Meat Grinders for 1 Deer


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T.A.Sharps
November 13, 2011, 04:34 PM
I'm looking to add a Deer season onto my Hunting scheduled, which right now is only one.

But I can't afford to pay the processor another time to get all my meat for it.

So I am thinking about just processing my own deer, I bone them out anyway.

It would be a one person, or at most, a two person operation for my own deer. Though I can see taking it on my party hunt, but not primarily.

But there are a lot of different meat grinders out there, and I don't want to spend my money on something that would be a dog to use and clean.

There seems to be a lot of brands and a lot of types. I need one to process one deer, and no more than 2 deer a year.

Primarily my concern would be the rate it grinds, and ease of clean up. I already own 2 hand crank grinders, but I have never used them, they are from my Grandpa.

I wouldn't object to using them though if I was able to clean them right, and they didn't take all day to process a medium deer. (Any tips on cleaning them would be appreciated, don't think there is rust at all)

Thanks a lot!

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buck460XVR
November 13, 2011, 04:54 PM
Hand grinders can work well for small amounts of meat. Secret is to have the meat partially frozen so it is cut and not mushed. I have used a 1/2'' drill on one of my hand grinders and it worked well. I process one to three deer a year and generally use the grinding accessory on my wife's large Kitchen-aid Mixer. I use the coarse knife and run it twice. Again, it helps if the meat is cubed to the correct size to feed and partially frozen.

wyohome
November 13, 2011, 05:29 PM
We use the one from Costco, about $100 or so. Kinda noisy, works fine. We do 2-4 deer , sometimes an elk and make pork sausage (about 30 lbs) each year. It has been a good unit for our small usage. We have used it for 4 years, and there have been no complaints from the 'kitchen help'...about the grinder anyway :D

Larry Ashcraft
November 13, 2011, 05:36 PM
We found a commercial (Hobart) grinder for sale used, and my brothers and I and my dad chipped in and bought it. It's now being used by the next generation also. My son and a couple of friends processed 200 pounds of deer sausage (three muleys) a couple of weeks ago. It took them maybe two hours.

The trick is to have sharp blades. Dull blades will clog up with gristle and make the job a pain. Our grinder takes whatever is put through it.

when you finish grinding, put a couple slices of dried bread through the grinder. That picks up probably 90% of the fat and makes cleanup much easier. We wash everything and bag it up in a new trash bag, so it's clean and ready to go next time we need it.

If you have some buddies who are also hunters, maybe you could chip in together and get a nice grinder. It sure has worked out for us. It's best to have one member of the group who has the room, to keep the grinder. Ours takes a strong man to carry it, even in pieces.

www.northerntool.com sells some nice commercial grinders, and so does Lehmans (http://www.lehmans.com/).

wyohome
November 13, 2011, 05:42 PM
I agree with Larry ^ . If you can find someone to go in with (or a good used one) do it. Larger is better. The faster it gets done, the colder you can keep the meat and more importantly the added fat if used.

thomis
November 13, 2011, 05:51 PM
I can definitely chime in here. I have been through 4 grinders now. Three I broke, or they wore out, whichever. The 4th, or the one I didn't break was the grinding attachment on my in-law's Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I had to stop using that one because I felt like I was going to brake it. The motor got so hot one day that I got so worried, I won't use it anymore. Don't want to have to replace the in-law's $300 Kitchen Aid.
The other ones were:
Two Waring Pro's ~$80 from Bed Bath & Beyond - first one lasted one deer for me, it was so cheaply made and bogged down... took it back and got another. I thought i would give it one more chance. I got halfway through a deer and ended up just finishing the deer in stew meat and roasts. It was worthless. So I guess I didn't break it, it just was plain crap.
Harbor Freight el cheapo that I figured, well, if I break it, I'm not out much... that was just stupid. It too was worthless.
Two months ago I spent $400 on a Cabela's 1 horsepower commercial grade meat grinder. It weighs 58 pounds. Two deer killed recently were ground in a much shorter amount of time that it took to get the grinder out and set it up. Nuff said.

pikid89
November 13, 2011, 06:01 PM
+1 on cabelas grinder, my dad has a 1.5hp cabelas grinder we found on craigslist...we recently had what we thought was gonna be a grinding day...set up the whole kitchen, cube into chunks, season hand toss the fat in, grind, weigh then vacuum pack etc...

with 4 deer and a handful of wild hogs to grind, what we thought was gonna be a day of grinding turned into 10 minutes of grinding (went so fast we double ground it)

DM~
November 13, 2011, 06:09 PM
I have an old American grinder i bought new in the 70's, still is working, and i have no idea how many deer/moose/caribou ect. i've run through it!

