Are you debating if you should get an electric vs. manual meat grinder? Maybe you want to be in control of what goes in your food? Or maybe you are looking to experiment with different types of burgers. Whatever your reason is for considering a meat grinder, grinding your own meat will spoil you. Once you start grinding your own meat, you’re not going to want to go back to store-bought meat again. It is great feeling to be in control of what you eat. With a meat grinder, you won’t have to guess at what is in your ground meat. Read on to learn the advantages and disadvantages between an electric and manual meat grinder so you can decide which will best fit your needs.
Manual Meat Grinders
Manual meat grinders are much less expensive than electric meat grinders. You can get one for about $25-$50. The low price is great if you’re tight on money but want to start grinding your own meat. And for some of you, this may be all you need.
A manual grinder is also smaller than an electric one. If you have limited kitchen space, it doesn’t take as much room to store. So, if you live in a small apartment or house, you might choose to go with a manual grinder.
The biggest con of a manual grinder is the fact that you have to use your own muscles to grind the meat. You have to twist and crank it while feeding the meat through the grinder. It will give you a great arm workout though!
Some manual grinders also requires a surface that you can clamp it to. Sometimes our tables or kitchen counters have decorative edges or are thicker than normal, making it impossible to clamp a manual unit onto it. You need to have a surface that is not too thick with a straight edge to properly clamp a manual grinder on.
Something to keep in mind when you are using a manual grinder is meat handling and safety if you will be grinding large quantity of meat. Since a manual grinder does not grind as fast as an electric grinder, meat can warm up to unsafe temperature. It is best to keep most of the meat in the fridge or freezer and then take it out a batch at a time to grind it.
Electric Meat Grinders
An electric meat grinder can grind meat much faster and more efficiently than a hand crank grinder. There’s no doubt about that. You just feed the meat down the feeding chute and the electric grinder does the work for you.
It is also faster to set up than a manual meat grinder. With a manual unit, you have to fit it on to your work surface, twist the clamp to secure it, and then put all the attachments together before you can use it. With an electric one, you just plug it in put all the attachments on and start grinding.
I would say an electric grinder is more sanitary than a manual one. If you’re feeding the meat with your hands into a manual grinder, you will be using your hand to crank the grinder and can get meat juices all over the handle.
An electric grinder is definitely more expensive than manual grinder, there’s no question about that. You are paying for the convenience of making the whole meat grinding process easier, faster and more efficient.
To Sum It Up
It comes down to personal preferences and what you are buying a meat grinder for. There are some people who don’t mind grinding whole deer or cows with a manual grinder. I personally wouldn’t want to grind more than 2-3 pounds with a manual grinder. I have a manual pasta maker and the few times a year that I make pasta, I only make 1 to 2 pounds of pasta. I can’t imagine cranking out any more pasta than that. I think the same would go for a manual meat grinder. If you don’t think you’ll be grinding more than a few pounds of meat, then you should be fine with a manual grinder. Or if you have never grinded your own meat before and don’t think you’ll be using it that often, then save some money and get a manual meat grinder. However, if grinding your own meat is something that you see yourself doing more than just occasionally, then I’d recommend getting an electric meat grinder. The ease and speed of an electric meat grinder is definitely worth the cost.