More and more devices are appearing in our lives that make life easier by taking over complex processes. For example, grinding meat into minced meat. A meat grinder is an ordinary metal structure, which makes this process easier and faster. But even here, technology does not stand still, and a person invented an electric meat grinder, which allows you to get the same amount of minced meat in a matter of minutes and without physical effort. The main thing is to choose the right equipment for you, and we will tell you how to choose an electric meat grinder for home.
Power and performance
The main working body of the electric meat grinder is the engine. It depends on what kind of meat can be processed, and how long the unit can work without interruption. In order for the electric meat grinder to work for a long time and without problems, pay attention to two parameters at once:
- engine power (working, not peak);
- unit productivity (how many kilograms of meat can be ground per minute).
High power of an electric motor does not always mean high performance, although usually these parameters are interrelated. For example, Panasonic, one of the market leaders, produces the MK-G1800P electric meat grinder. Its power consumption is only 330 W, and it can make 1.6 kg of minced meat in one minute. The Panasonic MK-G1800P Japanese-made meat grinder processes 1.6 kg/min with a 330 W engine power. Moulinex ME 421039 with a power of 500 W can produce 2 kg of minced meat per minute. Philips HR2722/10 has even better parameters: at a power of 500 W, the productivity is 2.3 kg/min.
The more powerful the meat grinder, the more meat it will turn into minced meat (there are models that work at a speed of up to 5 kilograms per minute). But high power always means a higher price, high power consumption and increased noise level. It is not recommended to turn on powerful electric meat grinders in the evening in multi-apartment buildings: the neighbors will be unhappy. And does an ordinary family need the productivity of 5 kg of meat per minute? Usually not. So units with modest energy consumption, but sufficient performance, look more attractive.
Availability of reverse and overload protection
In some models of electric meat grinders, there is a possibility of reversing the reverse. This mode is needed if something is stuck, or if there is a lot of meat left in the processing chamber after the work is finished.
In general, with a normally finished design, there is very little meat on the auger and in the chamber. For example, in Braun meat grinders it is quite a bit, in Philips, Panasonic and Moulinex it is a little more, but also not critical. So, in fact, this function is needed only if something is stuck inside or the grate is clogged, the wires on the knife are wound. But all these situations arise either with a lack of power or with blunt knives. The exception is improper preparation of meat, as a result of which bones or foreign objects got into the processing.
Reverse gear in an electric meat grinder is an optional, but useful option in some situations.
In general, if the purchase budget is limited, it is quite possible to choose an electric meat grinder for home and without reverse, since the presence of this function leads to an increase in the price of the equipment (more expensive motors are used).
There is another feature that is highly desirable – the engine overload protection system. It comes in two versions: mechanical and electronic. The mechanical one is a plastic bushing that flies apart when overloaded, after which the unit stops. The bushing has to be changed, but the engine is intact. Electronic protection against overload is a thermal relay that monitors the temperature of the motor and turns it off when the threshold value is exceeded. In case of overheating or excessive load, the engine will simply turn off. After it returns to normal (cool down), the meat grinder can be turned on. This feature is useful because it extends the life of the equipment.
What is it made of?
Usually, the body of household electric meat grinders is made of plastic, but you can also find stainless steel or ordinary steel, but with powder coating. It is impossible to say that plastic cases are unreliable, but the cost of electric meat grinders in steel cases is twice as high or more.
High-quality plastic lasts longer than some internal components of the unit. In any case, there are only rare cases of premature failure of the housing, so it is quite possible to choose an electric meat grinder for the home with a plastic housing.
It is much more important what the “stuffing” of the electric meat grinder is made of. First of all, you need to see what material the gears and auger are made of. If the plastic auger can somehow survive, the plastic gears break very quickly. Therefore, it is best to look for a meat grinder with metal gears, and not a body. In general, almost all units, the cost of which is above $70, mostly have a metal mechanism for driving the auger (gear). Just check before buying what exactly this node is made of.
There are also combined models. Their front panel is made of chrome metal (Bosch MFW67440, ProPower MFW68640, MFW 68660, Moulinex ME740H30, Philips Viva Collection HR2729/00, Panasonic MK-ZG1500BTQ, etc.). They are better protected from mechanical damage, but caring for a shiny surface is much more difficult than for plastic: even fingerprints are visible on the mirror-polished surface.
