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Meat grinders are one great appliance one should have in the kitchen especially if you’re the type that does a lot of meat mincing. If you’re like me that likes grinding meats then you may be wondering how many plate size you should have to get all of your grinding needs met.
So What Meat Grinder Plate Sizes Should I Have? Well, There’s no one size fit answer to this question and this is because the activity in which you planned to use the plates is that which would determine the kind of grinder plates sizes you should have.
Grinder plates come in different sizes with each size having a hole that is different. Plates with extremely smaller holes usually give a fine ground. For example, a grinder hole measuring 1/8”, 3/16”, and ¼” can be used to successfully ground stuff like franks and hamburgers.
That with bigger hole sizes 3/8″, 3/4″ and ½” usually gives a coarse/medium ground. Having a hole size of this nature paves way for larger chunks of meat. For example, a grinder with a large hole size can be used to ground vegetables, sausage, etc.
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What Are Grinder Plates, Blades, And How Are They Used?
A car that is powered with fuel cannot move without fuel so it is with a meat grinder. Grinding plates are like the fuel a meat grinder needs to function.
These plates as you may have guessed already are round in nature and they’re made of either steel or carbon and usually comes in different sizes with each having unique holes.
Grinder plates made of steel are likely to last 3X longer than a carbon steel blade and they are more durable compared to carbon steel. Apart from their durability, steel plates are quite expensive and they don’t easily rust like their counterparts.
How Are They Used?
Grinding plates can’t function on their own so they need a grinding blade to cuts meats into tiny bits as meats are forced through the hole of the plate.
Oftentimes, you’ll find out that your meat may appear mushing and as such, won’t come out correctly through the plates. If this is your case then it may mean that either the plate, blades, or in most cases both are dull.
Or that you didn’t assemble them well to fit into where they’re supposed to. First, check to see if the meat is frozen a bit as this will aid for a better grind. Fresh meats usually don’t go well with grinders hence you may face issues trying to get them grounded.
Another thing worth doing is to try and re-access the grinder to see if each part fits correctly. In the account that both steps have been checked and you’re still finding it hard to mince your meat, then this calls for replacement.
When replacing your plates and cutting blades, ensure that they fit and that they match with what you have in there. Also, don’t go for just one of them, rather, change both of them.
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How Are Meat Grinder Plates Measured?
One easy way to know the size of your grinder is to measure the plates. Whatever measurement you get from measuring the diameter of the plates can then be matched with a grinder size chart.
Here’s how you can measure your grinder plates accurately
- First off, you’ll be needing a measuring tape or ruler for this exercise.
- Then lay the plates flat on the floor. You’ll have to dismantle your grinder and then take your plate out if your intention is to buy a new one.
- Using your measuring tape, start by measuring the distance across the center of the plate.
- Then note the plate diameter down. It is this diameter that you’ll use to cross-check the new one you intend to buy.
- This diameter as I’ve earlier stated can also be used to match with a grinder chart size to enable you to know the size of your grinder.
What Are The Different Grinder Plates Hole Sizes For?
If you ain’t new to grinder, you should know by now that grinder plates come with different hole sizes. These holes you see on the plates ain’t there for fancy, they do have a purpose. Continuing reading to learn more about the different hole sizes in grinders plate.
Read Also: What Size Grinder Plate For Snack Stick?
The hole size you see in almost all grinders plate has three major uses namely;
- Fine grind
- Medium grind
- Coarse grind
1. Fine Ground
A grinders plate having a hole size of 1/8″ or 3/32″ can be used to ground items to a fine smooth. This hole size is usually smaller which makes it possible for them to give you a smooth, fine ground. Items you can grind using this hole size include hamburgers, franks, bologna, beef jerky, etc.
2. Medium Ground
When you spot a grinder plate with a hole size of 3/16″ or 5/32″, then be rest assured that it can give your meat products a texture that is not too fine nor coarse but in-between. This means that you can use this hole size to ground hamburgers, breakfast sausage, etc.
3. Coarse Ground
When they say something is coarse, it, therefore, means that that thing isn’t smooth rather rough so having a grinder plate with a bigger hole size (such as 1/4″, 5/16″, and 3/8″) would almost certainly give birth to coarse ground.
Having a plate with a hole size as big as the above sizes make it possible for you to grind Salami, Chorizo, hamburger, bratwurst, sausage, etc.
There’s also a hole size I would like to talk about here. This hole size can give you a very coarse ground. You can use this hole size to ground stew meat, chunking meat or vegetable, etc.
What Do The Numbers Mean On Meat Grinders?
This is a very good question for those that are new to meat grinders. If this is your first time purchasing a commercial meat grinder then you must have seen that they come with unique identification numbers.
The numbers you see on the body of the grinder are indicators that help communicate the diameter of the plate to you to make you aware of the size of the grinder you want to purchase.
