More chili dogs.....
Had a late night Friday night 5pm to 2:30am to get 200# of regular and chili dogs- we did everything from plain to cheddar, pepperjack, ghost pepper cheese and a super hot mix of homegrown peppers + 25# Inferno brawts + 25# of smoked breakfast + regular Italian sausage… oh what a night!
Jon and Austin- I do need some help as far as speeding up the 3rd grind. One and two went quick you can see our instagram of the two grinder set up. We added the spice but not the water to try and stiffen up the meat for the 3rd grind…didn’t work, took forever!!! Thoughts?
Couple more pics
Parksider That’s awesome, it looked amazing (and fun) your grinder setup is referred to as a gemini system in commercial processing and the fact you guys are doing that is top level stuff. For anyone reading this Parksiders instagram is WELL worth following!
To speed up your third grind the only thing I could think of would be to chill the meat before your third grind. It will probably take as much time to chill it (unless you have a blast freezer and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you guys do!) and then grind it as it would to just grind it again but it will put a lot less stress on the meat.
That was my first thought, maybe Austin has another idea?
Out of curiosity, did you tie those links off or did the cellulose casings stay linked for you?
Nope, pro level linking i learned on you tube…three sticks form a globe shaped ball and they are locked together. I use it for both the dogs and fresh, just looks cool!
So would it help our 3rd grind issue if we stepped up to a mixer/grinder…say a Hobart 4346?
FYI, no we don’t have a blast chiller YET…walkin cooler will be first and we have a lead on one just stacked up sitting in a local garage calling our name.
My Instagram is black_run_bbq to see some awesome videos of this weekend’s carnage.
Want to give huge shout out to our newest team member Alan that I met on Meatgistics, he was a trooper this weekend!
The Hobart might speed things up as the 4346 is a #32 and it looked like your other two were #22s? Maybe they were 32s though, it was hard to tell. For hotdogs a bowl chopper might be a better way to than a third grinder. It will do a good job emulsifying your meat and will probably be faster than grinding 200 lb 3 times which must be an exercise in patience. Now, I’m not sure how much of a deal you have on the 4346 but I would imagine you could get one for about the same price as the 4346.
Let’s see if Austin has any thoughts on this.
Each grind is going to be progressively slower. As the meat particle size gets smaller and the temp rises, there is no stopping the process from slowing down. A mixer-grinder would definitely be a faster option being able to mix more at once and auto feed through the grinder head would greatly increase your speed, but even a newer more commercial grade grinder would help a ton.
We sometimes have used mixer grinders for sale, but after some checking, we have nothing here right now. If I run across something, I’ll let you know.
If you could stomach the price tag of something new, you’d really like something like the Pro-Cut KMG 32, but it is quite an investment for something not used everyday. The biggest downside to a mixer grinder may be needing to always do a large batch for grinding/mixing. Say it holds 100lb of meat, and you try to mix 25 lb or less in it, it won’t do nearly as good of a job as if it was more full.
If you go the used mixer grinder route, let us know if you need help with getting any new parts to fix it up. Our service department can get a lot of parts to a lot of various machines.
You could also just skip the 3rd grind entirely. You would lose the finer texture, but it wouldn’t compromise your product. It would just have a coarser texture.
A bowl cutter might be an option. We have a 40 lb economy model that is only $3,399: https://www.waltonsinc.com/walton-s-40-lb-bowl-chopper
The benefit here is “grinding” and mixing all in one step. The downside is that it is not going to cut at the same quality as a better meat grinder in that same price range, with some high quality Speco plates and knives.
(We also typically sell these bowl cutters with the intention of reversing the blades and using it for pulled pork for catering and not as much for meat processing. I’ve used it many times for sausage before, and it’s not bad, but definitely not my first recommendation either.)
I definitely think that either way, making sure you have high quality plates and knives would help with your grinding. If your plates are not very new, I’d recommend getting some Speco grinder plates and knives. These are the highest quality ones you can find, and are re-sharpenable by us as well. A good set of plates will make the grinder faster and simply better quality and reduce smearing.
