Grinding your own meat

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BT
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2004/08/01 03:33:10 (permalink)

Grinding your own meat

In the "what goes on your burger" thread, McFan said, "Generally I am a stickler and prefer my hamburger plain. If I have anything on it it will be cheese. No lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, ketchup, etc. If I'm not in the mood for a cheeseburger I just like the meat and the bun. To me condiments are a distraction from the taste of a hamburger patty in between two bun pieces."

This brought to mind the fact that I too like the taste of the burger itself, but only if the meat is top quality and very fresh. To this end, and because my ideal burger is charred black on the outside and just about raw in the center, I have started grinding my own meat. I have a grinder (I recently bought an electric meat grinder, but I also have a grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer) and most of the time I actually save money by being able to buy chuck roast or some other fairly inexpensive but tasty and fresh cut on sale. But mostly I do it because it lessens the odds of getting E. coli from my raw-in-the-middle burgers and I can make patties and freeze them immediately after grinding the meat (starting with frozen patties makes it easier to get them black/crispy on the outside, raw in the middle the way I like them) so it stays fresh-tasting.

Anyway, I was wondering if grinding one's own hamburger meat is more common than I think it is. Anybody else do it?
#1

22 Replies Related Threads

    carlton pierre
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/04 16:56:52 (permalink)
    Hey, BT, looks like you may be the only meat grinder around. I've tried it a time or two, by hand, and it was hard work, and it cost me more $$ to buy a round steak and grind it. I just couldn't see any way of coming out ahead on this in any way so I have given up.
    Are you still grinding away?
    #2
    EdSails
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/04 17:22:18 (permalink)
    Unfortunately I'm with Carlton. I bought a meat grinder too------used it once and decided it was way too much work. By the time I had ground and stuffed 6 sausages I was exhauseted!
    BT, I know it would be different if I had the electric version-----I can certainly understand your point. But until I get an electric, I think I'll just continue to buy at the market.
    #3
    Tommy2dogs
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/04 18:43:36 (permalink)
    I grind my own meat for just about everything; Homemade sausage, Chili, meatballs burgers etc. Use the attachment to my Kitchen Aid mixer. For excellent burgers try cutting up a good quality chuck roast into large cubes, sprinkle with Sea or Kosher salt, cover and refrigerate overnight. Grind and form into patties before grilling.
    #4
    meowzart
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/04 18:48:02 (permalink)
    I, too, have the meat grinding attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. I couldn't have made mince meat last year without it !!! I haven't used it for making my own hamburger or sausage yet, though. I've been having too much fun with the pasta-rolling attachment!
    #5
    redtressed
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/04 19:02:49 (permalink)
    I grind all my own meats too, but I have it easy for I have access to one of those huge Hobart grinders that can process up to 50 lbs at a time.
    #6
    harriet1954
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/04 19:12:14 (permalink)
    I also own the grinding attachment on my Kitchen Aid, and have ground beef only a few times. It was rather good, I thought.

    As for "what do I like on it". I don't eat tomato (but I do eat any derivative, no problem), no onion at all (ever, on anything), don't like lettuce on a sandwich (although I love salads..don't try to figure me out. Just love me). So I like a really beefy burger with just nice cheese and ketchup or barbecue sauce on it. Every blue moon I'll put mayonnaise on the bun. "Our" diner really makes a nice hamburger platter for under $4.00.
    #7
    BT
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/04 21:41:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by carlton pierre

    Hey, BT, looks like you may be the only meat grinder around. I've tried it a time or two, by hand, and it was hard work, and it cost me more $$ to buy a round steak and grind it. I just couldn't see any way of coming out ahead on this in any way so I have given up.
    Are you still grinding away?



