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Updated Feb 13, 2023 9:24 PM
Big game hunters need the best meat grinders to process their own game. Properly ground meat should have a consistent texture with no large pieces of gristle or connective tissue. To do so, grinders need to have sharp cutting blades and enough power to complete the job without bogging down.
Having a grinder that can properly mince and cut meat is critical for a quality finished product. Whether you have multiple big game animals in the freezer or just a pile of meat from waterfowl season, your grinder needs to be able to handle the job. Grinder attachments on kitchen appliances will burn out quickly, or the gears will break down. If you want to grind meat, buy a meat grinder, not an adaptable appliance.
A reliable grinder needs to cut meat evenly as it is forced through a grinding plate to produce burgers without chewy pieces. You want to make sure your meat is consistent and tender when it comes out the other end. Finding a grinder that can accomplish these tasks and run smoothly will result in better wild game meals. I grind endless amounts of wild game each season and below are some great choices for the best meat grinders.
How I Picked The Best Meat Grinders
I use meat grinders on a regular basis. I grind everything from big game animals to ducks and geese. Family and friends often come over to use my grinders and it isn’t unusual for my equipment to go through thousands of pounds of meat in a year. Buying a unit robust enough to meet your demands is not only critical but will save you from a lot of trouble when it’s time to start grinding meat. The following are the criteria I based my selections on.
Horsepower: Underpowered grinders make undesirable minced meat. Consistent speed and power prolong the grinder’s life and help to keep the blade sharp. Sharp blades cut and mince all proteins to prevent large pieces of connective tissue in the final product.
Durability and Cleaning: Steel gears, augers, and components are critical to longevity. Small grinders with plastic components will fail.
Overall cost: The amount of meat you process in a year will dictate what electric grinder you should purchase. Consider the costs of taking meat in for processing, and you will quickly determine that nothing is overpriced.
The Best Meat Grinders: Reviews & Recommendations
Best for Wild Game: Weston Pro Series Electric Meat Grinder
Why It Made the Cut: The Weston Pro Series Electric Meat Grinder is perfect for hunters to process wild game year after year. This unit is adequately powered for any sized job and is engineered with durable steel gears.
- 2 horsepower/1,500-watt motor
- Processes up to 1,200 pounds of meat per hour
- Stainless steel construction
- Powerful air-cooled motor
- Steel gears
- Reverse function
- Safety guard
The Weston Pro Series Electric Meat Grinder is engineered and powered for extensive use. It is a workhorse that will grind up to 200 pounds of meat in under 10 minutes. The grinder comes as a package with all the accessories for making sausage, medium and coarse grind plates, and even a built-in knife sharpener.
Steel gears and two horsepower allow this grinder to chew through large batches of meat without missing a beat. The metal-on-metal working surfaces can be problematic, but a fan air cools the motor and gears during use. A reverse function adds safety, and a tray guard will prevent novice processors from getting fingers close to the auger. The motor runs quietly, so hearing protection is optional.
The handle on the top is sturdy enough to move the heavy-duty unit around, and the rubber feet keep the grinder in place during use. The unit disassembles quickly and easily for cleanup. Components have a storage tray that sits in the meat hopper and includes a dust cover. Everything stays together for subsequent use to ensure no searching for any parts. The Weston Pro Series Electric Meat Grinder is the best meat grinder for hunters.
Best for The Money: Happybuy Electric Meat Grinder Mincer
Why It Made the Cut: The Happybuy Electric Meat Grinder Mincer offers steel construction, easy assembly, and enough horsepower to get the job done correctly.
- 1.5 horsepower/1,100-watt motor
- Processes 550 pounds of meat per hour
- Stainless steel
- Easy to assemble and clean
- Steel gears
- Large feed tray
- No reverse function or safety guard
- Slow grind rate
The Happybuy Electric Meat Grinder Mincer is a tremendous first grinder for beginners and those looking for the best meat grinder for the money. This grinder will serve you well if you grind meat once or twice a year in small batches. Hunters who harvest a couple of animals a year would have no problems with this unit.
This unit does not process meat as fast as other grinders. With an auger rotation speed of 193 revolutions per minute, it is more of a “slow and steady wins the race” design. But thanks to the slower pace and steel gears, this grinder will likely last a long time. Even with the low gearing, this grinder can still push through 550 pounds of meat in an hour.
The grinder comes with a 6mm grinding plate, but other options are available if you decide you want finer or coarser chopped meat. The unit also includes a meat pusher to keep fingers out of the feeder tube. It disassembles easily for cleaning and goes together just as easily for reassembly. Rubber feet help stabilize the unit while working. The total weight is 48 pounds, letting you know it was built sturdy with a robust motor.
Best for Home Use: VEVOR Electric Meat Grinder
Why It Made the Cut: The VEVOR Electric Meat Grinder checks all the boxes required when looking for a long-lasting, durable unit to deal with all your grinding demands at home.
