As seen in:
LEM Products
.75 HP Stainless Steel
STX INTERNATIONAL
Turboforce 3-Speed Electric
Waring
MG105 Professional
Norpro
Mincer and Pasta Maker
Kitchen Basics
3-In-1 Grinder/Mincer
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Good

360 pounds-per-hour processing rate. Stainless steel. Can grind bones and sinew. Straightforward clean-up.

Up to 175 pounds-per-hour processing rate. Blades are made of durable steel.

Six-pound capacity. Easily disassembles for hand washing. Grinds and seasons meat.

Stainless steel blades. Easy to take apart and clean. Also a mincer and pasta maker.

Smaller production capacity than some competitors. Also a mincer and pasta maker.

Bad

A 47 pounds, it uses a lot of space. Not recommended for the dishwasher (but the stainless steel parts could survive it).

Cannot grind bones. Motor requires a cooling period between sessions. Not recommended for the dishwasher.

Internal gears are made of plastic and prone to wear.

Grinding handle requires a fair amount of force. Multiple small parts require careful storage.

Some concerns about long-term durability, especially when owners push machine beyond its capacity.

Bottom Line

A rugged workhorse designed to meet major meat processing needs. The highest quality available.

An affordable alternative to the LEM with astounding capacity and quality. The best value.

Designed for occasional household use, this electric grinder is a step up from other household models but a step below our top two.

A multi-purpose, manual grinder/mincer/pasta maker that requires time and effort.

A budget-priced, manual grinder/mincer/pasta maker for occasional home use.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
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Models Considered
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Hours Spent
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Experts Interviewed
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Consumers Consulted

Best Meat Grinders

Many outdoorsmen and home cooks seek to cut expenses by grinding their own meat instead of sending it out for processing. Some commercial-grade mixers offer meat-grinding attachments, but the capacity and quality may be variable. A dedicated meat grinder is often a good solution, but high-capacity professional models can cost thousands of dollars. We examined dozens of meat grinders and have created a shortlist of the top five contenders. If you want to create your own sausage, hamburger, ground meats, or even pet food at home, consider the models presented here.

Products we Considered

LEM Products
.75 HP Stainless Steel
STX INTERNATIONAL
Turboforce 3-Speed Electric
Waring
MG105 Professional
Norpro
Mincer and Pasta Maker
Kitchen Basics
3-In-1 Grinder/Mincer

Considerations

Construction

High-volume meat grinding calls for a rugged appliance that can handle challenges such as sinew, gristle, and bones. The feed chute should be sizable enough to accept larger chunks of fully or semi-frozen meat without clogging or jamming. If the meat grinder is electric, the motor should be powerful enough to force meat through an auger feeder and into a choice of different grinder blades. There is some disagreement among meat grinder owners about construction materials. Some favor stainless steel. Others believe that aluminum makes a better housing. Still others are satisfied with manual grinders constructed from industrial-strength plastic. In this section, we take all of these different elements into consideration.

Capacity

The needs of a hunter who routinely bags two to three deer per season are vastly different from the needs of a home cook who wants to grind hamburger for meatloaf. Some of our top contenders are capable of processing at least 100 pounds of meat per hour; others are better suited for occasional sausage prep or other lightweight grinding tasks. We note the relative capacities of each contender in this section so potential buyers can gauge which machine would best meet their needs.

Ease of Maintenance

Meat grinders, with their hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, have a reputation for being nearly impossible to keep clean and sanitized between uses. Hand-washing in soapy water and sanitizing in diluted bleach are standard operating procedures in meat grinder maintenance. It is vitally important for owners to understand and implement proper food safety practices when dealing with a product as potentially hazardous as a meat grinder. In this section of our ratings, we examine each contender's ability to break down for routine cleaning.

Additional Features

Some of our contenders perform one task very well, and that is to grind large slabs of meat into much smaller pieces of meat. Other contenders are capable of performing other tasks, such as processing sausage, creating homemade pet food (with bone meal), and making pasta. In this section, we discuss each meat grinder's additional features in detail.

