What is a meat grinder?

Meat mincers often have a sausage stuffing attachment for stuffing sausage casings with ground beef.

A meat grinder is kitchen equipment designed to grind meat into evenly sized segments. People are probably familiar with hamburger meat, a common product in the meat grinder, but these tools are also used to grind meats for sausages, meat buns, and similar products. By the way, many butchers are happy to custom grind meats for customers who ask for it, and you may find that freshly ground meat tastes better when used. They can also be used for things other than meats, like nuts and some vegetables.

Bleach can be helpful in keeping a meat grinder clean.

The basic operating principle of the meat grinder has remained the same since it was developed in the 19th century by German inventor Karl Drais. The meat is forced through a metal plate that is perforated with several small holes. As the meat is extruded, it takes the form of long, thin strands of meat that can be broken into pieces. It is possible to change the grinding fineness by changing the plates, from very fine to very coarse.

The first meat grinders were manually powered, and some smaller meat grinders are still designed to be manually operated. However, commercial meat grinders are electric; this is vital when processing large amounts of meat, otherwise the hand can get very tired. In addition to being used to grind a single type of meat, a meat grinder can also process mixed meats, ensuring they are evenly combined, as is often the case with sausages.

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Many meat grinders have an attachment for making sausages. To make sausages with a meat grinder, people put the tripe into the sausage-making dish and then force the meat through the dish into the tripe. Periodically, the casings can be twisted to create individual sausage links that can later be cut.

Ground beef is extremely useful, but meat grinders can be dangerous. When using a meat mincer, always keep the ends and hairs away from the device as it is possible to get stuck and be seriously injured. It is also important to remember that ground beef is an ideal environment for bacteria as many exposed surfaces are created. Ground meat should always be thoroughly cooked and a meat grinder should be cleaned thoroughly after use to avoid contamination. The use of very hot water and bleach or a similar strong disinfectant is highly recommended.

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