The topic of today’s article is choosing the right meat grinder. Meat grinders are a type of kitchen appliance that is inherently difficult to clean, a bit tricky to operate but also very rewarding for those that take the trouble to grind their own meat and even make homemade sausages.
When it comes to meat grinders, the 2 key parts that determine a lot of the quality and performance of the unit are the grinding head and the grinding plates. Additionally, the size and quality of the stuffing tubes are very important as well.
Thus, it is useful to determine what you are looking for regarding these features – it will help you focus on the relevant reviews and narrow down your choice. Rather than giving you general tips on selecting a meat grinder, here is our selection of 5 great meat grinders that come at various sizes and prices, with a detailed description of each one.
STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-TF Turboforce 3-Speed Electric Meat Grinder
The first unit in our meat grinder reviews is the STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-TF Turboforce 3-Speed Electric Meat Grinder.
We chose this one for the opening of the reviews because it is a very solid unit with a reasonable price. It has a lot of the accessories that come with more expensive units, yet it is pretty affordable as far as meat grinders go.
So here are the basics concerning price, size and design. The listing price of this meat grinder is just under $300. If you are wondering why we think this is an affordable price for a meat grinder, then here are our two reasons.
Firstly, it is not one of the most expensive products in its category, looking at other meat grinders with the exact same specifications. Secondly, and more importantly, it comes with a 3-year “repair or replace” warranty which ensures that, in the event that it becomes dysfunctional for any reason, you will get your STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-TF Turboforce 3-Speed Electric Meat Grinder repaired or replaced with a new one, no matter what the cause of the malfunction. Thus, you are guaranteed to get at least 3 years of use of this unit and likely to get more! So, the cost of using it per year is at most $100. That is a price most that most other meat grinders with the same features cannot beat.
Regarding the size, its dimensions are 16.5 x 6.5 x 14.5 inches. That makes it middle-sized compared to the other meat grinders in our reviews. It is quite light, with only 12 pounds of weight, which means that it would be easily feasible to store it in a cupboard and take it out each time you want to use it. In other words, it will not require permanent countertop space, so the dimensions are not too important. Still, it is good to keep them in mind when planning where to store your meat grinder.
Next, let us look into the most relevant features of this meat grinder – the ones that largely determine its quality, durability and performance. As we mentioned above, those are the grinding head, the grinding plates and the cutting blades. The grinding head of this meat grinder is a size 12 cast aluminum head – one of the largest on the market. The size is important because it determines the size of the meat that can be fitted in the head – the larger the head, the larger the meat parts can be and then the less time you have to spend on food prep. Regarding the grinding plates, this meat grinder comes with 3 different plates which vary in accordance with the texture of the grind that they provide – coarse, medium or fine. All three are 2 5/8 inches in diameters and they are made of hardened/tempered steel. Each grinding head is intended to be used together with one of the cutting blades (which come in a single variety) to form a matching set that provides a quicker and more precise grind. The cutting blades are made of stainless steel and hence they are very durable. They can be safely washed in the dishwasher. On the other hand, the grinding plates should only be washed by hand so as not to diminish their quality.
In addition to these essential parts, this meat grinder also comes with 3 different sausage tubes, an adapter and a Kubbe attachment. All of the sausage tubes are of a different size so you can choose whether your want sausages which are 3/4 inches in diameter, 5/8 inches or 1/2 inch. The adapter makes it easy to switch between different sausage tubes. The Kubbe attachment is used for a single purpose – to make Kubbe, a traditional Middle Eastern dish.
LEM Products .75 HP Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder
The second one of our meat grinder reviews is about the LEM Products .75 HP Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder. It is different from the STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-TF Turboforce 3-Speed Electric Meat Grinder in various ways.
Firstly, it is quite different in terms of the price, size and weight. The listing price of this one is about $460, so it is about 1/3 more expensive. It is quite smaller than the other meat grinder with dimensions of 2.2 x 11.5 x 8.5 inches.
Thus, this one would certainly fit in easily in most kitchens, which would be beneficial if you intend to use it quite often.
Interestingly, this meat grinder is actually heavier even though it is smaller than the STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-TF Turboforce 3-Speed Electric Meat Grinder – it weighs about 47 pounds. This is another reason why it would be best to give it a permanent countertop spot.
Its weight can be explained by the high quality materials used for making this meat grinder. For example, all of the gears are made of metal and have roller bearings. The internal parts and the meat tray on top are made of metal as well. Like the other meat grinder we reviewed, this one also has a size 12 grinding head. Another similarity is that this one also comes with 3 different plates, of which one is for stuffing and two are for grinding giving a coarse or fine grind. The grinding plates here are actually made of stainless steel, rather than hardened/tempered steel. The cutting blades do not come as a separate part like in the case with the other meat grinder we reviewed.
In terms of additional parts, this meat grinder has 3 different sized stuffing tubes as well, but the available sizes are not the same. With this one, you can choose between tubes with diameters of 3/4 inches, 3/8 inches or 1 1/4 inches. Thus, this is certainly one of the distinguishing characteristics between these meat grinders that require serious consideration. A Kubbe attachment is not included with this meat grinder, but three other accessories are: a stainless steel knife, a meat stomper and a Big Bite auger. These accessories have a more universal application and thus are probably going to more useful for most people.
