Our Top Pick for 2019: STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-TF Turboforce 3-Speed Electric Meat Grinder
Have you ever had a sausage that had so much fat in the casing that it squirted out when you put a fork into it? It is not a pleasant experience to have hot grease squirt in your direction. One way to avoid these hazardous situations is to purchase a meat grinder that will let you decide how much fat you want to be in your sausage and burger. You can trim the meat to your desired amount before grinding the meat, and you will be able to season it in whatever manor you desire. You can also grind different types of meat together into one mixture, so you can taste a lamb and beef burger if you want or try some venison and bacon sausage. Take a look at our top picks and the list of considerations we put together to help you find a device that will be durable for years to come.
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
#1. STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-TF Turboforce 3-Speed Electric Meat Grinder
The STX 3,000 meat grinder is, like most of our gold picks, a product that is loved by both the consumers and the critics. In fact, it is a STX meat grinder that has sold over 80,000 units nationwide within the past seven years. The appliance is designed to be a small and compact design that is only 16.5 inches long, 6.5 inches wide, and 14.5 inches in length. In addition, this unit only weighs in at about 12 pounds, which makes it a lightweight appliance that can easily be moved around the kitchen.
This device is designed with a hard aluminum exterior that is designed to last for years of use. The engine is a 600 watt powerhouse that is capable of pushing out 3,000 watts of power when it is pushed to its limits. In addition, the grinding head of the unit is 12 inches in diameter, so that means that this meat grinder will be able to grind about 175 pounds to 225 pounds of meat in an hour of time.
There are three different speed settings on this unit, which are a low speed, a high speed, and a reverse functionality to help clear any jams that may occur. There are three hardened steel grinding plates that are each different sizes. There is a wagon wheeled plate that is used for coarse grinding, a 1.25 inch plate for medium grinding, and a 5/32 inch plate that is great for a fine grind. There are also three stainless steel cutting blades included with this unit, so you will not have to worry about a dull blade for a long time.
If you like to make your own sausage, there are also three sausage tubes included in the packaging. One is ¾ of an inch in size, one is 5/8 of an inch in size, and the third is ½ of an inch in size, so you can make smaller breakfast sausage or larger pieces for a pasta dish. The feed tube for the unit has a two inch diameter, so you will be able to get grind decent sized pieces of meat up without much worry or need to cut the meat into smaller pieces.
This meat grinder is not dishwasher safe, so to clean it properly, you will need to take it apart and wash all of the parts with warm soapy water. Luckily, the unit is easy to disassemble, so it will not take up too much time. Once the parts are washed, be sure to towel dry all of the pieces to prevent them from becoming discolored. A three year warranty is also included to cover any parts and repairs that may need to be replaced and covered during the first 36 months of ownership. In addition, there is a 90 day full money back guarantee for anyone who is unhappy with this meat grinder.
When it comes to reviews, there are almost 1,000 on Amazon alone, and about 86 percent of them have been rated with a positive four or five star quality level. Here is an example of one five star testimonial: “I love this grinder. I ground a pretty big Mule deer in no time at all. It has so much power I can’t feed the meat in fast enough to grind. I have had it now for about 6 months, and I have done one Whitetail, one Mule deer, one black bear, and 1/4 beef and it is amazing. It doesn’t even really get hot. I have also made about 100lbs of smokies and have not had a single problem!”
#2. Weston No. 8 Commercial Meat Grinder
The Weston Number Eight meat grinder is our silver pick. Weston is a company that is dedicated to helping preserve a self sustaining approach to food through products that can help individuals bring foods from the farm to the table with no marketplace in between. This device is a larger unit than our gold pick, with dimensions that measure 19 inches long, 13 inches wide, and 21 inches high. In addition, this meat grinder weighs almost 28 pounds, so it is a bit heavier and more cumbersome to move around the kitchen.
Power-wise, this unit comes with a ½ horsepower motor that is capable of grinding four to six pounds of meat each minute. The exterior of the machine is comprised of stainless steel to make sure that it is going to be a lasting appliance that will grind your meat for decades. The unit comes with one stainless steel grinding knife and two stainless steel cutting plates. The plates are designed to create a course grind that is 3/10 of an inch in size or a medium grind, which is 1/5 of an inch in size.
This unit is also great for making your own sausage links, so it comes with three different sized sausage funnels in the packaging. This ensures that that you can have any size of sausage link you desire, whether it is a smaller breakfast style link or a thick summer sausage. The funnels are 4/5 of an inch, 1 1/5 inches, and 1 3/8 inches in size. This meat grinder is also designed with an extra large grind tray to accommodate larger portions of meat at one time. In addition, the base of the unit is fitted with non-slip feet, which will prevent the machine from moving around on the table when it is in use.
