WHAT IS A MEAT GRINDER AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
A meat grinder is made up of a hopper or tray that feeds food through grinding plates to finely mince and mix ingredients. Types of meat grinders include: a manual grinder that operates with a hand crank, an electric grinder with an internal motor and a stand mixer attachment that uses the mixer’s motor to power the grinding action.
Follow these tips and tricks for how to use a meat grinder to achieve delicious blends of meats, produce and more, including how to use a food grinder attachment for your KitchenAid® stand mixer.
EXPLORE FOOD GRINDER ATTACHMENTS FROM KITCHENAID
KitchenAid brand food grinders attach to the power hub of any KitchenAid® stand mixer. The mixer’s motor powers food through interchangeable plates from coarse to fine that mince or grind ingredients so you can make custom blends and textures for your favorite recipes.
KitchenAid brand offers several food and meat grinder attachments to help with everything from processing locally-raised meats for sausage to grinding up fruits for inventive chutneys, bread crumbs and more. Shop a variety of meat and food grinder attachments that work with your KitchenAid® stand mixer.
WHAT IS A MEAT GRINDER USED FOR?
Meat grinders can be used for mincing and grinding a wide variety of ingredients whether creating spiced lamb meatballs or vegetarian favorites like falafel. KitchenAid® food grinder attachments can be used with accessories to help you stuff sausage or strain fruit and vegetable peels for purées. A food and meat grinder gives you a level of control over ingredient sources, flavor and texture that makes it a worthwhile addition to your repertoire. Some key benefits to using a food and meat grinder include:
- Source: Grinding your own meat lets you decide not only where the meat comes from, but also the varieties and cuts you use in recipes, whether locally-raised or purchased at a grocery store or butcher.
- Flavor: It’s easy to maintain flavor integrity with fresh ingredients and without commercial additives and preservatives. Fine-tune the flavor in your recipes by combining different meat blends such as beef and lamb for tagine cooking or easy kabobs, chicken and pork for homemade dim sum or lean beef with pork for the ultimate burgers.
- Texture: Grinding your own meat lets you control the texture of the grind from fine to coarse and lets you shape items such as meatballs and sausage loosely so they are tender when cooked, unlike packaged products that might become compressed, which can make them feel tough once cooked.
- Versatility: You can also use a KitchenAid® food grinder for foods such as potato, sweet potato, squash, and other cooked soft vegetables to make gnocchi, pierogi, hash and more. Or, pair it with the Fruit and Vegetable Strainer attachment to create fresh jams, sauces, baby foods and more.
HOW TO ATTACH & USE THE FOOD GRINDER ATTACHMENT ON YOUR KITCHENAID® STAND MIXER
Both KitchenAid® food grinder attachments connect to the power hub of any KitchenAid® stand mixer. Simply insert the assembled attachment, secure and start grinding. Always consult the owner’s manual for your model for full instructions and safety information. Here’s a quick overview to give you an idea of how the attachments work:
1. Once the food grinder attachment is assembled, insert the attachment shaft into the hub.
2. Tighten the mixer hub knob clockwise until the attachment is completely secured to the mixer.
3. Cut food into pieces sized to fit through the feed tube. Then, turn the stand mixer to speed 4 and guide food into the feed tube using the food pusher.
TIPS FOR HOW TO USE A MANUAL OR ELECTRIC MEAT GRINDER OR ATTACHMENT
Whether you use a manual grinder, a standalone electric grinder or a stand mixer attachment, follow these tips to help you achieve the best possible results.
- Trim: Prepare your meat by trimming any excess fat and skin so you’re only grinding the prime parts of the meat. This will help the grinder chop the meat efficiently and help you avoid smearing.
- Remove Bones: Make sure to remove any bones and bone fragments. Trimming out bones is critical for your safety and longevity of the product.
- Size: Be sure you cut your meat into pieces that are sized to move easily from the tray into the grinder opening. If you cut pieces too large, they may clog the grinder.
- Pre-Season: If you plan to season meat, let the trimmed cut rest in the fridge coated in a dry rub. Seasoning the meat before grinding ensures even flavor distribution throughout the final product.
- Chill Meat: For best results, grind meat that is very cold or partially frozen. Chill for around 30 minutes depending on the size and cut of your meat. If you’re grinding large quantities, keep it in the fridge and remove small amounts to grind in batches.
- Chill Grinder: To help maintain cool temperatures while in use, chill the grinder and food tray for at least 30 minutes prior to grinding. The KitchenAid® Metal Food Grinder can be pre-chilled in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain a cold grinding temperature, while giving you a clean grind when preparing meat.
- Batches: Always work in small batches so you don’t overload the grinder and clog the plate or strain the motor. Make sure to at least clean the die and blade before moving on to another batch.
- Grind and Grind Again: For more tender results, some meats can be ground twice. However, fatty meats should be ground only once.
- Re-Chill: Be sure to cool the ground meat in between grinds. You can easily do this by grinding the meat directly into a bowl that’s nested inside a larger bowl of ice.
- Smearing: If you see smearing as the meat is coming out of the grinder, you may not have trimmed the sinew adequately. This can cause the meat to squeeze through the holes without getting properly chopped. You may need to disassemble the grinder, clean the blade and re-trim some pieces if this happens.
IDEAS FOR HOW TO USE YOUR MEAT GRINDER AT HOME
GRIND POTATOES IN YOUR MEAT GRINDER FOR PERFECT GNOCCHI
You might not consider putting potatoes in a meat grinder, but food grinders can also be efficient food mills that you can use to grind potatoes, butternut squash and fresh garlic to make tender pillows of fresh gnocchi.
GRIND CHICKEN THIGHS FOR JUICY CHICKEN MEATBALLS
If you prefer to reduce the fat content in your favorite meatball recipes, you can substitute the beef or pork with fresh ground chicken thighs to achieve tender, juicy results. Or you can start with this Thai Chicken Meatballs recipe for a perfect balance of flavor and texture.
GRIND NEARLY ANY TYPE OF MEAT TO MAKE BURGERS
Use your meat grinder to create the perfect blend of meats that you can gently assemble into fluffy patties that are juicy and flavorful. You might think a burger is always made with beef, but by controlling the grind and fat content using a meat grinder, you can easily make burgers with a variety of ingredients such as turkey or even salmon.
USE YOUR KITCHENAID® FOOD GRINDER ATTACHMENT TO MAKE FRESH SAUSAGE
You can use your food grinder attachment to create a blend of beef, pork and pork backfat to create homemade Bangers and Mash. Easily stuff your fresh sausage using the Sausage Stuffer Attachment that attaches to your food grinder, or the included accessories with the metal food grinder. To learn more about choosing, preparing and working with the casings that will hold your freshly ground meat, follow these tips and tricks for how to stuff sausage.
PAIR YOUR KITCHENAID® FOOD GRINDER WITH A KITCHENAID® STAND MIXER
You’ll enjoy many years of exploring unique ways to incorporate freshly ground ingredients into your cooking with a versatile and sturdy KitchenAid® stand mixer always ready to power the grinding action. Your stand mixer can become the culinary center of your kitchen with a wide variety of specialty attachments available to help you try new recipes, master new techniques and enhance your enjoyment of everyday cooking.
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