I know there are some cooks on this board......does anyone have a recommendation for a reliable meat grinder? It'll be for relatively small quantities of meat (a couple of burgers worth of ground meat, say) and not sausage making or anything like that
For a couple of burgers, you can probably do with the hand cranked variety. You can find them on Ebay or Amazon--in small, medium and large sizes. The classical design is still available in the US, but copies made in China are inexpensive, and work fine.Given cleaning time, you probably should not consider an electric one for less than 5 lb or so. I have an inexpensive electric made in China that was abt $80. Works fine. It has aluminum parts, whereas commercial ones have stainless steel parts and cost up to $500.Do not try using a food processor to grind meat. I burned out the motor in my food processor this way.Veins and tendons in meat cause some problems. The best designs have a star shaped blade behind the screenplate that cuts the tendons. Some designs merely force the meat through the screenplate under pressure. Then stringyness can get messy.You can also get meat grinder attachments for the larger stand mixers. Pricing is similar to a free standing unit, but the mixer motor is probably more powerful and durable.Remember to keep the meat cold while grinding it. Cubing it, then putting it in the freezer for a while works fine for small batches. For larger batches, some people mix dry ice in the meat to keep the meat grinder heat from heating the meat and causing problems.
Vee, this is the electric meat grinder that I have:http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200451267_200...I've been using it routinely for 3 years. It is quite powerful. Several of the BBQFools have also purchased and use this grinder. Nothing but rave reviews.I usually grind 1½-2½ lbs at a time. It takes about 1 min to push in the meat and grind. I cut the meat into about 1 inch cubes and put them in the freezer for 30-45 min. Grind using 1/4" plate. (there will be about ¼ lb of unground meat left in the end of grinder behind the plate. I take that out and add it first during the second grind.)Put the coarse ground meat back into the freezer for 30-45 min. Then grind again using the 3/16" plate.I use a SS 12 x 14 water table pan (baking pan) to chill the meat and catch the ground meat. Chill meat in a layer spread out evenly in pan before grinding.Clean up is fast. I disassemble the grinding head and remove any meat remaining in the head (dog treats). Rinse the parts and put in a tub of soapy water, clean the grinding heads using a tooth pick, if necessary. It takes me about 2-3 min to clean up after grinding.After rinsing clean parts, I hand dry them, put the parts in the SS Steel pan I used for the meat (after cleaning, natch), and pop the pan into the oven for 15-30 to heat dry and sanitize.Fresh ground meat is great! Burgers taste like ground steak. Flavor is depends on which type of meat you buy to grind. I sometimes add granulated garlic and coarse black pepper to the meat before grinding. (Nugget also sells garlic pepper ground beef sometimes).OleDoc
Now I'm winding myself up much more than if I'd bought something that didn't work.I was initially leaning towards a hand cranked thingy but now I thinking that this Northern tool device might be just the ticket. Maybe I'll procrastinate a bit and forget about the whole thing.FWIW, I decided I might try home ground meat over this last weekend when I was out there in California (yet again)and reading about various restaurants and their chefs and whatnot and got myself a bit excited about cooking (like you do when you're away from home)Has that heatwave started to bite yet, OleDoc?? (FWIW we were in San Fran......I wore my winter jacket the whole time!!)
Has that heatwave started to bite yet, OleDoc?? Yep! It's 93 on my porch under the shade of a giant mulberry tree. Peak will prolly be 98-100 at 5:00-5:30.I must have skipped a month... I thought that it's October 1. The Delta Breeze is supposed to kick in tomorrow afternoon, so Wed will be cooler.Trying to hold off on AC until 5:00. PG&E* rates are a killer. Electric rates are about 0.13-0.14 per KWH for the 100-130% of "baseline" usage but skyrocket to about 0.40 per KWH when usage is more than 130% of baseline. Using the AC more than 2 hrs per day puts me over the 130% line. So, when I go over, the AC costs about $1-1.50 per hour. That adds up fast. Last month my bill included $75 for above the 130% baseline while the 0-130% baseline usage was only $35.*PG&E = Punish, Gouge, & ElectrifyOleDoc
Trying to hold off on AC until 5:00Well, I bit the bullet and turned on the central heating this am.
If you have a KitchenAid, this attachment works great: http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-FGA-Grinder-Attachment-Mixe...
