How to choose a meat grinder
Electric grinder device
This kitchen appliance is arranged quite simply. The motor is located inside the housing, and the rotating shaft of the meat grinder is passed through the reducer. In most devices, the reducer is partially or completely plastic, and it is wear or breakage of plastic parts of the reducer that is the most common cause of failure of the meat grinder. In expensive models, the gearbox is entirely made of metal, and a safety clutch is installed on the shaft to protect the engine when the wedge is in place. The screw of the meat grinder is fixed to the shaft, which pushes the meat through the meat receiver when it rotates. Meat enters the meat collector through the tray. At the end of the screw, a knife and a steel perforated disk are fixed, pressed with a pressure nut. The meat under pressure enters the holes of the disc and is cut off with a moving knife. High-quality discs and knives of expensive meat grinders provide easy cutting of meat without unnecessary deformations and low load on the engine – as a result, the stuffing is obtained better, and the productivity of the device increases. Budget models of meat grinders are often equipped with knives and disks made of cheap steel, requiring frequent sharpening.
Characteristics of meat grinders
Power is one of the main parameters of meat grinders, which directly affects its “omnivore” and price. Power is also related to performance, but not so clearly – two devices with the same performance can have a power that differs by 1.5-2 times. But at the same time, a more powerful meat grinder will withstand the specified performance at any quality of meat, and a less powerful one will show the passport performance only on small homogeneous pieces without veins and fat.
The parameters often contain two power values: peak (maximum, when the shaft is locked) and nominal. The first is the maximum power that the grinder’s engine can produce. At this power, the meat grinder can work for a short time, just a few seconds. Rated power is the normal operating power at which the grinder can operate for a long time. The maximum power determines how well the meat grinder will cope with stringy pieces of meat, and the nominal power affects mainly the performance.
The higher the capacity, the less time you need to prepare the meat before placing it in the tray.
In a powerful meat grinder, you can put meat “indiscriminately”, but a low-power meat grinder will make sinewy and fatty meat work at the power limit and can even jam. This is especially dangerous if the motor of the grinder is not equipped with overload protection – in this case, jamming the screw or prolonged operation with an increased load can lead to failure. Therefore, in order not to waste time separating veins, cartilage and fat from pieces of meat, it is better to choose a model with a power reserve-from 400 W nominal and from 1000 W peak.
At the same time, excessive (more than 2000W peak) power may only be required if you need increased performance, or if one of the attachments requires increased power.
Performance shows how many kilos of meat the meat grinder can turn in a minute. If you are not engaged in the preparation of minced meat in large volumes, do not chase high performance – in most cases, preparing the workplace and washing the meat grinder after scrolling will take much more time than scrolling itself. After all, even with a capacity of 0.5 kg / min, the meat grinder will scroll through 5 kg of meat in just 10 minutes – a rare dish will require such an amount of minced meat.
Therefore, when choosing between two models with the same power, it is better to stop at the one with less performance – the time lost when scrolling the meat will be more than compensated by the fact that it will not need to be carefully prepared for scrolling. For home use, 0.5 – 1.5 kg/min is enough.
The reverse system allows you to change the direction of rotation of the screw and remove the stuck piece of meat. This option is extremely useful, especially for small-capacity meat grinders – if there is no reverse, the jammed meat grinder will have to be disassembled.
The material of the case and tray is not as important as sometimes insist sales consultants, offering to buy an expensive all-metal model. The tray and the body do not experience heavy loads during operation, so if you do not drop the meat grinder and knock it with a hammer, then the plastic elements will last as long as the metal ones. Plastic in these parts is used for food, so there will be no harm to the product from contact with it. In addition, plastic models are lighter. The disadvantage of a plastic tray is that it is more scratched, and the scratches may remain dirt, which is a breeding ground for bacteria-the plastic tray should be washed more carefully.
Different dishes require different consistency of minced meat, so the presence of several perforated discs with holes of different sizes will simplify the preparation of “non-standard” minced meat and improve the taste of your dishes. A disk with small diameter holes will yield a more uniform minced meat-this option is suitable for making pates. And minced meat passed through a disk with large holes, on the contrary, will be rough, with large pieces of meat – this minced meat is good for baking.
Before you finally decide on the choice, it is useful to look at the method of attaching the meat grinder screw to the drive shaft. Of the many ways to mount the most common are the following:
– Metal hexagon, due to the ease of manufacture, is used on low-cost models. Since low-cost models often do not have overload protection, jamming the screw with this method of attachment can lead to breakage of the gearbox gears or engine failure.
– Plastic slotted mount is used on most middle-class meat grinders. The plastic element is usually removable and plays the role of a fuse: it breaks when the screw is jammed, “saving” the engine. To continue working, you only need to replace the plastic element.
– Metal slotted connection is used in high-power meat grinders. Such a meat grinder must have a safety clutch or electronic overload protection, otherwise jamming the screw can lead to damage to the engine or gearbox.
Thanks to additional attachments, the functionality of electric meat grinders increases significantly, bringing them closer to food processors. And if you wish without much cost to diversify its menu to better attend to the accompanying tips when buying grinder: although the nozzle and can be bought separately, mounting dimensions from all your vehicles and find the right nozzle for a specific model can be challenging.
What are the attachments, and what do they do?
The cookie cutter attachment is a metal plate with holes of various shapes in the mandrel, which is fixed to the meat grinder instead of a perforated disk. When the dough is rolled, it is squeezed out through the hole, taking its shape. As the dough is squeezed out, the strip of dough is cut into uniform pieces and laid out on a baking tray.
The sausage attachment allows you to simplify and speed up the process of filling homemade sausage. The nozzle is a tube, which is put on a pre-prepared shell. The end of the shell is tied, the nozzle is fixed at the exit of the meat grinder, and the minced meat, coming out of the tube, pulls the shell off it, forming a sausage. It remains only to bind the shell at the appropriate intervals. Some sausage attachments have a separate tray – you can use it to place pieces of meat, cheese, or other ingredients inside the minced meat (and inside the sausage). The kit may include several nozzles for cooking sausages and sausages of different diameters.
The shredding attachment and grater attachments allow you to quickly and accurately chop or grate carrots, apples, cheese or other products. Preparation of salads with this nozzle will be much faster, and the dishes will look much more solemn with this cutting. The shredding nozzle is usually made in the form of a separate, often plastic, tray with a working chamber, in which removable rotating cups are fixed-there are usually 3-4 of them in the set: one for shredding and two or three graters of different sizes. The main tray and the meat collector are not used when using such a nozzle.
The juicer attachment, as the name implies, is designed to produce juice. It has the shape of an elongated perforated metal cone, inside which a conical screw shaft rotates. When working, the shaft with increasing force presses pieces of fruit (or vegetables) to the perforated surface, squeezing the juice out of them. The spent cake is then removed through the hole at the top of the cone. This juicer has many advantages over conventional centrifugal juicers:
– it is more convenient to use, since it does not need to be periodically cleaned from cake;
– the juice does not heat up during cooking and retains more useful properties;
– the juice is not saturated with oxygen and is stored much longer.
The disadvantage of such a juicer is a large amount of pulp at the output – if the juice needs to be clarified, it will have to be additionally filtered.
These are the most common attachments, which are now equipped with most electric meat grinders. Some meat grinders are also equipped with nozzles for grinding coffee or pepper beans (coffee grinders), nozzles for forming dough (noodle cutters), citrus presses for obtaining orange and lemon juice, and many others.
Top 5 best meat grinders
The Powerful STX Turboforce Classic 3000 Series Electric Meat Grinder & Sausage Stuffer: 4 Grinding Plates, 3 – S/S Blades, Sausage Tubes & Kubbe Maker. 2 Free Meat Claws & 3 in 1 Burger-Slider Maker!
Gourmia GMG525 Electric Meat Grinder – Accessory Kit with 3 Stainless Steel Grinding Plates, Sausage Horn, Kibbeh Attachment – Heavy Duty Stainless Steel – Recipe Book Included
Electric Meat Grinder, Aobosi 3-IN-1 Meat Mincer & Sausage Stuffer,【1200W Max】Sausage & Kubbe Kits Included, 3 Grinding Plates,Stainless Steel | Home Kitchen & Commercial Use
Manual Meat Grinder with Stainless Steel Blades Heavy Duty Powerful Suction Base for Home Use Fast and Effortless for All Meats
Gideon Hand Crank Manual Meat Grinder Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Blades with Powerful Suction Base Effortlessly Grind Meat, Vegetables, Garlic, Fruits, etc.
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