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Old-Fashioned Hand-Crank Meat Grinders

While it's possible to grind meat in a food processor, you might want to consider getting a standalone meat grinder if you plan on grinding meat on a regular basis. Old-fashioned hand-crank meat grinders are relatively cheap, and the meat they produce usually trumps meat ground in a food processor in terms of texture (for more on the benefits of using a dedicated meat grinder, see Meat Grinder vs. Food Processor). Plus, even the sturdiest hand-crank meat grinders are usually rather compact, so you won't have to worry about your new meat grinder taking up too much space on the countertop or in the kitchen cabinet.

Why Get an Old-School Meat Grinder?

While store-bought ground meat is fine in a pinch, there are a number of reasons why you might want to get a proper meat grinder with a crank handle (or one of the more expensive electric models that come with a motor). Some of the benefits of grinding meat at home include:

1. You'll have more control over the quality and origin of the meat. The pre-packaged ground beef, pork and poultry you find in the grocery stores is usually made from the tougher, less desirable bits that are left over after steaks and roasts have been carved off, and each serving can contain meat from dozens or even hundreds of animals. By processing meat at home using an old-fashioned meat grinder, you will have much more control over the type and origin of the meat you add to your dish.

Old-Fashioned Meat Grinder
LEM Products' old-fashioned hand-operated meat grinder, available through and in Canada through

2. The meat will have fewer opportunities to pick up harmful bacteria. Ground meat has much more surface area than a single piece of meat, and more surface area means more chances to pick up bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria during processing and handling. When grinding beef or poultry at home using a simple hand-crank food grinder, the meat will only go through one machine, and you can cook it immediately after grinding, thereby reducing chances of contamination.

3. Your choices are no longer limited to fatty pork and beef. The selection of ground meat available at grocery stores is often limited to beef and pork. With an old-school meat grinder, you'll be able to grind pretty much any type of meat, be it beef, veal, pork, lamb, venison, chicken, turkey or duck. Many meat grinders also mince fish with ease – perfect for making healthy fishballs or fishburgers! In addition, by making your own ground meat, you'll be able to choose meat with a lower fat content.

Where to Buy a Sturdy Hand-Crank Meat Grinder?

You don't have go to an antique store or a second-hand shop to buy an old-fashioned manual meat grinder. Despite the increasing demand for modern electric meat grinders, many companies still manufacture sturdy old-fashioned meat grinders that are operated by hand instead of a motor. If you like the convenience of online shopping, check out the following links:

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