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596 of 621 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My most used attachment
Given all the concerns about e-coli and mad cow, we decided last year to start grinding our own beef and lamb. This grinder does the job perfectly. We grind right into the short round Ziplock boxes (about a hamburger's worth), which go into the basement freezer, and then we turn out the frozen "hockey pucks" onto a plate to defrost in the microwave, or right into the pot...
Published on January 4, 2003 by ringo

versus
855 of 902 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It gets the job done, but it's nothing special.
I work in the food industry, so I'm unfortunately comparing this to its commercial counterparts. If you have small batches of meat to be ground at a time, this grinder is so much better than the crank grinders and gets the job done in a quarter of the time. I still use it, but here's what I don't like about it:

The blade is junk. It doesn't cut the meat at all,...
Published on May 29, 2007 by D. E. Hardy


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596 of 621 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My most used attachment, January 4, 2003
This review is from: KitchenAid FGA Food Grinder Attachment for Stand Mixers (Kitchen)
Given all the concerns about e-coli and mad cow, we decided last year to start grinding our own beef and lamb. This grinder does the job perfectly. We grind right into the short round Ziplock boxes (about a hamburger's worth), which go into the basement freezer, and then we turn out the frozen "hockey pucks" onto a plate to defrost in the microwave, or right into the pot for bolognese sauce or sloppy joes. ("Honey, would you bring me up a couple of hockey pucks for dinner?)
Assembly is easy and cleanup is easy (put a slice of bread through after the meat to make it even easier, or grind up an onion if you're making meatloaf anyway). The knife and both plates store inside the screw cap, so I don't worry about losing them (though KitchenAid sells replacements, as does goodmans-dot-net). The grinder even comes with a handy wrench-thingy to help take it apart if it tightens up.
The knife and plates are not stainless (which wouldn't hold an edge), so you do have to dry them off right after washing, but I put everything, including the wooden stomper, right in the dishwasher, and after more than a year nothing has had a problem.
[...] - this isn't an industrial tool! You can't set the mixer speed above three or four when grinding (less if the meat is gristly), and you've got to cut up the meat small enough to fit in the feed tube (the instructions say one-inch cubes, but long strips work too). Treat this right and it will return the favor.
About the only thing that would make this more perfect is a cylindrical brush to clean out the horizontal and vertical shafts, since the dishwasher spray can't really completely reach both, and the horizontal shaft has a screw thread that tends to catch crud (Right now I'm using a folded sponge, and the abovementioned bread slice).
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855 of 902 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It gets the job done, but it's nothing special., May 29, 2007
This review is from: KitchenAid FGA Food Grinder Attachment for Stand Mixers (Kitchen)
I work in the food industry, so I'm unfortunately comparing this to its commercial counterparts. If you have small batches of meat to be ground at a time, this grinder is so much better than the crank grinders and gets the job done in a quarter of the time. I still use it, but here's what I don't like about it:

The blade is junk. It doesn't cut the meat at all, and is more prone than ever to getting silver skin and grizzle wrapped around it, forcing you to stop and clean it regularly throughout the proccess. More so than most other grinders.

Stomper: They call this a stomper? Are you serious??? I have the new model that does not come with a wooden stomper, but instead has a plastic contraption that acts both as a wrench and a stomper. It's not solid in design, and is quite smaller than the hole so it tends to pull more meat up when you pull it out than it pushes down to begin with.

Since there is no gasket that comes with this and everything is plastic, the seals aren't real tight, and meat tends to squirt out around the plate quite often. This isn't a real big deal unless you're looking for a specific texture, as for sausage.

Horrible grind. Based on all the other faults with this machine, you'll never reach that beautiful solid grind that you see with commercially ground meat. It's more of a squishy mess, even with the large dye plate.

Good luck stuffing sausage. I spent thirty minutes fighting this machine to get ground meat into the casing with very little luck. I managed one link in that amount of time, gave up, and immediately ordered a Grizzly sausage stuffer (which is absolutely amazing, but that's another review).

