Customer Reviews: KitchenAid FGA Food Grinder Attachment for Stand Mixers
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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).
1818 comments| 761 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.
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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.
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on January 26, 2015
I received this product as a gift for use on my KitchenAid mixer. I was very excited to try it out and had read about the metal contamination issue others had. Read instructions and followed them in assembly. Cut the meat in to strips. At first the meat came out fine. Within several minutes, the gray metal sludge started oozing out of the middle of the metal plate (where the everything rotates from). Anyway, I took the metal plates out, cleaned and replaced them, started machine up and it would start oozing out again within minutes. By the way, I ran the mixer at 2-4 (according to in the instructions, it is to run at setting # 4). After 5 or so times of attempting to clean the metal sludge off, meat stopped coming out all together even though I still had meat in the tray and feed. The barrel (where the gear is housed) was getting a bit warm. Turn off, disassembled and found meat covered with gray metal goo in the back of the shaft. The back part was rotating metal to metal and metal sludge was also coming out from there. Needless to say, I cannot recommend this product to anyone, unless they need additional metal in their diet.
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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.
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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.
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on December 29, 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.
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on November 23, 2010
Be aware, this is a totally mal-functional product. Not only it grinds food, but also its own metal blade. The food is poisoned with metal dust in the grinding procedure. Totally unacceptable!!! I tried many times very carefully, each time there were some metal dust coming out of the center of the metal plate and mixed with the processed food.
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on November 10, 2012
I just purchased the plastic meat grinder for my KitchenAid Mixer. All it did was turn meat to mush with a lot of pushing on the food stomper. I called KitchenAid, but they didn't know what to do about it. So I looked at the worm gear, cutting blade, and grinding disk and discovered two significant design errors. Here's what to do about them:

1. The blade does not touch the grinding disk. This is like trying to cut paper with scissors whose blades don't touch. It doesn't work. To fix this, take a thin yogurt or cottage cheese lid (1 mm thin or less) and cut a circle the size of a penny out. Then in the center of the circle, cut a 3/8 inch square out. Put this plastic washer on the worm drive before putting the blade on. Then put the blade on. Next, put some olive or other food oil on the grinding disk and put the grinding disk on with the oil facing the blade. Then put the plastic collar on snugly but not tight. Now turn the mixer on to speed four and grind away. Meat goes through very easily without really any pressure from the food stomper. It looks like nicely ground hamburger, doesn't clog the grinder, and you don't have to chill it first.

Note: The plastic washer must be 1 mm thin or less so the cutting blade's square hole does not sit higher than the top of the square shaft that turns it!

2. The large holed grinding disk that comes with the grinder has the inside edge of the inside holes cut inside the path of the cutting blade so that not all the meat is cut across these inside holes. This is very bad. What happens is uncut meat then tends to wrap around the spindle and gets between the blade and the grinding disk separating them (when you don't have the plastic washer installed) and seriously degrades all cutting action. There is no way to fix these holes except to buy a custom made grinding disk with holes that are within the knife cutting path. There are a number of these for sale on Ebay for about $10 - $15. The small holed grinding disk also has the inside edge of the inside holes missing the cutting blade, but much less. So it has the same problem, but not as badly. Both disks are really engineered poorly for this reason.

It would be nice if KitchenAid would replace the defective grinding disks and issue a worm drive that allows the cutting blade to physically touch the grinding disk for all of us--a recall. I hope somebody reading this knows the right person at KitchenAid to pass what I've said to them because there are a whole lot of people affected by these two design flaws.

Good luck and happy grinding.

Note: About ten days after posting this review and calling KitchenAid again, I received a new meat grinder attachment that solves the blade not touching the grinding disk. All parts except the blade were identical. This version shipped with a blade that is 5.25 mm thick instead of my original blade measuring 3.75 mm thick. So KitchenAid solved the washer problem by shipping a 1.5 mm thicker blade this time. So if you have problems grinding meat as I described above, you probably have the 3.75 mm thick blade. If KitchenAid will ship you one of these new 5.25 mm thick blades, your problem will be solved. The cutting path issue unfortunately is not solved by this new blade, but unless you're cutting very sinuous meat, you should not have any more problems.
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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.
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