How Does a Meat Grinder Work

Picture this in your mind, you’re in the middle of making a delicious dinner and you need to grind up some meat to make the perfect meatball. You reach for the meat grinder, turn it on…and nothing happens. That’s when you realize you have no idea how a meat grinder works!

Fortunately, meat grinders are actually quite simple pieces of equipment, and it’s easy to figure out how they work. They basically work by using an auger, or a path of hard metal teeth, to push the meat into a plate that contains small holes. Once the meat has been pushed through these small holes, it is then minced and chopped up into small pieces.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the inner workings of a meat grinder and learn about the essential parts and processes involved. We’ll also touch on the different types of meat grinders available, so you can make an educated choice when picking one out for your kitchen.

Working Principle of a Meat Grinder

A meat grinder is a kitchen appliance that is used to grind or mince meat. It works by forcing the food through small holes in a metal plate, which is then cut into small pieces by a rotating blade. It consists of a hopper, a feed auger, a cutting blade, a cutting plate, and a power source. The power source can either be an electric motor or a hand crank.

The meat is fed into the hopper, where it is then pushed down into the auger by a rotating auger screw. The auger then pushes the meat down into the cutting blade, which is a stationary blade that is attached to the cutting plate. The cutting blade then chops the meat into smaller pieces. The ground meat is then pushed out of the grinder and collected in a bowl or tray.

The electric motor or hand crank is used to power the auger and blade, which rotate at different speeds depending on the desired texture of the ground meat. The auger and blade can also be adjusted to grind the meat into larger or smaller pieces.

The meat grinder is a simple and efficient way to produce ground meat for many culinary purposes. It is a versatile tool that can be used to grind beef, pork, poultry, fish, and vegetables. It can also be used to make sausages and hamburger patties.

Parts of a Meat Grinder

Parts of a Meat Grinder

A meat grinder is a kitchen appliance used to grind or mince raw meat. It typically has multiple parts that work together in order to chop up the food.

1. Feed Hopper: The feed hopper is the topmost part of the meat grinder where meat is loaded for processing. It is usually a large opening in the top of the grinder where the meat is loaded into with a shovel or other tool.

2. Auger: The auger is a long, threaded piece of metal that is connected to the motor. It is responsible for pushing the meat down the feeding tube and into the grinder.

3. Grinding Plate: The grinding plate is a large, flat metal disc with holes in it. It is located at the end of the feeding tube and is responsible for grinding the meat into a uniform size.

4. Knife Blade: The knife blade is a circular blade located at the front of the grinder, which is used for cutting meat into small pieces.

5. Cutting Plate: The cutting plate, or flat disc with holes in it, is found at the end of the knife blade and its purpose is to cut meat into smaller pieces.

6. Output Tray: The output tray is a large, removable tray located at the bottom of the grinder. It collects the ground meat as it comes out of the grinder.

The Process of Grinding Meat

The process of grinding meat is quite simple as mentioned below in four steps:

Step 1: Meat is Loaded into the Hopper: 

The hopper of the grinder is where the raw meat is loaded. It is the first step in the grinding process.

Step 2: Auger Moves the Meat Through the Grinder: 

The auger is a corkscrew-shaped device that moves the meat through the grinder. The auger is powered by an electric motor and turns the meat into small pieces as it passes through the grinder.

Step 3: Plate and Knife Cut the Meat Into Smaller Pieces: 

After the meat has been pushed through the grinder by the auger, it is cut into smaller pieces by the plate and knife. The plate has several small holes that the meat passes through, while the knife cuts the meat into the desired size.

Step 4: Ground Meat is Collected: 

The ground meat is collected from the outlet at the bottom of the grinder. It is then ready to be used in recipes or packaged for sale.

Different Types of Meat Grinders

There are three main types of meat grinders available on the market today as mentioned below:

1. Manual Meat Grinders:

These are the most basic type of meat grinder, and are operated by hand with a crank. These grinders typically have a stainless steel plate with small holes for grinding various types of meat. They’re great for grinding small amounts of meat for burgers, sausages, and other dishes.

2. Electric Meat Grinders:

Electric meat grinders are powered by an electric motor, making them more powerful than manual meat grinders. They have a stainless steel grinding plate and are used for grinding larger amounts of meat more quickly. They’re great for grinding larger cuts of meat for hamburger patties, sausage, and more.

3. Commercial Meat Grinders: These are the most powerful type of meat grinders, used primarily in commercial food production. They typically have multiple grinding plates and are capable of grinding large amounts of meat very quickly. They are ideal for processing large amounts of meat for jerky, burger patties, and other dishes.

Uses of a Meat Grinder

A meat grinder is a kitchen appliance for fine chopping (‘mincing’) and/or mixing raw or cooked meat, fish, vegetables, or similar food. It replaces tools like the mincing knife, for example, which is also used to produce minced meat, filling, etc. The producer puts the minced food into a funnel, which is placed on the top of the grinder.

The most common uses for a meat grinder include:

1. Grinding Meat: The most common use of a meat grinder is to grind or mince raw or cooked meat. It is an efficient way to prepare ground meat for recipes such as burgers, meatloaf, and tacos.

2. Making Sausages: Meat grinders are also used to make sausages. Ground meat is mixed with spices and other ingredients and then put through the grinder to form the sausage.

3. Making Kebabs: Kebabs are a popular dish in many cultures. The meat can be ground in a meat grinder and mixed with spices and vegetables to make kebabs.

4. Making Patties: Patties are a popular item in many fast-food restaurants, and they are also easy to make at home. The ground meat can be mixed with spices, vegetables, and other ingredients and then put through the grinder to form the patties.

5. Grinding Vegetables: Meat grinders can also be used to grind vegetables such as onions, carrots, and peppers. This is a great way to add fresh vegetables to dishes such as soups and sauces.

6. Grinding Fish: Fish can also be ground in a meat grinder to add to recipes such as fish cakes, fish balls, and fish patties.

Common Problems with Meat Grinders

Some of the Common problems with meat grinders include: 

1. Jammed Grinder: The most common problem with meat grinders is that they can become jammed when too much meat is pushed through the grinder at once. This is due to the grinder becoming overloaded and the resulting pressure causing the blades to become stuck. To prevent jamming, it is best to push the meat through the grinder in small batches. 

2. Clogged Grinder: Another common issue with this product is that meat, fat, and gristle can become stuck in the blades and create a clog. This is usually preventable by cutting the meat into smaller pieces and ensuring that the grinder is properly cleaned after each use.

3. Dull Blades: Over time, the blades of a meat grinder can become dull which can lead to an inefficient grinding process. To avoid this, it is best to sharpen the blades regularly or replace them as needed. 

4. Corroded Parts: Meat grinders can be vulnerable to corrosion due to their contact with wet meat and other liquids. To prevent this, it is best to use stainless steel parts and keep the grinder properly sanitized. 

5. Broken Gear: A common issue people have with meat grinders is breaking the gears from using too much force. To avoid this, only use as intended, and don’t try to push the meat through if it’s not going smoothly. If there’s a clog, fix that instead of trying to brute-force your way past it.


A meat grinder is a useful tool that is essential for anyone who loves to cook and prepare food. From making patties to sausages, a meat grinder can transform any type of meat into delicious dishes.

Its easy operation and versatility make it an invaluable addition to any kitchen. With the right knowledge and understanding of how a meat grinder works, you can create delicious meals for your family and enjoy the convenience of freshly ground meat!

We hope that this article has helped to answer all of your questions about meat grinders and given you the confidence you need to start grinding your own meats. 

Happy grinding!


How does the screw in the meat grinder work?

The screw in the meat grinder is a rotating helical blade that pushes the meat through the grinder. The blade is turned by a motor, which forces the meat through the grinding plates. The plates have small holes in them, which grind the meat into small pieces. The size of the holes in the plates determines how small the pieces of meat will be.

Is a Meat Grinder Worth it?

A meat grinder is a great investment that pays off in both quality and taste. When you grind your own meat, you have more control over the texture, flavor, and quality. Plus, it’s a fraction of the cost to buy pre-ground meat which is often lower in quality anyway. With a meat grinder, you can also make your own sausages, burgers, or other dishes that require ground meat.

Should I grind meat once or twice?

It depends on what type of meat you are grinding. Generally, for coarse ground meat, it is best to grind it once. For finer ground meat, it is usually best to grind it twice.

Can you put Raw Chicken in a Meat Grinder?

No, it is not safe to put raw chicken in a meat grinder. Raw chicken can contain harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, which can spread quickly through the grinding process and contaminate other foods. It is best to cook chicken before grinding it, to ensure it is safe to eat.

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