My brother bought one from Cabela's a few years ago, (1hp model) and he's already ran a LOT of deer through it. He likes it a lot, and i like it too. It's the one i'd buy IF i needed another.

DM

TNboy
November 13, 2011, 08:35 PM
If you aren't looking to spend a lot of money I use a small hand cranked grinder I bought at Tractor Supply Company for less than $30. It works fine. I ground about 30 pounds of meat out of two deer last season and it was rather easy. Didn't take that long to do either. The trick is getting the meat very clean, you don't want any gristle or silverskin in the meat, this is time consuming. Out of that 30 pounds I had to stop and clean the grinder once. Previous experience not cleaning the meat up as well I was stopping every couple of pounds. I'm sure these aren't as good as the commercial grade grinders but I realize not everyone can drop hundreds of dollars on one. Oh one other note. I once bought I grinder that had a big wheel crank on it. Stay away from those unless you intend to hook it up to some kind of motor. It had a large hopper and was next to impossible to turn that crank when the hopper got full.

dprice3844444
November 13, 2011, 08:44 PM
bass pro and gander mountain sell them along with the seasonings

MCgunner
November 13, 2011, 09:17 PM
Man, I love my electric grinder. It's a LEM I got for Christmas 10 years back and it's doin' a great job. I just got done with a buck I had on ice since Wednesday, stuff a BUNCH of links, didn't count. Aside from 4 roasts I cut out, I gound the whole back half into chili meat, too. It was about 6 hours work I guess, the grinding and wrapping part. The grinding doesn't take much, it's the boning out and the wrapping that takes the time. I was doing it alone. I'd be there until next month with a hand grinder and stuffer. That grinder was only about 120 bucks at Academy. Some of the manual stuffers I've seen run half that. I had to buy a stuffer plate for it, didn't come with it, but had the stuffer attachments otherwise.

I paid a butcher $1.10 a lb for sausage (not smoked) about 10 years ago. That's when I decided I wanted a grinder. It has well paid for itself. I catch a lot of hogs as well as deer hunt and much of the hog meat gets made to sausage.

Justin Holder
November 13, 2011, 09:45 PM
Yesterday our old "Grind-O-Matic" grinder refused to work. So I had to dig out grandpa's old "Chop Rite" hand crank grinder to finish the deer. I had never used it before and was surprised at how easy and fast it was to use.

I had been thinking about getting a new electric unit to replace our old one, but now I think I'll just continue to use the hand crank instead of spending $300-$400 on something that will get used once or twice a year.

Flintknapper
November 13, 2011, 09:51 PM
Electric grinder is the way to go if you don't anticipate having much help.

Some good tips already mentioned here too. (keep blades sharp, meat chilled and cubed to proper size).

I would add: Trim fat and sinew from the meat as much as possible...so you'll have less "down time" clearing the blades. Also, its not a bad idea to have a hand grinder available as a Back-Up, just in case your electric fails you.

Nothing is worse than having everything all set up to grind, mix, stuff etc....and then have your grinder "lay down" on you.

jbkebert
November 13, 2011, 10:00 PM
Check with your local processor about a grinding charge.

I used to grind my own its a pain in the rear IMHO. I have a local processor grind, package, and mix my game meat. I usually have venison mixed 5% beef fat and 5% hog fat so a 90-10 mix. Packaged in 1# bags that are camo colored so they area easy to identify as deer or other game meat. Each package is labled with its species of animal, date packaged, and my name. It cost me a whopping .29 cents a pound.

Meat has to be taken in to him boned out and trimmed but you do that already. Also having it mixed with a little beef and pork adds a little flavor. It grills easier it frys easier. So paying $12 for 40 pounds of proccesed meat its a deal in my book.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
November 13, 2011, 10:57 PM
Check with your local processor about a grinding charge.

I used to grind my own its a pain in the rear IMHO. I have a local processor grind, package, and mix my game meat. I usually have venison mixed 5% beef fat and 5% hog fat so a 90-10 mix. Packaged in 1# bags that are camo colored so they area easy to identify as deer or other game meat. Each package is labled with its species of animal, date packaged, and my name. It cost me a whopping .29 cents a pound.

Meat has to be taken in to him boned out and trimmed but you do that already. Also having it mixed with a little beef and pork adds a little flavor. It grills easier it frys easier. So paying $12 for 40 pounds of proccesed meat its a deal in my book.

That would be nice if you could actually FIND a processor that would do that. It's getting harder and harder every year from what I gather. They either want to charge you for the whole deer or not fool with you at all.

