Food in tray of KitchenAid® Food Grinder attached to stand mixer

MEAT GRINDER IDEAS: NEW THINGS TO MAKE WITH A FOOD GRINDER ATTACHMENT

Quick and easy to use, there are a world of things to do with a meat grinder— beyond grinding meat. These super useful tools can be manual or electric, stand alone appliances, or a simple attachment to a KitchenAid® stand mixer, for even more convenience. Meat grinders come in both plastic and metal. Which is right for you depends on how you want to use your grinder, but in general, a metal food grinder will offer more versatility.

Chicken and vegetables in tray of KitchenAid® Food Grinder attachment. Chicken and vegetables in tray of KitchenAid® Food Grinder attachment.

WHAT CAN YOU USE A MEAT GRINDER FOR?

In addition to grinding all kinds of meats for sausages, patties, ragus and more, meat grinder uses can include grinding vegetables for veggie burgers, sauces and salsas, nuts for crunchy toppings, pastas and even cheeses and breadcrumbs.

The beauty of grinding your own foods will ensure that you have ultimate control over the freshness, quality and size of your ground items and it also allows you to customize flavors and recipes.  

The KitchenAid® Metal Food Grinder comes with three different size grinding plates—fine, medium and coarse—making it easy to create a variety of fresh, inventive foods.

KitchenAid® Food Grinder attached to stand mixer KitchenAid® Food Grinder attached to stand mixer

14 CREATIVE (AND TASTY) MEAT GRINDER USES

From the perfect mouthwatering blend for meaty dumplings and empanadas to delicately ground veggies for a spicy sofrito—there are a variety of things you can make with a meat grinder. Here are 17 great meat grinder ideas, including burgers and beyond to add to your list:

Lamb burger topped with sauce and cheese

1. MAKING SIGNATURE BURGERS

Ground meat will take your burger game up a level when you grind and season it yourself. There are many delicious cuts of meat that grind up quickly for a great “signature burger.” Think poultry, venison and bison for leaner options; goat and lamb can provide the makings of a special burger. Or, create your own blend, combining pork with a leaner meat can help increase the unctuous factor.

 

For a true Greek treat, make lamb burgers with freshly ground lamb shoulder and top them with halloumi and a minty cucumber sauce.

Thai chicken meatballs

2. GRINDING CHICKEN FOR MEATBALLS

As is true for burger patties, there are so many delicious meats to grind for meatballs, including poultry. Light, lean turkey or the ever popular chicken, grind up beautifully. Sauce chicken meatballs with an herbaceous blend of herbs and mozzarella for Green Goddess Meatballs or, a spicy peanut sauce for a Thai chicken meatball twist.

Danish meatballs with potatoes

3. GRINDING PORK FOR MEATBALLS

Grinding pork, another delicious alternative to red meat, is a great use for a food grinder.

 

Grind pork meatballs with a coarse grinding plate and simmer them in a sauce of red wine, worcestershire, cream and currant jelly for a traditional Danish Frikadeller.

Falafel with fresh salad on the side

4. GRINDING CHICKPEAS FOR FALAFEL

A meat grinder will quickly grind cooked chickpeas to a uniform consistency and texture for tasty falafel. Add aromatics to the food grinder along with the chickpeas for a well-mixed base for your falafel.

Sausage being made with KitchenAid® Sausage Stuffer Kit

5. MAKING SAUSAGE

You can make sausage with the cuts and seasonings of your choice for any dish you can dream up when you grind them yourself. The KitchenAid® Sausage Stuffer Kit1 lets you combine your choice of ingredients and process them through the grinder and stuffing tube to create everything from small breakfast sausage links to large Italian sausages. 

 

Grind beef, pork, pork fat, herbs and mushrooms together for juicy sausages to accompany potatoes you “mash,” in a clean grinder, for homemade Bangers and Mash.

 

1 Sold separately

Veggie burger topped with avocado mash

6. GRINDING BEANS & LEGUMES

Animal proteins aren’t the only proteins you can grind in a food grinder. Make a delicious veggie burger—grind lentils, mushrooms and aromatics together with a medium grinding plate; then top cooked veggie burger with a creamy avocado mash.

Seafood ragu with shrimp clams and mussels

7. GRINDING VEGETABLES

Grinding veggies like carrots and cabbage for a sauce or slaw—and even cauliflower—can all be done quickly with a food grinder. 


The KitchenAid® Large Food Tray makes it easier to process large quantities of ingredients in one batch,2 like tomatoes and aromatics for a tasty seafood ragu sauce. Finish the dish by tossing sauce with clams, shrimp, mussels and pasta.

 

2 Requires Food Grinder model KSMFGA, sold separately.

Ragu on top of noodles, topped with cheese

8. GRINDING MEATS FOR HASHES, RAGUS AND FILLINGS

If you’re making empanadas or pierogies, or you need ground meat for a hash, Chinese dumpling filling or a ragu—a meat grinder is an ideal way to create consistently uniform results. 

