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  • Meat grinders

    Ok folks talk to me about what’s working for you? Brand, horsepower, etc.? I’m a newb with grinders and am a subscriber to the buy once cry once philosophy, but if I don’t have to drop $500 for a solid machine that would make me happy. I’ve heard good things about the Cabela’s grinders but since they no longer offer a lifetime warranty their stuff is less enticing. I’ve also heard if it’s not at least 3/4 horsepower don’t bother, but that’s just talk so far. Apologies if this has been discussed endlessly already.

  • #2
    I bought a Carnivor from Cabelas, 1hp, can't beat it, grinds fast as you can stuff it. Hard to beat the ones at alaska butcher supply. Plus their serviceable locally.

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    • #3
      I had a long thread on this. check the archives. I wound up going with a 1.5 HP Carnivore, love it. buddies 1 hp works great for him. Others have different opinions, but my experience with the Cabelas product has been very positive.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Daveintheburbs View Post
        I had a long thread on this. check the archives. I wound up going with a 1.5 HP Carnivore, love it. buddies 1 hp works great for him. Others have different opinions, but my experience with the Cabelas product has been very positive.
        Thanks, I’ll search for it.

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        • #5
          I have a KitchenAid with the grinder attachment. I also own a 3/4 hp grinder that never gets used. I've used a couple of higher horsepower grinders that cost a couple hundred bucks or more over the years that will chew anything you throw into them as fast as you can throw it in there. The problem comes in with what you do with your ground meat after you grind it. If you use it all right away then you don't have a problem, but if you are freezing and storing it for any amount of time, like say over winter, then grinding it and refreezing it exposes it to air and oxidization unless you can somehow get all the air out. After years of freezer burnt grind all I do anymore is primal cuts and then grind 2-5 pounds at a time using the KitchenAid grinder, you can make smaller batches of sausage or ground meat as needed and after a small amount of trimming it is as close to fresh as the day it was shot. It cuts down on some of the butchering time right after hunting and spreads it out over the time you are consuming your meat and results in a better overall product.
          I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned. Physicist ― Richard Feynman

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Patsfan54 View Post
            I have a KitchenAid with the grinder attachment. I also own a 3/4 hp grinder that never gets used. I've used a couple of higher horsepower grinders that cost a couple hundred bucks or more over the years that will chew anything you throw into them as fast as you can throw it in there. The problem comes in with what you do with your ground meat after you grind it. If you use it all right away then you don't have a problem, but if you are freezing and storing it for any amount of time, like say over winter, then grinding it and refreezing it exposes it to air and oxidization unless you can somehow get all the air out. After years of freezer burnt grind all I do anymore is primal cuts and then grind 2-5 pounds at a time using the KitchenAid grinder, you can make smaller batches of sausage or ground meat as needed and after a small amount of trimming it is as close to fresh as the day it was shot. It cuts down on some of the butchering time right after hunting and spreads it out over the time you are consuming your meat and results in a better overall product.
            Odd. I've never had any problem with freezer burn on ground meat even at 8-10 years in the freezer. Packaged in double layer of plastic wrap, then freezer paper in various size packages (from individual patties 8 to a package to 2lb bulk packages). If you use a non-frost free freezer, it will hold things a lot longer than standard frost-free freezers.

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            • #7
              I found an older used carnivor grinder on craigslist and I think it's only a 1/2 or 3/4. We have done 5 or 6 moose and several carobou with it. When I bought it I was a little worried about it being too small but the thing grinds burger as fast as you can drop the meat into it. I'm not really sure how you could grind it any faster or why. We only do one pass with the small plate so I can't compare how it grinds ground meat for guys that do multiple passes. We usually grind at the end of out processing and it goes extremely fast. It takes 2 guys to keep it fed!

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              • #8
                I grind right into the tubes and have no problem with freezer burn. A large spout and the LEM tape dispenser make it go fast. I'm usually doing 100+ lbs at a whack.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by anchskier View Post

                  Odd. I've never had any problem with freezer burn on ground meat even at 8-10 years in the freezer. Packaged in double layer of plastic wrap, then freezer paper in various size packages (from individual patties 8 to a package to 2lb bulk packages). If you use a non-frost free freezer, it will hold things a lot longer than standard frost-free freezers.
                  No offense, and I honestly mean this in the nicest possible way, but I'm not sure a guy eating 8-10 year old meat out of the bottom of the freezer is the guy I would trust on whether something is freezer burnt or not.

