Best meat grinder?
I am looking for a good quality meat grinder to process a few deer a year and maybe an antelope every so often. I also plan to make other meat products like my own sausage, brats etc. I have done a bunch of research and have settled on either the weston bucher series, weston professional or the LEM all #12 size. All are 3/4hp other than the weston pro which has 1hp. Best I can tell is all are similar and all have 5yr. warranty. The LEM claim to fame is the big bite auger, but I am not sure about its actual functionality. The weston seem to come with more attachments and high speed auger. I also like they are sold by Waltons a couple hours away from me and if I ever need parts or help they will be there to help. Any recommendations based on experience or ideas?
From those choices, I think your top end option would be the Weston #12 Pro Series. You would definitely not be disappointed with that option! It’s got the biggest motor in that group and would do a fine job and last through years of use.
However, I really do like the Weston Butcher Series. We use the Weston Butcher Series in the Walton’s video room when we are making test batches and making other videos. If you are looking at the $449 price point, my opinion would be for this…
Take a look at the Weston #22 Butcher Series. Through the rest of October 2017, it’s on sale for only $10 more at $459. Having the head size as a #22 makes things a lot easier and faster in grinding. A #22 will easily outperform any other #12 in capacity and grinding speed, and I think the extra $10 for the Weston #22 Butcher Series Grinder is pretty much a no brainer right now.
Let me know if you have any other specific questions I can help with!
Bacon Acres Farm last edited by
I’ve owned two grinders. A LEM #8 big bite and my current one a Weston #32. What a difference!!! Grinding was stress with an small grinder, meat always overheated and became mushy at the slightest appearance of silver skin. The Weston is a workhorse. I ground 100 pounds of mixed meat four times in mere minutes to make a batch of hotdogs. Whatever size you think you need, get a size bigger., you wont’ regret it.
How did you like the big bite grinder? I live in a rural area and went to the big city last week and was able to look at the bigbite and carnivore grinder at basspro/cabelas respectively. I like the idea of the bigbite auger, but not sure if it really works as stated? Seems both brands were well built. Overall seems like the solid box around the bigbite would be easier to wipe clean. I think I could get by with a #8, but am going with a 12 like you suggest. I am having a hard time justifying anything bigger than a 12. Still torn between bigbite or weston.
Bacon Acres Farm last edited by
@SierraPete The BB Grinder was fine for it’s size. We never had a problem as long as we cut the meat small enough. I think the big bite part is a little oversold. The philosophy is to enable a smaller grinder to take a bigger piece of meat and grind faster. You should cut your meat no more than half the width of your grinder throat squared and have it par-frozen. Both Weston and LEM are great products. The Lem #8 big bite grinder was still working fine. I traded it to my buddy for a couple semi-loads of gravel.
I want to say thanks to everyone for their comments and advice on grinders. I was travelling through Wichita yesterday for work and decided to stop by the store for a hands on look at grinders. When I saw the grinders in person it was a pretty easy decision. I went with the #12 butcher series and the guy working the store was really helpful. There wasn’t the typical salesman push at all!!! It was on sale and fit my budget. I even got to try a piece of an experimental brat a worker brought out from the test kitchen. Can’t wait to get grinding.
@SierraPete I’m glad you enjoyed the Brat, that was me who was cooking the Brats and I always like to see if there are any customers in the retail store who might want to try them! I will be editing that video and I’ll have it up on our youtube channel in a few weeks. I will pass this along to the store manager as well.
As I. push the carriage forward the slices get bigger and bigger even if I push only the carriage.
Weekly Blog Post - Octopus and Squid, Vacuum Packing
Find out what's going on at Walton's and Meatgistics this week. We will have a loose schedule for soon to be released videos, what we are working on long-term and maybe a few quick tips and tricks that are on our mind!What Videos are being released soon?
Depending on what you see as soon we will have the almost complete first round of Meatgistics University Classes released. We have broken everything down into these categories; Meat Processing Equipment, Seasoning and Additives, Fresh Sausage, Cured Sausage, Jerky, Sausage Casings, Deli Meats, Smoked Meats, Cured Whole Muscle Meats, and Specialty Sausages. Each of these topics will have multiple entry-level classes covering topics like the type of casing to use, equipment needed and a basic processing class where appropriate.What Projects are we looking ahead at?
We are going to be doing two new Will it BBQ’s, hopefully, this week where we try BBQ’ing Squid and Octopus! The squid was a suggestion by Bob Zambutto through Walton’s Inc Facebook account! I had been wanting to do both of these for a while and when I went to our local Asian Grocery Store (Tai Binh for anyone local to Wichita, KS) and they had lots of options for both, they have almost anything and I got a few more weird ideas while I was there! Anyway, I picked up some baby octopus and a full size one, some small squid and two large ones as well. I am excited and nervous to see how this goes if nothing else it should be fun to watch!What’s on our Mind?
Did you know that you shouldn’t vacuum pack Mushrooms or Garlic? I was reading a Vacmaster VP120 instruction manual the other day and I saw an interesting note that said not to vacuum pack Garlic or Mushrooms! I had no idea that you shouldn’t do this so I thought I would share that with meatgistics readers to let you know not to do it as well. Apparently, they both are prone to bacteria that will continue to grow in oxygen-free environments. I was hoping it was something more impressive than that but it is good information to have.New Products
22" X 24" Collagen Sheets This are typically used for larger whole muscle cuts of meat, like when you are making prosciutto, capocollo, or other dried hams. This is an item that we have had lots of requests for over the years so we were happy to finally find a reliable and reputable source for it.
Thanks for the response!
I think a video on processed celery would be incredible. The only place I have been able to find celery powder as a cure was from “The Sausage Maker”, they have a Facebook page. It was expensive, designed only for sausages, and wasn’t packaged well.
As for the tackiness, good idea with the cornstarch! There are a bunch of big brands with zero additives that were able to achieve the soft texture with no tackiness, so I’m thinking it has to be in the processing. I read an article where someone at KRAVE mentioned a couple details about how they process their jerky. He said they first inject the meat, then cook the whole pieces, then slice, then marinate, then dry. I have messed around with the idea behind this process a lot. Injecting with brine, sous-viding at a variety of temperatures and times, slicing, marinating, and drying. Decent results, but to be honest the high sugar method you introduced to me has seemed to have better results.
Anyway, I will keep trying to figure this out and will definitely keep you guys posted if I make any headway. In the meantime, if there is anything else you think might be worth testing, please let me know! It would be great to try and perfect this process together.
@bob-s-meatgistics I moved one of my first pork butts into the oven and my whole house smelled like smoke. My wife did not stop complaining for a week until the smell was gone from both the house and the oven. I finish all my cooks outside. If you wrap it to speed up the cook you may want to unwrap it for the last hour to put the bark back on it.
@jonathon I am definitely going to purchase and follow the steps you’ve post, thank you sir! Additionally, if anyone has recipes, please share. I’ll try them all and post what my family thought of each. Thank you all, this is a very cool and educational blog, glad I found it wish it was years ago! Thanks again.