5 Benefits of a Meat Grinder

by GettingFreedom on January 5, 2012

When I met my husband over 10 years ago, he introduced to me to a world I never knew.  The world of hunting and fishing.  My father wasn’t a hunter, and I can count on one hand how many times I seen him actually fish.  I’m not talking about him leisurely playing with the fishing rod in his personal pond, either!

While hunting is definitely a frugal way to meet your family’s meat needs, if you’re not careful you can end up spending an arm and a leg in processing costs.  Thankfully my husband had the basic knowledge and did the majority of the processing himself.  The only processing fees we paid for were to make venison burger.  Until now.

Benefits of a Meat Grinder

 

Take Advantage of Cheaper Cuts

See a cut of meat on sale for a great price?  Consider grinding it.  Sometimes I’m able to find Sirloin marked down, making ground sirloin a good price!

Mix and Match Your Burger Blends

With the flexibility of owning your own meat grinder, you are able to make up your own burger blends for chili, tacos, grilled hamburgers {sneak in a bit of ground venison to stretch your hamburger a bit further.}.  Not only does this let you add additional flavors, but it helps you to make the most out of what you have on hand.  Think outside the box–ground pork, ground chicken, ground turkey, and for hunters like my husband–ground pheasant.

Repurpose Different Cuts

When I was doing my Freezer Inventory for the Pantry Challenge, I found a Venison Roast and some other unlabeled cuts.  I knew that we would get more use out of them as burger, so I quickly ground them up and created 8 pounds of Venison Burger. 

Make Your Own Sausages

Whether it be breakfast sausages or dinner sausages like Bratwurst. 

Use Up Those Scraps

When you butcher your own meat, you end up with some odds and ends that are perfect ground up and combined with other cuts of ground meat.  While you’re at, throw in the fat you’ve trimmed from other meats.  The addition of fat adds a bit of flavor, but don’t go overboard.  Season it up and no one is the wiser.

Types of Meat Grinders

Manual

We currently own a manual meat grinder, and we like it.  If we continue to use it a bunch, though, we’ll definitely upgrade to the kitchenaid attachment.  It’s not near as difficult to do as I had envisioned, either.  The added arm workout is fantastic. :)

You can easily purchase a manual meat grinder anywhere from $20 and up.  You’ll save that within the first few months!

Stand Mixer Attachment

Oh how I love the flexibility of my Stand MixerMake good use of the work horse engine and put it to work grinding your meats with the meat grinder attachment.  All of the major brands offer the meat grinder attachment, like Kitchenaid  {only $44!}, Viking and Cuisinart.

Electric

If you do not own a stand mixer and are not interested in having a manual meat grinder, you also have the option of a stand alone electic meat grinder. You have many different models to choose from, but keep in mind–the motor is all you’re after.  Unless you plan on grinding your own meat on a daily basis and doing a ton of it, the more elaborate models probably aren’t what you are after.   For the average user, this meat grinder from Back To Basics would fit the bill nicely.

 Have you ventured into grinding your own meat?

You can find more frugal ideas over at Frugal Friday.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Thea January 6, 2012 at 2:38 am

I have the grinder attachment for my KitchenAid Mixer and I love it! I find that doing my own grinding results in a better texture of meat for soups and stews. While the meat is ground up nicely, it doesn’t get lost in the soup like store bought meat can. Good stuff and definitely a $$ saver!

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GettingFreedom January 6, 2012 at 6:49 am

@Thea, That is good to know! I, too, have noticed a better texture in the meat I grind at home. Makes you wonder exactly what is going on with store bought meat. Or maybe not. :)

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Nicole January 6, 2012 at 7:58 am

I had told my husband’s uncle that I wanted a meat grinder attachment for my kitchen aid mixer because he had one. He said that I might want to reconsider because the juices from grinding get into the motor (probably depending on how old your mixer is, mine is older) and ruined a mixer that he had. I love my mixer too much to ruin it, so I think I will wait for the stand alone version. Thanks for the good article!

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Elise January 6, 2012 at 10:42 am

@Nicole, Oh bummer! That’s good to know though. I use my Kitchen Aid grinder for little jobs occasionally, but it’s really too slow for a big job anyway.

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Karen January 7, 2012 at 1:18 am

I have three metal meat grinders something like the Norpro one. I used to use them a lot more than I do now, but just recently thought about doing meat again. Mine come apart compeletly and are really easy to clean. I got mine years ago and think I paid $10 for it, then I inherited my MIL’s and my husband’s grandmother’s. I see them in thrift shops for about $2-3. They are really really heavy for their size so they are cast metal of some kind with a shiny chromelike finish. Our grandmothers probably had one and maybe had the sausage making attachment for it.

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Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy January 7, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I have never even considered grinding my own meat, but that’s such a great idea! Hmmm… something to think about.

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