So you’ve bagged your first whitetail or elk, now what do you do with the meat? On one hand, taking it to the processor is less work for you and you don’t need to be a meat scientist. You also don’t have to invest in a bunch of processing equipment such as grinders, mixers, stuffers, or dehydrators.
If you are like me, you “hopefully” have a few animals a year to process. With the cost to have my wild game processed at a processor it was time to take matters into my own hands. Not to mention, I no longer have to stress about getting all of my meat back, or worry that it is even my meat I’m getting back. There is also the added satisfaction of not only harvesting your own food, but also knowing you took care of all of the steps getting that food from field to table.
This summer I got my hands on the 0.5 HP (#8) meat grinder and 20 pound mixer by MEAT! After running my first few pounds of tasty sustenance through it, I’m impressed! I wanted to take a few minutes to write up a review in hopes that I can help you make the tough decision if you are looking to take the plunge into the “do it yourself” world of meat processing.
First Impressions - UnBoxing
The first thing you’ll notice when you receive the MEAT! electric meat grinder and mixer is the packaging. The boxes are thick, sturdy and made of a substantial thickness of cardboard. They should last a long time of boxing and unboxing your equipment and provide a nice place for storage.
After unboxing, the first thing you’ll see is a simple yet descriptive pamphlet describing assembly, operation instructions, safety instructions and other information on how best to use the product. The MEAT! grinder is sandwiched within styrofoam with cutouts for all of the parts. The MEAT! mixer was a little different in that it was surrounded by styrofoam pieces, but the internals and smaller pieces of the mixer were packed within the mixer body and protected by bubble wrap/plastic wrap and some foam. I kept the grinder box to re-box/store my grinder, but tossed out the box for the mixer.
Now that the packing is out of the way, it was time to look over the grinder and mixer. First up, the MEAT! .5 HP Grinder (#8).
MEAT! .5 HP Grinder (#8)
After unboxing the grinder and all components, I took a look over everything to examine the build quality. My biggest question/concern was “is this going to last”. I can sum up that examination in one word. Absolutely.
The power head is comprised of the electric motor and stainless steel gear assembly. This specific model has only one motor/grind direction which is controlled by the on/off switch mounted to the base of the power head. Underneath the motor and gear assembly is a small accessory drawer that pulls out with the knob located under the gear assembly. However, I must say I wish the accessory drawer was a bit taller to fit the stuffing tubes.
The grinder head then attaches to the gear assembly and is held in place by a locking knob. The grinder head is a solid piece of stainless steel. I have no concern of wearing it out any time soon. The stainless steel auger then slides inside the grinder head from the front, and attaches to the power head via a spline attachment. The parts line up well and machining tolerances appear to be spot on.
Next up are the grinding plates. The grinder comes with a 10mm (3/8″ course), and 4.5mm (3/16″ fine) and a sausage stuffing plate; All three made with high quality stainless steel which is sure to last. The knife and grinding plate are held in place by the locking ring which is screwed onto the front of the grinder head.
Finally, you have the hopper tray. The hopper tray gets inserted into the top throat of the grinder head and that is where you’ll set your meat chunks before pushing it down into the grinder head to be processed. I felt the hopper tray was sufficient for it’s intended use, however it was not constructed of a thick gauge of stainless steel.
Accessories included with the grinder comprise of a stomper for guiding meat on the hopper tray into the grinder throat, and four (4) separate stuffing tubes. The stuffing tubes range in size from 1-1/8″ for the large tube, down to a 2/5″ stainless tube for small sausage links. The tubes can be used to stuff sausage casings or fill meat bags for the freezer.
MEAT! Grinder Technical Details
Below are the technical details of the MEAT! .5 HP Grinder (#8):
- Power Supply: 120V AC, 60 Hz
- Motor: 0.5 HP (370 W)
- Grinding Capacity: 6-8 lbs/min
- Head size: #8 throat diameter
- Weight: 38.5 lbs
- Retail Price: $349.99
MEAT! 20 LB Meat Mixer
Assembly of the MEAT! 20 LB Mixer is a simple and straightforward process. The stainless steel axle/paddle assembly fits inside the stainless steel tub and is held in place by a copper bolt with a spring and black female threaded grip/knob on one end. On the other end, a the flanged end of the paddle assembly and the flanged end of the hand crank mate together and are held together with a grip/knob with a bolt attached to it. A clear plastic tank cover is also included. If you keep your hands away from the internal components, you likely won’t need it, but it is a good accessory to have to keep hair and other debris from accidentally getting mixed into your meat.
The mixing action happens as the paddles on the axle pass by the fingers welded inside the tub. The mixer crank turns freely in both directions, and as meat starts to build up on one side of the tub, you’ll need to switch directions. This mixer works most efficiently with larger quantities of meat.
After the mixer was fully assembled, I added in the ground elk roast I had previously ground with the MEAT! grinder and equal parts hot pork sausage. Finally, I added in a little black pepper and burger seasoning. MEAT! recommends adding about 1 ounce of water to the tub per pound of meat to assist with mixing and binding the seasonings.
In a matter of minutes I had mixed the mixture into a perfectly blended burger mix which I then put back through the MEAT! grinder to stuff in heavy duty MEAT! bags for freezing.
MEAT! 20 LB Mixer Technical Details
Below are the technical details of the MEAT! 20 LB Meat Mixer:
- Tank Capacity: 4.2 gallons (16L)
- Working Capacity: Up to 13.2-17.6 lbs of mixture
- Tub Dimensions: 11″L x 8″W x 11″H
- Weight: 15 lbs
- Retail Price: $129.99
In closing, the MEAT! grinder and mixer will be an excellent addition to your kitchen. Both offer quick disassembly for easy cleanup after use. The commercial/professional grade quality of the products are sure to last you a lifetime of use. Not only will you be able to save some money by processing your own meat, but you will also have the added satisfaction of doing it yourself and knowing what is in the final product.
If you are interested in purchasing your own MEAT! grinder, mixer, or any of the other MEAT! products, please click through the links within this article. Purchasing through the link won’t cost you a thing and helps us provide meaningful content to you free of charge. MEAT! offers a great lineup of products including everything you need to get your game from field to table.