I’m now at that point where I find it really useful to have dedicated mincers/grinder and a stuffer. But that’s because I do plenty of salami and sausages and want the right tools for the job.
Nothing wrong with a 2 in 1 machine. The very first one I had was also a juicer and pasta maker! You just attached whatever, and let the slow auger worm do its job.
Unless you want a throwaway grinder that will just add to the landfill issues, you gotta investment more than $100. There are sub-$100 meat mincers/grinders out there – and they do work, but for how long? Many include more plastic than metal componentry. It’s all about slick marketing, but they don’t do it justice (pure opinion based of course).
On this sausage/salami journey I have learned a bit about the options.
This of course comes down to if you’re going to do small or big runs of mincing meat.
Small runs of just a handful of salamis, minced meat or sausages – go manual or the free option below. But that’s really only for a handful of sausages for a few salamis.
For decent batches of homemade charcuterie salami and sausages, electric grinders of course would be best suited.
There are a lot of claims of Horse Power (HP) output for meat grinders/mincers, many are not a TRUE output of what they claim.
Most Sub $100-$200 or less – these mincers have motors filled with plastic cogs, this is one reason they just don’t go the distance. There are even quite a few ‘toy’ type mincers around $50, the build quality is inferior.
So here is how I mince (break) it down for options:
- Buying a Dedicated Meat Mincer
- ‘Extension’ option -Kitchen Aid
- Easiest (possibly free) Way (for really small batches)
Meat Sinew – Trimming Makes all the Difference!
Whatever way you do it, if you spend the time trimming the sinew off the meat, it makes mincing SO much better (sometimes know as silverskin).
You want pure meat and pure fat in your sausages and salami ideally with minimal other trims.
There are so many people expecting mincers to tear through soft bones, just don’t even try, once I didn’t trim the meat properly and left a little ball joint/cap – it did not make the sausages very pleasant…
Factors to Consider
- Ease of Cleaning
- User Friendliness (1 or 2 person job)
- Blades / Sizes Included
- Weight Sturdiness / Build (What I suggest is HEAVY)
Details on Options
Electric Meat Mincer
1/2 – 1HP true output motor gives you this, sorry its an old crappy video – but the 30 seconds will give you an idea of power.
There are a lot of plastic squishy mincers out there, they can run for a few minutes, but aren’t designed to keep chugging. The above is, as you can see – doing a very quick job.
It’s was a generic style semi-commercial, it’s very hard, sturdy and fast ($650 from memory?)
Talking $500-700+ for 1 HP, so I think a compromise is 3/4-1/2 output for most applications. Since that’s quite an investment, but if you were keen – the Kitchener 1 HP is this one (which would produce similar results as the vid).
This is still a great grinder, it chews through loads – like 5-10 pound runs with ease.
I find this suits most guys who make small or large batches at home.
Kitchener Meat Grinder Sausage Stuffer Elite 1/2 HP (Residential model) – ways 18lbs! You won’t get that with the cheapos!
Here are a couple of manual mincers for small projects
Very respected Italian made Tre Spade – hence why you pay around $200, it’s quality stainless steel and built to last a lifetime.
There are sausage/salami funnels so you can do the stuffing with it, but will take a bit of time!
Not a fan of the cheaper grinders, caste iron old school ones are good. But the production tolerances of ‘modern’ caste iron, too many stories of failure.
Don’t want metal in my meat thanks.
‘Extension’ option -Kitchen Aid
Can get the job done, but the separation of fat/meat can be hard with mixing/melding happening. For short runs and you REALLY have to trim meat well, no sinew or connective tissue. With 1/2-1 HP you negate this to a certain degree.
Easiest (Possible Free) Way Mincer
Slice the meat into 1/4″ slices, then use 2 sharp knives drawing away from the meat like this:
Then turn the meat 90 degrees and do it again. (A little freezing until harder but not frozen can help too if you just use 1 knife or cleaver.)
Freezing helps any mincing, not solid but just so the meat firms up. Fresh meat is predominated water anywho.