Vintage Meat Grinder – Complete Guide

There is something unique about vintage meat grinders that makes them a coveted item for culinary enthusiasts. While the modern meat grinders come with a range of features and specialized attachments, vintage meat grinders were simply about form and function that resulted in a job done well. It didn’t hurt the reputation of the vintage meat grinders that they looked great on a shelf and offered amazing usage for grinding all kinds of meat.

Are you looking for a vintage meat grinder as a decoration piece or for use in your kitchen? Well, in this article, we are going to take a look at different aspects of the vintage meat grinders, where to buy them, how to buy them, how to use and care for these beautiful works of kitchen history.

Why Are Vintage Meat Grinders in Demand

There are many reasons why people like to collect and use vintage meat grinders. Let’s take a quick look at some of the reasons why vintage meat grinders are in demand.

Vintage Meat Grinder on a Shelf

Design – The design of the vintage meat grinders lends them a unique look compared to modern meat grinders. The form of the vintage meat grinders gives them a feeling of reliability and an old world charm that is not present in the modern meat grinders. It is the design that makes collectors look high and low for deals on vintage meat grinders that also make great conversation pieces on the shelf of their kitchen. Many vintage enthusiasts also create centerpieces out of the meat grinders they have bought.

Functionality – If there is one thing you should know about a vintage meat grinder it is that these things were highly functional. These meat grinders were not only used for grinding meat, but they were also used to grind up nuts, vegetables, grain and more. With an easy to operate design, grinding food in these meat grinders is a joy that cannot be duplicated by an electric meat grinder.

Efficiency – Vintage meat grinders are highly efficient at meat grinding as these are designed with a high degree of efficiency in mind. The metal construction coupled with an evergreen design makes these vintage meat grinders a collector’s item across the board. If you have a lot of meat to grind and you need a meat grinder at your cabin where electricity is not available, a manual meat grinder is your best option.

Durability – The vintage meat grinders were built to last which is why you can find many of these models on sale in online stores for used goods, pawn shops, or flea markets. The older meat grinders were made of steel, cast iron or aluminum and they had precisely mechanized internal parts that offered usage for years with a little maintenance. The durability of these grinders is such that even today you can restore and use one for grinding meat in your kitchen.


Where to Buy Vintage Meat Grinders?

So, you have decided to buy a vintage meat grinder, whether to use in your kitchen or as a decoration piece on the shelf, there are many places where you can buy these vintage meat grinders from. Let’s take a look at some online and offline options for vintage meat grinders

Flea Markets – If you are in luck, you might find old meat grinders at your local flea markets. People often bring used hardware to these markets so that they can make some money and get rid of the stuff in their homes. Depending on the condition of the meat grinder, you might need to restore or repair it before you can use it or display it in your house.

Yard Sales – Another great way to find used vintage meat grinders is yard sales. People who are cleaning their homes or shifting homes might have a yard sale where you can find vintage meat grinders at really low prices. If you keep looking, there is a chance that you might find an unused meat grinder in pristine condition.

eBay – You can always find listings for vintage meat grinders on eBay and many times these grinders go for really cheap prices. In case you are looking for a specific model of a meat grinder, you can set up an alert on eBay and the website will email you whenever that model of your choice becomes available. You can check some of the vintage meat grinders by clicking here.

Etsy – While people mostly sell homemade art and craft items on Etsy, you can also find vintage meat grinders on Etsy at affordable prices. There are different models of meat grinders available here, from older models to the latest models that stick to a vintage design. You can check these meat grinders by clicking here.

Antiques Searcher – At Antiques Searcher, you can check out a complete range of antiques that also includes vintage meat grinders. Along with the grinders, you can also buy spare parts of these devices in case the grinder you own is missing crucial parts. Take a look at the listings on the website by clicking here.


Buyer Tips

Whether you buy a meat grinder through an online shop or at a flea market, you need to be careful while purchasing so that you can get a good deal for your money. Here are some tips you can follow to make sure you don’t get deceived by a buyer.

For Online Purchases – There is always a slight risk associated with online purchases of used goods because you only have pictures provided by the buyer to base your purchasing decision on. For websites like eBay and Etsy, you can look for the reputation score of the seller and read reviews written by previous buyers. You can also ask questions from the seller in case you have any doubt about the design or authenticity of the meat grinder.

Most sellers are happy to provide additional images if you show an interest in the products. In the rare case the meat grinder you order doesn’t meet your expectations, you can always return it but be mindful of the return costs and the time the website will take to return your money.

For Purchases from Flea Markets or Yard Sales – The benefit of having the product in your hands is that you can always inspect it for any defects or deficiencies. You can also inspect the parts that move and see if their movement is smooth and flawless. In case there parts are missing from meat grinder, you can always ask for a lower price and then look for spare parts yourself. If the meat grinder is beyond repair, you can search for another unit and skip on buying that one.

Another advantage of buying from a physical store is that you can almost always get better deals than you would get online. Most people are looking to get rid of their stuff in yard sales, and if you can find a vintage meat grinder in decent condition at a yard sale, it can be a great purchase.

How to Use a Vintage Meat Grinder

So, you have purchased your vintage meat grinder, and now you want to grind some meat in it. Let’s take a look at the step by step process of how you can make the best use of your vintage meat grinder.

