Meat grinders aren’t just for butcher shops and grocery store meat departments: Grinding meat at home yields a better texture and more flavor.
That's because the meat in the grocery store often sits for days on end and can oxidize and lose flavor over time. Store-bought ground meat can also be made with additional fillers that you have no control over. Using a meat grinder allows you to control the fat-to-meat ratio, which means you can blend your own meats for outstanding burgers, meatballs, or sausages.
And while most cooks already have a food processor on hand, a meat grinder better bet to ensure the correct texture for most applications for ground meat. Using a manual meat grinder or an electric meat grinder will give even the toughest cut of meat that tender and flavorful consistency. And despite what may seem like a complicated endeavor, you don't need to be a butcher to create your own custom blend of meats. Simply begin with some fat and your favorite cuts of meat (or anything that needs to be ground, including poultry, vegetables, or grains), and grind away.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Big Bite Grinder
- Best Budget: Ship to Shore Electric Meat Grinder
- Best Manual: LHS Manual Meat Grinder
- Best Electric: Cabela's Commercial Grade Meat Grinder
- Best High-End: Weston Pro Series Meat Grinder
- Best Compact: KitchenAid Food Grinder Attachment
- Fastest for Processing Meat: Vevor Commercial Meat Grinder
- Best Everyday Use: Lovimela Electric Food Grinder
Best Overall: Big Bite Grinder
Material: Stainless Steel | Dimensions: 19.88 x 17.01 x 18.11 inches | Weight: 55.12 pounds | Wattage: 550 Watts
- Stainless Steel Gears and Grinding Plates
- Storage Drawer
- Quieter Operation
- Stuffing is sometimes slow
The Big Bite Grinder does exactly what its name suggests: grinding up to 11 pounds per minute using one of its two grinder plates. It uses a larger offset tube and auger technology in order to grind meat faster. For sausage making, you can switch out the grinding plate for the stuffing plate and use the three stuffing tubes for sausages and salamis. The grinder also comes with a convenient front storage drawer for plates, knives, and tubes.
Best Budget: Ship to Shore Electric Meat Grinder
Material: Polypropylene and Stainless Steel | Dimensions: 13.68 x 6.5 x 13.81 inches | Weight: 10.24 pounds | Wattage: 250W
- Great for Sausage Making
- Easy to Use
- Not Dishwasher Safe
- Can Clog Easily
This electric meat grinder from Ship to Shore is light, easy to use, and can get the job done using the three grinding plates or stuffing tubes. Make perfectly ground meat with the cutlery-grade stainless steel blade. This is a great machine for getting your start in sausage making and meat processing. Choose between coarse, medium, and fine grinds of meat.
Best Manual: LHS Manual Meat Grinder
Material: ABS, Polypropylene, and Stainless Steel | Dimensions: 10.04 x 6.18 x 4.53 inches | Weight: 2.05 pounds | Wattage: N/A
- Easy to Assemble
- Good for Small Grinding Jobs
- Large Hopper
- Suction Cup Can Slip
This manual meat grinder is the perfect kitchen companion if you are looking to save space and you have small grinding jobs you would like to tackle. The large hopper allows you to place all your cubed meat or poultry in at once so you can focus on grinding fresh meat all with no motor, just a quiet hand crank. The manual grinder comes with two grinding plates and even a cookie shaper ideal for pressed cookies like spritzes.
Best Electric: Cabela's Commercial Grade Meat Grinder
Material: Heavy Duty Steel and Stainless Steel | Dimensions: 22 x 10 x 18 inches | Weight: 64 pounds | Wattage: 750W
- Quiet Operation
- Built-in Storage Drawer
- Heat-Reducing Design
- Auger Can Stick
Keep meat cool during the grinding process by using Cabela's Cool-Tek Ice Pak technology. It cools the interior stainless steel pieces in order to keep the meat cold during grinding, which reduces sticking and binding. The 750W induction motor can grind between 11 and 13 pounds of meat per minute. When not in use, you can store the 2 grinding plates, 3 sausage stuffing funnels, snack stick funnel, meat stomper, and cutting knife in the convenient storage drawer.
Best High-End: Weston Pro Series Meat Grinder
Material: Stainless Steel | Dimensions: 22.5 x 11.5 x 16.5 inches | Weight: 60 pounds | Wattage: 1,500W
- Grinds Large Quantities
- Can Grind Chicken Bones
- Heavy Duty
- Small Throat Design
The Weston Pro Series Electric Meat Grinder can grind up to 21 pounds of meat per minute using its powerful 2 horsepower 1,500W motor. The extra large oval hopper allows you to place all your cubed meat onto the tray to continuously feed through the tapered throat. The system includes a stainless steel grinding knife, 2 grinding plates, a stuffing kit, snack stick funnel, and adapters. When not in use, you can use the handy nested accessory tray and dust cover.
Best Compact: KitchenAid Food Grinder Attachment
Material: Stainless Steel | Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.5 x 8.4 inches | Weight: 2.5 pounds | Wattage: N/A
- Easy to Assemble
- Easy to Clean
- Storage Case
- Large Food Tray
- Auger Can Stick
- Not Dishwasher Safe
If you own a KitchenAid stand mixer, chances are this food grinder attachment will fit. The metal food grinder comes with a 3 grinding plates, 2 sausage stuffing tubes, meat pusher, sausage stuffing plate, cleaning brush, grinder, and removable food tray. The cleaning brush is great to scrub the throat of the food grinder.
Fastest for Processing Meat: Vevor Commercial Meat Grinder
Fastest for Processing Meat
Material: All-Steel and Stainless Steel | Dimensions: 15.4 x 14.5 x 14.5 inches | Weight: 66 pounds | Wattage: 1,100W
- 1,100 Watt Motor
- Commercial Grade
- Waterproof Touch Switch
- All One Piece
This is the fastest meat processing grinder on the list with the ability to process fresh meat at a whopping 660 pounds per hour! If you find yourself grinding meat more and more throughout the year, then this commercial meat grinder is what you need to efficiently grind it. The body is fully stainless steel construction with an 1,100W motor. It includes 2 grinding plates, 2 blades, 1 meat plate, 1 meat pusher, and 1 filling nozzle.
Best Everyday Use: Lovimela Electric Food Grinder
Best Everyday Use
Material: Stainless Steel | Dimensions: 17.7 x 10.2 x 7.8 inches | Weight: 7.05 pounds | Wattage: 2,600W
- Easy to Clean
- Quick Set-Up
- Heavy Duty
- Grinds Chicken Bones
- Motor Can Heat Up Qucikly
- Not Dishwasher Safe
The Lovimela Electric food grinder has a powerful 2,600W motor that can mince meat at a rate of 3 pounds per minute, including chicken bones (often included in homemade dog food). The electric meat grinder includes 3 cutting plates, a sausage tube, food pusher, blade, and a Kubbe kit. This system weighs in at just over 7 pounds and really gets the job done.
Features to Consider
Manual vs. Automatic
Manual grinders are great for smaller jobs, but they require more work because of the manual cranking and the slower processing time. This means you will have to cut down meat to smaller portions in order to feed it through the hopper.
Using an electric grinder means you can process more fresh meat faster and with less effort. There is no handle to crank, and an electric model can easily grind thicker cuts of meat. The process is essentially hands free since you don't have to cut down meat to smaller portions before placing it in the hopper.
Metal vs. Plastic
Metal pieces are more durable and have less breakage issues, but can rust if not cared for properly. Most grinder parts are not dishwasher safe and must be hand-washed in mild detergent then dried immediately. Metal parts can also be chilled or frozen to assist in keeping meat at its coldest during grinding.
Plastic meat grinders can crack and show more wear and tear, but they are more often dishwasher safe. Plastic is also difficult to chill or freeze, which is essential for processing meat.
When it comes to grinding options, choose a machine that has a minimum of 2 grinding plates: a coarse and a medium or fine plate. In order to achieve the best texture, it is recommended to pass meat through the grinder twice for consistent texture. The varying sizes of grinder plates allows users to customize the grind by the type of meat that’s being processed: finer grinders are better for applications like sausages in casings, while a coarser grind is better suited for burgers, for example.
Design and Size
The size of the meat grinder will depend on the quantity of grinding you have planned: If you're grinding large volumes of meat, you will want one with a stronger motor, larger hopper, and one that can put out a larger amount per minute.
The housing of a meat grinder does not normally get washed except for the exterior, which can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and soapy water. The throat, plates, and most removable parts should be thoroughly washed and dried after each use. It is important to note that most parts are not dishwasher safe and should be washed in hot water with mild detergent and then dried immediately to avoid rust.
How long does a meat grinder last?
An electric meat grinder will last roughly 10 years. Keep in mind that since they are motorized, these parts can wear down faster than a manual grinder. Blades can become dull over time but they can be sharpened or replaced.
Can I grind poultry in a meat grinder?
You can grind poultry in just about any meat grinder whether it's manual or electric. If you plan on grinding chicken bones, then go with a machine that can handle soft bones such as chicken, duck, and rabbit.
Can I stuff sausage with my meat grinder?
Most meat grinders come with the sausage stuffing tools. Typical sausage stuffing tools are small and medium-sized and suited for hot dogs, bratwurst, or any other type of sausage. Some meat grinders also come with a large stuffing tube in order to make summer sausages and salami.
How do I sharpen the blades of my meat grinder?
The easiest and simplest way to sharpen any blade is by using a sharpening stone. If you are accustomed to sharpening your own knives, you can use the same stone to sharpen the grinder blades. Set up your sharpening stone according to its instructions then take your blade and use a back and forth motion on each blade until sharp.
Another option for sharpening grinder blades is by using a handheld knife and tool sharpener. Place the blade in the appropriate fitting slot and swipe the blade through in one motion. It will take several passes per blade but it is a good way to maintain a consistent edge on your blade.
Meat grinders are perfect for custom blends using different cuts of meat as well as controling the amount of fat you use. You will have fresher ingredients and better flavor because of the blend of meat or the seasonings you add. You can also use a meat grinder for vegetables or legumes, which is perfect for making vegetarian dishes.
We determine the top picks by the choosing products that have high ratings and that offer a variety of options. We looked at each grinder for functionality, durability, brand quality, and ease of use. Each product needs to be tough enough to handle the rigorous processes of meat grinding yet consistent when using the stuffing attachments. Design characteristics also were taken into consideration, such as having an offset feeding tubes versus an inline tube, how large the hopper is compared to the neck, or the ability to store all of the grinding tools together. All of these variables are important when looking for the perfect equipment that can perform a job with speed and ease.