Who doesn’t like eating burgers or meatballs? They are quite a staple in many households including ours. My kids are okay having them regularly for dinner. Thanks to one kitchen gadget that comes with complete meat grinder replacement parts, we can prepare these dishes at any time using a choice of cuts.
Why Grind When You Can Readily Buy Ground Meat?
Many people now simply buy ground meat at the supermarket. I have nothing against doing that. I used to do that before. But once you grind your own meat, you will know the difference.
Here are a Few Advantages of Grinding Meat at Home:
- It’s safer – While meat-processing businesses follow stringent guidelines to keep their food safe, from time to time, we hear of news about outbreaks of salmonella and E. coli in meat products. Most pathogens are normally deactivated or killed at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, most ground meats are cooked at temperatures lower than that. You can avoid this risk when you use freshly ground meat.
- You know what’s in there – Prepackaged ground beef, pork or chicken can contain unwanted cuts and fats from dozens or even hundreds of animals. It’s nice when you have control over the blends of meat that go into your burger or meatballs. You’ll be confident your food doesn’t have fillers and other additives that can be harmful to your health. And if you want ground organic chicken, you can have it too, anytime.
- Better flavor and texture. As ground meat sits there waiting to be picked up, it will start to compress and oxidize. Oxidation causes slime formation, turns red meat into brown, and gives food a sour flavor and dense texture. These changes are recognizable especially if you are a food aficionado. The best meat loaf usually comes from moist, tender and freshly ground lean parts.
I Don’t Have a Meat Grinder. Is There No Alternative?
If it’s for a one-time use only, you could try a food processor or chop the meat by hand. But having a meat grinder is your best option if you plan to grind meat on a regular basis. Food processors are not really designed for grinding meat, and chopping meat manually is just laborious.
Meat Grinder for Dummies
So you never had a meat grinder before and you are not also familiar with the different meat grinder replacement parts. A meat grinder is generally used for mincing or fine chopping. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to operate this gadget.
It is fairly straightforward to operate a meat grinder. The same procedure is used regardless if you are using manual or an electric unit. There are also different meat grinder replacement parts that you can use for various purposes. Check them out at Amazon
Start grinding by feeding pieces of meat through a funnel. From there, the meat is pushed into a turn screw which can be powered by hand for manual unit or by electric motor. At the end of the screw, there is a cutting plate which determines how small or chunky the cut pieces should be. The size of the hole in the grinding plate will determine the fineness of the cuts.
This video (via: youtobe.com) tells more about the different meat grinder replacement parts and how they work.
Is it Worth the Effort?
Yes, why not just buy ground meat if I’m just going to prepare burgers for two people? This has been my argument before I started using a meat grinder. But when I tried using it for the first time, I discovered that it just takes less than five minutes to grind meat that is good for making five medium-sized burgers. Most of the removable meat grinder replacement parts are also dishwasher-friendly. And best of all, I get to create my own mix for my signature burger.
Just What Kind of Foods Can You Prepare with a Meat Grinder?
I’ve already mentioned some foods that you can prepare with a meat grinder including burgers, meatballs and meat loaves. There are many other reasons why a meat grinder can be your best friend in the kitchen. You can use it for the following purposes or dishes:
- Grind fruits for jams or vegetables for relish
- Mix cooked meat, poultry and even vegetables to make hash
- Blend meat to make your own version of classic dishes
- Turn dried fruits into paste for baking cakes and cookies
- Grind cheese to make pimento cheese
- Grind bread for crumbs
- Grind cookie dough to achieve the right texture before baking
Additionally, you can make money making sausages with the use of your meat grinder. Certain meat grinder replacement parts are designed for sausage making. Most units also come with a plate for filling a sausage casing.
A Couple of Tricks when Using a Meat Grinder
Now that you are at it, there are some tips and tricks when grinding meat that can help you achieve optimal results:
- You can avoid getting mushy meat especially when its warm by partially freezing the sliced meat before grinding. It should be thoroughly chilled but not frozen. Fats easily melt when the kitchen is warm. This is when you end up with a mush.
- If you want more tender results, grind the meat twice.
- Once you are done, let bread pass through the grinder. Meat remnants usually stick onto the bread, making cleaning the grinder easier.
A meat grinder is a user-friendly kitchen gadget that will take your cooking experience to the next level. While many people fail to see the value of having this practical gadget at home, do otherwise. Once you have bought the main unit, you could also add specialized meat grinder replacement parts to complete your set. I’d recommend purchasing from Amazon
Let me add, don’t forget to share your meat grinder tips and tricks in the comment section.