Which Meat Grinder Can Grind Bones?

which meat grinder can grind bones

which meat grinder can grind bonesIf you are a pet owner that wants to feed your pet the raw or BARF diet, then it is important that you know which meat grinder can grind bones. Incorporating raw carcasses into your pet’s food is an essential part of the raw diet. Grinding bones is very hard on the motor and many times a manufacturer will not warranty it if you choose to do so. I have compiled a list of grinders that pet owners have used to make their own raw pet food.

Inexpensive Models to Choose From

If you are looking for a grinder that can grind bones but you just don’t have the budget for a heavy duty machine, there are several options you can choose from. STX International makes a few models that many pet owners use to make raw food for their pet. While all three of their models – the STX Turborforce 3000, the STX Megaforce 3000 and the STX Magnum 1800 can grind bones, the best model for that purpose is the Magnum 1800 grinder.

While the majority of users who bought one to grind up chicken parts for their pet’s raw diet are happy with the performance, there are some users who commented that they are not able to do so with their STX grinder. Follow the tips below to grind bones more successfully. All the STX models cost under $200 and have a lot of good reviews. The customer service from the company is also excellent in case you have a problem with your grinder. The warranty doesn’t explicitly prohibit grinding anything other than meat and the owner of the product is aware that many customers buy an STX for the purpose of making pet food.

Another grinder that is mentioned is the Sunmile SM-G50. Not as many reviews as the STX grinders, but there were a few reviewers who were able to grind rabbit and chicken carcasses without a problem. The customer service may not be as responsive but it is about $50 cheaper than the STX models.

These are all #12 grinders, so they all have about a 2 inch opening to feed your meat and bones through. Depending on how big the chicken legs are, you may have to break it down with a cleaver so it can fit into the feeding tube before you grind it.

Tips for Optimal Grinding

Grinding bones on a small grinder can take a little more work, but these tips should help the process go a little more smoothly:

  • For best results, the chicken should be very cold but not frozen.
  • If you have trouble with the chicken pieces being too big for the feeding tube, put the chicken in a plastic bag, then take a cleaver and break up the chicken a bit so that it can fit down the feeding tube better.
  • When grinding bones, you should use the coarsest grinding plate for a first grind.
  • Try using chicken thighs instead of drumsticks since drumsticks has a lot more skin, sinew and cartilage which can clog up the machine.
  • Put the side with the smaller joint into the feeding tube first.

Heavy Duty Grinders

If your budget allows it, then a size 22 or 32 grinder will make your life a lot easier. If you want easily grind your chicken bones, consider a LEM or Weston #22 or #32. They have a larger feeding tube and more powerful motors that will handle chicken legs with ease as well as turkey wings and necks. While you may have to break down the chicken thighs with a smaller grinder, you can put a whole chicken leg down the feeding tube of either a #22 or #32 and it will grind it up with no problem.

Both the LEM and Weston #22 have a 1 hp motor while the #32 has a 1.5 HP motor. They are both fully stainless steel and have metal gears for extra strength and durability. LEM states that its size 12 and larger grinders are approved to grind chicken bones. Weston Supply states in its manual that grinding bones will void its warranty, but a lot of pet owners do use the Weston for their pet’s raw diet.

If you want a heavy duty stainless steel machine but want to spend a little less, the Weston #12 is able to grind chicken bones without a problem and with a 2.5 inch wide feeding tube, it is larger than other size 12 grinders. Pricewise, it is still 3-4 times more expensive than the non-stainless steel ones mentioned above but slightly cheaper than its big brothers.

Many pet owners use the inexpensive models without a problem and it’s definitely easier on their wallet. But, if you can afford it, I would recommend investing in a big heavy duty grinder, which will cut down your processing time as well as your grind time. And unlike the budget models, you can be sure that a heavy duty grinder is able to grind bones without a problem.

More from Buying Guide

21 Responses to “Which Meat Grinder Can Grind Bones?”

  1. […] to grind bones. Alternatively, you can check out the Weston #22 if you want something bigger. Read this for more info on grinders that can grind […]

  2. Theresa says:

    This is fantastic info and thank you very much. My only questions at this point are is it ok to grind up cooked bones ? Would the 1800 have any trouble with grinding cooked chicken bones? I have fed raw in the past but am contemplating cooking some of my dogs food in the future. Thanks for your help!

    • Admin says:

      Hi Theresa,

      You’re very welcome! If you cook the chicken bones until it gets really soft, the 1800 should be able to grind it without a problem.

  3. Acroyali says:

    Theresa, please don’t feed cooked chicken bones!! Raw chicken bones are pliable and soft, and become brittle and sharp upon being cooked. Break off a piece of small cooked bone and touch the jagged edge to your finger; it hurts!! If you’re set on feeding cooked, grind cooked muscle meat and whatever else (veggies, etc) and supplement with bonemeal or calcium instead, omitting the bones ENTIRELY.