- 1.5 horsepower/1,100-watt motor
- Processes 661 pounds of meat per hour
- Stainless steel
- 3 grinding plates included
- Steel gears
- Built-in circuit breaker prevents overload
- No reverse function
- The grinding rate is just over one pound per minute
The VEVOR Electric Meat Grinder is a good value for anyone wanting the best grinder for home use. This unit will process game meat at a reasonable rate and handle larger batches when needed. The grinder comes as a package with three grinding plates and accessories for making sausage, giving hunters everything they need to turn game into delicious meals.
Successful hunters would appreciate the value of this grinder.
The feed throat on the unit is small, which reduces the amount of meat that can be processed at a time. And with 180 revolutions per minute, this won’t win any speed contests. Still, the grind rate of 661 pounds of meat in an hour is more than adequate for most home applications. While slow does not mean poor quality, but be aware of the limitations and do not force meat through faster.
The motor is energy efficient and air-cooled to maintain meat quality and prevent overheating. A built-in circuit breaker will shut down the machine if overloaded or something jams in the auger. And once the work is done, the unit disassembles quickly and easily for fast clean up.
Best Hand Grinder: LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder
Why It Made the Cut: The LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder has stainless steel construction, easy assembly, and manual operation.
- Manual operation
- Clamps on tables up to 1.5 inches thick
- Stainless steel
- Large handle for leverage
- 2 grinding plates, 3 stuffing tubes, and stuffing star included
Everyone that processes meat or makes specialty meals should consider buying the best hand meat grinder. The LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder is the perfect choice for small jobs or when quality control is a must. Complete with two grinding plates, three stuffing tubes, and a stuffing star, you can make everything from Shepard’s Pie to breakfast sausage.
A manual grinder is not graded like electric units, as grind rate, weight, and safety features do not come into play. This unit is geared to turn the auger quickly and efficiently. A large handle offers plenty of leverage to power through tough meat cuts. Sharp blades and multiple grind plates are included and allow the user to custom grind small batches of meat as needed. The three stuffing tubes and star allow you to create a wide variety of sausage.
Highly polished stainless steel construction makes this unit easy to clean, rust resistant, and extremely durable. The wide opening on the clamp allows mounting on almost any countertop or table, and the rubber and plastic protectors ensure those surfaces don’t become damaged. Though there are less expensive and more expensive options, this one is well packaged with sturdy construction.
Things to Consider Before Buying The Best Meat Grinders
The horsepower of a meat grinder is vital. An underpowered unit will not cut and grind meat evenly, causing larger pieces of connective tissue to show up in the final product. Having enough power means clean and efficient cutting and grinding every time.
A quality meat grinder will provide information on how many pounds of meat it can grind in a minute or an hour. Anything over 10 pounds a minute would be a good bench line for most hunters to pick. Grinders processing 15 to 20 pounds a minute are fast, and efficient.
The throat of the grinder is a good indication of how fast the unit can process meat. Small, skinny feeds mean slow processing. Big throats deal with significant volume fast.
Light weight or portability aren’t features you should look for in a meat grinder. A heavy grinder is indicative of a powerful motor and sturdy metal components. A good unit will be hefty and is an excellent way to judge what you are looking at for long-term use and reliability.
When you consider the price of taking meat to the butcher to trim, grind, and package, it does not take long for a meat grinder to pay for itself. Everyone loves a bargain, but a compromise in price often means a compromise in quality.
Q: Is a meat grinder worth it?
Many butchers charge a dollar per pound for processing game and naturally sourced meats. The cost can add up quickly, especially over several years. Buying a meat grinder that should last a lifetime will pay for itself quickly. A quality unit can be shared amongst family or friends to reduce costs.
Q: Is a Weston a good meat grinder?
Weston makes excellent products and has supplied some prominent sporting goods retailers with branded grinders for years. The Pro Series grinder could be used commercially and is robust and durable. With a grind rate up to 18 pounds a minute, the Weston grinder will make short order of a tub of meat needing to be ground.
Q: What is the best meat grinder for deer?
Deer meat is fine-grained and grinds effortlessly. A deer will produce about 20 pounds of ground meat when adequately trimmed, after removing steaks and roasts. A medium-sized grinder that is easy to set up and clean is perfect for deer-sized jobs. There is no need for overkill when buying a grinder. Meeting your needs and balancing price and value are always important considerations.
Final Thoughts on the Best Meat Grinders
Low volume processing allows most hunters to use a medium-sized grinder to be quick and efficient. The larger units, or commercial grade, are workhorses that can withstand long work hours where consistent results are necessary. If you share a grinder, buy something more robust, as it will get used more than if one person owned it.
The best meat grinder for hunters with considerable demands can still be purchased for under $1,000. If you harvest big animals like elk, moose, or bison, spend the money upfront, and the grinder will pay for itself in a short amount of time. That said, there are great grinders available at lower prices that will function well for the average hunter.