I noticed last night that there was some chunks of fat left i front of the blade when I was done grinding.
Is my blade dull? Plate bad? When do you know you need to replace the blade or plates?
Having meat left behind the plate is normal. Even large commercial grinders like I used to operate had meat left behind the plate. The grinder needs meat to constantly move through the worm to exit the plate. You will notice the meat coming out of your plate mushy in spots once the blade's get dull [dont know how to better describe it]. However another reason for having mushy meat coming out of the plate is a loose grinder head. Make sure you keep the plate and the knife together and do not interchange them from one plate to another [the knife]. Some home use grinders come with two plates and just one knife for example. The knife in that example would be used more, so that knife would get dull faster than if you had two or three plates with two or three knives. Hope that helps. Reinhard
You have received expert advice from experienced people.
Be sure the flat side of the blade faces the grinder plate.
As said, be sure the "big nut" is tightened down. Don't worry about dulling a stainless blade if properly installed!
The stainless blade is harder than most plates which are not stainless.
If your meat has any tough connective tissue left in it? You will find a little of that wrapped around the center. A little is normal, but more could mean more careful trim is in order. For us non-butchers, we have to look carefully to differentiate bad connective tissue from wonderful fat?
Grind on! You will do fine.
Good luck and good smoking.