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Grinder recommendations

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by archeryrob, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. archeryrob

    archeryrob Smoking Fanatic

    I have a Cabelas Heavy Duty grinder I have used for years and I think its a 1/2HP motor. It has processed deer fine and makes grinding for bologna fine. I have recently stepped up my game by learning more and have started making sausage and I made Liverwurst yesterday. I cut 2# of pig fat, 1 deer heart and liver into 1" cubes and frozen them for 45 minutes. That grinder loaded down like I've never heard it. I was expecting to hear snap or see some smoke after a while. I tried taking it easy, but the first medium grind was tough for it. Once ground and refroze it went through the 1/8" plate pretty well.

    So what HP would you all recommend I upgrade too for a next grinder? I am thinking of shopping used. I'd like the LEM 22, but it's going to be hard to drag that much coin out of me.
  2. Gwanger

    Gwanger Smoking Fanatic

    I have a Torrey, 15lbs.a min.oil bath gears indestructible,I usually don't grind frozen meat but darn close to it, but you have to ask yourself, am I going to carry this thing,grinder weighs almost 90lbs.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. archeryrob

    archeryrob Smoking Fanatic

    This is bogging down as the partially frozen meat hits the auger. Once broken up it cuts it fine and pushed out the meat spaghetti fine. It's clear just not a large enough motor to grind partially frozen meat.This grinds all non-frozen deer meat chunks and fat fine.

    My buddy bought a used professional type that has something like a 3hp motor. It's 16" tall and I'll probably borrow it when doing this kind of grinding again until I can find/afford a better one.
  5. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  6. archeryrob

    archeryrob Smoking Fanatic

    Does anyone make sausage with partially frozen meat? No one yet has said "I got a "X" HP grinder and it works great". or "I got "X" HP and it's not enough".
  7. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I don't make sausage. Yet! But I do grind a lot of beef, pork, and poultry. After cutting into pieces that fit the throat of my LEM Big Bite #8, I do a partial freeze of the meat before grinding. This keeps the fat from liquifying during the grinding. Works well. Now I do grind twice, first through a large plate (3/8 in) and the second going through a smaller plate (1/4 in). My grinder is 1/2 hp and works just fine. No bogging down. My recommendation, follow Dave's advice and sharpen/clean up your blade and plate. They do wear down and get dull. I have a separate blade for each plate. Alternately, get the largest grinder you can afford. I like LEM. But there are many different makes and models. Here are two additional sources for grinders:

    KITCHENER: https://greatcircleus.com/collections/kitchener
    HUNT RITE: https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/category_food-processing+meat-grinders
  8. Gwanger

    Gwanger Smoking Fanatic

    I have a 3/4 hp grinder w/ oil bath gearcase biggest you could get with 110 ac. I always use partial frozen meat I have a Torrey they make comercial grinders,get away from grinders from Cabellas and Bass Pro and buy if you insist to buy a new grinder be prepared to pay $700.00 like I did but it does not bog down much you will hear motor labor a little but that is to be expected with partial frozen meat. I would see what Butcher&Packer have to offer.
  9. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I just checked the LEM site and all of their Big Bite grinders including their #22 1hp and #32 1 1/2hp models are all 120VAC.
  10. archeryrob

    archeryrob Smoking Fanatic

    Ok I have an update. I have always ground on the medium plate and I did the initial first ground on medium, the one where it bound up, and then on small. Yesterday I ground on the course plate first and it ran through better and didn't bog down the same and went through fine on the small plate after the second freeze.

    I will still try and find a better grinder, but I think I figure on the medium plate was compressing it too much. Dave I did check the blade and its got a very clean edge on it.
  11. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have the Cabela's pro series 1/2 hp . Works great . I par freeze the meat for sausage , always grind course plate first .
  12. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Glad to hear a switch of plates helped.
    I honestly don't grind any of my meat frozen. Fridge cold yeah, but not frozen. The pork fat I grind is frozen but that stuff thaws so quickly that it almost doesn't count as frozen.

    With my limited grinder experience what I believe I have learned is that if you have a grinder there does NOT get hot then the extra emphasis on grinding partially frozen meat is not such a big deal.
    From all my research and using some of my personal experience it seems that all the effort of putting grinder pieces in the freezer and using half frozen meat is to deal with grinders heating up.

    Yes partially frozen, the meat plays better and fat doesn't smear so much, etc. etc. etc. but I have yet had an issue grinding very cold fridge temp meat (not frozen) with my grinder which does NOT heat up on me.

    My model is not made anymore but I have the Waring Pro 400 Watt Grinder. I believe they make a 450Watt version now.
    Mine is not the fastest in the world but I do about 100-125 pounds of grinding with it no problem and it never heats up.
    I'm a 1 man operation and since it isn't blazing fast, I can cut strips of meat and fat to supply the grinder while it brinds. So I can cut and grind at the same time! It actually turns out quite time efficient for me.

    Anyhow if you get to shopping for a new grinder be sure to also check for heating up as being a big factor for making your choice. You really don't get much time saving if the thing is a billion horse power but you have to spend hours freezing the parts and the meat all because the grinder heats up and cooks the meat within 20 minutes of use.

    Best of luck! :)
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Let me explain... Those of you grinding meat, the meat does heat up.... You take the grinder out of a cabinet, at 60-70 deg. F.. refer meat at 38 deg. F is exposed to all the grinding surfaces... It is ALSO exposed to friction from the turning of the meat screw, the blade and cutting plate... all of those surfaces cause friction... The residual of friction is heat... Rub your hands together and feel them warm.... Meat coming in contact with ambient air in your kitchen is warming during the entire process.... The meat tub is at ambient and causing the meat to warm... Your kitchen is full of bacteria... warm/warming meat is a breeding ground for bacteria...
    Cooling meat to say 28 deg. F, is giving you a cushion... cooling your grinder parts, is giving you a cushion... Doing what you can to reduce the possibility of bacterial growth, is your responsibility when it comes to making food that is safe to eat...
    Use a thermometer to check the meat temp prior to grinding... check it after the grind... put it back in the refer prior to the next step... you can't be too diligent where food safety is a step in food processing...
    OK.... off the food safety soap box again... Dave
    archeryrob likes this.
  14. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Good info Dave. I always cut and give the meat a good rest in the freezer before grinding. One day I was doing beef and moved on to pork so I washed the grinder parts and shook off all the water and into the freezer it went. Assembled. And it froze. Lesson learned. Dry and leave I assembled. The meat can wait.
    chopsaw likes this.
  15. JZ_Focus

    JZ_Focus Fire Starter

    I have a 1 1/2hp #32 grinder that I picked up from Gander Mountain when they were going out of business. I also bought one of the ice packs from cabelas that are designed to go around the grinding head to keep it nice an cool during the grinding process. I used this grinder for the first time tonight. Mind you it was to grind 2.5 lbs of pork and 2 lbs of beef to make pepperoni, but it definitely did the job well. I bought a larger grinder because we butcher hogs every january and the little grinder we have gets pretty warm after being used for a while. we have to frequently stop and cool it off so as not to cook the meat while we grind it.