Meat grinders/making own burger

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by WV Farm girl, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. WV Farm girl

    WV Farm girl Well-Known Member

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    With the increasing cost of beef I'm wondering if it would be cost effective to purchase a grinder and start making my own burger.
    I know some of you do this. What brand meat grinder do you have? What cuts do you use to make burger? What do you estimate or costs to be on the burger you are making? Do you add in any extra fats?
    I know it's several questions but I'm interested in exploring this option. Thank you!!
     
  2. CurtisWilliams

    CurtisWilliams Well-Known Member

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    I recently bought a grinder at a thrift store and I have the same questions. Anyone???
     

  3. Kris in MI

    Kris in MI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No experience with beef (I'm assuming you are asking about cuts to buy from grocery store), but we have made burger from venison for many years (we process our own deer). For making venison burger, we grind anything that isn't better suited as something else, as in anything that doesn't make a nice steak, or the loins, or good stew meat. And honestly, this past hunting season DH ground most of one deer so he could make it into summer sausage and snack sticks. Neck meat, brisket, the thin strips of meat between the ribs, the tendon-y front legs, little bits from around the bones, etc are our normal grind candidates.

    You can grind any cut of meat for burger/sausage. What you are going to want to use is the stuff that is cheap, and/or not tender enough to be better used as something else.

    When we've made pork sausage and had to buy pork to do so, we've usually used pork butt roasts, as they seem to be what goes on sale for cheapest. We have not bought beef to grind into burger, as we eat alot of venison instead, and I don't normally see any cut of beef on sale cheaper than the hamburger from the store is priced.
     
  4. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    I bought a cheap Grinder through Bass Pro Shop, found after buying it that it has Plastic Gears but it hasn't given me any trouble.

    Far as Burger I've used any red meat, want sausage I spice it well. :shrug:

    big rockpile
     
  5. Convoy

    Convoy Well-Known Member

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    well it's just my opinion but I believe Hobart has the best grinder since it's made for butcher shops. Though other brands that I have seen in Home hardware looked similair - but I wondered where you could get replacement plates and blades for them.

    As for cuts just use whatever cheapest. Extra lean is 5% max fat, Lean is 15%, and regular is 25% to give you an idea. While it's true cuts like sirloin tip has more iron if you spice it or use any herbs you won't be able to taste it.
     
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  6. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a grinder from Cabelas and love it. Had Oster attachments for my kitchen center/mixer, and still have those but had to constantly remove the grinding disks and clean out the tendons, etc that would collect in them. Not with the Cabela's grinder. It does a much better job. So far, so good. We just do deer, antelope and goat when we have some. I use a little pork when I have it to moisten up the venison, however.
     
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  7. Cookie2

    Cookie2 Well-Known Member

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    I read an article in Cooks Magazine ... they just used the cutting blade in a food processor. Their tests showed that method gave the best, fastest and easiest results. Cost or not, beef ground at home tasted a whole lot better than the stuff in the stores.
     
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  8. WV Farm girl

    WV Farm girl Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far! Do you add any extra fat to burger or sausage or just what is on the cuts of meat itself? Sometimes here we can get lesser beef cuts for BOGO and it figures out to less than $4/lb burger is now up to.
    I'm going to goodwill to look for grinders tomorrow.
     
  9. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    Cost effective?

    Yes.

    Stores will often sell a certain cut of meat as a loss leader to get folks in the store. I've bought and ground sirloin for less than the price of hamburger.

    A couple of things to remember:

    1. Many times your grind will have less fat. That's usually a good thing, except it sometimes makes hamburger patties a bit hard to hold together while cooking. Plan accordingly.
    2. The plate you have on your grinder makes a lot of difference on how coarse or fine your grind is...so you may have to buy another plate to achieve the consistency you wish.
     
  10. GREENCOUNTYPETE

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

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    I use a LEM big bite , grinder , it grinds well

    but I almost never grind beef , we do our own pork sausage , we buy a pig each year we let the pig go to the processor but tell them to just leave the trim in bags of about 5 pounds , and cut the steaks , chops , hams , roasts and bacon as custom sausage adds to the bill in a hurry because it is all about the labor costs.
    but pork only accounts for a small portion of what we grind

    the main meat ground is venison , i cut the back straps , and tenderloins for eating as steaks and grind the rest , with venison you want to remov as much of the fat as possible , it carries the gamey flavor you may hear people talk about with swamp bucks that eat juniper , also venison fat has a much higher melting temp than pork or beef fat , if you ever had a meal of venison and afterwards you had a waxy residue on your lips , that is the cooled venison fat.

    but most anything can be ground , some do chicken , turkey , I have made some very good turkey salad with turkey left overs this way.

    but any meat can be ground , lots of wild meats can be ground and spiced put with a sauce and no one is ever the wiser

    the LEM has foot petal attachment , this would actually work with most any grinder but is very useful , you can turn it on when you want it on and off when you want it off and usually your hands are in use or not unclean but messy

    remember to clean you grinder head right away and wipe down with a light vegetable oil , if you wait it can be a chore to get the dried meat bits from all the hard to reach places i learned the hard way when i was using a smaller meat grinder it would take hours I would finish a midnight and cleanup was the last thing on my mind after butchering deer , grinding and packaging. when the kids were little i got a lot of my work done while they slept and not a lot of sleep myself.
     
