Sunday, July 22, 2012

Grinding your own Ground Beef

Really Old Meat Grinder (Shaun-ta's grandparent's)
A while ago I was made aware of "Pink Slime", a horrible combination of muck including ammonia used to extract bits of meat off of meat that is unfit for human consumption.  They use the ammonia to kill pathogens like E-Coli making it now "safe", and then added to your ground beef.

I propose an alternative; grind your own.

Beef Chuck Roast
I was surprised when Shaun-ta' informed me a couple months ago that we had a small hand meat grinder that was her Grandparent's...I immediately had visions of making my own sausage and peperoni.  Before I graduate to that level I am starting with just simple ground chuck.

I like the flavor and texture of ground chuck the best.  I picked up a good and reasonable fatty chuck roast.  The cost was the same as the ground 80/20 chuck down the line at the grocery store.  So for the same price and a little bit of effort I made my own ground chuck, with no pink slime, and it is made from only one animal not bits from hundreds or thousands of animals.

Home Ground Chuck
It is nice to know exactly what is going into your food.  Just because a higher food organization deems something safe, based on my own common sense, have to stay skeptical.  Over the years there have been many approved things that turn out deadly or damaging.  We have the freedom to make our own choices.  

So grinding the chuck went pretty well, no real problems.  I cut the roast into large chunks.  With this old grinder I had trouble keeping it attached to my counter-top, I feared damaging the counter.  I think next time I will attach it to another table.  I would recommend placing something under the grinder on the floor to catch any drippings.  I didn't and it made a little bit of a mess.  I cleaned it up with our All Purpose Cleaner.  

Three pounds of ground chuck
I used a pound of the fresh ground beef tonight to make taco's.  They turned out great.  There was very little fat, so little I didn't even rinse/drain off the fat.  I expect the fat level to be 10% or less.

I expect that when we can, Shaun-ta' and I will pickup an electric meat grinderor an attachment that we can add to our Stand-Mixer. Grinding these three pounds of chuck was not bad, though if I had 20+ pounds to do I would probably prefer an electric grinder.

All in all it is worth it and a basic hand grinder like I used can be bought for only about $20.

Give grinding your own meat a try, you gain the knowledge of how to do it, what is in you meat, and also gives you the ability to make your own sausage or meat blends.  Most of these grinders also work well on veggies and fruit.


Grammy said...

What a great way to save money and have much healthier food.
I just love how you find new ways to keep my grandchildren nice and healthY!

Anonymous said...

We have the Kitchenaid attachment.
It clogs very easily and you can only do very small batches at a time.

Too much will result in the dreaded grey goo and frequent stopping to unclog.

Also one must nearly freeze the meat chunks to process them best with this attachment.

Would suggest looking else where for a good grinder.

Jacob said...

Thanks! That is great feedback on the KA attachment. Guess I need to rethink my options.

I guess now I think we'll end up with a stand alone grinder unit that can handle a few pounds at a time.

This little hand crank one works fine for small batches, but if your going to go to the effort...