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An experience in grinding my own hamburger meat

So I wanted to write an article about grinding my own hamburger meat, I wanted to tell everyone you can save money doing this, the meat quality is better, and it is easy to do.  My experience fell short in some areas on this.  Now, in our economy I am always looking for creative ways to save on my grocery bill without having to sacrifice anything. In fact I take great pleasure in trying to hone my skills at creating recipes that are less expensive, and taste just as good if not better than their restaurant counterparts.  I must say I did accomplish my first goal, I purchased about 10 pounds of chuck roast for 1.97 a pound or so.  Ground chuck was running around 2.59 a pound.  My first goal was achieved, I had about a 20% savings pound for pound.  I also had to somehow justify purchasing my grinder attachment for my mixer.
ground hamburger

Grinding Hamburger Meat

I spent about the next 2 hours or so, cutting the meat into smaller pieces and loading up my grinder, to where from my amazement, ground meat came out.  Ah, yes, beautiful ground chuck was going into my bowl, and then everywhere else.  Ground meat ended up on the floor, my dog did not complain, but it also made it all over the counters, the refrigerator, and in many places after a good cleaning I am sure will soon let me know what that lovely scent meat has after being left out for a few days.  I attempted to regrind my meat again, one of my best friends made some Swedish meatballs over the Christmas holidays that were to die for, and she thought part of this was due to the multiple grindings her meat underwent.  Upon the next grinding I had to apart my grinder and clean it out several times because stringy bits were getting caught in my grinder.

Now, after getting the meat ground, I did make some burgers and they were fantastic.  The meat was  so nice and fresh.  Being a single person, and now what to do with nine more pounds meat.  So it is going to be vacuum packed as soon as I post this and placed in my freezer.  Did the meat taste better? Yes.  Do I think that it was better quality than what I would buy in the grocery store, most likely.  I just found the cleaning up process to be a lot more involved than what I signed on for.  Now if I had someone to split some of the labor with, and then package up the meat I would do it again in a heartbeat.  At the very least I will be moving the grinder to a place where it will make a less of a mess.

Next time I grind meat I hope to use a real meat grinder, not the Kitchen Aide attachment.  While it was good, and honestly later on, I really appreciated the meat that I ground up, I want to try it differently.  I love to grind up chicken breast patties along with zucchini and onions and make chicken patties.  The thought of some homemade sausage also sounds very appealing.  The folks from Pleasant Hill Grain were kind enough to send me a meat grinder to try, so look for a new adventure coming soon!

See Pleasant Hill Grain for the Maverick meat grinder as well as commercial food grinder models.

  • Shkra

    or maybe it sounds like you had the speed set too high.

  • Shkra

    I use a kitchenaid grinder attachment and have never had any problem grinding meat, or meat flying around, or any mess at all. You’re supposed to cut the meat into strips and freeze it for about 15-20 minutes. Problem here sounds like user error, not the product’s fault.

  • halftall


    • stephaniemanley

      I used this for making sausage, it worked very well.

  • Gary

    I have don’t this yet, but heard that if you run some stale bread through the grinder after your meat, it will push much of the remaining meat out so you have little waste or left over unground meat.

    • stephaniemanley

      Great idea!

  • nccurious

    NEVER have the grocery store grind a nice roast for hamburger. I did (always done this until this happened) and to my dismay I ended up with a lot less meat than I originally bought. So much stays in the grinder even when they assemble the grinder fresh in front of you. They will not reweigh it after grinding. So you end up paying for a lot of meat you didn’t get!!

    • stephaniemanley

      That is a smart tip.

  • SewGoodMama

    All the videos I’ve seen of people grinding meat with their KitchenAid attachment show the meat just falling out. Why did your meat fly everywhere?

  • SewGoodMama

    All the videos I’ve seen of people grinding meat with their KitchenAid attachment show the meat just falling out. Why did your meat fly everywhere?

    • Stephanie Manley

      When you make videos, you edit. I found that when I hit a fatty pocket, that’s when it came sputtering out everywhere. It was messy, would I do it again, yes.

    • Stephanie Manley

      When you make videos, you edit. I found that when I hit a fatty pocket, that’s when it came sputtering out everywhere. It was messy, would I do it again, yes.

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  • Krystal

    I have read that you slightly freeze the beef beforehand. This helps it come thru the grinder way easier. I haven’t tried it yet. But I will be this weekend.

  • Ada

    You can buy that same piece of meat and have the butcher grind it while you shop for free and have the same fresh, great tasting, cheaper ground meat.

    • Michael

      …the only problem is, you never know how clean the grinder is. When you grind your own you know how clean the grinder is.

  • http://Website(optional) karla

    I have found that when meat is on sale at our local Safeway, (I can’t speculate on other chains) that they will grind the beef if you ask them, no additional charge. But only beef. They won’t do pork or other meats. So I buy the Chuck roasts on sale – about every 4 months or so it is on sale – usually 1.98 pound. I hand the butcher 3 or 4 big roasts, ask him to grind it, and it all comes back to me ready to go. I always laugh, because when I say it all comes back to me, even the old packaging gets bundled into the new package. I have even had them ask if I would like to have some of the rat removed prior to grinding, and it comes back as a side of fat. Oh well. I do what I can to cut costs on our farm.

  • http://Website(optional) Anna

    Try using a piece of plastic wrap and a rubber band to control the meat exiting the grinder, (it helps to place rubber band first)

  • Collette Lemons

    I did not know they made grinder attachments for blenders, I don’t think that would have been much help to me since I can grind over 100 lbs in one day during deer season.

    I bought a smaller professional grinder and I love it. Cleaning is easy and the meat don’t go all over the kitchen.

    I also use it to grind hamburger from roasts and you can have hamburger with a lot less fat than if you buy it already ground.

    Those pesky tendons that clog everything up can be dealt with easily with a small crochet hook. I keep a set of crochet hooks in my kitchen because those things have a million uses for getting at the little things.

    • Stephanie

      Actually my attachment was on my kitchenaide mixer, it sounds like you grind a lot of meat! I loved your tip on the crochet hook.

  • Orion

    I simply bring the meat to the butcher in the meat department they will usually grind it for you no charge!!

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  • Kellie

    It sounds like your grinder might not be the best. I use a HUGE bowl under the shoot and put my grinder in the middle of my kitchen island and have little trouble with real mess, unless I don’t clean the parts right away. The key is to toss all the detachable parts in hot soapy water laced with a little bleach (just a little) for a few minutes right after the grinding then scrub the parts under hot water with a tooth brush, then I run them through the dishwaser.

    I have found that I can make extra lean ground meat SO much cheaper and much more lean than what is in the meat case. I buy EXTRA lean sirloins, of either beef or pork, or the skinned breast and thighs from a chicken. I can trim ALL the visible fat. I can make my own sausage and know exactly what is in it AND how much fat.

    I can even make homemade pet food that is human grade quality and spend a fraction of what it cost me at the pet store.

    For me there was no downside, but time and energy were involved. You must be meticulous on cleaning the grinder, and you have to be somewhat organized, having all the meat cut and trimmed and ready grind in one sitting, that way you are not moving back and forth getting meat all over.

    I am sorry this did not work so well for you, but working with another person would help. I have done this a few times with my pet food making since I just have one little cat and it really helps.

    • kevin1

      Low fat = dry burger. The reason why chuck is the preferred cut for hamburger is its lean to fat ratio of 75/25. There are times to cut the fat, a burger isn’t one of them.

  • Sam

    Try placing a plastic bag directly over the grinding plate, any splatters will be caught in the bag and all of your meat will be ready for storage.

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