  11. GREENCOUNTYPETE

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

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    you make a good point if you already have a good food processor it can chop meat well and fast but where this stops being effective is when you exceed about 4 -5 pounds

    if you have 50 pounds of meat to grind , a larger grinder is the way to go
     
  12. GREENCOUNTYPETE

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

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    I have had a few department store grinders , the basic , the home cook or somthing like that , they all suffered from a bushing that isn't up to the job of grinding for longer periods of time

    and It would take a while to grind a years venison , the Kitchen aid attachment for the kitchen aid mixer held up the best and did a lot of deer it was still running and would be my choice for jobs under 15 pounds if you already had or wanted a kitchen aid stand mixer ,we like our kitchen aid mixer very much , like someone else said the smaller ones needed to be cleaned out often I found that to be true also around 15 pounds depending on the meat but around there.

    the larger cabaelas or LEM grinders don't need to be cleaned near as often , and bot have been around for some time and supported their products with parts and accessories.

    hobarts are great but there is a high demand for the smaller units and they cost a lot , often you can find a big unit that can grind 20 pounds a minute for less than a unit that would be sized more appropriately for a household

    LEM is a catalog for meat processing http://www.lemproducts.com/
     
  13. Cookie2

    Cookie2 Well-Known Member

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    Sure but why grind it all at once. Beef grinds best if it is slightly frozen. Freeze what you don't need right away and grind it as you need it. That way you're always grinding just the amount you want.
     
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  14. GREENCOUNTYPETE

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

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    everything raw grinds best slightly frozen but when your processing a bunch of meat to can or freeze in 1-3 pound packages for quick easy use later , thats when it makes sense to grind once and clean once.

    it can be done either way , but I rarely have any extra time making dinner , i want to make a good dinner but have limited time before some on needs to be at a meeting or sport.

    both good tools , but it depends what your end goal is

    are you grinding and stuffing 50 pounds of sausage or making a nice meal with plenty of time to prep

    is it free road meat or a gourmet meal?
     
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  15. Kellkell

    Kellkell Well-Known Member

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    I have a Waring Pro that I got from Home Depot. For my needs, it works fine. I do smaller batches, larger than what is reasonable for a food processor, but definitely not 50lbs at a time. I also wanted the sausage attachments, but I'm just starting out with sausage. Made my first batch of breakfast sausage.

    For ground beef, I grind up chuck roast. Ground chuck is about 85% lean I believe (give or take). When I cut it up to process, I trim out the large chunks of fat. It is not cheaper than 80% ground beef. But it is cheaper than the 90-93% lean ground beef. But I grind more for the taste and knowing what I am eating. Too many times I have gotten ground beef from the grocery that by the next day it is already turning brown in the fridge. Stores now days gets their beef already ground in huge chubs and they just repackage. Who knows how long ago it was ground.
     
  16. GREENCOUNTYPETE

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

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    KellKell makes a good point , I buy larger quantities 60+ pounds of ground beef for local fund raising dinners each year , I got to go in the meat room in the back of the store and talk with the guys and gal that cut an package the meat , most of their ground does come in in 10 pound tubes 5 to a box and that is how they sell it to me at near cost , my local store does not order any of the mexican beef they tried it and did not like it so they will not order it from corporate but many many stores do.
     
  17. backtocolo

    backtocolo Well-Known Member

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    we bought a grinder from Northern tools (IIRC)

    We buy as much beef on sale as we can afford when it's on sale. It's boneless and fairly lean. We just toss it in the freezer.

    The last time we did it we ground about 35 lbs. For chili we use the coarse plate. The rest gets a second grinding with the fine plate. Dh grinds and I cut the meat up and brown it.

    We can it mostly as ground beef. Some we do as meatballs. I have also done some as "salisbury" steak.

    I think dh said it cost less than 3.00/lb and it was super lean. I had to add oil to brown it.

    Store ground beef always makes me sick. I can eat the home ground with no problem.
     
  18. Awnry Abe

    Awnry Abe My name is not Alice Supporter

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    Hmmm. This thread has me thinking. I am about out of ground beef, but I am long on round steaks. I do like to eat round steak, but I could probably make some into burgers and really enjoy, and not really miss a few of them....
     
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  19. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    No grinder suggestions, but have you checked into buying a side of beef at a time? We buy a whole beef at a time & while it is quite a bit of money up front, our beef ends up being around $3 per pound when done. That gives us roasts, burger, t-bones, sirloins, rib eyes, cubed steaks & I forget what else. If we had to buy meat at the store, we wouldn't be eating much of it. :D
     
  20. KMA1

    KMA1 Well-Known Member

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    We use a manual grinder for hamburger and sausage. Just don't like to be tied to electric. I recommend Chop-rite brand, still made in the USA. My grandparents used the same grinders 70 or more years ago, built under the name Enterprise, before the company changed hands and name. They are made for a lifetime of hard work and all the parts are available if you ever need one. And I don't think my #32 is any slower than most electric grinders, and faster than some I have seen and used.
     
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