Sticking with a 3 grind setup, and using the consumer-grade grinders, like the Weston grinders we offer, will only get you so far and so fast. Ultimately, if you really want to go that much faster, you would be best getting a more commercial grade grinder, a used mixer grinder may work, or at least a Pro-Cut grinder with a #32 head. A Pro-Cut #32 is rated at 55 lb per min on the first grind and 29 lb per min on the second grind in ideal conditions (a #22 Pro-Cut would be around 29 lb and 15 lb, and a consumer grade Weston #32 would be a max of 12-18 lb per min on the first grind). A #32 Pro-Cut grinder would be a top-notch option, only downside is still needing to mix separately, but you could step up to a larger electric mixer, something like this 50 lb meat mixer.
My suggestions…Keep the meat as cold as possible, and use high quality plates/knives from Speco. Then, I’d look at a Pro-Cut grinder. At least a #22 (there’s 1 HP and 2 HP models), but preferably a #32. The extra head size and horsepower and quality in a motor from a Pro-Cut #32 may be the best option for quality at a still reasonable price point.
A little long and windy response…so let me know if I can help clarify anything in there!
I just got a Weston 1.5 hp #22 from you guys last fall. Has 20 deer and 1 cow through it so far. What would happen if we go with a super small plate on a second grind? I’ve never sharpened the blade. Is that just some quick filing or is there a specific angle to sharpen it to?
I’m looking up those blades right now!!
Speco plates in a #22 goes down to as small as 1/16"
But, I have no idea if a Weston grinder could push meat out through that small of a plate size.
I imagine it would, but maybe just really slow. I will see if I can do some more checking there and see if I have anything maybe to test with. I know we don’t have one in stock that small, but I’ll see what I can come up with…
For sharpening, only certain plates and knives are capable of this. Standard Weston plates/knives are not. The only resharpenable plates/knives in a 22 size we have are from Speco.
We use “Pieco” machines to sharpen plates/knives. Plates are simpler, using a rotary grinder to grind them down a bit and keep them perfectly level and sharpen the edges of the holes in the plate. Knives are a 2 step process of sharpening, by grinding an angle and a flat edge.
On your current set, can you see any wear on the plate itself? They get really bad when you can see and feel a ring worn into the plate from the knife. Or, do you have a new plate still, and can you run your finger across the surface of both and compare the feeling? A new plate should have a noticeably different feel and you ought to be able to feel the “sharp” edge on the holes. (not razor sharp or anything, but noticeably more grab to its edges)
I don’t see the Speco plates and blades on the website? I do know what your talking out the plate being sharp, i’ll check it out tonight. How long should a Weston knife last? I see some mark on the plate and i only have 1 knife i use on all my plates.
I think i’m going to try doing two grinds through a 3/8 plate and mix it. I had to beef up the Weston 50# mixer the arms bent. Lucky i have a welder to take care of that issue!
I see the grinders at Cabelas have a ice pack that straps to the throat of the grinder, maybe pick of them up since we don’t have a blast chiller…
If the head size was equal between a pro-cut and weston, the pro-cut would win. But, since the #22 head size is much bigger than a #12, the 22 would win from weston in this scenario. The #22 Pro-Cut at only 1 HP would vastly outperform the Weston #22 at 1.5 hp.
On the shopping pages, there is a “shop by” (or “filter” on mobile) that has a section for manufacturer. You can filter there to choose Speco. We don’t stock many #22 from Speco but I think I’m going to add some more options there soon. This is what is currently stock items: https://www.waltonsinc.com/parts/grinders-parts/plates-knives/22-grinder-plates-knives?manufacturer=729
If/when I get some new options added there, I’ll let you know.
I really don’t have a great answer on the weston grinder knives for their length of use. They are made different from other knives, and don’t provide the same level of visual detail because of how they are designed to see the wear on them as well. If you are using them on all your plates though, it probably is time. For best results, you should pair 1 knife with 1 plate so they wear evenly together. Everything will last longer and be more efficient that way, but it does require more investment in buying additional knives to have 1 for every plate. If you’re plate is worn out though, it’d be safe to assume the knife is as well. I’d just use the plate as a guide for the knife on the weston versions.
I don’t know if the ice pack on the grinder really works. I think it is at least partially a marketing gimmick, but I’ve never fully tested to see if it truly makes a difference and keeps the meat colder. If the meat is really spending that much time in the throat of the grinder too, probably something wrong there or things would be better off with a faster grinder or bigger head to it. I kind of want to test this out though and find out for sure…