  4. Julie says:

    Are there any meat grinders that will grind pork bones?

    • Admin says:

      Hi Julie,

      Pork bones are very hard dense bones. A home grinder will not be able to grind any dense bones like pork or beef bones. You’d need an industrial grinder.

  5. Liz says:

    I have found that my cats love rabbit. Are rabbit bones similar to chicken bones? I know there isn’t as much fat in the skin to deal with, as apposed to chicken, so I am certain that most meat grinders can handle the skin and meat. I am tired of de-boning and food processing the rabbit meat (the food processor doesn’t like silver skin, so it becomes almost a day-long job).

    I have heard high praise of the Tasin TS-108, but I don’t have the money or extra space for most grinders. I know I can make room and financial sacrifice for my babies, just wanted to state the whole situation. Any suggestions on grinders for my situation?

    Thank you.

    • Admin says:

      Hi Liz,

      Rabbit bones are soft like chicken bones so any grinder that can grind chicken bones can grind rabbit bones as well. I haven’t gotten a chance to review the Tasin TS-108 but I have heard good things about it as well. If you get a grinder that can grind bones you won’t have to debone the rabbit just to process the meat, saving you a lot of time. The Tasin is a good grinder as is the STX International 3000-TF. They are both in the same price range, $150-$170. I know it’s a lot of money but it would save you so much time.

  6. Calene says:

    Hi Theresa, please do not feed your dogs with cooked meat bones. The cooked bones are sharp and hard to digest. Either you feed your dogs with raw bones or none at all. I feed my dogs raw meat and bones. That’s the way to go. Thanks.

  7. Hank says:

    Those grinders are way too tough on the budget, would be super useful for all those inexpensive drumsticks, turkey wings and big chicken necks that I often see at the supermarkets, oy! Looks like I’m gonna stick to frankenprey for my cat.

  8. Ernestine says:

    This is great info and thank you very much!

  9. Ross says:

    We are looking at purchasing a Cabela’s Carnivore Commercial-Grade 1.75hp Grinder. From the sounds of previous comments it should easily handle Chicken and Rabbet bones. Is this over kill though. We are afraid of under buying. looking at grinding Deer bones as I am an avid hunter. What are your thought’s

    • Admin says:

      I don’t think any of the grinders you can buy at a retail store are able to grind deer bones or any other large bones like beef pork.

      I’m not as familiar with the Cabela’s Carnivore Commercial Grade grinder, but it seems similar in performance to the Weston or LEM grinders. If the warranty is the same as the other 2 manufacturers, then it’s only under warranty for grinding small, soft bones.

      If you’re looking to process a large amount of meat, then the 1.75hp grinder will definitely make your grinding session easier. If you’re just looking at the grinding power, then the 1.5hp should have no problems grinding chicken or rabbits.

  10. […] Which Meat Grinder Can Grind Bones ? … – Which meat grinder can grind bones? If you are looking for a grinder to make your own pet food for your pet’s raw or BARF diet, read on to learn more. […]

  11. […] Which Meat Grinder Can Grind Bones ? – … – Which meat grinder can grind bones? If you are looking for a grinder to make your own pet food for your pet’s raw or BARF diet, read on to learn more. […]

  12. Sally Winter says:

    Can you tell me if these grinders would be adequate for deer, Turkey, squirrel, etc.?

    • Admin says:

      These grinders will not be able to grind deer bones as they are very hard and dense. Turkeys have much harder bones than chicken so you can grind chicken neck and wings in one of the larger heavy duty grinder but I haven’t seen anyone grind turkey legs – I’ll update this if I can find a video.

      As for squirrels, I assume they are similar to rabbits and chickens so you shouldn’t have a problem grinding squirrels.

  13. Chirag says:

    We generally cook chicken breast along with veggies and mix it with kibble and give it to our dog. I was wondering if we can mince raw chicken along with bones, cook it with veggies and then give it to our puppy? I saw a comment earlier that don’t give cooked bones to dogs, but can i cook the minced meat after mincing it?

    • Admin says:


      I’m not an expert on dog nutrition but I believe the that the reason you don’t want to give your dogs cooked bone is because it can splinter and cause damage. If it is finely ground then I don’t think it should pose a problem. I would just make a small batch and see how your dog does with it.

  14. ryan says:

    I often grind up leftover bones (chicken, beef, pork – what ever was on menu for the day/nite@ my house) with remaining meat on them after cooled, I add some raw potato. And other raw vegetables i got around. I try to give the 3 dogs a hearty meat & vegetable treat other than their normal dog food. When they see me by grinder they go into happy mode tails wagging and all. My trick is to grind and regrind the bones with other vegetables making sure bones cannot get stuck in their system. I use a old manual grinder to grind bones and all. If a pork or beef bone is too big I get out sawzall and cut it so it will fit in grinder, remaining meat on bone and all. The dogs love the treat with the meat, bone and assorted vegetables all ground up.

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