SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Meat (and other things) › Sausage › Grinder Smear - How to Deal - 9 Pic Q-View -Good for Rookies
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Grinder Smear - How to Deal - 9 Pic Q-View -Good for Rookies

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

You have a grinder. You're happily using it to grind meat for sausage, meatloaf or even meatballs. One day, you hear a noise (I'd describe it as a popping squicky sound) and maybe your grinder starts to labor a little bit.

 

You've hit a chunk of fat or fatty gristle, and your grinder does not like it. Sausage enthusiasts call this "smear" and although it is a pain sometimes, I'd like you to see what it looks like so that you can deal with it if you encounter it.

 

Good grind looks like this: Marbled, loose strands.

 

19cleanmeat.jpg

 

Smear is fluffy, lighter in color and the strands are twisty. You can deal with this quickly and easily. You'll also save some possible damage to your grinder:

 

20fattypieces.jpg

 

Lets take a look at what is going on inside your grinder. I've popped off the nut. You can see the jammed up fat. This is what locks up the screw and puts excess wear and tear on your motor. Friction makes heat. I do not want heat around my raw meat :

 

21hotmess.jpg

 

Remove the grinder assembly :

 

23everythingthattouchesmeatcomesoff.jpg

 

If the mess is bad enough, you may have a struggle popping the die off the front. If it gets real stuck, try running it under hot water. This will help loosen the fat, maybe help the metal expand a bit.

 

I prefer to work over my utility sink. This way, if I drop something, I can find it. In this example, the whole unit came loose from the case in one fatty sticky chunk. ::THUNK::

 

25cleancrew.jpg

 

Strings of fat and gristle will wind themselves anywhere they can. Be patient. An old toothbrush can be a great help here :

 

26fatstrings.jpg

 

Again, warm water is your friend.

 

Before warm water (chunks of meat, tied up and chunky)

 

27chunksinthedie.jpg

 

Rinse:

 

28rinsed.jpg

 

Looking better already :

 

29smear.jpg

 

Here is the MOST important thing I can say:

 

If you have to break your machine down mid-grind, please then drop the pieces into cold water for a minute or two before you re-assemble the unit.  Warm grinder parts mean warm meat. Warm meat means unsafe temperatures.

 

How do you avoid it? Two things:

 

Trim your meat. The better the quality of what goes in the hopper, the better the quality of what comes out.

Use sharp blades. I have not found a reliable grinder blade sharpener, so I buy extras. If I feel like I am getting excessive smear despite my best trim, I'll try swapping in a new blade.

 

Good luck and happy grinding!

 

-Princess

post #2 of 17

Man Princess, Even your tutorial's make me hungry. I'm still new to the sauage making world but I love reading your post.

 

Thank You

post #3 of 17

Another excellent post by The Princess of Indiana!

 

Thanks Princess---Your tutorials are Great!

 

 

Bear

post #4 of 17

Keeping your meat as cold as possible will also help with "smear". I have noticed that once I cut up my meat, if I put it back into the refrigerator for a while ( until it is cold and firm), I will get a better grind and less clogging. SB

post #5 of 17

Great info from the sweet Princess!! Thanks for that even though I haven't run into that problem yet it's good to know. I'm guessing it'll happen sooner or later since I've only been grinding for a little while!

post #6 of 17

icon_cool.gif

Yes Mam that another fine tutorial you have give us here on sausage making. I love to make sausage too. Now that I'm back I can get into some more real soon.

post #7 of 17

Another hit, outta the park.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

post #8 of 17

Great info Princess - I have had to do that several times

post #9 of 17

Great tutorial, Princess!  One thing I'd like to add if I may would be to take a few extra moments to clean thoroughly the threads on your throat and nut where they screw together.  Proteins can build up in the threads and can be very hard to remove, even to the point having to take the tip of a boning knife and scraping out each thread.  The end result is that you can't tighten down the ring as much as you used to, so then the ring doesn't press the knife hard enough to the plate, causing it not to cut cleanly and wearing the knife down.  Eventually, the threads won't hold the ring tight enough and wear down the threads until you have to get a replacement throat/ring, almost as much as a new grinder.  You can eliminate this problem by soaking the parts in soap and disinfectant for 10 min., rinse thoroughly, slowly screwing the ring onto the throat without any plate or knife, slowly going forwards and backwards cleaning the threads, (but don't tighten the ring all the way on with force as you may not get it back off, I've seen them lock on tight to where you have to take it to a machine shop to get it loosened), using a nylon brush to make sure the threads are clean, then lubricate both with food grade spray while storing.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

You bet! If this were a full break down for final cleaning, I'd have DEFINITELY included my hints on how to get all the icky gunk out of the backside of the grinder nut. (I have a fun trick that I have not seen anyone talk about on here!!)  This was more the "mid-grind-uh-oh" post. Thank you for reading!

 

Cheers!

-P
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pops6927 View Post

Great tutorial, Princess!  One thing I'd like to add if I may would be to take a few extra moments to clean thoroughly the threads on your throat and nut where they screw together.  Proteins can build up in the threads and can be very hard to remove, even to the point having to take the tip of a boning knife and scraping out each thread.  The end result is that you can't tighten down the ring as much as you used to, so then the ring doesn't press the knife hard enough to the plate, causing it not to cut cleanly and wearing the knife down.  Eventually, the threads won't hold the ring tight enough and wear down the threads until you have to get a replacement throat/ring, almost as much as a new grinder.  You can eliminate this problem by soaking the parts in soap and disinfectant for 10 min., rinse thoroughly, slowly screwing the ring onto the throat without any plate or knife, slowly going forwards and backwards cleaning the threads, (but don't tighten the ring all the way on with force as you may not get it back off, I've seen them lock on tight to where you have to take it to a machine shop to get it loosened), using a nylon brush to make sure the threads are clean, then lubricate both with food grade spray while storing.

post #11 of 17

Nice tutorial as always. thanks princess

post #12 of 17

Yep, just like a tv show, gonna be a sequel.  biggrin.gif    My favorite trick for cleaning those threads is a discarded tooth brush.

post #13 of 17

Great information......SB

post #14 of 17

Another good trick that works for me is to put the whole grinder head unit in the freezer between grinds. Especially when grinding bacon to use as fat for sausages. Really cold meat with frost crystals still in them and a grinder head straight from the freezer works well for me.

post #15 of 17

Good info.

post #16 of 17

G reat job!  You rock!  LOL

post #17 of 17

Thanks Princess, I would not have thought of the cold water bath. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sausage
SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Meat (and other things) › Sausage › Grinder Smear - How to Deal - 9 Pic Q-View -Good for Rookies