Can You Grind Meat After It Is Cooked?

Grinding meat is an excellent way of making some truly flavorsome meat. If you haven’t done so already, ask anyone who grinds their own meat, and they will confirm just how it tastes so much better than your store-bought packet. Now we are all used to meat being ground raw, but what about grinding after it’s cooked? This is definitely something that can be done, as long as it is done correctly.

Before you get carried away with grinding your meat, it will need to be cooked and prepared correctly. Meat can be ground with different machines, including your trusty meat grinder, as well as food processors and blenders. We will give you as much information as we can to help you choose the suitable machine for you and the best way of preparing your meat beforehand.

What Meat Can be Ground?

Great news for all meat lovers, all meat can be ground up once it has been cooked. With meats being cooked before grinding, some flavor may be lost through the process of running it through your machine of choice. But there is no issue with cooking the meat a bit more after, to help add some extra flavor with spices and some proper seasoning. 

Preparing Meat for Grinding

When it comes to preparing your meat, it’s best to make sure to follow this procedure to ensure you get the best ground meat possible.

  • Cook your meat so that it is cooked all the way through, including your steak. No medium rare or rare steaks here today. Making sure your meat is fully cooked will avoid the risk of harmful bacteria spreading and residing inside your machine. Food poisoning is not a pleasant experience and one to avoid whenever possible. 
  • Once your meat has been cooked, cut it into cubes if you haven’t done so already prior to cooking. If you are preparing beef or pork, you are best to store these meats in the fridge or freezer once cooked to chill before grinding. Storing in the freezer will help speed up the process but will ultimately get the same result. Chilling the meat before you grind it will help to retain its texture when you run it through your machine. Once your meat is fully chilled, it will be ready to grind. If your meat isn’t cool enough, there is more chance of it turning mushy when you grind it. 
  • If you are grinding turkey or chicken, don’t chill it entirely, but allow the meat to cool until it is still slightly warm to the touch. This will help your grinder or processor to grind the meat more effectively. Shred the turkey or chicken before you begin to grind, and you will have an easy job of grinding even more.
  • Make sure all bones have been removed from all meats before grinding so as not to damage your machine. Cooked bones are tough to grind, and you will need a different device for this entirely if this is something you wish to do.

So you have prepared your cooked meat; it is time to get your machine of choice ready to grind. But what machine can you use?

What Machine Can You Grind With?

There are three main machines you can grind meat with – a meat grinder, a food processor or a blender. Each one of these machines will have blades or plates to grind meat with, but there will be some differences between them. 

Meat grinders are the best option when it comes to grinding cooked meat, as they will have more options with grinding plates/blades. A lot of these machines will have different options for the size of the ground, from a fine grind to course, all depending on what you desire.

When it comes to food processors and blenders, you can either use the blades alone to grind your meat or use the grating disc. If you are grinding the cooked meat through a grating disc on your blender, there are fewer chances of it being over-processed and, therefore, less mushy. Using this option is definitely recommended for beef or pork due to their texture. Pulse the meat through the disc instead of a continuous run for your beef and pork. Make sure to pulse for only a couple of seconds at a time when pushing the meat through. 

Using a food processor and its blade is great for when you need to grind white meat such as chicken or turkey. Again utilize that pulse option. Selecting anything else apart from a pulse will most likely turn your beautifully cooked meat into mush if it is over-processed. Food processors will grind the meat very quickly if left to run continuously, so pulsing will really be your friend here. 

Regardless if you are using a blender or a processor, keep an eye on your meat and only grind in small batches. Checking the meat after every couple of seconds of pulsing will help to ensure the meat retains its texture and does not turn to mush. Take out when it is at your desired grind, and you will have some perfectly ground cooked meat. 

With using your equipment for any food preparation, make sure you clean and dry it thoroughly before storing it. And especially when grinding meat, ensure your machinery is cleaned fully before using it next time. This will also help to stop any harmful bacteria from staying on your machine.

Now you have the knowledge to help you grind your cooked meat perfectly. Once you have ground your own meat, you will most likely be doing it yourself every time from now on. No more store-bought ground meat for you. Grinding cooked meat can open your world to a whole new exploration of recipes. Enjoy your new skill and get grinding.

Kunal Sharma
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