Considerations

Construction

LEM Products .75 HP Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder

The LEM .75 HP meat grinder is a true workhorse designed to meet serious meat-processing needs. Virtually every major element of the LEM -- from the "Big Bite" auger to the grinding blades to the holding tray -- is made of rugged stainless steel. The .75-horsepower motor is strong enough to grind bones, sinew, and cartilage -- three ingredients that can cause other meat grinders to clog up or overheat. Casual cooks may not need this much power to make hamburgers or meatloaf, but hunters and restaurant meat cutters will definitely appreciate it. At 47 pounds, the LEM meat grinder is a major appliance that, if possible, should get its own dedicated kitchen space.

STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-TF Turboforce 3-Speed Electric

If you like the deluxe LEM -- but it's out of your price range -- we recommend the STX-3000 Turboforce electric meat grinder as an affordable alternative. The STX-3000's housing and grinding head are polished aluminum, but the blades and tubular parts are made from either stainless or hardened steel. A strong motor generates up to 3,000 watts of power, but the grinder itself is not capable of grinding bones into meal for homemade pet food. Unlike some other meat grinders in its price range, the STX-3000 offers three speed selections: "High," "Low," and "Reverse."

Waring MG105 Professional Meat Grinder

The Waring MG-105 meat grinder is not designed to compete with workhorse models like the LEM or STX-3000, but it is a definite improvement over traditional manual meat grinders used by home cooks. The Waring MG-105's motor only delivers 500 watts of power, which means it's not ideal for grinding bones or converting an entire side of beef into hamburger. The housing is brushed stainless steel, but the feed tube and meat tray are polished aluminum, and the grinder plates and cutting blade are hardened steel. It has the power to grind six pounds of lean pork, beef, and veal into meatloaf, but we wouldn't recommend it for heavier duties. The internal gears are made of plastic and have a tendency to strip after extended or heavy use.

Norpro Meat Grinder, Mincer, and Pasta Maker

The NorPro meat grinder is also a mincer and pasta maker. It is a multi-tasking kitchen gadget made out of plastic, but that doesn't mean it's flimsy or disposable. It can handle most of the light-duty meat grinding and vegetable mincing chores a home cook would encounter. Suction cups hold the NorPro's base to most kitchen counter surfaces, but because the handle is longer than the unit, location near an edge is vital. The grinding plates may be a high-grade plastic, but the cutting blades are stainless steel. The handle can require a surprising amount of force to turn during grinding sessions, but the base should be secure enough to handle the extra pressure.

Kitchen Basics 3-In-1 Meat Grinder and Vegetable Grinder/Mincer

The Kitchen Basics 3-in-1 Meat Grinder is a manually operated, multi-tasking kitchen appliance that will grind meat, mince vegetables, and make pasta. We can make a number of comparisons, both favorable and unfavorable, between this model and our other manual meat grinding contender, the NorPro. The Kitchen Basics 3-in-1 is constructed from food-grade plastic, but the handle is solid metal. The base locks onto most work surfaces with a suction cup mechanism, but finding a proper surface is important for security. The stainless steel mincer plates can deliver a coarse or fine grind; the cutting blades are also stainless steel. We are satisfied with the machine's ability to grind lean, boneless meats, but some owners do have concerns about its overall durability.

Hunters and restaurant meat cutters will definitely appreciate the LEM Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder for its workhorse quality.
Considerations

Capacity

With an estimated 360 pounds-per-hour processing rate, the LEM could definitely grind an entire deer or side of beef into manageable portions within a day or so. The so-called "Big Bite" auger feed gets its name from the extra-large gap near the vertical feed tube. Chunks of frozen or semi-frozen meat will fall into that gap and be quickly drawn to the selected grinding blade. Many users tell us they have difficulty keeping the LEM's feed tube filled to capacity because it processes meat chunks so fast. Most electric meat grinders require some down time to cool off, but the LEM can go for hours without overheating.

STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-TF Turboforce 3-Speed Electric

The STX-3000 may not have the same capacity as the LEM meat grinder, but it can still process at least 175 pounds of meat per hour at high speed and 110 pounds of meat at low speed. Since the STX-3000's motor is not air-cooled, there can be some down time between grinding sessions. We find that the auger tends to work best with semi-frozen meat chunks that contain very little sinew or gristle. Efficiency also depends on matching the right cutting blade to the appropriately sized grinder plate. The meat holding tray is spacious enough to hold a few pounds of meat in position over the feed tube, which also helps the job go faster. Although the STX-3000 may not be designed to handle bones, it can still process an entire deer or side of beef in a matter of hours.

