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Home » The Homestead Kitchen

A Must Know Trick To Successfully Grinding Meat

Submitted by on January 15, 2016 – 2:47 pm 13 Comments
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A Must Know Trick To Successfully Grinding Meat


Learning this trick literally saved me a ton of money this week.

I was all ready to bite the bullet and buy a new meat grinder. After a frustrating failed first attempt at grinding fresh venison, I was ready to toss my pasta maker/meat grinder to the curb. I was sure it was a piece of junk. The problem I was having was that instead of a nice grind, the meat was being turned into mush, and the grinder kept getting clogged with slimy silverskin.

I spent hours reading reviews on the best hand meat grinder models, finally narrowing it down to what looked like the best choice for what we could afford. I had it in my Amazon cart ready to buy. Still… I hesitated. $80 is a whole lot of money to plunk down all at once!


A Must Know Trick To Successfully Grinding Meat


Maybe there was still something better??

Thank goodness I did just a little bit more research before I clicked to buy. Because within the forums I was searching for advice, I found exactly what I needed to know.

The secret to grinding meat at home…

A Must Know Trick To Successfully Grinding Meat

Grind it half-frozen!

Hunters from all over the world were having a discussion about the best way to grind fresh meat, and they all agreed that partially freezing it (or partially thawing it if it’s already frozen) before grinding it makes the process so much easier.

So I tried grinding venison one more time.

And guess what. It worked!

My meat grinder did a PERFECT job grinding the partially thawed, cubed meat. No clogging. No mush. Just a beautiful grind.


A Must Know Trick To Successfully Grinding Meat

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to know the meat grinder I already have works perfectly well and that I don’t have to buy anything else to get the job done. (I also love this meat grinder because it’s multi-functional, acting as a pasta maker and mincer as well.) Eighty buckaroos SAVED!

Anyways, I thought this was a REALLY good tip to know for anyone interested in learning how to grind fresh meat at home. If you can, freeze it partially first. It makes a world of difference.

By the way, I’ve found that ground venison can be used in pretty much any of my favorite recipes that call for ground beef. We can’t even tell the difference!

Do you grind your own meat? What’s your favorite meat grinder?


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  • Woo, glad you saved those eighty buckaroos! Yeah, a lot of people say to freeze or thaw your meat for a good grind. And I too love those type of meat grinders where you get multiple functions in one tool – saves a lot of money. How long do you let the meat thaw after taking it out from the freezer?

  • ernestinefetter says:

    Nice article. I like this trick. It really works well.

  • Amanda W says:

    What type/brand of meat grinder/pasta maker do you have?

  • Daryle in VT says:

    I use a light commercial grinder with a #12 head. It has a 3/4 horsepower motor. The key to a good grinder is a sharp cutter and die. Whether hand operated or electric, keep the cutter and the die matched. That means one cutter head per a given die plate. Use a quality flat stone to sharpen the cutter. When the four arms of the cutter head reflect light equally, it’s sharp. Then hone the die until it is all one “shine.” Keep the cutter and die in a protective cover and oiled.
    Grinding meat or even horseradish will be easy.

  • Jimbo says:

    Hard chill or partly frozen works well if you have trouble thin slicing the meat.

  • Gloria says:

    This is why many grinding recipes include ice cubes – to chill the meat so it’s more rigid against grinding. Once ground, you can squeeze out the excess water.

    I also found with my own electric grinder, that despite following the setup diagrams carefully, I was putting in the cutter blade backwards. It looked like the right way in the diagram, but we know how wrong some of those can be.

  • Danny Robertson says:

    I would agree that the colder you try to grind your meat the better. I process several deer every year and find that removing as much silver skin as possible saves lots of clogged grinder blades. I have a large blade that makes 1/2 inch chunks that I run the meat thru first makes t g e final grind lots easier.

  • Great tip – thank you, Kendra!! We’ve not done this yet, but my husband swears the venison up here is also very similar to regular cow beef. Nice to know that there is a doable meat grinding option if we ever go that route!

  • Jerry says:

    while you’re on the right track I’ve been making my own sausage for almost 40 years now and the answer is well chilled meat not half frozen along with using the proper size grinding die, you may even have to grind your meat through a larger die first recommended in some books, mixing your spices then re-chilling overnight then grinding through a smaller die, when freezing the meat you actually have to work harder which generates more heat melting the fat causing it to smear, cutting the meat into smaller chunks also minimizes the amount of force it takes to grind your meat

  • RNmom says:

    That is awesome. I had no idea just partially freezing would make such a difference. Thank you for sharing!!!

  • Donna Y says:

    I have been grinding my own meat for a long time now. Since meat has gotten so expensive. I buy it on sale and grind it at home. I use my kitchenaide with the grinder attachment. Grinds up beautifully. After freezing it slightly, I cut it into one inch strips and grind it up.

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