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Old October 17, 2005, 08:42 AM   #1
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Meat grinders: Is it worth it?

Every year we spend about $1.00 per pound to have our deer ground up into burger. This year, we figured we'd invest in a meat grinder and perhaps over a few years it would pay for itself. We want an electric grinder, but beyond that, we don't know what we're needing. Each year I process about 5 whole whitetails into burger and I may sometimes grind up some pork.

Since I am completely ignorant of what I need maybe y'all could provide a direction.

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Old October 17, 2005, 09:03 AM   #2
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Check out for a selection of sausage making supplies. You can work out how many pounds per hour you want to grind vs how much you want to spend. I grind only a few pounds at once so the grinder attachment for my Kitchen-aid mixer is all I need. You're grinding about 250 lbs of meat ? gives better choice and info.
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Old October 17, 2005, 12:11 PM   #3
Jack O'Conner
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We use a low cost attachment for our Kitchen Aid mixer. Replacement blades are cheaper than having one professionally resharpened.
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Old October 17, 2005, 12:40 PM   #4
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I process 4 or 5 deer every year plus 2 or 3 hogs. I have an old grinder I bought from a country store when they went out of business several years ago and I don't know how I ever got by without it! It weighs in the neighborhood of 50 pounds and doesn't care if the meat is cut small or not, it just goes right through without slowing down. By all means, get one. has new ones and supplies for old ones.
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Old October 17, 2005, 01:29 PM   #5
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Get a grinder, absolutely! I butcher my own deer when it gets cold out and I seriously wonder how I did without a grinder. Makes great chili, I throw in some pork fat for flavor as well. Although I have an old fashioned one that's turned by hand, takes a bit longer, but well worth the effort.
PS: If you like making deer jerkey or just any jerky I suggest investing in a dehydrator, well worth it!!!
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Old October 17, 2005, 01:49 PM   #6
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Another Kitchen Aid Grinder user here. However, I grind maybe 50 pounds of venison a year, 25 at a time or so. I too occasionally grind some pork for sausages. I probably would not purchase the Kitchen Aid specifically for grinding only though. If you can find an old Hobart commercial grinder, those are unbelievable. My brother found an old one at an auction and with some minor electrical cord repairs it is just like new. I think it's about 1.5 horsepower and I swear you could throw a deer in there whole. Probably grinds well over 100 pounds per hour.

So, my vote is a resounding yes to the grinder purchase.
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Old October 17, 2005, 05:03 PM   #7
Larry Ashcraft
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We use a Hobart commercial grinder. They are available occasionally at estate or farm auctions. It is used by my dad, brothers, nephews, son and sons in law.

Best investment we ever made! We can grind up hamburger or sausage from a mule deer, twice through, and be done in less than an hour, including cleanup.

If you get one, try to find a permanent place for it. They are HEAVY! We wash all the parts and wrap them in plastic and cover the motor until next use. Here's a tip: after grinding your meat, run a couple of dry slices of bread through the grinder. Makes cleanup a lot easier.

Also, don't loan it out! It's alot like a trailer or chainsaw, everyone who knows you have one will try and borrow it.
Larry Ashcraft, formerly TrophyShop
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Old October 17, 2005, 11:05 PM   #8
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For general use (grinding about 1/4 - 1/3 of a deer) +1 for the Kitchen Aid attachement. I literally just now finished processing my doe that way.

Since you're doing 4-5 whole deer that way--what a waste good cuts--check out Cabelas. They have a nice processing selection that I've been eyeing...
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Old October 18, 2005, 04:39 AM   #9
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$1.00 per pound!!!

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Old October 18, 2005, 06:56 AM   #10
Join Date: September 28, 2005
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Yes, wroth the money and time.

We use a grinder from cabelas, works fine. For burgers I add 5 - 10 % ground beef , you need a little fat for frying. We use most of the ground meat for chilie and spaghetti sauce. Also we only use the shoulders and flank meat for grinding ( the shoulders also make good stew meat), the rest is steaked out or cut into roasts.

The piece of equipment I'm missing is a tenderizer/cuber , great for making cube steaks. But they are pricey

Also, if you have a Northern Supply store close by they sell processing equipment.
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Old October 18, 2005, 08:17 AM   #11
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We use a kitchen-aide grinder. We like to make several blends of flavor for burger or bulk sausage. $1.00 a LB seems steep, are they adding pork? Ask them to leave it plain and mix in fat/flavor yourself. Better yet, have them cut scraps into stew meat and you can use a food processor to make burger when you want it. You can save more $ by asking for your back straps whole, steaks and boneless roasts only. Steak up your roasts when you want, or you can cube it up for burger after a marinade or dry rub. Then you get the option of loin steaks or roasts or butterfly chops. Remember to ask for those inside loins. They don't forget to keep them!
"Danger Itself Is The Best Remedy For Danger"
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Old October 19, 2005, 09:30 AM   #12
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I just ordered one on sale from Nothern Tool - a .8 horsepower one for $80, marked down from $130. Seems like a really good deal compared to the ones from Cabelas, but the ones from Cabelas may be more heavy duty.

I'll let you all know how it works out once I use it on the plethora of deer I hope to get this year
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Old October 19, 2005, 01:08 PM   #13
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I have had that one a couple of years now. It works fine, I ran ten pounds of venison sausages off it last weekend and some mixed ground pork apple and venison for a meat loaf ( broke loose and ate half of one meat loaf last night when no one was looking) I have low will power where good food is involved.
Any way I like mine and think it was a good buy.
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Old October 19, 2005, 01:37 PM   #14
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Foxman, thank you, I love hearing good things about a product I buy...always have that nervous anticipation of "hope it's not a lemon..." hahah
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