Manual Meat Grinders
Today we will be talking about manual meat grinders, also know as hand crank meat grinders. These are a popular choice over electric grinders, as they are about half the price, and they can function without any need for electricity. However there are many different models for sale on the market right now, so how do you decide which kind will be best for your needs? To help you out, we will chat about some of the specifications and features you will need to think about before you make a purchase. After that we will check out some of the current top rated models you can buy. If you already have an idea in mind of what you want, you can head over to the recommended models section using this link.
What should you look for in a manual model?
When it comes to choosing a meat grinder, there are several different considerations you will need to think about before you decide to spend any money. The various choices we talk about below will hopefully help you to decide exactly what kind of grinder will be best for you.
Now the first and most obvious decision you will need to make is what kind of material you want to invest in. For the past few hundred years, meat grinders were purely made out of steel and cast iron, both of which are very strong and durable. However in recent years, a variety of plastic meat grinders have begun to find their way on the market. Being made out of plastic, they are obviously much cheaper, and they are appealing to anyone who isn’t looking for a heavy duty machine. The entire unit isn’t made out of plastic, as certain key components are often made out of metal such as the blades and mincing plates. These parts have to be made out of metal as they take the most strain in the entire unit.
So how do plastic models actually perform in comparison to the metal kinds? To be honest, it varies from brand to brand. There are some decent plastic units that can hold up to quite a bit of use, and others that crack or fall apart after a few months. Plastic is not a very tough and durable material, so it isn’t really the ideal choice for something like a meat grinder. We will have a look at one of the more reputable plastic models a little further down the page.
Metal on the other hand is without a doubt the better choice, but it does come at a cost. These units will often cost almost double what a plastic model does, but in terms of reliability there is no comparison. A metal grinder will last for many years, and will be able to withstand the toughest meat without falling apart. The only thing you really need to worry about when it comes to a metal hand meat grinder is rust, which is easily avoided if you dry the parts soon after you wash them.
Next you should think about what kind of attachments you will need to make the kind of mince you want. Most machines will come with 3 different sizes to give you a range of thicknesses. These plates often come in sizes of fine, medium and course. In addition to replaceable mincing plates, many will often come with one or two sausage stuffing attachments. A good grinder isn’t complete without the ability to make sausages, so be sure to look out for these!
Another consideration is where you want to use the machine. Some machines will need to be clamped on a counter-top or edge of a table, so be sure to check if your desired mounting place is thin enough to accommodate the mincer if it has a mounting clamp. Certain models have suction cups on the bottom to help keep the machine steady while you are doing the mincing. Other units have mounting holes on the bottom, so you can screw them into a counter-top. Be sure to find out how your selected mincer will fit in your kitchen, and make sure you have a way to do this!
These are some of the things you will need to think about before you spend any money, so be sure to keep this info in mind. Now lets have a look at some of current top rated hand meat grinders!
Recommended models – Norpro Meat Grinder
If you are looking for a good economical grinder, then the Norpro Meat Grinder may be what you want. This grinder has a high density plastic body, and the blades and mincing plates are made out of stainless steel. This comes with two mincing plates including fine and coarse. It also comes with three pasta attachments, and a sausage funnel. It is also designed for a variety of other purposes aside from meat, including making baby food, and crushing beans and vegetables. The base of the unit is stabilized with a suction cup underneath, so ideally you want a smooth counter to keep it firmly in place.
This machine is made in the USA, which does explain why it is a much better choice than some of the cheaper Chinese models you can get. With a retail price often hovering under $30, this is not a bad choice at all. At the time of writing this model had over 600 five-star user reviews on Amazon, and you can find out more about it and check the current pricing on the Amazon product page.
Recommended model – LEM #10 Meat Grinder
If you have a little more money to spend, then we would recommend you have a look at the LEM #10 Grinder. This is a full metal unit, which has a stunning polished exterior which looks really fantastic in any kitchen. This is a heavy duty meat grinder, designed to withstand many years of usage. Like the Norpro above, this comes with two cutting plate sizes including fine and coarse. It also comes with a set of three different sized stuffing tubes, giving you the ability to make a range of different sausages. Also included as a bonus is a stainless steel knife to help you to chop the meat to the required size for the feeding tube. This unit is mounted with a clamp, so make sure you have a suitable surface for this to attach to. We should note that the removable parts are not dishwasher safe, since the harsh detergent used in dishwashers can damage the finish. You should wash them by hand, and dry them soon afterwards to maintain the best finish.
This is one of the best hand grinders you can currently get, and with a retail price of under $80 it doesn’t cost a fortune. With a 4.1-star user rating on Amazon at the time of writing, it certainly seems like a good option. You can get more info on it and read some of the customer reviews over at the Amazon product page.