I am very happy with the ease of clean up. One of those bristle wands that you use for scrubbing cups works great for getting in the grooves of the attachment as well as in the holes of the grinder plate. Just don't forget to hand dry the metal parts immediately or you'll have rust everywhere. I store all my parts in a zip lock back with some rice to keep them together and dry.

So if you just need something small to make a quick batch of burgers or meatloaf with very little effort, this is a great deal. But if you are trying to make large amounts of sausage of the same quality that you would find in a meat market, you may want to keep looking.
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110 of 113 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well, November 30, 2009
I like to make my own sausage, so this, plus the sausage stuffing attachment, was a great addition to the kitchen.

Some things to make the grinding go easier:
1) Chill the meat cubes in the freezer for 30 minutes or so. If the meat is completely defrosted, it can gum-up the inside a bit (easily resolved). Having the meat cubes a little "stiffer" lets it grind easier.
2) Don't power your mixer up to "10". This is a slower process. I use the max speed or "stir" or maybe as high as a 1 or 2. This keeps the grind even and you won't overheat your mixer.

Cleaning can be a bit of a pain. I unfold a paper clip and use the wire to dig out some of the meat, rinse and then let the dishwasher do the rest.
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504 of 543 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the attachment workhorse, October 16, 2000
This review is from: KitchenAid FGA Food Grinder Attachment for Stand Mixers (Kitchen)
I've used this attachment more times than I ever thought I would. I've used it to prepare food items for my family as well as food items for crowds as large as 200 and regardless of what it is I've been making, this attachment has rolled through it without complaint. In combination with other pieces such as the sausage stuffer or the fruit attachments, you may well find that this single attachment stays on your machine the longest.
I am absoultely stunned at how easy it is to put together and how simple it is to get wonderfully ground items out of it. I've had no trouble grinding any cut of meat (marbled or lean), type of meat (venison, beef, pork, chicken), or state of meat (cooked or raw). Things like chickpeas also get ground just the way I like them. The two, differently sized grinding plates give you just what you need in texture. My biggest pleasure in using this attachment is during hunting season when my husband brings home more than one deer. Venison burger meat and sausage processing never went faster. No more late nights with a hand-crank grinder!
When you're done, there's nothing simpler in the cleanup. Nothing seems to stick to the plastic (plus, it's dishwasher safe!) and the metal pieces wash up quickly by hand. Even the little wooden stomper cleans well (and I've felt lost without it when I couldn't find it during sausage making). I think this attachment is the easiest to use of all of the ones I've tried.
I'll never regret the purchase of this attachment.
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Usage and Clean up tips, May 1, 2012
By 
Richard T. (Wilmington, US) - See all my reviews
I have been using the grinder attachment for meat/seafood/sausage at least 10 years now. A few tips:
* Do not use a mixer speed setting above the Kitchen Aide recommended 4. Higher settings create too much friction and the resulting heat will melt the fat, making for a difficult clean up.
* Do not overload the feeder tube. Drop in a chunk or two and push through. Adding too much will cause clogging and plunger sticking.
* If you did not get a wooden plunger, find an appropriate sized one at your local kitchen store. A muddler should work fine. Wood minimizes the sticking problem.
* As indicated in other reviews, the meat needs to be well chilled or frozen up to 30 minutes. This will help avoid clogging.
* As seen on Good Eats: at then end, run a slice of bread through grinder. The bread moves along any leftover bits of meat and makes clean up a breeze. You're a genius, Alton!
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129 of 142 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars metal shavings, November 13, 2009
By 
Ryuichi Takahashi (Williamsburg, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: KitchenAid FGA Food Grinder Attachment for Stand Mixers (Kitchen)
Like some other reviewers, I had problems with metal shavings getting in my food. At first, I saw some "gray gunk" coming out of the center of the grind plate and into my meat. I disassembled, cleaned, reassembled, and ran the grinder dry to find out what was happening. The metal pieces (blade and plate) appear to rub against each other and produce metal filings.

