Advancement in technology has long invaded different aspects of our home. What comes with such advancement is the automation of a lot of household items and in turn would make using them more efficient, quick, and also most of the time easy.
There are a lot of “old school” items should we say that were turned electric and our kitchen tools weren’t exempted from the innovations. Of course, as much as we adore these innovations they also have flaws.
Some still love the way manual tools work and are still utilizing them for different food preparation.
This is a manual vs electric meat grinder. We’ve researched to showcase both tool’s advantages and disadvantages in hopes of helping you make a better decision on which is best for you.
This is a fun comprehensive comparison of an important tool that we need to be more familiar with. Let the grinding match begin!
The Different Uses for a Meat Grinder
For those who are not familiar yet, let’s discuss quickly what a meat grinder is and why you should secure one for your kitchen.
As the name suggests, the primary function of a meat grinder is to help you prepare your dishes with more control. You can try different meat grinder recipes too.
With the meat grinder, you can have fresher and juicier meat for your food rather than just buying grounded meat from the grocery. You can freely grind meat in your kitchen!
A meat grinder is also a great way to make sausages. Customized sausages are sure favorite and it would be nice to make our own once, in a while, it’s a meat lover’s delight! A meat grinder is also perfect for making beef patties for that afternoon hamburger grilling session.
It’s also great for grinding cookie dough, vegetables, and all sorts of other foods it’s suitable for.
In a nutshell, meat grinders give us more freedom to prepare some of our favorite dishes (some that can only be usually bought in restaurants) in our kitchen fast, easy, and efficiently. Is it worth it? You bet ya!
The Comparison Proper: Manual Vs Electric Meat Grinder
We’ve now come to the “meat” of our discussion and in this section, we’re going to thoroughly discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the two.
Manual Meat Grinders
The old school meat grinder of the two, the manual meat grinder has still a lot of things to offer, and a lot of people even chefs prefer them still.
Here are some of its strengths and why people still prefer using the old manual meat grinder.
As they say, nothing trumps straightforward operation for tools. The manual meat grinders are quite portable, it has a compact design, perfect home use and you wouldn’t need any additional stuff to start grinding.
Easy to Utilize
The simple design for manual meat grinders means it’s simpler to set up and utilize. Anyone can pick up this meat grinder and start using it. It’s also quite easy to repair and maintain, the small and compact size means you won’t have issues storing it.
Great Value for Money
Manual meat grinders are the inexpensive types but don’t underestimate the quality of the job it can do plus its durability. It’s also quite cost-effective in the long run. You can cook quality dishes using it without paying anything premium.
A lot of people like how they have full control over grinding meat. These hand-cranked meat grinders allow for desirable portioning, and speed control for that perfect batch of meat or sausage.
Here are some of its shortcomings as it is still manually operated.
Needless to say, manually grinding meat especially when you have a few batches or kilograms to cook can be quite exhausting. Even 2 pounds of meat can be considered a workout.
With proper operational practices and safety measures, both safety issues for manual and electric meat grinders can be prevented. But manual meat grinders can get a bit dangerous when not handled properly.
Also, there are bacterial contamination concerns when meat is exposed to some elements as they are processed.
Quality of grind
This probably won’t apply to expert grinders but sometimes grinding manually can lead to uneven portions of meat. It all depends on the consistency of the one operating it.
Electric Meat Grinders
Here are some of the premium that comes with investing in a good quality electric meat grinder.
One benefit from innovation is convenience, given that the electric meat grinder would do a lot of the manual stuff you should do then it’s pretty convenient to have. It operates faster, and sometimes even better.
Electric meat grinders can process a variety of meat types and at the same time yield multiple cuts, shapes, and sizes which should be a great thing for your dishes.
Safety is always a priority and again, this applies to both the operator and the meat. Electric meat grinders have some nifty features to keep you safe and with a shorter exposure to the elements, your meat is also safe from contaminants.
You can grind larger, and more amounts of meat with electric meat grinders. With this mechanism, you’ll get things done in no time.
Here are areas it may have shortcomings on.
Needless to say, these electric types can get a bit pricey, and as the features add up that price tag will get a bit higher. Also, add to that the electricity cost as you operate it.
Given that you need to plug them into a power source means you may not be able to carry them around as much as the manual types.
