Next time you’re in the kitchen, look at your meat grinder. We are sure that guy has come in handy lots of time when preparing meat. But do you know how it works? Not many do. In this article, we are going to explain how does a meat grinder work.
Spoiler alert! It’s actually pretty simple stuff once you understand the main principle behind it. You push the meat through a tube, and a blade grinds it down. A plate with holes on the outer side gives you the exact size results you want. Let’s get into the details then.
The Components That Make It All Happen
To understand how it all works, you first need to know what are the components that make up a meat grinder. Knowing these and also what their functions are will give you a clearer understanding.
There are essentially nine components to a meat grinder:
- Feeding Tube
The feeding tube is right below the meat tray. It’s a T-shaped tube with a tray attached firmly at the top, and the lower portion of it also has some small parts attached.
- Screw Ring
The ring is pretty easy to spot. It’s the ring you can find on the outer portion of the feeding tube.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. The extruder’s job is to push the meat out.
- Cutting Blade
The cutting blade is placed right at the end of the feeding tube. When meat is pushed through, the cutting blade will cut it into pieces. Basically, this is what does most of the ‘grinding’ in some way.
- Sausage Stuffer
This one isn’t a core component but an additional accessory. You can use it to make sausages of the ground meat easily.
- Meat Tray
The meat tray sits at the top of the meat grinder, and you place the meat on top of it.
- Meat Pusher
Primarily made of plastic, a meat pusher is used to force or ‘push’ the meat inside the feeding.
Hands down one of the most important components of any good electrical meat grinder. The better the motor, the sturdier the grinder. Typically, household grinders will have a 300 – 500-watt motor.
- Grinder Plate
The final grounded meat will come out of the grinder plate. When the meat is cut, the holes will allow the meat to come out of the grinder. The holes of the grinder plate can be different sizes as well. This allows for the meat to come out in different sizes.
How Does a Meat Grinder Work?
Now that you know the basic components of a meat grinder and what each one does, we can jump into how it works. We are sure you have a pretty solid guess by now. But let’s get to it.
We will break down the whole process into simple, easy-to-understand steps;
Step 1 – Preparation
No, you don’t just take big chunks of meat and put them in the grinder. There is some finesse to it. You will need to prepare it first. Clean the big chunks of meat.
Removing the fat is also a necessary step. Then the meat is kept in the freezer to cool down (duh). Your grinder also needs to cool down, by the way. Because the grinder will get hot when in use, cooling it down is always a great idea.
Step 2 – Assemble Meat Grinder
To completely assemble the meat grinder and prepare it, start by washing off all the components. Let it air dry. Also, make sure it’s disconnected; otherwise, it might be dangerous when you assemble it. Then you will need to assemble it and connect all the parts.
Step 3 – Cut the Meat
Cut the meat according to the size of the feeding tube.
Step 4 – Place Meat on the Tray and Push Through the Feeding Tube
Now comes the fun part, you will place the meat on top of the tray and manually push it through the feeding tube. The meat will go through the tube and reach the extruder. This will push the meat outside.
Step 5 – Grinding Plate and Blade Does Its Job
A meat grinder machine’s grinding plate and the blade will do their job- cutting the meat. The blades will cut the meat, and the grinding plate will allow the meat to come out.
Now, the size will depend on the plate. If you want it to be large, then the holes need to be large as well. Naturally, for smaller sizes, the holes need to be small.
That’s all there is to it. It’s pretty simple and straightforward stuff, and anyone with just a little practice can master using a meat grinder.
One additional thing you can do is use a sausage stuffer. This is for when you want to make sausages. But as we mentioned before, it isn’t a primary component. You can also attach other attachments as per your needs.
Meat Grinder Usage Tips
Wait, we aren’t quite done yet. Before wrapping up, there are some tips you need to know. These will help you get the most out of your meat grinder.
Wash It After Use
Trust us, you don’t want meat residue to build up inside your machine. Washing it will keep it in tip-top shape and enhance longevity. Besides, when you’re working with food, hygiene should always be your number one priority.
What you need to keep in mind here is how you wash it. For manual grinders, you can wash with soap water. Whereas for electric ones, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Pro Tip: You can pass bread pieces through the grinder to soak up the meat pieces that may have gotten stuck.
Here are some short extra tips:
- Keep your hands at a safe distance from the blade for obvious reasons
- Make sure to keep your meat grinder cold and dry
Well, that was quite a meaty article, wasn’t it? See what we did there? Silly jokes aside, now you should have quite a good understanding of how does a meat grinder work. It really is pretty simple stuff.