KitchenAid refused to acknowledge the problem and suggested that I had overtightened it. I had only hand-tightened it like the directions stated, yet the problem wouldn't go away even after using it for a while. Disappointed, I returned it to the store.
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138 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great attachment, Most often used out of them all, March 13, 2003
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: KitchenAid FGA Food Grinder Attachment for Stand Mixers (Kitchen)
I bought this attachment at the same time I bought two or three other attachments, and this is the one I use all of the time. I found that grinding meats to be very useful. I have a mother who is 88 and she prefers everything tender and juicy. So unless it is cooked until it is super tender, she doesn't eat it. With the Kitchen Aid FGA that is all solved. For example I buy chicken in large quantities when it is on sale, and grind it up. Adding shredded rye bread, some Italian seasoned bread crumbs , rosemary, and oregano in the mix, and I make a hamburger(chicken)-meat loaf, or meat balls that are tender. Without the food grinder, I would have to buy preground meat.
Their are those who find that the best way to buy chicken is whole, that way you can inspect the whole bird. By buying parts, they are able to cut out the unsightlies, and sell the parts. With preground meat that is even more of a concern. With the Food Grinder attachment, you have the option of handling that item whichever way you may choose.
Clean up is a snap. It almost falls apart, disassembly is that easy. Cleans up easily with some soap and warm water, or by putting it into the dishwasher. The cutting blades are handwashed. They appear to be high strength steel, and I am concerned about them getting lost in the wash, and degrading the finish. They clean up in only a minute. The rest of it goes into the dishwasher.
Even though the FGA is made out of plastic on the outside, the internal components are metal. It is very durable, and works without a snag. No jams, no problems. It attaches easily to the front of your Kitchen Aid stand mixer, and sits very securely. I expect it will last for a very long period of time.
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156 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cleaning Tip For Your Grinder, June 22, 2004
This review is from: KitchenAid FGA Food Grinder Attachment for Stand Mixers (Kitchen)
Hi,
I love my grinder and have not any problems with it. After I slice the meat into strips, I partially freeze the meat before grinding it. When I have finished grinding, I take a piece of bread and grind it to push the rest of the meat through the grinder. I then take the grinder apart and rinse it out and soak it for about 5 minutes in a dishpan of hot soapy water with about a tablespoon of bleach. Wash and rinse the grinder thoroughly and lay on a terry towel to dry. I hope this helps anyone having trouble cleaning the grinder.
Delores
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good grinder, May 2, 2010
We have only used the grinder attachment to grind a pork butt and stuff some italian sausage. the grinding went really easy and had no problems with the blades cloging. My only dissapointment was with the cheap plastic pusher that was included and not the wood one that was in the picture on the website
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Love the mixer; mixed feelings about the meat grinder, December 26, 2007
This review is from: KitchenAid FGA Food Grinder Attachment for Stand Mixers (Kitchen)
Setting up the meat grinder on your Kitchenaid mixer is easy. The attachment is very robust and sturdy. There are not a lot of moving parts to worry about, and cleaning is easy - just pull out the grinder, remove the large inside screw, and remove the plates and wash.

Why 2 stars?

Well, I tested the attachment by running it dry, which should not hurt the grinder (the grinding plate and blade are flat). After running for about 45 seconds I said, "Wow, this is cool." Turned off the machine and began to remove the plate and blade. "Wait! What is that black stuff collecting under the plate?!" It looked like dirt. "Perhaps I should not be running it dry," I thought. So I put some oil on the blade and plate. I ran the machine for a few minutes and noticed a build up of a dirty oil under and on the plate. The small dirt or metal smudge from the center bolt was mixing with the oil.

I cleaned the whole thing and still got the same results. Will be returning the grinder unit to the store. I don't want dirt in my food. (Note: I imagine that this problem is not visible if you are putting food through the grinder because the dirt/shavings are taken away in the food.)

Still love the mixer, though (5 stars)

Feb. 2010 Update: I bought another grinder with the hope that it will not have this problem. Unfortunately it does. Anyway, I decided to keep this grinder because I came up with a quick fix to the problem. I take a cap from a marker (an ordinary felt marker) and press the open end of the marker over the center of the plate where the spinning center bolt protrudes. The open end of the marker catches all the dirt that falls from the spinning protruding bolt, and from what I've seen, none of it gets into the beef. Make sure you wash the cap before using. I wash and reuse the same cap from a discarded marker. See comments for a link with photos.
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