The capacity of commercial-grade meat grinders is often measured by the amount of meat they can grind in an hour. When it comes to a smaller kitchen appliance such as the Waring MG-105, however, we'd like to consider its practical capabilities instead. This meat grinder is capable of grinding an entire rump roast into hamburger -- as long as the individual meat pieces will fit the feeder tube. It will also grind pork into a coarse, medium, or fine grind and then blend seasonings into the mix to make sausage. We have noted some owner concerns about the plastic gears and the relatively low torque of the motor. Some cuts of meat, especially those containing sinew and gristle, can overwhelm the MG-105 fine grinding plate, making frequent reversals necessary. We like the Waring MG-105 for what it is: a decent, kitchen-level meat grinder designed for occasional use.

Norpro Meat Grinder, Mincer, and Pasta Maker

Few NorPro meat grinder users will ever confuse it with a behemoth like the LEM or the STX-3000. Processing anything more than a five-pound slab of chuck roast or an entire pork shoulder would be challenging enough. The unit's feeder cup only holds approximately one cup of any food product a home cook would want to grind, mince, or mix. The meat should ideally be partially frozen to reduce blood loss during the grinding process, and it should also be pre-sliced into finger-sized strips or chunks before starting the job. This manual meat grinder will definitely not grind bones into meal for homemade pet food. Some users report the NorPro is prone to jam if the meat contains too much gristle, so limiting its use to extremely lean meats is advised. Overall, the NorPro meat grinder, vegetable mincer, and pasta maker will take care of small grinding chores, but users should expect to put some work and time into it.

Kitchen Basics 3-In-1 Meat Grinder and Vegetable Grinder/Mincer

Much like its counterpart, the NorPro, the Kitchen Basics 3-in-1 has a very limited capacity in terms of a feed tube and meat tray. We estimate the machine's holding capacity is perhaps one or two cups. However, many users will pre-slice their meat into manageable strips and use a separate container to hold them until grinding. The most efficient way to grind meat in a small appliance like the Kitchen Basics 3-in-1 is to feed a few strips into the hopper and grind them before returning to the main supply. Feeding too many pieces of meat into the hopper can cause the cutting blades and mincing plates to jam. We recommend limiting meat grinding sessions to 10 pounds or less, which is ideal for meatloaf or sausage production.

The STX International meat grinder can process at least 175 pounds of meat per hour at high speed and 110 pounds at low speed.
Nina
Expert Consultant
Nina
Gourmet Chef, Health Care Executive

Nina is a longtime gourmet chef, interior designer/decorator, and events planner. She has accomplished all of this in addition to maintaining a stellar career as a healthcare executive, where she helps alter the course of people’s lives via preventive care and healthy living. Nina’s hobbies include learning new recipes, planning and executing amazing dinners to impress local chefs, and hiking around the world.

Considerations

Ease of Maintenance

LEM Products .75 HP Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder

The LEM's stainless steel construction is not as porous as cast aluminum, so cleaning up between grinding jobs is relatively straightforward. The manufacturer does not recommend using a dishwasher, but we have heard from some LEM owners that the major parts can survive the process. Others prefer to use a high-power sprayer or brush kit to remove leftover food bits from the tubular parts and blades. We highly recommend purchasing the official LEM brush kit, by the way. The brushes are specifically designed to reach places that could otherwise be easily missed.

STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-TF Turboforce 3-Speed Electric

The debate between stainless steel, hardened carbon steel, and aluminum becomes an issue when it comes to the maintenance of any meat grinder. In the case of the STX-3000, several parts (including the housing) are aluminum, which means absolutely no commercial dish washing: these parts must be hand- washed in soapy water and sanitized in bleach water. Other parts are stainless steel, which means they could survive a modified trip through a dishwasher, but washing by hand is still preferable. Hardened steel parts, such as the grinding plates, should be brushed out thoroughly with an optional brush kit, then machine or hand-washed. The STX-3000 does break down easily for proper maintenance, but reassembly can come with a learning curve.

