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Sportsman MHG22 #22 Cast Iron Countertop Bolt Down Manual Meat Grinder
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- Wooden handle is ergonomically designed to prevent fatigue
- Countertop style design can be bolted down for safety and stability
- Grinds 4 lbs of meat per minute
- Constructed of durable cast iron for long life and coated for easy cleanup
- Includes 1 cutting knife, 2 cutting plates (1 Fine 1/4 in. and 1 Course 1/2 in.), 3 sausage tubes and a sausage funnel attachment
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Process your own sausage, bratwurst and hamburgers with ease using the Sportsman #22 Cast Iron Manual Meat Grinder . Blend meat with your favorite seasonings for fresh and healthy homemade meals. Use your own casing for homemade sausage, pepperoni and bratwurst. Add your own spices and seasonings to make each recipe just the way you like it. You can even grind vegetables to prepare great tasting meals. Use the #22 Cast Iron Countertop Bolt Down Manual Meat Grinder to hand grind up to 4 pounds of rabbit, venison, pork, beef, chicken and turkey per minute. The cast iron body is durable and easy to clean. Two #22 grinding plates, a cutting knife, and three sausage stuffing tubes are included with the Grinder body. This Manual Meat Grinder can be bolted to a table or counter top for stability. Not recommended for dishwasher.
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I bought this meat grinder to make cat food using bone-in chicken thighs and it works like a charm! I could not believe any comments or reviews saying things bent in the grinder or that it could not grind bones, while everyone else I could find from google searches uses electric grinders and seems to think they are the only way to go for bone grinding.
Lets do some myth busting here:
1. Manual grinders do not have the mechanical strength to handle bone grinding, while electric grinders do- The auger(meat screw) for this grinder weighs over 3 pounds by itself (with nothing else attached) and is 1/4 inch thick on average on the thinnest part of the twist. The inside of the grinder body is almost 3 inches in diameter with the ribs, is about 7 inches long, and has a removable grinding plate that is more than 1/4 inch thick. All of the parts in this thing thing are cast iron (no plastic gears here, folks), and eats bones for breakfast. Also if you believe in meat grinder numbers(where bigger is better), this is #22, and most electric grinders(i.e. under 200$) are a #10 or #12.
2. Grinding meat manually takes a lot of physical effort- This may be true, but my friend (a male 25 year old 6'2" 140 lb never-gone-to-the-gym-in-my-life beanpole) was getting so much enjoyment out of turning the grinder that he didn't let anyone else (I'm larger) give it a shot for grinding the nine pounds of bone in chicken thighs. If you have the money, want to be lazy, and let electricity do the work for you then go ahead (why are you even reading this review?). Also this grinder (with a little machining skills or ingenuity) could very easily be fitted to a pulley/belt system and attached to an electric motor.
3. Electric grinders are easier to clean...and come with free rainbow sparkles!- Not sure if they are easier to clean (or the free rainbow sparkles) as I don't own one, but this breaks up into six parts and I can fit my (average adult male) hand in the body of the grinder with a soapy sponge.
One negative aspect about this grinder most likely comes with its lower price. The grinder body, the auger, and (to a less important extent) the handle are sand cast, unpolished pieces, This means that they will have a rough textured surface (like beach sand coarse), the casting lines (where the two ends of the mold meet in the middle) is visible, and there may be small holes called porosities present on the surface of these parts.
I knew this going in thanks to other reviewers, and decided that I would be willing to spend an hour polishing the parts that contact the meat with a dremel (grinding stone for porosities and casting lines, heavy grit and fine grit abrasive drums for the rough surface, and a cloth buff wheel if you are so inclined), rather than spend 150 dollars on an an electric grinder that doesn't have plastic gears. I left the grinder with a somewhat rough finish similar to what you would find on an unseasoned cast iron skillet.
The other negative aspect is rust. To avoid rust, which many reviewers have alluded (and I found out myself) results from washing and drying this grinder, I treat it like I would any other cast iron piece (with a few slight exceptions). I got rid of the rust with CLR and then followed the procedure below.
After each batch of meat I prepare, I wash the grinder with warm mildly soapy water (I know soap is bad for seasoning,notice I said mildly soapy?) and the spray head (scrubbing only if necessary) from the sink to dislodge any meat chunks, and remove any meat fats on the surface of the metal.
Then I rinse the parts in COLD (think bone chilling, or as cold as you can get it from the tap) water with a little baking soda in it. Then, with the parts cold from the water, I towel dry everything as thoroughly as I can and let the parts of the grinder warm up to room temperature. Heating these in an oven on a low setting (like 200), followed by a seasoning cycle of oil and heat has been successful enough for me.
Overall I would rate this product as 5 stars because it is less than half the price of even the cheapest (plastic geared, 1/2 size) electric meat grinders, and the issues I ran into with it were both expected with a grinder like this (rough casting, rust after washing), and manageable with a little TLC.
Some advice for anyone purchasing this to make animal food.
1. The sucker feet you can buy for french fry slicer presses are 100% worth it if you cant bolt this down.
2. Having a friend to hold the meat grinder down, and feed meat into the auger, while not necessary, definitely makes the job easier and faster.
3. If you are going to include skins your cat/dog food (I did) make sure to remove them before you grind the meat. The skins, and other very stretchy/tough bits like sinew or fat chunks, will clog the grinder.
TL;DR: This grinder will grind (chicken thigh) bones with no issues, but is a rough cast and should probably be polished. Avoiding rust can be difficult but doable if you are careful (see above for how I do it).