Clean up with this unit is easy; this is because it disassembles quite quickly. It is suggested that the unit is washed with soap and warm water to sanitize the machine, and then it should be dried with a clean towel. Never let the device drip dry, as that can cause the surface to become discolored. When you purchase this unit, the manufacturer also includes a two year warranty to stand behind the durability and the longevity of this meat grinder.
When it comes to reviews, there are 126 posted on Amazon at the time of this writing, and almost 90 percent of them have been given a positive rating of four or five stars. Many of the consumers have shared their experience creating homemade dog or cat food with this unit, but it is also great for wild game and farm raised cattle as well. Here is an example of one five star testimonial from a satisfied pet parent: “I bought this grinder just two months ago, primarily for processing raw dog food. We’ve used it twice, both times to grind bone-in chicken leg quarters. We did about 40 pounds at a time, and I was thoroughly amazed! Sure, the description says “725 pounds an hour” but that really doesn’t tell me how FAST this thing just gobbles up an entire chicken piece – it literally ground the meat faster than we could feed it into the hopper!”
#3. LEM Mighty Bite Electric Meat Grinder
The LEM Mighty Bite meat grinder is a durable selection that we have chosen as our bronze pick. It is about 16 inches in length, 13 inches in width, and 13 inches in height, which means that it is very similar in size to our gold pick. In addition, it only weighs 16.5 pounds, so it can be moved to any location you desire easily. It features a 120 volt motor that is capable of grinding two to three pounds of meat a minute. It also includes a reverse functionality that can be used to clear any jammed meat that may become an issue. Since this unit has a bit of power, the device is designed with a built-in circuit breaker to help prevent power surges from occurring.
The head of this meat grinder is made from an aluminum material, but the plates and the other internal workings of this unit are all made from extremely durable stainless steel. There is one stainless steel knife included in the packaging as well as two different sized cutting plates. The coarse plate is designed with 3/8 of an inch holes and the fine plate has 3/16 of an inch holes. Sausage tubes are also included with this meat grinder, which comes in three sizes that can create a ½ inch sausage, a one inch sausage, and a 1 3/8 inch sausage.
This unit is not safe to wash in the dishwasher. It must be taken apart so that each piece can be washed individually to make sure that contamination does not occur and germs do not spread. It is best to wash this machine with warm, soapy water, rinse it, and then hand dry it with a towel. Allowing the metal unit to drip dry can cause discoloration and water marks to form on the surface. This LEM meat grinder comes with a one year warranty as well as a 30 day money back guarantee to stand behind the quality of this product.
Insofar as reviews, there are not a lot of reviews, but 92 percent of all of the reviews posted on Amazon have been rated with a five star quality. Here is an example of a five star testimonial that can be seen on the site: “I just used this yesterday and let me tell you it tore through the deer that I was grinding. It ground the meat very easily and was fast. The shipping was fast; it actually got here before the expected time. It is really easy to use and put together, and is really easy clean up after you have finished grinding.”
#4. Sunmile SM-G70 ETL Max 1000W Meat Grinder
If you live with a farm to the table mentality, then you will want to find a meat grinder that can handle chicken for your cat and dog food as well as beef, venison, and pork for your family. You want a machine that can easily grind all of these meats into a burger or sausage, but you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a commercial grade unit. The Sunmile SM-G70 is a great option that is perfect for most family-sized needs.
The meat grinder is seven inches long, 13 inches wide, and 14 inches high, which means that it is a compact machine that will not leave a huge footprint. In fact, it only weighs about 12 pounds, so you can easily move it when needed. The exterior of the meat grinder is made from a hard plastic material, and the meat plate and tube are made from aluminum, but the interior blades and plates are all made from stainless steel, which is the material that will improve the durability and ensure that this meat grinder is a valued appliance that you can use for years.
It features a 350 watt motor that can be pushed to 1,000 watts of power when needed. One stainless steel blade is included as well as three grinding plates; fine, medium, and coarse in size. This Sunmile meat grinder also includes three different sized sausage tubes to give you a variety of sausage types that you can create while filling the casings.
This unit is not dishwasher safe, but it is extremely easy to assemble and disassemble, so it will not be too strenuous to wash each part by hand. In addition, the manufacturer has included a one year warranty with the purchase of this meat grinder.
When it comes to reviews, about 86 percent of all of the users who rated this product deemed it worthy of a positive four or five star rating. Here is an example of one such review from a consumer who uses this meat grinder to make pet food: “For anyone looking to make pet food with this, it cuts through the bones easily. We used the largest plate first and then ran it through again with the smaller plates just to make sure, but it handled the bones perfectly.”
