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Unread 03-26-2013, 06:57 PM   #1
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Default Meat grinder question

I have a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer 325W, this one:



I've been using a KitchenAid grinder attachment to grind meat. Unfortunately last time when I got done grinding, I noticed black grease leaking from the bearing. Eweee. The bearing was shot. I think I caused this by not removing enough of the sinew before grinding. I usually have to remove quite a bit from around the cutting blade after finishing. Maybe it was this or maybe itI got a bad one or maybe it was something else?

My wife is wanting to get me a new grinder for my b-day. Probably if I did a better job of cutting up my meat, I could get by with another $50 Kitchenaid grinder. Of course there is a big chance that I wouldn't and burn another one up. It would also be nice to have a shiny new toy. So, I'm looking at asking for a nicer LEM grinder or one of the ones from NorthernTool or Cablelas. Maybe in the $200 - $300 range if it would be a big step up and be bulletproof.

I was wondering first what my Kitchenaid equivalent is to. Any thoughts? The $99 grinder from Northern Tool says it is 1/2hp 350W. My mixer claims to be 325W, so maybe this is about the same. Might as well get the $50 KitchenAid??? The cheap Waring Pro that gets recommended looks like it also might be about the same quality as the mixer attachment???

Many of the old posts all seem to be recommending $500 - $700 grinders. That is out of my price range. Any thoughts on how big a step up the $269 #5 LEM STAINLESS STEEL BIG BITE GRINDER- .25 HP or the $270 Kitchener Electric Meat Grinder — #8 Stainless Steel, 3/8 HP is? I don't want to spend that much more if it is going to be similar performance. Any other recommendations?

So far, the max I've ground at one time was 40#, but more typical is 10# to 20#. Maybe 3 to 4 times a year. Maybe I'll use it more frequently future, but I don't hunt so a whole deer won't be happening.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 07:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ---k--- View Post
I have a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer 325W, this one:
Amazon.com: KitchenAid KSM150PSWH Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, White: Kitchen & Dining

I've been using a KitchenAid grinder attachment to grind meat. Unfortunately last time when I got done grinding, I noticed black grease leaking from the bearing. Eweee. The bearing was shot. I think I caused this by not removing enough of the sinew before grinding. I usually have to remove quite a bit from around the cutting blade after finishing. Maybe it was this or maybe itI got a bad one or maybe it was something else?

My wife is wanting to get me a new grinder for my b-day. Probably if I did a better job of cutting up my meat, I could get by with another $50 Kitchenaid grinder. Of course there is a big chance that I wouldn't and burn another one up. It would also be nice to have a shiny new toy. So, I'm looking at asking for a nicer LEM grinder or one of the ones from NorthernTool or Cablelas. Maybe in the $200 - $300 range if it would be a big step up and be bulletproof.

I was wondering first what my Kitchenaid equivalent is to. Any thoughts? The $99 grinder from Northern Tool says it is 1/2hp 350W. My mixer claims to be 325W, so maybe this is about the same. Might as well get the $50 KitchenAid??? The cheap Waring Pro that gets recommended looks like it also might be about the same quality as the mixer attachment???

Many of the old posts all seem to be recommending $500 - $700 grinders. That is out of my price range. Any thoughts on how big a step up the $269 #5 LEM STAINLESS STEEL BIG BITE GRINDER- .25 HP or the $270 Kitchener Electric Meat Grinder — #8 Stainless Steel, 3/8 HP is? I don't want to spend that much more if it is going to be similar performance. Any other recommendations?

So far, the max I've ground at one time was 40#, but more typical is 10# to 20#. Maybe 3 to 4 times a year. Maybe I'll use it more frequently future, but I don't hunt so a whole deer won't be happening.
I have the #5 LEM Big Bite. Its a monster for what it is. The only thing about it is the throat is kind of small, but other than that I love the thing.

And the Big Bite feature is no gimmick! It sucks the meat into the grinder!!
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Unread 03-26-2013, 07:17 PM   #3
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I have a kitchenaid 5.5 qt professional mixer but after reading a lot about the cons of using the KA for meat grinding I decided to bite the bullet and just buy an LEM. I bought the LEM #8 stainless steel Big Byte grinder and I love it. Ground up 20 lbs in about 5 mins. I also stuffed sausage with it and it did an awesome job. It's a solid equipment and I'm really impressed.

Now for the best part. I bought my LEM #8 SS .35 HP from Academy.com for $249 with free shipping and no tax to CA. That is the best deal I've found as there was nothing less than $300 plus shipping and possible tax which in my case was a $100 difference. With the money I saved I bought all the remaining plates and some knives plus a meat lug. FYI they also have the #5 LEM SS .25 HP for $199. I initially wanted the #5 SS but since there was only a $50 difference I jumped on the #8 SS instead. All brand new in the box. Their CS is great as well. I had an issue with bad feeder neck(if you call it that) and I called them. No pushing buttons or automated systems just real people answering the phone and they sent out a new part immidiately with less than 5 mins on the phone. Good Luck!
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Unread 03-26-2013, 08:00 PM   #4
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There is no equivalent to a Kitchen-Aid!!! Just messin with ya, I know you're asking about grinders. My mixer did the same thing years ago. It's normal. Grease, a petroleum based product naturally separates over time. Why don't you just repack the grease? It takes about an hour or so, and it'll be good as new. With as versatile as a Kitchen-Aid is, buying a separate grinder seems silly but that's just me. I use mine for everything. You'll be hard pressed to find a better household grade unit IMO.