Before we move on to the next meat grinder, there are three things we should briefly mention. Firstly, the warranty for this product covers 2 years and includes replacement of faulty parts and repairs. Secondly, there are no different grinding speeds to choose from, whereas with the previous meat grinder we mentioned there is a choice between 3 speeds. Lastly, the maintenance of this meat grinder is easy, but if you want the best and easiest results, you will need to purchase an additional product from LEM – the brush kit for cleaning LEM grinders. Most of the parts are dishwasher safe.
STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-MF Megaforce Patented Air Cooled Electric Meat Grinder
The third meat grinder we want to mention is the STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-MF Megaforce Patented Air Cooled Electric Meat Grinder.
It is very similar to the other STX INTERNATIONAL meat grinder we reviewed – such as the size, variety and material of the stuffing tubes, the grinding plates, the cutting blades, and the grinding head.
Overall, the dimensions and weight are the same as well. This is to be expected since both units are part of the STX-3000 series. In addition, the warranty conditions are the same for both meat grinders.
However, there are a few notable differences. Firstly, the listing price of this meat grinded is slightly higher at about $340. Secondly, this meat grinder has an integrated cowl air induction system which provides better airflow and air cooling of the unit. This is a feature that the other STX INTERNATIONAL meat grinder does not have. This feature will make a notable difference to those of you who plan on using the meat grinder for a large amount of meat at a time. The more you want to grind at a time, the more the motor will heat up. With this grinder, you can go through a lot of meat at a time and not worry about overheating. This is the main advantage of selecting the STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-MF Megaforce Patented Air Cooled Electric Meat Grinder over the other STX INTERNATIONAL unit.
Thirdly, the maintenance of this meat grinder is a bit trickier, as none of the parts are dishwasher safe i.e. the manufacturer recommends that all parts are washed by hand and dried immediately with a dry cloth. If they are soaked for a long time or left out to dry, they will probably get a discoloration. This goes especially for the head locking cap, the auger, the grinding head and the meat hopper, which are made of cast aluminum. The last notable difference is that this meat grinder includes a sausage stuffing plate in addition to the 3 grinding plates we mentioned. The sausage stuffing plate allows for more sausage flow than the grinding plates, which makes it convenient to use for the stuffing part of the process.
LEM Products 1 HP Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder
The fourth one of our meat grinder reviews is about the LEM Products 1 HP Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder. This one is basically a more powerful and more expensive version of the LEM Products .75 HP Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder that we reviewed above.
The listing price of this meat grinder is about $614, which makes it the most expensive one on our list. It is the most exclusive and most powerful unit, which is why we decided to include it in these reviews – it is for all of you who need a high quality, heavy use meat grinder that is built to last.
Because it is intended for heavy duty use, it is no wonder that this meat grinder is much larger and heavier than the other LEM Products meat grinder. The dimensions of this one are 20.4 x 17.5 x 20.1 inches and it is also the heaviest one on our list at 64 pounds.
Of course, the largest difference between the LEM Products 1 HP Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder and the other LEM Product meat grinder we reviewed lies in the power of the electric motor. This difference in power can be best illustrated by the difference in output per hour – this meat grinder is able to grind about 550 pounds of meat per hour (depending somewhat on the cut) whereas the smaller version meat grinder is able to grind about 350 pounds in the same time. In addition to that, the this meat grinder includes all the accessories and attachments you might need, from grinding plates to stuffing plates, from a meat pan to a meat stomper, you will have everything you need to start grinding. Need we say more? Oh yes, it comes with a 2 year parts and repairs warranty too!
Sunmile SM-G31 ETL Meat Grinder Max1HP 800W Stainless Steel Meat Grinder
For those of you that find the price tag of the LEM Products 1 HP Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder to be a lot higher than what you are willing to spend, here is a budget-friendly alternative, which is in fact cheaper than all of the other units in our meat grinder reviews.
We are talking about the Sunmile SM-G31 ETL Meat Grinder Max1HP 800W Stainless Steel Meat Grinder – a unit that comes at the price of about $200 and includes grinding and cutting accessories made of stainless steel.
Thus, it offers an excellent price-to-quality ratio. As we saw above, even some of the more expensive units above did not have all their grinding and cutting elements made of stainless steel as this one does.
So what exactly is included in the package? The full set of accessories includes 1 stainless steel cutting blade, 3 stainless steel grinding plates, 3 sausage stuffing tubes and 1 plastic food pusher to help you stuff the sausages more easily. The stainless steel parts are dishwasher safe, while the other parts made of cast aluminum are not. This includes the hopper, the tube and the screws. The good thing about the aluminum parts is that they are lightweight and they will not rust.
The motor of the Sunmile SM-G31 ETL Meat Grinder Max1HP 800W Stainless Steel Meat Grinder is powerful enough to grind approximately 150 pounds of meat per hour, which is more than decent considering its size and price tag. In terms of size, it is quite compact – with dimensions of 19.3 x 10.4 x 8.4 inches. In terms of weight, it is the lightest unit in these reviews at only 8 pounds. Thus, it should be super easy to store it in a cupboard and take it out as needed. We would recommend this meat grinder if you need a unit for occasional grinding and you do not want to spend a lot just for the occasional use. It is also worth noting that the warranty for this unit is 1 year.
With that we conclude this round of meat grinder reviews. We have included a lot of different units with various features, all of which cost between $200-$650. Thus, we hope that you have found the meat grinder with the perfect price-to-quality ratio for you!