The LEM #12 .75 HP Stainless Steel Big Bite Meat Grinder is a very sleek, heavy duty grinder with LEM’s unique Big Bite technology. If you want an all stainless steel grinder with metal gears, then look no further. With the internal gears being made of metal and not plastic, you won’t have to worry about the motor breaking under heavy loads. With its Big Bite auger, powerful motor and quality construction, it is capable of handling large amounts of meat without a problem year after year.
LEM has 5 different grinders to choose from – the #5, #8, #12, #22 and #32 grinder. The #12 grinder is big enough to handle pretty much anything you would need at home without being too big.
Read on for the rest of the LEM #12 .75 Stainless Steel Big Bite Meat Grinder Review
- 1 LEM #12 .75 Stainless Steel Big Bite Meat Grinder Grinding Power
- 2 Processing Time and Capacity
- 3 Size of the Feed Tube and Grinder Head
- 4 Grinder Plates Sizes
- 5 How Many Cutting Blades Are Included?
- 6 What are the Parts on the LEM #12 Made Of?
- 7 Controls
- 8 Feature
- 9 Sausage Making
- 10 Assembly and Cleaning
- 11 Accessories
- 12 Dimensions
- 13 Pros
- 14 Cons
- 15 Consumer Ratings
- 16 Price
LEM #12 .75 Stainless Steel Big Bite Meat Grinder Grinding Power
Let’s talk about how much power the LEM #12 3/4 HP stainless steel electric meat grinder has. The #12 grinder, model 780, comes with a 110V .75 HP permanently lubricated motor and runs 550 Watts. That is enough power to grind chicken bones as well as any meat you want to put into it. What does a permanently lubricated motor mean and why does it matter? Well, if a motor isn’t oiled or lubricated, it will eventually seize up and stop working. If the motor on the grinder wasn’t permanently lubricated, you would have to oil it regularly to keep the motor in good working condition. But, with a permanently lubricated motor, there is no need for you to worry about taking care of the grinder internally.
As far as I can tell, different grinder manufacturers give out different information about their grinders so it’s hard to compare the actual power of different grinders. What I do know about the power on this grinder is that it can handle chicken bones without a problem for pet owners who want to feed their pets the raw food or BARF diet. It has also been used by many hunters who want to process hundreds of pounds of venison at a time with ease.
The LEM grinder is ETL certified to UL standards. The UL mark or certification by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is pretty much the standard in product safety certification and the most widely known. They’ve been around for over a century. ETL is a mark of Intertek Testing Services, which is an alternative safety certification and is recognized by OSHA just like UL is. Only products that have passed US safety standard can bear that mark. So you can confident that your LEM meat grinder is safe to operate and won’t catch on fire, zap you or anything like that.
With the LEM .75 Big Bite grinder, there’s no need to worry about the unit overheating, which can happen with the inexpensive models. Not only can an overheated motor ruin your grinder but when you are dealing with raw meat, rises in meat temperature can cause health concerns.
In case you drop something in the LEM grinder by accident, the grinder has a built-in circuit breaker that will turn off the grinder down so it doesn’t overheat the motor thereby protecting it from damage. This feature also keeps the grinder from shorting your electrical outlet at home.
Processing Time and Capacity
On Amazon, the descriptions read that #12 LEM Stainless Steel Meat Grinder can grind about 360lbs an hour. On LEM’s website, the #12 grinder, or model 780, is listed as being able to grind 10 lbs a minute, which works out to 600lbs of meat. LEM’s manual suggests running it for 20-30 minutes at a time, then giving the grinder a 10-15 minute break, so the 360 lbs per hour probably takes into account the break time suggested by the manufacturer. Either way, it is still a lot of meat that can be processed.
Customers reported being able to grind 80 lbs of deer in less than 20 minutes, or going through 200 pounds of meat in 30 minutes.
Because of their Big Bite technology, it increases their grinding capacity by 30-50%.
The Big Bite technology is exclusive to LEM Products. As you can see from the picture above, the auger of the LEM Product (on the right side) is wider than that of a normal auger (the left side). What this does is allows the auger to pull a bigger piece of meat down and sucks it in. With the Big Bite auger, you don’t have to cut your meat down into tiny little pieces. If the meat can fit down the feed tube, then the LEM #12 can grind it.
LEM has a video that demonstrates the big Bite technology.
As you can see in the video, the Big Bite auger is wide enough that it covers the whole opening of the feeding tube. When you are operating a meat grinder, the auger is continuously spinning. On a normal size auger, if your meat is too big or doesn’t fall down to the auger at the right time into the opening of the spiral, then the meat will just bounce around. It is easily fixable by using a meat stomper to push the meat down and make the auger grab the meat. But, with the Big Bite technology, you don’t really have to use a meat stomper. If your meat fits down the tube then the grinder will grab the meat and grind it.
Having to use the meat stomper to push the meat down is certainly not a deal breaker, but if you are looking to grind a lot of meat at a time, you will be able to grind the meat much faster with LEM’s Big Bite technology. You also won’t have to cut the meat down into small chunks, so it will make prepping your meat for the grinder much faster as well.
Size of the Feed Tube and Grinder Head
The feed tube for the LEM grinder has an opening of 2 inches to feed the meat through. The grinder head is a standard size 12 so it has a 2 3/4 inch opening.
Grinder Plates Sizes
The LEM comes with 3 plates – a sausage stuffing plate and 2 grinder plates. The 2 grinder plates that come with the grinder are a coarse grinding plate, which has 3/8 inch (10mm) holes and a fine plate with 3/16 inch (4.5mm) holes. Instead of a medium size grinder plate, the LEM #12 comes with a sausage stuffing plate. Most customers are happy with the included plates and don’t mind not having the medium plate size grinder plate. The 3/8 inch coarse plate is not too coarse so it will work well for ground meat and hamburger meats. If you want additional plates for your specific needs, LEM has different size plates available for purchase.