    Yes. I'm tempted to buy pre-ground for stuff like meatballs or meatloaf that's going to get cooked very well-done, but mostly I don't. And for burgers, I definitely am still grinding my own. The trick on saving money is being willing to buy the meat that's on sale. The best meat, in my opinion, for hamburgers is chuck (or sirloin). I like a little more fat than you find in round steak. Usually one of the 2 major supermarkets in my town has some kind of beef on sale and, if they don't, there's the Wal-Mart Supercenter up the interstate. With a little flexibility, it seems to me that I can usually get freshly ground burger meat for about the same price as the pre-ground stuff and it's so much better-tasting and safer (if you use it or freeze it right away so any bacteria from the surface of the meat that have got mixed into it in the grinding process don't have a chance to multiply as they do when pre-ground meat sits in the case waiting for you to come along and buy it).
    #8
    fcbaldwin
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/05 06:26:46 (permalink)

    It's funny that this thread was revived yesterday. Linda had me pick up a chuck roast just for the purpose of grinding...with her Kitchen Aid grinding attachment. Plus, I had the meat dept. person give me some scrap beef fat that Linda added to the grind. It is definitely not cheap to do it this way; ended up costing around $4/lb for the end result. But, it's better than any store ground beef we've ever had. Beef tends to be too lean these days, so we find that adding the extra fat makes it taste like it did many years ago.

    Frank
    #9
    Vince Macek
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/05 07:24:29 (permalink)
    I found that a food processor does a fine job of it - have the meat really cold, just a few quick pulses, keep an eye on it, & there you are!
    #10
    Grampy
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/05 11:49:01 (permalink)
    I like to grind hanger steak in my Kitchen Aid (or quickly pulse in the Cuisinart). Try putting in some pancetta. It is also a perfect way to use the strap from a whole tenderloin. As BT points out, E coli is just about nil when you do it yourself, so you can serve it up rare without fear.
    #11
    BT
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/05 13:23:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Vince Macek

    I found that a food processor does a fine job of it - have the meat really cold, just a few quick pulses, keep an eye on it, & there you are!


    I'm going to disagree on this one. It's definitely a matter of personal taste, but a food processor chops rather than grinds and not only gives a different result, but is harder to control (so as not to come too close to a puree). Most of us, I think, have certain expectations of ground meat, based on the preground stuff we've been eating most of our lives, and using a grinder (including the grinder attachment for a KitchenAid) that's what you get, but a processor gives a result that's distinctive.
    #12
    Grampy
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/05 14:18:52 (permalink)
    Although I prefer my KitchenAid for grinding traditional burgers, the Cuisinart DLC-X Plus, with its heavy-duty motor, does a nice job for more of a truly "chopped meat" burger. I would not recommend a lighter duty processor for this, as it would turn the meat to mush.
    #13
    sizz
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/05 17:55:50 (permalink)
    Here's a revaluation..................... you walk into your market/meat dept. Pick up what beef meat is on sale or what ever ................ Ring for the butcher,
    Butcher comes out and says "may I help you?"
    You say "yes would you please grind this meat for me"
    He says "yes, how would you like it?
    You say "oh a medium grind will be fine" ...................
    A minute later you have your freshly ground meat.
    You look at your butcher and with a smile you say "thank you"
    If it doesn't work for you like this then your shopping at the wrong market
    #14
    BT
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/05 18:07:22 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by fpczyz

    Here's a revaluation..................... you walk into your market/meat dept. Pick up what beef meat is on sale or what ever ................ Ring for the butcher,
    Butcher comes out and says "may I help you?"
    You say "yes would you please grind this meat for me"
    He says "yes, how would you like it?
    You say "oh a medium grind will be fine" ...................
    A minute later you have your freshly ground meat.
    You look at you butcher and with a smile you say "thank you"
    If it doesn't work for you like this then your shopping at the wrong market