Vintage Meat Grinders are Easy to Use

Clean the Grinder – Whether you have bought your vintage meat grinder online or from a yard sale, make sure it is clean before you start using it to grind meat. Use warm water and soap solution to clean all parts of the meat grinder and let it all dry properly before using it. Be careful while handling the blades to avoid cutting yourself.

Prepare the Meat – Once you have selected the meat you want to grind, wash the meat and cut it in small pieces and freeze it for a little while. Make sure you don’t mix different types of meat in one grinding session as it can lead to mixing of flavors.

Mount the Grinder – Vintage meat grinders need to be mounted on a surface like the edge of a table or a kitchen shelf to grind meat. Make sure the grinder is properly mounted and it is a stable surface that will not slip or slide when you are grinding the meat.

Grind the Meat – Put the pieces one by one in the feed tube and rotate the arm of the meat grinder to push the food through the grinder’s blades. You can also use a sausage attachment to get the meat in the kind of shape you want.

Clean and Store – Once you have ground the meat, use a few pieces of bread and push them through the grinder so that they soak up any remaining pieces of meat. Clean the meat grinder by taking it apart and soaking the pieces in warm, soapy water. Use a light scrubber to scrub the meat grinder inside and out. Let it dry and store it in a dry place. You can also put the smaller pieces in a plastic bag with some rice so that the parts are not affected by moisture.


How to Care for a Vintage Meat Grinder

Owning a vintage meat grinder can be a matter of pride for many, and that’s why taking good care of the meat grinder is essential so that it keeps looking great on your kitchen shelf. Here are some tips you can follow to care for your vintage meat grinder.

Take Apart the Grinder – Taking apart the different parts of the grinder is quite easy as everything can be unscrewed for cleaning. Use a small brush to remove any meat particles that might be sticking to the meat grinder.

Soak in Warm Water – Soak the parts of the meat grinder in warm, soapy water so that any difficult to remove particles soften up. It is not advisable to put meat grinder in a dishwasher as that can remove the plating on the metal and cause it to rust.

Use a Scrubber – Remove any residue of meat from the parts of the meat grinder with a hand scrubber. Be careful when you use the scrubber around the blade.

Dry the Parts – Dry all parts in the open air before storing them away. You can also spray the metal parts of the meat grinder with a small amount of mineral oil as it helps to keep away moisture and rust. For small parts, you can store them in a plastic bag with a handful of rice as rice helps to soak any moisture present near them.


FAQs about Vintage Meat Grinders

Prospective buyers and users often have questions about vintage meat grinders, let’s take a quick look at some of these frequently asked questions.

Q1) I have my eye on a meat grinder on a sale, but it has a small amount of rust on the surface? Is there any way I can remove the rust?

Ans. If the rust is not widespread, you can take sandpaper and rub it slightly to remove the rust from the surface. Taking proper care of the rusted portion will make sure it does not rust again

Q2) How can I make grinding meat easier in the manual meat grinder?

Ans) Cold temperature is your friend when you want ease of grinding meat. Most people keep their metal meat grinders stored away in their freezer and they also keep the meat chilled so that it is easier to grind. At a lower temperature, meat does not stick to the walls of the meat grinder and passes through the plates easily.

Q3) How can I dry the insides of the meat grinder once I have cleaned it?

Ans. You can use a hair dryer to remove moisture from the insides of a meat grinder. Passing a piece of bread through the grinder is also a great way to soak up the moisture. Alternatively, you can store the smaller parts in a small bag of rice as rice can suck away the moisture present near the metal.

Q4) I bought a meat grinder from a flea market but I found out later that some pieces are missing. What are my options?

Ans. You can search online for the model of the meat grinder and check the websites that offer spare parts for that particular model. You can also find spare parts at online stores like eBay and Etsy.

Q5) Do I need to sharpen the blades of my vintage meat grinder?

Ans. The good thing about vintage meat grinders is that they are designed in a way that blades do not need sharpening too often. When you use the meat grinder for grinding meat, the blades touch the edge of the grinder tube and maintain their edge. If you feel that the blades have worn down, you can take them to a professional bladesmith to get them sharpened.



If you are looking for a quality meat grinder, you can never go wrong with a vintage meat grinder. These machines were designed to last which is why you can find so many of them in flea markets, garage sales, and online stores for used goods. Even if you find a meat grinder in a less than wholesome condition, you can always work on it to restore it for use in your kitchen or as a conversation piece on your shelf.

If you are thinking of buying a vintage meat grinder, make sure you follow the tips and tricks mentioned in this article. You can also take care of the meat grinder by following the advice given in this article. If you have any questions or queries about meat grinders, please feel free to discuss the same in the comment section and our team will get back to you at the earliest.




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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.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
Eric Krohne - April 11, 2019

Andrew: Please explain the numbers on the smaller meat choppers (e.g., 00, 0, 1, 1 1/2, 2,3, etc.). The article you published online started with #5. In short, how do those numbers relate to size?

Mike Bunner - April 27, 2019

The larger grinder numbers are larger plates. #10 is a good general purpose size

John Fischer - February 28, 2021

My mother-in-law has grinder made by Best Made with the identification listed as “SIZE 619.5529-45”. Can you give me any history of this manufacturer? Her caretaker from the Ukraine was using it yesterday and I know my deceased father in-law made a lot of smoked Slovenian sausage with it over the years. Please advise, thanks, John Fischer Milwaukee


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