Just repack the grease man, it's not that hard. Here's a great video that walks you through it start to finish.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 08:17 PM   #5
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I've used the kitchen-aide to the point that IF I shell it, then I will replace the mixer for the wifey and buy myself a dedicated grinder. Till then,follow J-Rods advice, repack the grease, go easy on the frozen meat. No doubt the plastic gears have gotten warm but if its still spinning it aint shot.Besides my 325watt mixer was more then 50 bucks and we're still getting our moneys worth out of the attachment.

I use a manual upright stuffer from Grizzley which is a huge improvement over the mixer stuffer.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 08:19 PM   #6
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J-Rod,
Thanks for that. BUT, it is a bearing in the grinder attachment, not the mixer. The mixer is fine, luckily. Maybe I'm confused about what I was seeing. It looked like a sealed bearing with no real way to remove it. Since it is a $50 attachment, I pitched it.

I am considering just getting another one. We'll see. But that 3/8 hp grinder from Academy is looking pretty good.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 08:24 PM   #7
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Great video, J-Rod! I have a lift Hobart, as opposed to the tilt Kitchenaid, but I can't imagine it's much different to work on. I'll be doing this soon, myself. Thanks!
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Unread 03-26-2013, 08:35 PM   #8
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---k---

The Kitchen Aid is fine for small grinding jobs once in a while, but will not hold up to a lot of grinding of semi-frozen meats for long periods. (I know from experience)

Your best bet is to get a good heavy duty grinder so you can regrind semi-frozen meat as some recipes call for.

I would suggest a Weston or a LEM in the commercial / heavy duty category. They cost a little more but you get what you pay for.

I have not seen the grinder, but some people here have said that Northern Tool sells a grinder for $99.00 that works well. I can't recommend it because I have not used it.

I use a Weston #22 and it serves me well.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 09:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ---k--- View Post
J-Rod,
Thanks for that. BUT, it is a bearing in the grinder attachment, not the mixer. The mixer is fine, luckily. Maybe I'm confused about what I was seeing. It looked like a sealed bearing with no real way to remove it. Since it is a $50 attachment, I pitched it.

I am considering just getting another one. We'll see. But that 3/8 hp grinder from Academy is looking pretty good.
Ah ok I must've misread your post. Me scuzi! I thought you had the typical grease issue from the mixer itself. Anyway, looks like you're in the market fer a new grind-O-matic then. Other than the K-A grinder attachment I've never used anything other than a manual one(great arm workout!). I'm sure others will suggest a good one.
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Unread 03-27-2013, 07:30 AM   #10
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I have the $100 grinder from Northern Tool and i gotta say i've very impressed how long it's lasted. I deffinately didn't expect it to last as long as it has. However, it is not perfect. I had to hone the plates and knife in order to get a really good fit and change the washers on the auger so that the plate sat further into the auger housing. After about 8 years of use i noticed some odd grinding sound coming from the gear case and thought i finally busted a gear, well after feeding 50lbs of venison through it the previous hour i could understand why. So i took it apart expecting to find bad gears but was surprised to find everything is great shape, even the 1 plastic gear. Not sure what the noise was from but i put new grease on the gears and buttoned it all up and it ran prefect again. It's way more than i expected out of a $100 grinder and would get one again, i even bought one for my dad.
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Unread 03-27-2013, 08:36 AM   #11
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It is important to check that the grinder you choose has available all the different size plates that you might want to buy for various sausages and even chili meat. The cheaper models might have few choices.
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Unread 03-27-2013, 08:49 AM   #12
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I have a LEM as well and use it at least once per week seems like. Can't comment on the CS as it's never had a problem. Wish it had a bit bigger throat but otherwise it's a great machine. Have one of their big dehydrators also I use frequently to save veggies, peppers and such that are starting to get old, likewise a great machine.
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Unread 03-27-2013, 09:00 AM   #13
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If you want indestructible and cheap only one way to go. Get one of the old fashioned hand crank grinders and put a motor on it. DIY or there are kits for this. New parts are available for these old clunkers and they last forever. Besides it's all made in America.
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Unread 03-27-2013, 09:40 AM   #14
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^^Lots of good info above^^

As mentioned plate hole size may be limited on #5 head.

This looks like a good place to do some comparison.
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Unread 03-27-2013, 09:45 AM   #15
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#1 for the LEM. I bought my LEM #5 at Bass Pro after struggling with the Kitchen Aid grinder attachment. MUCH faster and more efficient! Keep an eye out for when they go on sale, got mine for almost 100 less than normal sticker! The "big byte" auger makes quick work of what you put in there.
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