Lastly, electric meat grinders are naturally a lot heavier for that power requires a lot of components and it will be way more.
Read also: How To Grind Meat Without A Grinder
Meat Grinders Buyer’s Guide
Another fun section for our manual vs electric meat grinder comparison. This is where we help you know what to look for in a meat grinder, to be sure that you’ll pick up only the best quality meat grinder for your needs.
Since we’re talking about grinding meat then of course what’s on top of your watch-out list s the “Power” of your meat grinder.
Meat grinders are categorized based on their power from low-powered, medium-powered, and of course, high-powered machines. This generally means to the electric type of course.
Low-powered machines can process about 1kg of meat per minute and are typically 400 to 800 watts. Medium-powered ones are at 800 to 1200 watts and can process 1.5kg of meat per minute.
Lastly, the high-powered ones can grind 2kg of meat per minute and are at 1200 to 1400 watts.
Which one should you get? It’s very simple, just think about how much meat you grind and how often. You should have a good idea by then as to which type to invest in that will be worth the investment.
The next thing you need to consider is the material. This here applies to both manual and electric meat grinders. Some grinders are made of plastic, metal, and a hybrid of metal and plastic.
The latter is more widespread, and nowadays plastic ain’t necessarily considered inferior to its metal counterparts.
Productivity and Features
Consider the different features, safety-wise, and productivity-wise the meat grinder has to offer. We’re talking about the reverse feature, overload protection, or rubberized legs.
The more features maybe it’s going to be more expensive so choose wisely.
It’s also important to do some research on the brands. Read or listen to user reviews and see if what you are about to purchase is well-worth it or is an honest brand. Also, consider sizing options, and parts of the meat grinder like its plates.
How to use your Meat Grinder Properly (Safety and Maintenance Tips)
In this bonus section let’s talk about some safety tips and maintenance when handling your meat grinder.
Meat grinders have some safety features to protect us when we are operating them. One such feature is the reverse motor function. The reverse motor function as the name suggests makes sure that you can easily remove jams once it occurs.
Maintenance and Cleaning Tips
- Use a cleaning device especially one with a handle to add distance between your hand and any sharp edges of the meat grinder.
- Wipe the blade from the center outward to avoid contact with any part of the blade edge.
- Do not wipe toward the blade especially when cleaning the slicer table.
Safety tips when operating a meat grinder
- Make sure to use a proper plunger when you feed meat into the meat grinder.
- Make sure the throats and feeding trays have been installed when operating a meat grinder.
- Please be sure to only use meat grinders for what they are meant for.
- Make sure to turn off and also unplug meat grinders when they are not in use, especially when the grinders are left unattended for a long period.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
We’ve gathered a few common questions about meat grinders and concisely answered them in this section.
1. Is it fine to grind bones using a meat grinder?
Yes and no. for higher wattage meat grinders it may be okay to use it for grinding small animal bones like say chicken or rabbits, but not for larger ones like beef, deer, or pork.
Even the heavy-duty ones would probably be damaged if you grind large bones on them. If you value your meat grinder’s quality and overall lifespan then that’s a big no-no. But again, smaller bones should be alright.
2. Can cat or dog food is processed using a meat grinder?
Yep, go right ahead and do so. Experts suggest that feeding your pets on an all raw food diet is quite beneficial for their health.
So go ahead and grind them a mixture of organs, meat, and bones to keep them in tip-top shape. That’s an excellent way to utilize your meat grinder for all your needs.
3. What are other foods I can process with my meat grinder?
The answer to this is a big YES! Don’t mind the name, meat grinders are more than capable and ideal for prepping all sorts of other foods.
It’s perfect for nut butter, fruit sorbet, baby food, meat pate, cheese crumbles, and for preparing stews, spreads, chili, hummus, the possibilities are endless.
I hope our manual vs electric meat grinder comparison has helped you come up with a better decision. We understand that not everyone is enamored with modern technology but our only advice is for you to keep an open mind.
Sometimes it pays off to try new paths! But of course, old school as they say never goes old. As we’ve illustrated, going manual or electric has its pros and cons, it’s just a matter of which suits your needs and your style.
With that being said, we only wish for you to stay safe and keep on grinding!