How Many Cutting Blades Are Included?
The LEM #12 grinder only comes with 1 cutting blade or knife as LEM calls it. It is a good idea to get a 2nd stainless steel knife so that you keep a cutting blade with each grinder plate. Having a cutting knife for each grinder plate allows them to wear down together to give you a more precise cut. As the cutting blade and grinder plate spins together to grind the meat, it will create a groove pattern that will match up. If you decide to get more grinder plates, don’t forget to order a cutting knife for each grinder plate and keep them together as a set.
What are the Parts on the LEM #12 Made Of?
The housing of the LEM #12 Grinder is all stainless steel.
The motor and internal gears are all metal gears with roller bearings.
The meat tray, auger, cutting knives, grinder plates and retaining ring or locking cap are all made of stainless steel.
The meat stompers and stuffing tubes are plastic.
If you are wondering where LEM grinders are made, they used to be made in Italy, but are now made in China. I know we tend to think that products made in China are cheap and poorly made, but these grinders are made to adhere to LEM’s strict guidelines so the grinders are well made and are of high quality.
The LEM grinder only has a 1 button with one speed. It does not have a reverse button. A reverse button is something that a few people would like to see on the LEM grinders. A reverse button would be useful in case the grinder jams while grinding meat. However, the majority of the reviews do not suggest that users of this grinder miss having a reverse function. Maybe the LEM #12 grinder doesn’t have a problem with meat jamming all that often to really need one since it does have a powerful motor and the Big Bite auger.
If you are getting a LEM #12 grinder, you should consider getting a foot pedal. It is the most popular accessory and many LEM customers buy it. A foot switch is like having a third hand as you can keep both hands free to put the meat into the grinder while your foot controls turns the grinder on and off. Not only will it make the grinding process easier, it will keep your grinder cleaner and more sanitary since you won’t be smearing your meaty hands all over the button.
The LEM grinder has a nice heavy duty handle so you can move and carry your grinder more easily. The handle also doubles as a base to support the meat tray. The meat tray clips to handle providing stability. This is a pretty nice design considering that most tray just kind of suspend in the air.
The LEM Grinder comes with three plastic stuffing tubes and a sausage stuffing plate. The 3 stuffing tubes are not tapered and are 3/8″, 3/4″, and 1 1/4″.With three different sizes of stuffing tubes, you can make a variety of sausages and links. The stuffing plate is very handy to have if you will be making sausages often or making a lot of sausages. I mentioned the foot switch before, but having a foot switch to operate the grinder while you are using both hands to work the casing and stuff the sausages is a godsend.
Assembly and Cleaning
The LEM #12 grinder is easy to assemble and easy to use. If you have to take it out to use it then it may take a little effort as it is quite heavy. When you put in the auger, don’t forget to put the plastic ring in between the auger and the motor. Also, make sure the sharp side of the cutting knife is up against the grinding plate when you install it.
Cleaning up afterwards is a breeze. Theoretically, since all the parts are made of stainless steel, you should be able to make put it in a dishwasher to be cleaned and sanitized. However, in LEM’s manual it states that parts should not be put in the dishwasher. Some users do wash their stainless steel grinder parts in the dishwasher without a problem, but just be aware that LEM advises against it.
- Big Bite auger
- Meat stomper
- Stainless steel knife
- 1 stuffing plate
- 2 grinder plates – coarse & fine
- 3 sausage stuffing tubes
If you needed to buy any replacement or additional parts and accessories, they are readily available for purchase from LEM or any retailers that sell LEM products.
- Fully Assembled: 9″ W x 19.5″ L x 16″ H
- Motor Only: 7.5″ W x 15.5″ L x 13″ H
- Size of meat tray: 8.5” x 11.5” x 2.25”
- Weight: 47 lbs
Manufacturer Warranty: The LEM Big Bite Grinder is warranted for TWO YEARS from date of purchase, covering Parts and Labor.
Manual: link to LEM #12 grinder manual
- Fully stainless steel machine and parts
- Big Bite auger
- Powerful motor
- Metal internal gears
- Sturdy and stable meat pan
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Made to last
- No reverse
The ratings for the LEM grinder are great with mostly 5 star reviews. There was only 1 negative review on Amazon that the grinder gets clogged all the time. The user may have had it installed wrong or maybe have gotten a defective grinder. There were two 2 star reviews – one said it was too heavy and the other reviewer got an extra sausage stuffer plate instead of a 3/8” plate. Reviews for the LEM #12 3/4 Big Bite grinder were similar at other retailers as well.
A couple people were unhappy that the plastic meat stomper got eaten up by the auger. Even though the stomper has a ring around it that acts as a stopper, it only stops the meat pusher if the meat tray is on. If the meat tray is not on then the meat stomper will go all the way down and can get grabbed by the auger.
With just 1 negative review that may or may not be user error, you can’t go wrong with the LEM .75 HP grinder. I would absolutely buy a LEM #12 grinder.
I find that Amazon usually has the best prices.
If you are on the fence about whether or not to buy the LEM #12 .75 HP Stainless Steel Big Bite Meat Grinder because you are not sure if the cost is justified, I assure you that you won’t regret your purchase. You are getting an excellent grinder that has stainless steel housing and stainless steel parts with metal motor and gears. And price of the LEM #12 grinder is well below that of other comparable .75 HP stainless steel meat grinders. You are also backed by LEM’s two year warranty and their excellent customer service and technicians. You are investing in a high quality grinder that will last you a long time.