salt sausage meat before grinding, as it tends to be tighter and springier.

However, for burger meat, it's recommended to add salt and other seasonings after the patties are formed to achieve the desired taste.

2. Grinding from large to small

To achieve optimal results, start with a coarse grind and then run the meat through the fine plate.

This two-step grinding process enhances tenderness and prevents smearing.

3. Preventing meat smearing

Watch the meat as it comes through the grinder to check for smearing.

Smearing can be identified when each tiny piece of meat appears separate. Ideally, perfectly ground meat should consist of small chunks with visible fat aspects alongside the protein.

Smearing results in a mixed appearance and wet, clumpy meat, leading to undesirable texture, consistency, and potential flavor issues.

To prevent smearing, consider sharpening the blades, cleaning the plate, or performing other maintenance tasks. Additionally, keep all components cold. Partially frozen meat is less likely to smear and helps retain fat integrity.

Utilizing the reverse function, if available on your grinder, may also help resolve any smearing issues.

Meat grinder maintenance

Blade sharpening is crucial for optimal performance. Dull blades can squish or smear meat.

Check your blades regularly, ideally every few uses, to see if they need sharpening.

Most meat grinders require blade sharpening once a year. Frequent use of the grinder will help maintain blade sharpness, as the blades strike the plate with each use, keeping the space between them small and tight.

However, occasional artificial sharpening may still be necessary.

Keeping the plate clean is also important, as meat particles on the plate can attract bacteria and germs.

Thoroughly clean the plate after each use by washing it with hot water and soap. Additionally, grinding a piece of bread or a few wadded-up paper towels can help remove remaining meat residue. Dispose of the bread and discard the paper towels, which absorb oil and fat remnants. Cleaning the grinder's interior is easier after performing either of these tasks.

Summary

While all the options reviewed have their merits for specific situations, the overall best meat grinder is the STX International STX-3000 Turboforce Speed Electric Meat Grinder. This grinder offers a large grinding capacity, a wide selection of attachments, texture and speed variations, and impressive durability. It's a reliable choice for anyone seeking a versatile meat grinder.

Regardless of the grinder you choose, remember to keep all parts clean and store the unit in the freezer before use. Happy cooking!

In conclusion, finding the best meat grinder for your home can truly elevate your culinary experience. With the comprehensive list of the 7 best meat grinders reviewed for 2023, along with helpful insights on what to look for in a meat grinder, how to use it effectively, grinding tips, and maintenance, you can now confidently embark on your journey to creating restaurant-quality ground meat dishes from the comfort of your own kitchen. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a passionate food enthusiast, investing in a top-notch meat grinder will undoubtedly revolutionize the way you prepare and savor your favorite meat-based recipes. So, get ready to take control of your meat grinding game and immerse yourself in a world of delicious possibilities!

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