639 of 669 people found the following review helpful
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).
905 of 959 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2007
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.
519 of 561 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2000
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.
140 of 148 people found the following review helpful
on 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.
138 of 153 people found the following review helpful
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.
75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2007
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.
56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on 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
156 of 174 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2004
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.
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2010
After using it for over a year, I was compelled to write a review about the metal dust problem!
no matter how much I clean, it always produces black metal dust in the food! this should not allowed to be sold! having metal poison in my food mix is not safe and people should consider twice before purchasing this unit!
See the picture I've uploaded and see it for yourself.
Also, see the discussion titled "gray greas looking ooz" below this page to see more people having the same problem.
135 of 150 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2009
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.