Grind Your Own Meat: 3 pro tips from a butcher

Food The List
By: Jared Cotter | Jessica Robertson Posted: 9:55 PM, Aug 31, 2017

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found there's been a recent increase in foodborne illnesses, which has many rushing to take control over what's on their plates. The surprising result is that people are grinding their own meat. How can you do the same? Jared Cotter and The Meat Shop butcher David Grant have three professional tips to get started.

1. Pick the Right Meat

When you get a chuck roast you have a lot of the fat tissue. Because of that fat to muscle ratio, it makes a really juicy hamburger.

2. Get the Right Gear

You can go to Cabellas and they have grinders for around $300. If that price grinds your gears then you can find smaller ones online for much cheaper.

3.  Get a Fine Grind

Cut your meat into small manageable pieces and if the meat gets stuck, protect your hands with a meat pusher.

WEB BONUS: Full Instructions

Meat: Get the meat from the butcher to ensure meat quality and less chance of food-born illnesses.

Sausage Casings:

·         You can get sausage casing (natural pig, sheep, beef intestine or collagen) from many online sources. Butcher, David Grant, suggests Nature’s Best Casing. You can even buy whole sale for discounts. Or buy individual packages from your local butcher for around $10.

·         One bag of casings will case around 100 links, or ¼ to 1/3 lbs. of sausage.

·         The casing will come frozen or vacuum-packed in salt.  Thaw/rinse them thoroughly. Place them in a bucket of water to help keep them moist and from tangling. Try adding different vinegars to the water if you want to experiment with different flavors.

Sausage Stuffer Machines:

You can get use a little elbow grease and buy a less expensive hand crank link model or save your muscles and go with the more expensive electric link machine. For a really economic choice, try a link attachment to a stand mixer.

Instructions for linking sausage:

Link as you go:

1.      Load the machine with your sausage meat, but don’t over load it. Your machine model instructions will tell you just how much to put in it at a time.

2.      Load the entire casing on to the funnel, leaving two inches at the end. Pinch off the end with one hand.

3.      If you have a crank machine you will crank with the one hand. With an electric machine you will hold the casing to the funnel. You will “catch” the meat in the casing with the other hand.

4.      Depending on your machine, you can adjust the speed with which it feeds. With practice you will get a feel for when to start and stop the “feed”. Keep light pressure on the casing so it stays tight around the meat and so that the casing doesn’t slip off the funnel.

5.      Load about 4 to 6 inches of meat into the casing.

6.      Still holding onto the pinched end of the casing, pinch the other side of the link so that you are have a firm hold of both ends of the link.

7.      Twist the link away from you 3 to 4 times.

8.      Repeat the process, but alternate directions each time you twist off a new link (twist 3-4 times forward away from your body, fill a new link, then twist 3-4 times backward toward your body, and so on.)

9.      When you have used the whole casing, leave two inches and tie off the casing to secure the last link.

10.  Cut each individual link apart from the rest. Use a sharp knife and cut up and away from the body. Or, if you feel more comfortable, use scissors. Beginners can use scissors if they are concerned with accidentally poking and ripping the casing with a knife.

—- OR —-

Link after you fill the entire casing:

Follow steps 1 through 4 from above, and then:

5.      Feed the meat into the entire length of the casing.

6.      Leave 4-6 inches of casing at the end.

7.      Pinch either end of 4-6 inches of the length of meat-filled casing. Then twist the link away from you 3 to 4 times.

Then follow steps 8 through 10 from above.

Have you ever tried to grind your own hamburger meat? Join the conversation on our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV.