Can You Put Vegetables Through A Meat Grinder?

Your meat grinder is a fantastic piece of equipment. But the name in itself can be pretty misleading, as not only can it grind meat, but it can also grind vegetables. Grinding vegetables in a meat grinder is a fantastic way of preparing your veggies, especially if you have a lot to prepare. Not only is it a quicker way of cutting them, but it also helps to bring a lot of uniformity to the cut of your vegetables.

Here we will discuss tips to help get the best out of your grinder and how to get perfectly ground vegetables every time.

Best Machine To Grind Vegetables

Believe it or not, not all meat grinders are created equal. Make sure you do your research thoroughly before you purchase a machine for all your grinding dreams, as some devices may not be suitable for grinding anything apart from meat. If you already have a machine sitting in your kitchen, double check with the manufacturer if you can multipurpose it into grinding vegetables. Otherwise, it may be time to upgrade.

Size of Machine

A key point here is to ensure that the machine is big enough to be able to support the number of vegetables you will want to grind through the machine. Too small, and it will not be able to handle the volume of veggies and may take longer.

Manual vs Electric

  • A manual machine will be cheaper on your budget and will be great if you want to get more involved with the grinding itself. Also great if you want to get your kids involved with cooking, as it is quite a fun way of preparing your veggies without the use of a knife. Just ensure with all children that they are always being supervised; we don’t want any stray fingers going wandering. 
  • Electric machines will be that tad more expensive, but they will be more powerful and quicker than a manual grinder. If you are looking for a long-term investment and do a lot of cooking, electric may be the way forward.

What you decide to do is ultimately up to you when it comes to using an electric or manual meat grinder. If you are trying out grinding vegetables for the first time, perhaps a manual grinder is an excellent entry-level point before upgrading to an electric machine.

Type of Blades

Many machines will have various blades included or have the option to buy more from a store or online. Whereas some models will have a limited number for you to choose from. If you are planning to grind vegetables in a meat grinder, have a look to see if the cut the blades produce are ideal for what you want to achieve.

How to Grind Your Vegetables in your Meat Grinder?

Your trusty meat grinder machine is ready to go. You’ve got your chosen blades attached, and you have your selected vegetables ready and waiting. Here are a few tips to ensure that you get the best possible grind and to make the whole process as easy and smooth as possible.

  • Depending on the size of your machine, whole vegetables may not fit. This is when pre-cutting your vegetables will be a great help in grinding them through the machine. 
  • Believe it or not, adding a small amount of water will help aid in the vegetables grinding through the machine. This will ensure that it will be a smoother grind. Not too much though; you don’t want a waterfall on your kitchen counter.
  • When it comes to adding your vegetables, applying some pressure will help guide them through the grinder and, ultimately, the blade, especially if you are using a manual machine. Be careful with any utensils you are using, and be very mindful of your fingers to not touch the blade. Again if your children are helping in this process, make sure an adult is the one pushing the vegetables through the grinder. 
  • Collect your ground vegetables and use them as needed.

Cleaning and Storing Your Meat Grinder

It is imperative you clean your meat grinder thoroughly after grinding your vegetables. You may need to dismantle your grinder to get to parts that need a deeper clean. Refer back to your manual to make sure you are doing this correctly and also assembling it back together in the proper order.

  • Flush water through the hopper to rinse off any stuck vegetables. It is essential that this step happens reasonably quickly so that any vegetables don’t dry and stick firmly to your machine. Otherwise, they will be problematic to dislodge. If you are using a metal machine, this could cause rusting of the machine in the long run.
  • Grind a slice or two of bread through the machine. This may sound a bit peculiar, but this will help to remove any oily residue from any vegetables you have ground through the machine. It is a lot safer than going in with a paper towel or tea towel and will have a higher success rate of taking away the oil. The now grated bread will be fantastic to use in a recipe that requires breadcrumbs. It’s a win-win situation. 
  • Now it is a good opportunity to dismantle any parts of the machine that can be taken off. Again, refer back to your manual to make sure it is done correctly. Clean the pieces with some hot soapy water before drying thoroughly and reassembling. 
  • Store in a safe place, away from where young children and animals can reach.

Grinding your vegetables in a meat grinder is a fantastic and speedy way of preparing your vegetables. Using the right machine will aid you in your cooking, giving you different grinds and making your vegetable prep that bit more interesting. As long as you take the necessary precautions and clean your machine correctly, you can multipurpose your meat grinder for years to come.

Kunal Sharma
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