Waring MG105 Professional Meat Grinder

The Waring MG-105's individual parts are not considered safe for the dishwasher, but the machine is easily disassembled between uses. The grinding blades themselves may need to be brushed out with a small cleaning tool (or even a toothpick or pipe cleaner), but they can be sanitized in a container of bleach water. The base unit itself cannot be immersed in water, but the brushed stainless steel shell can be wiped down with a gentle cleaner. The polished aluminum surface of the meat tray and feed tube helps keep fats and meat particles from sticking. We believe home cooks will not find the Waring MG-105 too intimidating when it comes to assembly and storage.

Norpro Meat Grinder, Mincer, and Pasta Maker

Because the NorPro is constructed from food-grade plastic, routine maintenance is extremely easy. The grinding plates and other parts can be hand-washed or put through a dishwasher cycle. There is no electric motor housing to worry about, so users can be aggressive when it comes to cleaning out the base between uses. Most of the pieces will snap right back into place after a thorough washing and sanitizing. The NorPro's stainless steel cutting blades will also resist rusting, but we suggest keeping them out of the dishwasher if possible. Because the machine is also a mincer and pasta maker, there are a lot of small parts to keep track of, so we urge users to find a dedicated drawer or large container for storage.

Kitchen Basics 3-In-1 Meat Grinder and Vegetable Grinder/Mincer

Most of the Kitchen Basics' external parts can be put in a dishwasher, but we do recommend washing the stainless steel cutting blades by hand in order to prevent them from becoming dull. The mincing plates can be scrubbed with brushes to remove any remaining meat products before hand-washing and sanitizing. All of the accessories are designed for easy assembly and removal, and reassembling the machine is a straightforward process. The unit is not very heavy or bulky, so storage between jobs shouldn't be problematic. We have heard some customer concerns about overall durability. As long as users realize the Kitchen Basics 3-in-1 is designed for light-duty mincing and grinding, it should hold up well for years.

The LEM's stainless steel construction makes clean-up between grinding jobs a straightforward task.
Considerations

Additional Features

LEM Products .75 HP Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder

The LEM arrives with a set of three grinding blades (a stuffing blade, a fine 3/16 inch blade, and a coarse 3/8 inch blade) which should meet just about every standard meat grinding need there is. We recommend using the LEM's foot-operated switch when processing meat in bulk. Sausage stuffing often requires the purchase of a separate dedicated machine, but the LEM includes three stuffing tubes that users can switch out with the grinding blades in order to stuff natural casings. We appreciate the fact that the auger feed can create emulsified fillings that are ideal for hot dogs or bratwursts.

STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-TF Turboforce 3-Speed Electric

The STX-3000 arrives with a number of useful accessories, including three grinding plates and three sausage-stuffing tubes. The grinding plates are sized for coarse, medium, and fine grinds, and the sausage stuffers have diameters of 3/4 inch, 5/8 inch, and 1/2 inch. For a grinder, the STX-3000 does a fairly decent job as a sausage stuffer, but owners should remember that the machine's auger continues to emulsify any meat still in the chamber. This means if you want a coarsely ground sausage, you need to work quickly with the casings! We also like the addition of a special stuffing plate for a Middle Eastern dish called "kubbe" or "kibbeh." Not many models offer this option.

Waring MG105 Professional Meat Grinder

The Waring MG-105 arrives with the minimal number of accessories one would expect from a basic, lightweight meat grinder. There are three steel grinder plates capable of coarse, medium, and fine grinds, along with two sausage- stuffing attachments. We could not find any indication that a meat stomper or other tamping tool is included in the package. As such, home cooks may have to improvise with a wooden spoon handle or other tool capable of pushing meat into the feed tube. We're not entirely impressed with the Waring MG-105 sausage-stuffing capabilities, but it will do a good job with mixing and grinding the sausage itself.

Norpro Meat Grinder, Mincer, and Pasta Maker

Because of its multi-tasking design, the NorPro Meat Grinder, Mincer, and Pasta Maker is chock-full of additional features. Most important for meat grinding purposes are the two grinder plates: one for coarse grinds and one for finer grinds. There is also a special funnel attachment for sausage stuffing, although it is fairly small in diameter. The NorPro can mince chopped vegetables and most kinds of nuts. When used as a pasta maker, the NorPro can produce rigatoni, spaghetti, and linguine through three different pasta plates. As is the case with other multi-tasking kitchen gadgets, however, the NorPro may not perform each individual task as well as a dedicated machine would. We appreciate the NorPro manual grinder for what it is, but potential buyers need to understand its limitations.

