A great burger or an excellent, juicy, batch of meatballs will never go out of style. And these are only two examples of what you can make with some excellent ground meat. What is the key to that? Learning to grind your own meat, so you are better in control of the experience.
It’s time to make a confession: it might be obvious from what I write, but I usually like to do things myself, when it comes to cooking. I very much cannot stand the artificial taste of store-bought sauces. I am not very confident in the label of some of the products. And I like to use all kinds of kitchen gadgets because it’s just more fun to be hands on!
I think one of my earliest memories is seeing my mother grinding some meat for a special dish and seeing the process, I just wanted to work the device myself. So much! As a kid, it was just fun to me to use that [amazon_textlink asin='B01K2VLSNY' text='grinder' template='ProductLink' store='xdeli-20' marketplace='US' link_id='31a703f9-327d-11e8-9d55-e79647f48ff0']! Securing it to the counter and then turning the handle, feeling the meat’s resistance in the machine before coming out in pretty, ordered controlled rows. I guess I am not a fan of the cleaning process afterward, but hey! Nothing is perfect! But other than 'It’s fun', what other reasons are there to grind your own meat?
3 reasons to grind your own meat
1. It’s cheaper
Ready ground meat is usually more expensive than the cuts of meat it’s made from. So, you’re basically paying somebody a few extra dollars to grind your chuck roast. Don’t do that! You can buy your own chuck roast and grind it at home. Add the extra dollars to a vacation fund or put it to good use!
2. It’s more controlled
If you grind your own meat, you end having a way better understanding of what you’re eating. You know exactly what cuts you’re buying, how much fat they have and where they come from if those things are important to you... And they should be, in my opinion.
You also know how fresh the meat is because you’ve seen it for yourself. It’s much tougher to know for sure with ground meat. And for the last bit of control, if you start to grind your own meat, you are in better control of your work area and you keep it clean and spotless yourself!
3. You can experiment with it
You can choose the proportion of fat to meat. You can try different cuts in different combinations. No wonder that grinding your own meat with all your input can make your burger taste better! The texture of your burger will be better, lighter, and healthier all the way.
Ground pork is usually harder to find and you need it if you want to make sausages, so grinding the cut of pork you chose is a much better deal for homemade sausages, too.
A few tips on how to grind your own meat
1. Clean everything thoroughly
This sort of goes without saying when it comes to cooking things you will put in your mouth, but it’s doubly important when working with raw meat. So before you get started, clean up your work surface, clean up your equipment, and clean up the bowl that the meat will fall into.
A good tip for cleaning after grinding is to grind a slice of bread before you get water involved. The fluffiness of the bread will help the bits of meat left in the grinder stick to it. This will dry up the grinder’s insides.
2. Freeze everything
If you freeze your meat for 15 minutes before getting started, it will be easier to slice and then cut into cubes before passing it through the meat grinder. Fat can melt easily and if there’s fat in the meat you want to grind, it can melt in your hand while you’re grinding it, which would not yield the best results for your meatballs!
But that’s not all! The ground meat turns out way better if you also freeze your equipment about half an hour before you get to grinding. Freeze the meat grinding attachment, the blade, and plate, whatever you can.
3. Grind the meat and store it in the freezer
You can grind the meat and already form patties for hamburgers that you can store separately, with some parchment paper between them. Then you can put them in ziplock bags and tag them so you’ll know the date of the freezing. You can also season the meat while you’re grinding if you know exactly how you want to cook it.