I hope reading this article makes you hungry because it made me hungry just writing it. That’s because I love a good hamburger like most people out there, and it’s made even better with fresh venison you’ve harvested yourself. Plus, once you’ve ground up a whole cut, you’ll have enough for meatballs, lasagna, chili and whatever other dishes you want to make delicious with your own ground meat.
Meat grinders are a great kitchen appliance for anyone, but they can really save a hunter time and money. If you love venison and love using it in as many recipes as you can, check out these seven grinders. They’re all great options for hunters who want to grind their own meat, and they each have specific features that make them ideal for different situations. Below you can read up on the features to look for, then the specifics of each model.
Our Top Grinder Picks
- Gourmia GMG525– “Three wattage choices make it a versatile option”
- STX International Turboforce II– “Impressive because of its quality and longevity”
- Cabela’s Heavy Duty – “It’s designed specifically for game meat”
- MeyKey Mincer– “A top model because of its compact size”
- SunMile SM-G33– “The one-switch operation makes it really convenient”
- Cabela’s Carnivore – “A lifetime warranty means this is a quality grinder”
- Kitchener #8– “One of our top picks because of its stainless steel design”
Home Kitchen Grade
Why grind venison?
One of the biggest benefits is the taste. Venison tastes good anyway, and grinding it at home means it’s as fresh as possible. You can also use the cuts and quality of meat you want.
It’s also cheaper. If you take your harvested deer to your local butcher, he’s just going to put it through a meat grinder himself, and you’ll have to pay him for it. It’ll definitely be cheaper than buying your own ground beef or pork.
Plus, ground venison is a lot healthier than the ground meat you’d get at the supermarket. It’s all natural and grass fed. You know exactly where it came from. No weird chemicals or antibiotics involved.
Grinders vs food processors
Like with most things, specialization makes food processing machines better.
You can definitely use a food processor to grind your venison. Many even come with meat grinding attachments, but these are designed for small batches. They’re not made to handle the big cuts you pull off your trophy buck.
It won’t just take longer. Most food processor motors are not equipped to handle that much, and the gears don’t have the oil capacity to work effectively at that capacity.
They might work for grinding up a small cut of beef you get at the supermarket, but when it comes to venison, a dedicated meat grinder is going to save you time and money.
Maintenance – Cleaning and sharpening the blades
A good meat grinder should be easy to take apart and put together. This is because you’ll regularly need to open it up and clean and sharpen the blades, as well as other parts.
You want to sharpen your blades on tough sandpaper. Start with 500 grit and then move up to 1200. Move the blades over the paper in a circular motion.
A couple of tips. First, put a little water on the sandpaper. This helps remove the fine metal residue that you’re shaving off. Second, mark all the blades with a Sharpie to make sure you sharpen them evenly.
Once you’ve sharpened the blades, you need to wash and sterilize them before using them again.
What to look for
A lot of meat grinder specs come down to your personal preferences and needs.
For example, the capacity you should look for depends on how much meat you plan on grinding. If you only plan on grinding one cut a season to make some burgers, a meat grinder capable of processing hundreds of pounds per hour is overkill. On the other hand, if you use all your tags every season and grind most of the meat, a small, compact grinder is going to take forever, if it can even handle it.
Similarly, check the wattage. Higher wattage grinders have more power and can push through tougher cuts and potentially even the spare bone. Of course, they also use more electricity and are often louder. They can be unnecessary if you don’t grind a lot.
You should also pay attention to how easy the grinder is to use and assemble. Some are so simple, you operate them with just a single switch. If you can take it apart easily, that also means you can clean and maintain it easily. Plus, you can store it away or move it without a problem.
Finally, check the warranty. A long warranty lets you buy with confidence. More importantly, it means the manufacturer stands behind their product. They wouldn’t back it if they weren’t sure they’d built it with quality.
Commercial-grade grinders are made for professional butchers and restaurant kitchens. They’re designed to handle a lot of meat, and they’re reliable. Consequently, they cost a lot more, and they’re loud. If you process an industrial level of meat each year, it could be worth the investment.
Can you grind without a grinder?
You can actually make ground meat with as little as just a knife. Take lightly frozen meat and cut it into thin strips. Then just turn them the other way and cut them into even smaller cubes. Ideally, you want to cut it into as small as pieces as possible.
Of course, grinding your meat by hand takes a lot longer. It’s also a lot more work. If you need to process a lot of meat, it’s a daunting task.
Home Kitchen Grinder Reviews
The GMG525 is great for venison, but that’s not the end of its capabilities. It makes a great appliance for anyone who loves the culinary arts. You can use it for any kind of meat to make a wide variety of dishes.
You can get the grinder in three wattage options: 500, 800 and 2200. You can decide what power you need based on your preferences and how often you plan to use it.
It also tops the list for its quality construction and materials. The body and blade are tough stainless steel powered by a copper motor, and it’s backed by a one-year warranty. Because of the heavy-metal design, it is important that you wash the parts thoroughly before assembling the machine. Otherwise, the grinder may leave metal residue on the meat.
Despite its tough construction, the GMG525 is easy to use and assemble. You control the machine with four simple buttons, and it only takes a few minutes to put together.
You also get a variety of attachments so you can make all different kinds of food. The 2200 watt option even comes with a recipe book. If you like cooking as much as you do hunting, this grinder could serve you well.
- Versatile culinary uses
- Three wattage options
- Quality stainless steel design
- One-year warranty
- Easy to use and assemble
- Attachments and accessories
- Requires cleaning to remove metal residue
STX International Turboforce II
It’s easy to notice the quality craftsmanship behind the Turboforce II. It features five grinding plates made from tough tempered steel and three stainless steel cutting blades. STX must have a lot of faith in the durability of their machines because they give you a three-year guarantee with this one, and you can buy additional protection plans.
Another thing worth mentioning is the patented Quad Air Cooling system. This protects the motor and extends the life of the machine. If you plan to grind a lot of meat and for many years to come, consider buying a product with this type of longevity.
The only real downfall of this grinder is the high price tag, but you’re paying for quality. Remember that it’ll last a lot longer than similar grinders, so you’ll probably still save money in the long run.
The Turboforce II comes with a lot of great accessories, too, including a foot pedal that makes operation a breeze. You can even choose between a black or white finish so it matches your other appliances.
- Five tempered steel grinding plates
- Stainless steel blades
- Three-year guarantee
- Quad Air Cooling
- Durable and long lasting
- Foot pedal
- Choice of black or white
- Higher price range
Cabela’s Heavy Duty
Because Cabela’s specializes in the outdoors, their meat grinder is specifically designed for handling game meatlike venison.
It’s easy to use, so you don’t have to be a wizard in the kitchen to get the most out of it. It features a three-way switch for grinding, stuffing or reverse.
Unfortunately, since it’s made primarily for hunters, this product doesn’t have a lot of versatility. It’s got a low 400-watt motor and only two grinding plates: fine and medium. Because of this simple design, though, it comes at an affordable price. It’s a good option for anyone whose main concern is hunting and just needs an easy way to process their meat afterward.
It also comes with great accessories, especially for venison. These include a stuffing funnel and star as well as a cover.
- Designed for game
- Easy to use
- Three-way switch
- Simple design
- Low price range
- Useful accessories
- Low-wattage motor
- Only two grinding plates
If you’ve got a tiny kitchen and all those venison cuts are already taking up too much space, here’s a potential solution. MeyKey’s meat grinder is small and compact. Better yet, it breaks down easily and is easy to assemble, so you can store it away or take it with you.
This is one of the best values on our list. It’s got a really attractive price tag yet still features three grinding plates, a sausage attachment, a food pusher and other accessories. It comes with a one-year replacement warranty as well.
Like some other grinders, there could potentially be metal residue on the parts. You should wash the grinder before use. Luckily it’s dishwasher safe, so that’s no hassle.
This grinder is also easy to use and safe. You run the machine with three simple buttons, and the blades are totally enclosed keeping you protected.
- Compact, portable design
- Easy assembly
- Great value
- One-year replacement warranty
- Dishwasher safe
- Enclosed blades
- Requires cleaning to remove metal residue
This meat grinder doesn’t look very complicated, and it isn’t. In fact, it only has one button, so it couldn’t be easier to use.
If noise is a concern, it’s a good option. It has well-designed ventilation that specifically keeps the noise low. It can still max out at a solid 800 watts.
It does seem like this grinder has a problem with clogging. It hasthree cutting plates, so if it clogs, you might need a larger-sized one. The motor also can move in reverse to unclog the machine.
The blade is stainless steel along with the casing and cutting plates. It also comes with a plastic food pusher and three different sausage attachments for those sausage enthusiasts.
- One-switch operation
- Low noise
- Three cutting plates
- Stainless steel
- Three sausage attachments
- Clogs easily
Commercial Grade Grinder Reviews
Besides a cool name, the Carnivore is well known in the outdoor community for its powerful grinding capabilities. It’s a beast. Its heavy-duty one-horsepower motor can handle 11-13 lbs of meat per minute. Plus, it’s just physically large. You can put big cuts in the hopper. Just don’t hurt your back picking it up.
This grinder also has a special feature: the Cool-Tek Ice Pak. It’s basically an ice pack that fits around the grinder head. This keeps the meat cold which helps maintain a consistent grind and prevent clogs.
Of course, this is a commercial-grade grinder. It’s designed for butcher shops or other professional operations. If you hunt a lot and make a lot of ground venison, you can definitely benefit from its power.
It only comes with two grinding plates but otherwise has all the necessary accessories. It has three sausage funnels and a snack-stick funnel, and the simple operation switch is highlighted in yellow so it’s easy to find.
Last but not least, Cabela’s sells this product with a lifetime warranty.
- One-horsepower motor
- Grinds 11-13 lbs per minute
- Cool-Tek Ice Pak
- Useful accessories
- One-switch operation
- Lifetime warranty
- Only two grinding plates
This is a commercial-grade grinder with commercial-grade capacity. 480 lbs/hr that is. If you run a butcher shop or professional kitchen, this is great. It’s also not a bad choice if you just have a big appetite.
Despite its industrial size, the #8 keeps quiet thanks to efficient air cooling.
Since it’s designed to be used a lot, this grinder has a tough, durable design. The grinder head, auger, meat pan and housing are all stainless steel and rust proof even after numerous uses.
It’s important to note that for a commercial-grade grinder, the wattage is kind of low on this model: 370W. This actually makes it a nice middle ground between large industrial grinders and smaller home grinders. That could be ideal if you plan on having a lot of meat to grind but don’t need something too big and loud.
The #8 comes with plenty of accessories: two cutting plates, four stuffing tubes and a meat stomper. What’s really cool is it even has a removable drawer for storing your accessories so you won’t lose them.
- 480 lbs/hr capacity
- Low noise
- Efficient air cooling
- Durable stainless steel design
- Rust proof
- Accessory drawer
- Only two cutting plates
- Low wattage