I have done my own deer, elk, hogs, whatever other critter, for most my life. IF I could find a deal like that I would jump all over it in a flat hillbilly second! Grinding is the biggest pain in the rear of the whole job. I can skin and bone out an average sized deer in less than half an hour but it takes forEVER to cut it down to size, trim silverskin,trim sinew, for the grinder.

The grinding itself doesn't take long at all though. I have a 50 year old belt/motor driven Hobart with a Western Electric 1hp motor that last year I did the meat from 12 deer (was deer from a party hunt we all went on). Took less than 30 minutes to grind all that meat TWICE.

As Larry said, the main trick is keeping the blades sharp and dernit Larry I thought I was the only one that used the old Bread Trick! It does indeed make life 100% easier on cleanup.

jbkebert
November 13, 2011, 11:07 PM
I use the old bread trick as well.

There are three small time mom and pop meat lockers around here. All will grind and the price varies a little bit. I usually have the locker make me some jalapeno and cheese summer sausage while I am there. Last year we had 75 pounds of summer sausage made from 5 species of game animals and gave it away with a box of crackers and a block of cheese to family and friends for Christmas.

All the lockers I have used just run the game meat at the end of the day before cleaning the grinders up. I have no doubt that I am getting my own meat back and not someone elses. Which seems to be another plus to small rural towns.

zxcvbob
November 13, 2011, 11:14 PM
I have a #12 electric grinder from Northern Tools; I bought it maybe 5 years ago. They go on sale occasionally for about $100, and don't cost much more than that normally. It'll grind a whole beef brisket in just a couple of minutes. A good quality #8 electric grinder will work just as good as a #12 but a little slower and you'll have to cut the meat into smaller strips or chunks. I don't think I'd go any smaller than a #8.

When I was a kid, we butchered one or two hogs per year and ground & stuffed a lot of sausage using just a hand cranked ChopĚRite grinder. It was slower than an electric but did a fine job -- the trick now might be finding a *good* hand crank grinder. (I'd look for one made in Poland rather than China; you're not going to find a new one made in USA)

Lloyd Smale
November 14, 2011, 06:47 AM
ive got a 1hp unit from gander mountain and sure wouldnt go any smaller.

1goodshot
November 14, 2011, 07:30 AM
I got the 1/2 hp LEM from bass pro this year an ground up most of my elk with it. Great little grinder. It comes with stuffing attacments but if you want to stuff alot of sausage you should get a stuffer.

dragon813gt
November 14, 2011, 08:43 AM
If you have a larger Kitchen Aid mixer you want a vintage meat grinder attachment. They are all metal and work. The new ones are garbage and you run the risk of killing the motor. I've had no issues with mine as long as I trim the meat well. I bought it after the local butchers gave me a hard time for bringing in the meat already trimmed out. They wanted to charge me for work that I can easily do. You can pick up hand crank and electric grinders on craigslist on the cheap. Same for eBay but most of the electric ones are junk and they want to much money for vintage hand cranks.


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MCgunner
November 14, 2011, 04:43 PM
Check with your local processor about a grinding charge.

I used to grind my own its a pain in the rear IMHO. I have a local processor grind, package, and mix my game meat. I usually have venison mixed 5% beef fat and 5% hog fat so a 90-10 mix. Packaged in 1# bags that are camo colored so they area easy to identify as deer or other game meat. Each package is labled with its species of animal, date packaged, and my name. It cost me a whopping .29 cents a pound.

Meat has to be taken in to him boned out and trimmed but you do that already. Also having it mixed with a little beef and pork adds a little flavor. It grills easier it frys easier. So paying $12 for 40 pounds of proccesed meat its a deal in my book.

That would be nice. More probably 2 bucks a pound for sausage now days, and that's raw, not smoked, but plus the cost of the pork that's mixed.

Check state laws. In Texas, the meat cannot be boned until it's reached home and the processor will not accept it boned or without the antler's with tag attached. State laws vary, of course.

jbkebert
November 14, 2011, 08:06 PM
^^^^

Wow that is pricey. Here in Kansas yes I have to turn in the tag to the locker. It is returned with my meat when I pick it up usually 2-3 days later for just grinding. No need to prove sex. The pork and beef added is fat. Which is considered trash to the lockers that I deal with. No charge unless I want seasoned bacon buger (yummy). They grind in ends and peices of the cured bacon that they sell the whole cuts of. That cost a 1.12 a pound I splurge every so often a get a few pounds of it.

T.R.
November 14, 2011, 08:32 PM
If you already own a KitchenAid you're almost done! They sell a grinder attachment for less than $30.