Type of Grinder
When you are deciding which meat grinder you want to purchase, the first decision you need to make is whether you want a manual device or an electric one. Both have pros and cons, you will want to consider the amount of meat you will be grinding, but the decision is ultimately yours. Here’s a breakdown of each option for you to think about:
• Manual meat grinder – This option is great for smaller quantities. You clamp this unit to your counter or tabletop and use your muscles to hand crank the meat through the machine. On average, you can grind about two pounds a minute using this method.
• Electric meat grinder – These types of grinders work the same way, except the work is done with a motor instead of by hand. This means that more food can be ground up with a lot less effort, so they are better for larger portions of meat. In addition, they offer more accessory options.
Power and Output
Electric meat grinders are able to output more overall meat, but a manual meat grinder is fine for most in-home uses. Some manufacturers display the amount of pounds that can be processed each minute, but if not, a good way to help you figure out the amount of output that the meat grinder is capable of is to take a look at the horsepower of the model. Some of the less powerful versions do not display horsepower, if that is the case, then consider the wattage instead. A grinder with 0.5 horsepower will have 300 watts, and be able to grind four pounds of meat each minute. A larger 1.75 horsepower machine will have 1,200 watts of power and be able to grind 15 pounds of meat each minute. Decide how much power you need to get the job done; more power typically means that the device will cost more.
Head Size and Plate Size
The head of a meat grinder is the area where the meat comes out of the machine, so the smaller this part is, the more time it will take to retrieve the meat you grind. Standard meat grinder head sizes are number five, eight, ten, 12, 20, 22, 32, and 42. A number five or eight is great for making a nice sausage dinner for your family, but if you plan to grind up a whole deer, you may need a much larger head to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time.
The plate is the part of the machine that works with the blade to grind the meat down. They come in different sizes, but a good plate should be made from stainless steel material that will last for a long time. Half inch holes are great for larger grinds to make things like stew-sized meat. It can also be used as a pre-grind before using smaller plates to help keep clogs from occurring. A 3/8 inches hole in your plate is good for larger grind sausages such as chorizo, and smaller ¼ inch holes are ideal for pepperoni and summer sausage. If you want a certain grind for your meat, then make sure that the grinder you decide on has plates that can accommodate your needs.
A typical annoyance that occurs with any meat grinder is that the meat clogs the machine. When you are using a manual device, all you need to do is turn the crank in the opposite direction to clear the chute, but with an electric model, things can be a bit trickier. The easiest method of clearing a jam out of an electric meat grinder is to make sure that the device that you purchase has a reverse functionality. If you do not have this option, you will most likely need to take the machine apart to clear the meat by hand, which can be an annoying and time consuming process.
Sausage Stuffer and Other Attachments
If you plan to make sausage a lot, then you will want to make sure that the device you purchase has a sausage stuffer. It is basically a long funnel-like attachment that helps guide the freshly ground meat into a casing that you are using for the sausage. This attachment is designed to make the process of creating fresh sausage more convenient. There are also other attachments that you may wish to consider, but that will be decided on an individual basis. Some variations can shred cheese, make salsa, and even make pasta, so if you need, you can have a food grinder instead of a meat grinder.
Clean up is going to be a time consuming process with a meat grinder, so it is best to find a machine that is easy to disassemble. You will need to take the grinder apart to thoroughly clean all of the parts, but some machines are dishwasher safe, which is a huge plus. Others can only be washed by hand, so decide which cleaning method works best for you before making a purchase.
Durability and Warranty
Having a durable device that will last you for decades is important, so even if the exterior of the unit is made from a durable plastic material, be sure that the internal plates and blades are made out of an even more durable stainless steel material. If a company stands behind their products, they will typically provide a warranty. Most meat grinders come with at least a one to five year warranty from the manufacturer, so make sure that the product that you purchase includes one as well. You will be glad you did when you do not have to pay for a motor in an electric meat grinder that malfunctioned a few months after the purchase date.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
There are many different uses for a meat grinder, such as creating hearty meats for soup, homemade sausage, and tasty burgers. You can control the amount of seasonings, fat, and preservatives that you add into the mix that you are grinding together as well as control the quantities of each type of meat that are combined. How often you will need to use the meat grinder and the size of the meat chunks that you will be breaking down will determine which model is right for you. We hope this guide will help you get started grinding your own fresh meats at home. If our picks are not up your alley, then utilize the pre-purchase considerations to find a match that is perfect for your needs.