    This is what my mother has been doing my whole life--and it hasn't killed me yet. But here's what bother's me about it. Have you ever looked into ANY meatgrinder after it's been used. There's all sorts of bits of meat in there. And it takes me a good 15-20 minutes to take my own apart and scrupulously clean it which is by far the hardest part of grinding my own meat. No matter what they say, I don't believe they do that between grinding jobs in any supermarket. They clean the thing at the end of the day, but only superficially (if at all) during the day. So your freshly ground meat also has some of whatever was ground before it that has been sitting in the unrefrigerated grinder since whenever it was ground (and maybe just the tiniest bit of scraps from early morning)--plenty of time for a family of microbes to multiply. So even though meat ground this way generally has the taste of freshly ground meat, I don't entirely trust it for eating very rare the way I like my burgers.
    #15
    sizz
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/05 18:43:17 (permalink)
    These are modern times BT ............... the interior of all butcher shops where meat is processed and where the processing equipment resides is in fact refrigerated. Refrigeration is not just for the meat locker as in the days of old.......
    BT you telling us you only eat meat that you alone have laboriously ground?? ...you never buy ground meat at a super market?
    #16
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/05 19:04:14 (permalink)
    I have a grinder and still use it occasionally. I used to use it all the time to grind venison and other game meats, but I stopped butchering my own game several years ago, and now haul it to a commercial processer because I'm too darned old to keep doing the work. Every once in a while I'll drag the grinder out for some beef or lamb, but it doesn't happen often. By the way, the idea of having the butcher grind a piece of meat for you is sort of silly, if you're trying to avoid contamination. I mean, where do you think meat becomes contaminated?
    #17
    BT
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/06 15:01:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by fpczyz

    These are modern times BT ............... the interior of all butcher shops where meat is processed and where the processing equipment resides is in fact refrigerated. Refrigeration is not just for the meat locker as in the days of old.......
    BT you telling us you only eat meat that you alone have laboriously ground?? ...you never buy ground meat at a super market?


    No. I've said that I sometimes buy pre-ground meat for things like meatloaf and meatballs that are going to be cooked very well-done, but I like my burgers rare to raw in the center and, for that, I feel much safer grinding my own. I wish I had the time/energy to do it for everything but I don't.
    #18
    saps
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/06 15:10:33 (permalink)
    There's two things that I can't do:

    Grind my own meat
    Steam my own wiener
    #19
    sugarlander
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/06 16:58:31 (permalink)
    Ground meat with a Kitchen Aid grinder is great, and is especially wonderful with marinated meat. Just get extra when you marinate a steak, then grind the extra for an absolutely wonderful hamburger the next day.
    #20
    nvb
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/07 09:00:30 (permalink)
    When prices are down on brisket I'll grind one of them. I can regulate the fat content that way, besides getting a better ground beef.
    #21
    gschwim
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/16 19:23:55 (permalink)
    I recently got the meat grinder attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer. I got some very lean stew beef (chuck) for less than higher-fat-content already-ground chuck. I trimmed off what little fat there was, put it through the course-grinding die once, then through the fine die. I was not making hamburgers, but coney sauce topping for hot dogs. What a difference! Better taste, better texture and no fat. I understand that hamburgers should have some fat so as not to taste too dry, but I will try the above in a hamburger. I'll definitely try it for chili, except that I will only coarse-grind it, once.

    By the way, Alton Brown ("Good Eats" -- The Food Channel) has a recipe for a "Burger of the Gods," which is to separately pulse 1/2 pound each of chuck and sirloin in a food processor, then combine with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_13959,00.html
    #22
    oldfrt
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    RE: Grinding your own meat 2004/12/24 16:48:47 (permalink)
    I agree with the home grind option. We will pick up a nice fatty Choice Chuck roast at SAM's and bring that home. Cut it into chunks and run thru the Kitchen Aid grider with the small plate. Comes out great and the burgers on the Weber could not be better.

    I used to use the Kitchen Aid for making sausage also but the stuffing device seemed to make mush out of the ground pork or beef. A couple years ago I wanted to make some homemade brats so I bit the bullet and bought the smallest sausage stuffer from Cabela's. It holds 11 lbs. of meat and very easy to use and cleanup. Good investment for those thinking of making more than a few links.

    Grinding your own meat also allows you to add other things to your burgers. I sometimes grind an onion in with the meat, garlic, sweet pepper, you name it!

    Don
    #23
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