When the blade becomes dull, simply take it to a guy in your local Yellow Pages under "Sharpening" heading. These guys are nation wide.

TR

MCgunner
November 14, 2011, 08:42 PM
Wow that is pricey. Here in Kansas yes I have to turn in the tag to the locker. It is returned with my meat when I pick it up usually 2-3 days later for just grinding. No need to prove sex. The pork and beef added is fat. Which is considered trash to the lockers that I deal with. No charge unless I want seasoned bacon buger (yummy). They grind in ends and peices of the cured bacon that they sell the whole cuts of. That cost a 1.12 a pound I splurge every so often a get a few pounds of it.

Well, I forget what I paid for the pork, but it was significant. That was 10 years ago, buck ten a lb not smoked. Gotta figure inflation, why I quoted 2 bucks, but I haven't checked as that's why I do it myself, now, and I use the bacon ends, 4 lbs at the supermarket for about 5 bucks now days. Roughly 60/40 venison/pork mix. I use this to stuff and also as breakfast sausage and, yeah, it's super yummy. :D All I add for spices is sage, some salt, and course ground black pepper. The bacon ends are cured and have spices, already pretty salty. I smoked two links today and, well, I'm still in awe over 'em. :D I'm doing 'em with pecan cause we have a pecan in the back yard. Where I did live for the last 28 years, I had 2 mesquites, but I think pecan makes for better, just my taste, though.

Damn, I can get to yakin' about food. LOL Slight thread jack, sorry. :D

DM~
November 14, 2011, 08:51 PM
I just bought a Kitchen Aid gringer attachment, i bought it for another purpose, but tried some meat in it to see how it works...

I wouldn't want to have to suffer putting too many deer through it, i'd rather have a dedicated grinder. (and i do)

DM

303tom
November 15, 2011, 12:47 AM
Here is what I use, I can do a whole deer minus the tenderloin & a few round steaks in just a few hours.

http://www.amazon.com/Waring-Pro-MG100-Meat-Grinder/dp/B00008ZLHM

McClarkus
November 15, 2011, 12:59 AM
I had one of the smaller LEM's and it gave up on me. I sent it back and they very kindly replaced it with their next larger size and it has worked flawlessly ever since.

enfuegoinc
November 15, 2011, 06:10 PM
I'm looking to add a Deer season onto my Hunting scheduled, which right now is only one.

But I can't afford to pay the processor another time to get all my meat for it.

So I am thinking about just processing my own deer, I bone them out anyway.

It would be a one person, or at most, a two person operation for my own deer. Though I can see taking it on my party hunt, but not primarily.

But there are a lot of different meat grinders out there, and I don't want to spend my money on something that would be a dog to use and clean.

There seems to be a lot of brands and a lot of types. I need one to process one deer, and no more than 2 deer a year.

Primarily my concern would be the rate it grinds, and ease of clean up. I already own 2 hand crank grinders, but I have never used them, they are from my Grandpa.

I wouldn't object to using them though if I was able to clean them right, and they didn't take all day to process a medium deer. (Any tips on cleaning them would be appreciated, don't think there is rust at all)

Thanks a lot!
We always recommend a good electric grinder like a Deni (http://www.meatgrindersnow.com/catalog/item/8171010/8861193.htm)or LEM (http://www.meatgrindersnow.com/catalog/item/8171010/8922573.htm).

Elkins45
November 15, 2011, 08:34 PM
I used to use a hand crank grinder that belonged to my grandmother. It's probably over 100 years old. It did the job OK once I learned to trim effectively and to get the meat almost frozen before running it through. You can't grind tendons and silverskin worth a darn unless you chop into fairly small chunks anyway, so just trim it out instead. It's about the same amount of work.

Big chunks of semi-warm meat = lots of time taking it apart and unclogging it. Small semi frozen chunks = maximum production efficiency.

I ended up buying an electric grinder during the early 90's that is still doing all I need it to do. It's a Rival brand and it was actually made in the USA, so that gives you some idea of how long ago that was!

castingdonkey
November 15, 2011, 09:37 PM
I had this same issue a couple years ago and spent a couple months reading forums and reviews. I ended up at sears buying a panasonic super grinder. It has metal gears, it's made in Japan(Not China), and it had all good reviews. After following the good advice above I found it had issues with the smaller cutting plates if you didn't start with the larger one. The breaker would pop but the breaker is also the switch for the motor so it was an easy fix. Other than that it is easy to clean and hasn't given me any real issues. I have ground around 150lbs of sausage so far and I'm not sure how much burger but probably about the same. So if your on a budget and want something that is around $100 the panasonic is great. Good luck.

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