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meat grinder clogging
A recent post got me thinking. I've all but quit using my meat grinder because it clogs so darn easily and is really frustrating. I have a little Waring Pro countertop model. It goes through the coarse plate ok, but then I run that through the fine plate and it clogs.
Is this because my unit is too weak? I thought it was the blades being dull and I got new blades and plates (to the tune of $60-70!) that helped some but I'm still having the same problem.
I try to take off most of the big sinew and silverskin parts but it's impossible to remove it all. Seems like it's the sinew that does most of the clogging. What can I do to prevent this? Or do I just need a bigger commercial unit?
My fine plate for game is a coarser fine than the one I use for beef or bison, so settling for a size up would help. However, try frequently spraying olive oil on the plate before and during your grinding.
At first I was going to suggest better trimming but it seems you trim. When we hold a grinding party the trimming takes 90% of the time. What a pain.
One thing that helps a bit is if you can semi-freeze the meat first. Not hard frozen by any means but make the meat firmer.
The plates and blades were a good move. Sounds like you got the good german set, but most any are better than the set the grinders usually come with. I even get out my diamond stone and sharpen them up a bit.
Is the blade/plate pressure adjustable? Usually the retaining nut/outer ring can adjust blade pressure. Most grinders you can tighten them down to where it can hardly turn. Not that I run mine there, but it's adjustable. Without the blade installed the plate should smoothly slide into the unit much farther than with the blades installed.
The semi freeze advice is good. I put the meat in the freezer, then coarse grind it, then put it back in the freezer for a bit and then fine grind it.
I had the same exact problem with my big Cabelas grinder. TD has the answer: semi-freeze the meat and your problems will go away forever. I was ready to chuck mine in the river until I got this advice several years back. Good luck.
I've had Hobart, Cabela's (2) and hand grinders over the years. It's probable you're not getting the pressure high enough between the cutter and hole plate. This allows sinew material to slide rather than be cut. You might also have a bent shaft which is not fixable. The freezing will help.
Good suggestions. Thanks, I'll try that.
Speaking of blades and sharpening ...
Don't forget that the cutting edge of the blade must meet the plate with no gap. Sometimes the pack side of the blade gets rounded a bit so that it's not perfectly flat resulting in the actual cutting edge not coming in contact with the plate.
The Old Sarge
Great advice. Growing up, worked in a family owned rural Locker Plant(hoof to package/meat processing facility). During deer season, prior to processing, every deer carcus was placed in freezer for a short time (long enough to firm up, but not freeze). Don't remember we did it for grinding purposes, but it certainly did help handling (cutting even thickness steaks, roasts and trimming meat for grinding).
I dont use the fine plate. I noticed if you use the course plate twice it seems to put a nice finish to the meat and it shouldnt ever plug.It is kind of half way between course and fine. I think the fine gets a little mushy.
Agreed. While I'm meticulous when it comes to trimming the steaks and other cuts, I'm not interested in over-trimming the stuff I plan to grind anyway. Sorta defeats my purpose and can result in wasted meat.