Kitchen Basics 3-In-1 Meat Grinder and Vegetable Grinder/Mincer

The Kitchen Basics 3-in-1 arrives with fewer accessories than the NorPro, but they are just as useful for casual home cooks with minimal meat-grinding needs. There are only two mincing plates for both meat and vegetable applications; one for a coarse mince size and the other for a finer (but perhaps not fine) mince. This is still suitable for most common meat grinding projects, such as homemade hamburger, sausage, and meatloaf. The original package also includes three different sausage stuffing tubes which give home cooks the ability to make small hot dogs, thicker bratwursts, and large Italian or Polish sausages. Because the Kitchen Basics 3-in-1 is also a pasta maker, the manufacturer includes two pasta blades suitable for making rigatoni and spaghetti. The Kitchen Basics 3-in-1 meat grinder/vegetable mincer/pasta maker is, in our opinion, best suited for budget-minded home cooks who want to improve the quality of their ground meat by grinding it themselves.

The STX-3000 arrives with a number of useful accessories, including three grinding plates, three sausage-stuffing tubes, and a special stuffing plate for Middle Eastern kibbeh.

Best of the Best

Grinding large game animals or sides of beef into more manageable ground meat or sausage can be a colossal chore for anyone. It helps to have the right tool for the job. The LEM .75 HP electric meat grinder is precisely that tool, and it's the Best of the Best on our shortlist.

Everything about this powerful stand-alone meat grinder exceeds expectations. A phenomenal 300+ pounds per hour capacity is made possible through the use of a "Big Bite" auger design. Large chunks of meat simply disappear into the feed tube as fast as the user can provide them. Bones, gristle, and fat are no problem for this workhorse.

One feature we really appreciate on the LEM is a foot switch that allows users to handle any situation without having to stop production manually. The LEM's .75-horsepower electric motor is strong enough to turn hard bone and gristle into mush, but it can also be reversed to resolve any jams or clogs. Some consumers want to grind their own pet foods, and the LEM is perfectly capable of doing this. The LEM can also process sausage meat from a coarse grind all the way down to an emulsified blend for hot dogs and other wursts. Other meat grinders include sausage stuffing attachments, but the LEM can honestly be considered a true sausage stuffer along with being an excellent meat grinder. If you need the power and capacity of a commercial-grade meat grinder, the LEM .75 HP Stainless Steel Electric Meat Grinder will definitely get the job done!
Best of the Best
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The LEM is not just an excellent meat grinder. It is also a true sausage stuffer.

Best Bang for your Buck

Professional meat grinders can easily cost thousands of dollars. Even a more consumer-friendly model like the LEM can cost more than most casual ground meat enthusiasts care to spend. At a cost of just $169, the STX-3000 Turboforce 3-speed electric meat grinder is an attractive and affordable alternative. It is definitely the Best Bang for Your Buck.

The STX-3000 boasts an impressive 175+ pounds-per-hour capacity at high speed, and it can handle most of the same challenges as the more expensive LEM. Having two forward speeds and one reverse speed available at the press of a button is a very useful feature, since certain meats respond better at different grinding speeds. The ability to reverse the auger feed's direction quickly can also keep minor clogs from becoming major difficulties.

A generous meat tray allows users to pile frozen or semi-frozen meat chunks/slices over the feed tube and find an efficient work pace. The STX-3000 may not be designed to handle bones like the LEM, but it can still handle beef, chicken, and pork as well as any other meat grinder in its price range. The STX-3000 is the one to consider if you're looking for a bump-up from traditional manual meat grinders. It's also a great choice for those who want an affordable way to process wild game and whole sides of beef.
Best Bang for your Buck
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The STX-3000 is an affordable choice for consumers who want to process chicken, pork, wild game, and even whole sides of beef.
The team that worked on this review
  • Michael
    Michael
    Creative Lead
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Ann
    Ann
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Kriti
    Kriti
    Data Scientist