How Does a Meat Grinder Work

If you are thinking about grinding meat at home, you might have wondered how does a meat grinder work? While on the surface meat grinders might seem intimidating and complex machines, they are simple devices that are designed for the single task of grinding meat. You can use attachments with a meat grinder to get the meat in your desired consistency and flavor. You can also use meat grinders for grinding different types of meat, nuts, vegetables, cheese, herbs and much more.

In this article, we are going to take a look at how a meat grinder works and how you can make the best use of your meat grinder for grinding meat in your kitchen.

Advantages of using a Meat Grinder

When you grind meat in your kitchen, you can enjoy several advantages over buying ground meat that is sold in stores. Let’s take a look at some of these advantages.

  • Cleanliness – Grinding meat in your kitchen means you can be sure it is clean and free of any preservatives. You are also sure that the meat has not spent a lot of time on the shelf of the supermarket and the ground meat is fresh.
  • Economical – Buying ground meat from a supermarket or a butcher’s shop can be expensive, but when you grind it at home, you can save a lot of money in the long run.
  • More Choice – When you grind meat at home, you can get the end product looking as you want it to be. Whether you want it to be a mixture of different meat or a particular texture, you can achieve all that and more with a meat grinder.
  • Unique Attachments – With a meat grinder, you can use a range of attachments to get the expected final result of ground meat. From making sausages to grinding meat and bones for pet food, you can use the attachments do it all that and more.

How Does a Meat Grinder Work

The operation of an electric and manual meat grinder differs in only the way the blades of the device are powered. For an electric meat grinder, you have to just press a button for the grinder to work, but in a manual meat grinder, you have to rotate the arm of the device to grind the meat. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at how a meat grinder works.

A Meat Grinder Works By Pushing Meat Through Sharp Blades A Manual Meat Grinder Works via Crank Rotation

Meat Preparation – When it comes to grinding meat, you don’t want to keep the meat in the open for too long. It is best to cut the meat in medium to small size pieces and then refrigerate the meat and the blade of the grinder for half an hour. It is easier to grind meat that is semi-frozen as it does not clog the grinder and doesn’t stick to the walls of the grinder either.

Add the Meat to Feeding Tube – Before adding the meat to the feeding tube, make sure all surfaces of your kitchen area are well sanitized, and the grinder is also clean. Add small portions of meat to the feeding tube and grind them in small batches so that there is no risk of clogging or overloading the meat grinder.

Spin the Blade – The blade in the meat grinder pushes the meat forward through the attached plates so that it can come out in the desired form. Whether you want finely minced meat that is juicy or you want a large grind, you can get it all. You can also add attachments to fill up sausages with your meat grinder.

Clean the Meat Grinder – Once you are done using the meat grinder, make sure you clean it properly so that there is no meat residue left sticking to the walls of the grinder. You can take some pieces of bread and pass them through the grinder, and they will soak up any excess meat that will make it easy to clean the grinder. For manual grinders, you can clean the parts with warm and soapy water. For electric grinders, follow the cleaning instructions mentioned by the manufacturer.

Do’s and Don’ts of Using a Meat Grinder

Using a meat grinder is really simple. Just add the meat and press a button or move a crank to grind it as you want. But there are certain precautions that you need to follow while grinding meat. Let’s take a look at some do’s and don’ts of using a meat grinder.

A Manual Meat Grinder Works via Crank Rotation

  • Keep It Cold – Cold temperature is your friend when operating the meat grinder. The blades will work better if they are cold and the meat will also grind better if it is partially frozen. Cold meat is also less likely to get contaminated due to pathogens and bacteria that thrive in a hot environment.
  • Keep it Level – Make sure your meat grinder is placed on a level surface, and it will not move while in operation. If the meat grinder is placed on a surface that is uneven, it will lead to reduced performance, and it might even damage the meat grinder.
  • Keep it Clean – Cleaning your meat grinder is a must before and after you have ground out the meat. Along with the meat grinder, make sure the meat you are about to grind is also clean and you store the final product in a clean dish.
  • Keep it Dry – Once you are done using the meat grinder, store it in a dry place so that it does not get rust due to moisture. For manual grinders, you can also spray a light film of vegetable oil on the grinder to keep it from rusting.
  • Keep Hands Away from the Blade – The blade of the meat grinder is really sharp. Avoid touching the blade in any manner and be very careful when handling the blade for cleaning or storing.
  • Keep a Spatula Handy – When grinding meat, it can be tempting to push the meat in the feeding tube with your hand to save time. But the blades of the meat grinder are really sharp, and you might end up injuring yourself. Always use a spatula or the attachments provided with the meat grinder to push the meat into the feeding tube.


FAQs about Working of a Meat Grinder

Buyers often have questions about meat grinders. Here we have answered some of the frequently asked questions about the working of a meat grinder.

Q1) I have a manual meat grinder that is really hard to crank. What could be the reason behind its difficult operation?

Ans. If your manual meat grinder is an old model, it might be rusted from the inside, or any parts might be loose. You can take it apart and treat the areas that have rust on them. You can also take the meat grinder to a professional who will inspect it and fix it for you.

Q2) Do I need to sharpen the blade of my manual meat grinder?

Ans. The blades of a manual meat grinder are designed in a way that they sharpen automatically while moving inside the tube where the meat is ground up. Depending on your usage, you can take the blades to a professional if you feel the meat is not getting ground up to your satisfaction.

Q3) How can I clean my electric meat grinder?

Ans. After you are done grinding meat, pass a slice or two of bread through the meat grinder to soak up any excess meat from the grinder. You can clean the removable parts by washing them with soap and warm water. Use a small brush to remove any meat particles from other parts of the meat grinder. Make sure every part is dry before putting it back together.

Q4) How can I use a meat grinder for stuffing sausages?

Ans. It is a really simple task. All you need to do is use a sausage stuffing attachment and grind the meat as you usually do and you will be able to stuff the sausage with the meat of your choice.

Q5) I have a manual meat grinder that gets stuck when I try to grind meat. What am I doing wrong here?

Ans. Consider freezing the meat and the blade of the grinder for half an hour before you start grinding the meat. The meat should not be frozen hard, but cold enough that it can be ground up easily. Chop up the meat in small cubes and grind only small portions so that the meat does not stick to the blades or the insider of the feeder tube.



The operation of a meat grinder is not too complex. Feed the meat from one end, press a button or move the crank and you will get the meat as per the attachment added to your meat grinder. Using a meat grinder to grind meat of all kinds in the comfort of your kitchen can be a joy and a great way to save money while knowing that the meat is free of preservatives and chemicals.

If you are looking to get into meat grinding at home, give a meat grinder a try, and you will never look at ground meat from a supermarket again. We hope this article was helpful in giving you an insight into how meat grinders work. If you have any questions or queries, please feel free to post the same in the comment section.


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Hi! My name is Erika. I'm the chief editor at My Favorite things to do consist of hiking, and making Jerky. This blog is a place where my team and I share information related to meat grinders.

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