                  I do have the standard frost-free freezers, which I'm sure is part of the problem. I've used various kinds of vacuum sealers and vacuum sealing bags, the problem is when you grind meat you inevitably introduce air containing oxygen into and around the meat and no matter what your method of sealing you can't get rid of all that oxygen so oxidization occurs, in both frost-free and frost-full freezers. Keeping the meat stored as primal cuts keeps oxidization and freezer burn to a minimum.

                  Do you really have 8-10 year old ground meat in your freezers that you've eaten?
                  I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned. Physicist ― Richard Feynman

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                  • #10
                    A helpful trick if you like to make sausage...

                    Mr Prime sells frozen chunks of raw (not rendered and re-frozen) lard. It adds fat (flavor) to the grind and there's no need to add chipped ice to keep the grinder & meat from heating up.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Patsfan54 View Post

                      No offense, and I honestly mean this in the nicest possible way, but I'm not sure a guy eating 8-10 year old meat out of the bottom of the freezer is the guy I would trust on whether something is freezer burnt or not.

                      I do have the standard frost-free freezers, which I'm sure is part of the problem. I've used various kinds of vacuum sealers and vacuum sealing bags, the problem is when you grind meat you inevitably introduce air containing oxygen into and around the meat and no matter what your method of sealing you can't get rid of all that oxygen so oxidization occurs, in both frost-free and frost-full freezers. Keeping the meat stored as primal cuts keeps oxidization and freezer burn to a minimum.

                      Do you really have 8-10 year old ground meat in your freezers that you've eaten?
                      2 or 3 year old burger is just fine from my freezer. Can't say I ever ate any 10 year old stuff but it could have happened.
                      Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cheeser View Post
                        A helpful trick if you like to make sausage...

                        Mr Prime sells frozen chunks of raw (not rendered and re-frozen) lard. It adds fat (flavor) to the grind and there's no need to add chipped ice to keep the grinder & meat from heating up.
                        So this is a thing that’s been a perennial question for me. Not to criticize anyone’s way of doing things, and believe me I appreciate a good fatty burger or sausage, but why do so many of us think nothing of grinding conventionally raised pork fat into our hard-earned ground game? Sure, if it’s pastured / grass fed pork, but otherwise, maybe it’s just me but I don’t get it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SmokeRoss View Post

                          2 or 3 year old burger is just fine from my freezer. Can't say I ever ate any 10 year old stuff but it could have happened.
                          Yeah, don't get me wrong, I've eaten 2 or 3 year old ground meat. I was just offering a way to eat meat that tastes almost as good as the day it was shot after having spent some time in a freezer. Anyone with tastebuds knows fat goes rancid pretty quick, even in the freezer and wrapped or vacuum sealed, if you introduce oxygen it happens even faster...this isn't a taste thing, it's just what happens to meat as it decomposes and that is what is happening as soon as the animal dies. There is a window of time where through controlled aging we can use the decomposition process to make that meat taste better, but there is also a point where too much time has passed and the meat is only going downhill. Grinding meat with or without fat and wrapping it even with the best vacuum sealing technology available and then freezing it for 8-10 years will result in a product that is far inferior to the day it was shot, if it's not entirely inedible.
                          I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned. Physicist ― Richard Feynman

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by luckyak View Post

                            So this is a thing that’s been a perennial question for me. Not to criticize anyone’s way of doing things, and believe me I appreciate a good fatty burger or sausage, but why do so many of us think nothing of grinding conventionally raised pork fat into our hard-earned ground game? Sure, if it’s pastured / grass fed pork, but otherwise, maybe it’s just me but I don’t get it.
                            Agreed, I never thought I'd enjoy it but a burger made with game meat and no added fat chunks is really good. We coat our meat in avocado or olive oil before grinding and it cooks up great, never have to worry about any of the rancid fat off flavors, you can actually taste the meat. I really like a fresh ground sausage with locally grown pig fat mixed into my game meat, best sausage I've had.
                            I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned. Physicist ― Richard Feynman

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                            • #15
                              A few years ago we started grinding our burger without adding any fat and we love it. We won't go back to adding anything unless I try adding some bacon ends, that's pretty delicioius too! And of course, polish sausage. We just wrap our burger in plastic wrap then freezer paper and I haven't seen any type of freezer burn or anything like that but it also doesn't last over two years.

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