 

For a rich, traditional bolognese, grind beef chuck roast and pork shoulder together to create a delicious meaty ragu.

TIP: CHILL MEAT

For a clean grind and to keep meat from smearing and losing flavorful fat, it’s important to chill it for at least 30 minutes before grinding. The KitchenAid® Metal Food Grinder is built to pre-chill for easier grinding.

Seafood burger with avocado topping

9. GRINDING SEAFOOD

You can even grind fish, like tuna and salmon for seafood burgers in a food grinder. For a tasty salmon burger, simply cube and freeze the salmon for 20 minutes before you grind in a clean grinder. Create a refreshing Mango Avocado Salsa to accompany your salmon burgers by grinding mango and jalapeno together in the grinder, then mixing with diced avocado, lime juice, red onion and cilantro.

Gnocchi in brown butter and sage sauce

10. MAKING GNOCCHI

Put cooked potatoes through the grinder for a quick mash or for a pillowy gnocchi. You can make the foundation for butternut squash gnocchi by processing roasted squash, russet potato and garlic in the food grinder. Top finished gnocchi with a brown butter sage sauce for a comforting dish to serve to family and friends.

Making fruit puree with KitchenAid® Fruit and Vegetable Strainer

11. MAKING JAMS

Attach the KitchenAid® Fruit and Vegetable Strainer to your food grinder to help you puree and strain fruits and vegetables for jams, sauces, baby food and more.3

 

3 Requires Food Grinder model KSMFGA, sold separately. 

Grinding parmesan cheese with fine grinding plate

12. GRINDING CHEESE

Use a fine grinding plate to grate hard cheeses like parmesan or pecorino.

Pressing ground nuts in square baking pan

13. GRINDING NUTS

All kinds of nuts, including almonds, cashews and peanuts grind up beautifully in a meat grinder to garnish dishes or add to recipes.

Sprinkling freshly ground breadcrumbs over dish

14. MAKING BREADCRUMBS

Be sure that bread is oven-dried, thoroughly, to remove all moisture, or not dried at all. Partially dried bread may jam some meat grinders. Homemade bread should be ground fresh, then oven or air dried.

Grinding meat for burgers into a bowl with KitchenAid® Food Grinder Grinding meat for burgers into a bowl with KitchenAid® Food Grinder

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MINCING MEAT AND GRINDING MEAT?

Ground meat is a mixture of meat and fat that’s been processed in a meat grinder, the texture is creamy and consistent. Minced meat is finely chopped with a knife, or in a food processor and is bulkier than ground meat. Ground meats which often contain seasonings or other ingredients, are commonly used for burgers, sausages and meatballs while minced meats are often used for stews, pies and chilis.

Food grinder vs food processor side by side showing different uses Food grinder vs food processor side by side showing different uses

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FOOD PROCESSOR AND A MEAT GRINDER?

Food processors use a blade to mince, chop, knead, grate, and mix ingredients. In a meat grinder food is pressed or extruded through holes in a grinder plate and then cut by a blade.

Pureeing fruit with KitchenAid®  stand mixer and KitchenAid® Fruit and Vegetable Strainer Pureeing fruit with KitchenAid®  stand mixer and KitchenAid® Fruit and Vegetable Strainer

CAN YOU USE A MEAT GRINDER AS A JUICER?

The KitchenAid® Fruit and Vegetable Strainer attached to the KitchenAid® Food Grinder will separate out seeds and reduce prep time to help create smooth sauces, purees and more. But this attachment grinds up skins and doesn’t separate out pulp, so using a meat grinder as a juicer isn’t ideal for pulp- free juices.

Shredding cheese and other fresh ingredients with KitchenAid® Fresh Prep/Shredder attachment Shredding cheese and other fresh ingredients with KitchenAid® Fresh Prep/Shredder attachment

CAN YOU PUT CHEESE IN A MEAT GRINDER?

Use cold cheese and a fine grinding plate to grind cheese in a food grinder. Grinding cheese and proteins together for burger patties is another possibility. The KitchenAid® Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder attachment is another great way to use a KitchenAid® stand mixer to grind cheeses.

Woman grinding chickpeas with a KitchenAid® Food Grinder Woman grinding chickpeas with a KitchenAid® Food Grinder

CAN YOU GRIND BEANS IN A MEAT GRINDER?

Using a meat grinder to grind beans, lentils and legumes for veggie burgers and falafel is a great use of a meat grinder. Coffee beans, on the other hand, shouldn’t be ground in a meat grinder. The ideal way to grind coffee beans is in a burr or blade grinder.

FIND YOUR KITCHENAID®FOOD GRINDER ATTACHMENTS

Turn your indispensable KitchenAid® stand mixer into a meat, fruit, veggie, cheese, nut and breadcrumb grinder with a few attachments. Start with a metal or plastic food grinder then add accessories for making sausages and jams, for even more versatility.

EXPLORE MORE POSSIBILITIES WITH  KITCHENAID® STAND MIXER ATTACHMENTS