It is clear that for the home kitchen you want to choose such an electric meat grinder, which is convenient and pleasant to work with. In this case, you should pay attention to the design. At least review the following details:
- A large tray for meat. The tray is usually made of plastic or metal (more expensive models), it is worn on the bell. The meat is placed in this tray, then gradually fed into the grinding chamber. The patty should be thick and strong, and the dimensions of the tray should be sufficient so that you can put about 500 g of meat.
- The diameter of the feed hole. If the diameter is large, there is no need to cut the meat into small pieces.
- Self-sharpening knives. Knives, of course, can be sharpened by hand, but not everyone knows how to do it. So self-sharpening knives are convenient (and they are made of good steel and will definitely not rust).
- How high is the outlet for minced meat. The higher it is, the easier it is to choose the dishes by height.
- Cord storage system. Not all models have a niche for storing the cord, so you have to wind it on the body.
- Rubberized legs. They are needed so that the electric meat grinder does not jump on the table during operation.
Such small things form a general impression of the quality of the meat grinder. There may be other points to consider.
Some models of electric meat grinders can not only grind meat. Using special nozzles, you can perform the following operations:
- Squeeze the juice.
- Shred vegetables.
- Rub vegetables and fruits.
In general, for these operations there is a food processor or separate devices – a juicer and a grater. And if there is an opportunity, it is better to have separate specialized devices. Anyway, this is about the juicer. The fact is that if the meat grinder breaks down while preparing juice or chopping vegetables, it will not be repaired under warranty, since this is a non-intended use. So you should think about whether you need these features or not.
Cases of juice getting inside the meat grinder when juicing vegetables and fruits are not isolated. This happens especially when twisting tomatoes.
A household electric meat grinder is usually equipped with several grids with holes of different diameters and a pusher – a plastic thing that is used to press the meat, directing it to the auger. As for the grates, the more of them, the better: you can make minced meat of different grinds. It is convenient if there are at least three grates with small, medium and large holes. Another one should be for sausages – with two or three large holes.
In addition to different grills, some models are equipped with different nozzles:
- for sausage;
- for kebbe (a tube made of minced meat with a cavity for filling);
- for sausages with the possibility of turning the shell.
The more nozzles, the better. They cannot cause any damage to the meat grinder, as they work with minced meat. But if the set doesn’t have something you need, you can buy it separately.
Discs for cleaning grates may also be included in the kit. They are made of plastic. They have the appearance of a disc with pins of different diameters. The diameter of these pins is slightly smaller than the diameter of the holes in the bars. With their help, it is very easy to clean clogged holes. It’s a really useful item that makes it easier to clean the meat grinder.
When choosing an electric meat grinder for the home, you usually start with choosing a manufacturer. If you don’t want to risk it, consider the options of tried and tested brands. Market leaders, of course, also have unsuccessful models, but at least they have a developed service network. And if they already give a guarantee, then they support it. However, the concept of “warranty and non-warranty cases” should be clarified before purchase so that there are no surprises later.
There are a sufficient number of manufacturers of electric meat grinders with well-known names on the market. All of them are good, but have their own characteristics:
- Braun. They are characterized by high reliability, but the model range is updated very rarely. Protection against overloads is inside the meat grinder, which is more difficult during repairs. Among the disadvantages is the high price.
- Bosch. Mechanical protection against overloads is used – when triggered, the teeth cut into the gear. If the units are not overloaded, they work for a long time. But with regular overloads, it is necessary to periodically change the gears. However, there is a defense outside, it is easy to get to it. Another “brand” disease of Bosch meat grinders is problems with the power button. It often breaks.
- Moulinex. According to reviews, they make a lot of noise during operation.
- Zelmer. Reliable machines equipped with double-sided self-sharpening knives. The defense is the same as that of the Browns — inside. According to reviews, they are quite quiet.
- Panasonic. Overload protection is external, usually many nozzles. There is one inconvenient detail in the design – the screw chamber is attached with a special screw, which is very inconvenient to unscrew/screw.
- Kenwood. The knives are of very good quality, but the motors are noisy.