If you have a KitchenAid, this attachment works great: http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-FGA-Grinder-Attachment-Mixe...... Just when the feeling was starting to pass...As it happens I do have a KitchenAid. It's stored down in the basement with some of the other "stuff" daughter unloaded prior to her move to California.Maybe I'll give this little gizmo a shot.Thank you
If you have a KitchenAid, this attachment works great: http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-FGA-Grinder-Attachment-Mixe...... Activated that 1-click purchase trigger finger before I had time to sit down and procrastinate
NewEchota.....you are the winner!Don't tell me that procrastination doesn't work. I was doing the shall I/shalln't I thing WRT Paul&OleDoc's recs........and then yours came along.The attachment arrived within about 3 days and I got to use it yesterday. I went down to the basement.Eventually found and lugged the KitchenAid mixer upstairs ( now, that Bad Boy is one heavy piece of equipment......thank gawd we didn't try to tackle The Rockies with this mo-fo weighing us down) So easy to attach. So easy to disassemble and clean. Produced exactly the sort of "grind" I wanted.Even the recipe worked out GRRRREAT.A winner.
A little late but I still have some thoughts about grinding!!I tried to make Italian Sausage meat about six months back. All that I had was the old type of hand grinder and only one disc was available. This was the first problem~this grinder is really tough to use. My wife and I both needed to hold this grinder while I cranked. I looked through the internet to get a good recipe. I actually found a hundred or more recipes, so I took the best of what I thought was good.I bought 4 kilos, which gaves me about 7/8 pounds. This was kinda stupid to start with this much meat but for some reason, this was needed. Without complaining too much, it took a lot of work. The sausage itself wasn't exactly what I wanted. The final recipe didn't ask for enough spices/herbs or other tasting ingredients. It was a "Light" tasting of sausage meat but barely. I froze most of the meat and during the next few months I munched through the "Trial" sausage.This sausage making still encouraged to make more so I bought a Kenwood Meat Grinder. It's sitting in my kitchen right now and I'm going to read the machine instructions. I have a lot of paperwork which I had from the last time, so this will help me make a better try.I already liked Italian sausage meat. When I was a kid, I could buy a "Hot Dago Sandwich". It was a thick piece of sausage which was cooked with a hot tomato sauce. There was large chunks of red peppers. Wow, was this good. This sandwich started in St. Paul, Minnesota, where I grew--up. The Italian Sausages itself were nice too. Some are sweet and others which are really hot. But, for some reason, this Italian sausage meat never lasts the US. I live in France and I've never found a chunk of this sausage here. I also spent a lot of time working in Napoli ~ Zero Italian sausage in that area. The other places in Italy could not find this neither. So, my new Kenwood is going to present the taste of good Italian sausages. Any comments or help for making my project. Or, if you know anything about the Italian sausage saga, post this please. I'm going to buy just two kilos of porc for this second trial. If this goes well, I might even put a casing onto the spigot and see if this can be done. Blackduff
I live in France Since you enjoy spicy sausages, have you tried the North African merguez sausages? They're fabulous and well-spiced lamb sausages.Any comments or help for making my project.I'd post your saga on the Recipes/Cooking board. I bet you'd get a lot of really terrific advice!sheila
SheilaI often eat Merguez sausages as possible. You can find places to serve them in an 8" section of baguette and stick two of the sausages inside. Normally there's some salad with onions and the whole group is covered with a sauce with Harissa. Harissa is the butter of North Africa countries~they look like tomato sauce but they're hidden as straight pepper.I will post on the other board later tonight.Blackduff
covered with a sauce with Harissa.I know Harissa well. There's always a tube in our refrigerator. My husband and son love it. For me, more than a microscopic dab is just too hot. I cook with merguez at home. There's a wonderful Middle Eastern/North African restaurant near me (here in NYC) that makes their own merguez, and I buy it from them uncooked. I either add chopped onions, an egg, and well spiced bread crumbs to make merguez burgers, or I saute the merguez with lots of onions and sweet peppers and serve it over pasta.Where in France do you live? sheila
SheilaI live near Collioure, which is almost to the Spanish border but on the Mediterranean. Have a look at this site: it's basically a photo album of the area I live. http://www.pyreneesmediterraneanliving.com/I have lived here for about twenty years.We do get snow once in awhile but it only stays for a day or two. Some of the photos show the snow in my bushes. There's a barbeque in some of the photos but there wasn't any merguez sausages. There was other sausages and sardine too. The best was the snails ~ this is Catalonia and they serve snails in the amounts of hundreds. Aioli is a good taste here too ~ it's like a garlic mayonaise. They're served with the snails. I lived in Spain too. I was there for six years in the Cadiz region. The fish is sooooo good there, and it's available always.My years in Minnesota (too cold), Montreal (too cold), and Sweden (which is also too cold) for my "Cold" life. Now I'm into the "Warm" part of my lifetime.Blackduff
SheilaI think that I found (in the photo album) a merguez within the barbeque rack, so it's everywhere. Blackduff
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