No matter how you want to grind your meat, whether it's manually or with an electric model, the best meat grinders give you freshly ground meat with better flavor and texture, as well as control over what exactly is in your ground meat.
If budget is a deciding factor, manual and attachment grinders will be the easiest on your wallet. Electric meat grinders, though more powerful, tend to be more expensive. However, for a kitchen already stocked with a stand mixer, you can have an electric meat grinder for less than $60. Eater found the KitchenAid food grinder attachment definitely measured up to the task of grinding meat, but the attachment grinder is slower than a standalone electric meat grinder.
Grinder size — which is determined by measuring the diameter of the grinding plates — should also help guide you in buying a meat grinder. Most meat grinders for home use are a size #5 (with a 2.125-inch diameter) or #8 (with a 2.5-inch diameter), but you may be better suited to a #12 (with a 2.75-inch diameter) grinder if you need more power and capacity for processing large amounts of meat. There are a few that are a bit smaller than these standard sizes, but you'll see that noted below. Overall grinding diameter can affect how juicy the resulting ground meat is. Bigger electric meat grinders typically feature more adjustable speeds and grind types, as well as sausage-stuffing attachments.
Lastly, whether you're looking at a manual, electric, or attachment model, the best meat grinders include some dishwasher-safe parts and are easy to disassemble for proper cleaning, an important part of owning a meat grinder.
Keeping all this in mind, it's time to shop. All of the meat grinders listed below come highly-rated on Amazon.
1. The Best Manual Meat Grinder
This compact manual meat grinder is a great option for anyone who occasionally wants freshly ground meat. It's a lightweight machine that stores easily with mostly dishwasher-safe parts. With two stainless steel plates that are 2.9 inches in diameter, one for a fine grind and another for a coarse grind, the meat grinder has a powerful suction at the base that impressed the chief culinary advisor at Serious Eats, J. Kenji López-Alt, who regularly grinds meat at home.
Fans say: "I have been using a manual countertop meat grinder for many years. [...] The Gideon is more sturdy than my last unit, so that I believe that it will last longer. A review recommended that you do not fill the cone to the top and I reiterate that recommendation. When filled to the top, the meat will pulp rather than grind. Also, the handle is shorter than my last grinder, requiring more tork (muscle power). I like that the grinder is higher off the counter, giving me a wider selection of collection bowls. The cleanup is also simpler than my last model. [...]"
2. The Best Overall Electric Grinder That Can Grind Up To 360 Pounds Per Hour
With a large #12 grinding head, powerful motor capable of a maximum 1,200 watts, and a high-capacity tray, this electric meat grinder makes quick work of processing large amounts of meat. The Turboforce can grind up to 360 pounds of meat per hour (depending on grinding plate size and type of meat) and comes with many features at this price point. This grinder has three speeds: high, low, and reverse, which helps with processing tougher or leaner cuts of meat. You'll also get three sizes of tempered steel grinding plates, three stainless steel cutting blades, and a couple specialty attachments, including a sausage-stuffing plate with three sizes of sausage-stuffing tubes and adapter, and a kibbe attachment. Most pieces require washing by hand, but users say the equipment is not difficult to disassemble.
Fans say: “[...]I am thoroughly impressed with the "attitude" of the STX TURBOFORCE 3000. It has shown that it can effortlessly handle any job I have given it. It certainly outshines any grinder I owned previously. I was amazed at how easy in can handle frozen pork or beef. I use it mainly for making sausage and hamburger meat, and it is a joy to use. It has not jammed up on me since I have been using it. It is a snap to clean, and to assemble and disassemble. The three hardened steel cutting blades and three grinding plates give an ample choice of grinding size to satisfy most texture requirements. I am more than happy with it. [...]"
3. The Best Meat Grinder Under $100: An Electric Option That Can Grind Up To 150 Pounds Per Hour
Here's an electric meat grinder that will easily handle beef, pork, and chicken with its big-capacity tray and a motor with 800 watts of max locked power. Its low-speed screw and press grinding makes for tender meat texture, and users have even found it grinds venison well. This electric meat grinder comes with a size #5 grinder, stainless steel blade, and three stainless steel plates for coarse, medium, and fine grinds, as well as three sausage attachments. It's also convenient that the cutting plates and cutting blade are dishwasher-safe. The head parts are made of aluminum and should be washed by hand.
Fans say: “It's easy to use, works great, easy to clean and a bargain at the cost. I had a more expensive one previously this one is about half the cost and works every bit as well. I am very happy with this purchase.”
4. The Best Standing Mixer Meat Grinder Attachment
For less than $40, the KitchenAid meat grinder attachment is an easy choice for anyone who already owns a stand mixer and is curious about grinding meat at home. This is America’s Test Kitchen’s favorite meat grinder, and it's highly rated on Amazon with more than 3,000 reviews. Powered by any household KitchenAid stand mixer, which has 250-325 watts depending on the model. This grinder's size falls below the #5 standard size grinder at 1.9mm and comes with fine and coarse grinding plates. Most parts, though not the grinding blades, are dishwasher-safe.
Fans say: “Excellent addition to the home [cook’s] Kitchenaid Stand Mixer attachments. I love using it for making my own ground beef for burgers (my favorite), grinding pork for bratwurst and italian sausage and have even made all beef hot dogs! The bowl, auger, blades, and collar are all easily removed for quick and easy cleaning. It's so simple to use you'll be grinding ribeye, chuck, and sirloin into your own mixture for burgers on the grill in no time....and you'll never want to buy pre-ground beef again.”
5. The Best Meat Grinder for Bones
If you want the power of the Turboforce model above with the added capability to use your meat grinder for bones, take a closer look at this electric meat grinder with 2,000 watts of peak output power. Keep in mind that this #12 grinder is designed to handle softer animal bones, like those from chicken, squirrel, quail, and rabbit, which you may be interested in grinding for pet food. Grinding bones is essential for your dog to safely consume bones as the AKC recommends not giving dogs whole, unground bones. With a full suite of accessories—stainless steel blades, five grinding plates, a beaner plate for sausage and three stuffing tubes with a kibbe attachment, a pair of meat shredder claws, and a burger patty press—this model also includes optional foot pedal control for hands-free use. The cutting blades are dishwasher-safe; aluminum head pieces and grinding plates are not.
Fans say: “...It performed like a champ grinding chicken with bones and rabbit with bones as per instructions. This unit worked almost as well as the commercial unit I used to have in my butcher shop. Only on a much smaller scale. Highly recommend the stx 4000 for anyone who is serious about having a quality grinder that will produce and still be able to keep it on the kitchen counter.. Cant wait to make some more sausage with this grinder. My only regret is that [I didn’t] buy this sooner.”
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.
Cross, H. R., Nichols, J. E., & Kotula, A. W. (1980). Effect of Grinding Method on Textural Properties of Cooked Ground Beef. Journal of Food Protection, 43(7), 555–557. doi: 10.4315/0362-028x-43.7.555