Meat grinders are great machines, but they will get clogged up on occasion and cause a backup. This shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider what this machine has to achieve by grinding meat, skin, sinew, and occasionally small bones. This article will help you clear any clogging quickly and efficiently. We will also provide tips on how to prevent clogging in the future and make the most out of your machine.
Unclogging Your Meat Grinder
If you have encountered a clog during your meat grind, follow these steps to help get your machine up and running again:
- First, you will need to disassemble your machine to find and release the cause of the clogging. It’s best to follow the manufacturer guide here if you are not quite used to taking your machine apart yet.
- You will now need to remove all the meat stuck in the machine. If there are small bits of dried meat you cannot remove, leave the affected parts to soak in warm water for 30-45 minutes. This will help to loosen up the meat so you can clean them off and move to the next step.
- Now you can clean your machine thoroughly; using some baking soda is known to help with cleaning off any excess grease that would have been left behind from the meat. Once it is sparkling clean, leave all the pieces to dry thoroughly before reassembling, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Now your machine should be ready to start grinding again. And if you encounter another clog, follow these steps for a quick and more immediate solution.
How To Keep Your Meat Grinder From Clogging?
If you find your machine clogs too often and don’t want to keep dismantling your grinder to unclog it, ensure you follow these steps to help reduce clogging:
Before you start grinding your meat, make sure you trim any excess fat off. Whilst this step may seem obsolete with your more upmarket electric meat grinders, this step is especially effective if you are using a manual machine.
Also, removing sinew is a great way to help reduce the chances of clogging. These tough pieces of tissue can get caught in the blades and cause a backup.
Now, you need to try and remove any small bones that may still be in the meat. Whilst bones are great for adding some flavor, the bones will be detrimental to your grinder and may help to cause the dreaded clogging. Again, if you are using a more high-end machine, the bones may not affect the grind or cause clogging as often. Regardless, ensuring you remove the bones before grinding in any machine will help reduce clogging and extend your machine’s life. Some machines are just not built to grind bones and will be more likely to break. You definitely won’t want to go and buy a brand new machine for this reason.
Another way of helping to reduce clogging is by cutting the meat into smaller pieces. This will help your machine grind more efficiently, and help to grind the meat quicker, so get chopping.
Avoid overstuffing the grinder with too much meat. If you are a newbie to grinding meat at home and you possibly want to save time, it can be very tempting to put too much meat in the grinder at first. With overstuffing, your equipment will not be able to grind evenly and have too much pressure to function efficiently. So if this is the case, pull the excess meat out and start again.
Maintaining your grinder is crucial to help reduce clogging, especially the blades in particular. If the blades are kept sharp, this will help grind the meat to perfection. If the edges have become dull, there is a higher chance of clogging. If you are a frequent user of your grinder, dulling will naturally happen over time, so keeping on top of cleaning and sharpening your grinder is a must. To help sharpen your blade, add some eggshells and a small amount of water and then grind the eggshells through. If this handy step doesn’t sharpen the edges enough, it may be time for a replacement blade.
With all meat grinders, also make sure you are cleaning the machine and all the parts thoroughly after every use. Removing all meat and excess grease left behind will help to keep the machine in excellent condition to help reduce clogging. Following a regular cleaning and oiling regime will make your grinder last and grind meat effectively and hopefully reduce any further clogging.
Some electric machines will have a handy feature where you can back up a meat grinder to release any obstructions causing a clog. Whilst this is a great feature, you don’t want to abuse this option too much if you haven’t followed some of the steps above.
So now you are hopefully a pro at fixing a clogged meat grinder. Clogging may happen from time to time with your machine, and this is to be expected. And you don’t have to be an expert in DIY or need any fancy tools to help unclog your machine. With regular cleaning, proper preparation of the meat beforehand, as well as keeping the blades sharp, will help to reduce any future clogging. If you have an electric or manual grinder, following the steps mentioned above will be beneficial, regardless of the machine you own.