Knowing the diameter of the plate is very important as it will help you decide and make a healthy decision as to whether you need a smaller grinder for at-home use or for commercial uses.
Except you own a food industry, you should only go after small sized grinder if you intend to use it for home use. Now you know what the numbers mean in a grinder, let’s dive straight to the different numbers you may likely see in a grinder with their corresponding plate diameter.
Can I Sharpen A Dull Meat Grinder Plate And Blades?
Well, suppose you find out that your meat grinder which was initially sharp is now blunt and you don’t want to buy a replacement to make up for the bluntness. All you need is to sharpen the blades and plates. But first, you’ll need to disassemble your grinder in order for you to take the blades and plates out.
Here’s how to do so in case you don’t know how to go about it.
- First, look for a tool in which you can use to successfully loosen the grinders fastener
- Take special notice of the way things are (that is the way things are set up in the grinder) so that you won’t find a hard time getting them back in their right position after you must have sharpened them
- One easy way of sorting this out is by placing the blades and plates in a separate place then mark them with a certain number.
- Ensure the blades and plates are free from grease or dirt.
Now that you know just about how to disassemble the grinder to take out your plates/blades, it’s now time for you to sharpen them.
How To Sharpen Meat Grinders Plates And Blades
There are various ways you can use to sharpen blunt blades or plates. You just have to decide on which of them you feel comfortable with or that which is easily accessible for you.
Below are two key ways you can sharpen your grinders blades
- Using a knife sharpening stones
- A sandpaper
1. Sharpening Stones
Using sharpening stones makes it easier to sharpen the edges of steel tools. These stones come in various shapes, compositions, sizes, and textures with each side serving different purposes.
Here’s how you can use stones to sharpen your blades and plates.
- Get two ceramic stones (HERE) then soak them up separately in a bowl for about 3-5 minutes
- One stone is to sharpen the knife, the other stone is for the blades
- Fix the square hole to the knife, then the one with a circular hole to the plate.
- Start by assembling the grinder with its corresponding stone
- Screw the rings gently and ensure to keep them a bit loose
- Then switch your grinder on for about 5 seconds
- Turn it off then do same for both sides
- Once you’re done, you’ll notice that there’s a sharp burr so you’ll need to take that off the blades.
- To take the burr away, gently rub them on cardboard paper.
2. Sand Paper
Sand papering your blades is another way to sharpen them. The difference between the above step is that using sandpaper calls for a lot of work so you’ll need to get yourself dirty.
To successfully sharpen your blades using sandpapers, you’ll be needing some items such as;
- Sandpapers (preferably 600 and 120 grits
- Workman’s gloves
- Wipe paper
- Start by putting on your gloves. I like to think of safety as ABC (always be careful) so once this is done, spread your sandpaper on the floor
- Now hold the blades at a 40° angle and push it through the sandpaper in a circular motion for 5 minutes
- Repeat this until you’ve achieved your desired results
- If you desire a smoother surface, then you can use a 600 grit sandpaper
- And don’t forget to wipe off excess burr between intervals.
- When you’re done with the whole sharpening process, don’t forget to rinse the blade with water to remove excess particles.
- Allow the blade to dry before assembling.
Note: To be sure that you’ve done a good job, ensure to test run the blade by using it to cut through things (like a piece of paper) before you even think of sharpening.
Then do the same after you must have finished with the whole process. That way, you’ll know whether or not you did a great job.
What Meat Grinder Plate Sizes Should I Have -FAQ
What Size Plates Grinds Hamburgers?
As you may already know, meat grinders come with grinding plates which are usually perforated with holes. This hole size is what determines the texture you may likely get from a meat grinder.
For example, a plate with a hole size of 1/8″ or 3/32″ can grind hamburgers, franks, bologna, beef jerky, etc to a fine, smooth grind.
Others with bigger holes of about 1/4″, 5/16″, and 3/8″) can be used to ground Salami, Chorizo, hamburger, bratwurst, sausage, etc to a coarse grind.
What Size Of Plate Do I Need To Grind Venison?
Grinding venison can somewhat be a bit tricky especially if you’re new to it. But here’s how to go about it so that you won’t mess things up.
Start off by using a larger plate measuring 1/4″, 5/16″ or 3/8″ to coarse ground first then after, followed it through with a smaller plate. Using this double – grind technique helps to break the meat down better.
How Do I Care For My Meat Grinder Plate?
It’s important that you care for your meat grinder once you’re done using them. One way to do this is to ensure to always wash them and dry them properly before assembly them. They should also be kept in a cool and moist free environment to prevent them from rusting.
As for the plates and blades, be sure they’re free from oil. Once used, always ensure to feed bread into the grinder the same way you did with your meat. The slice of bread will help take out oils and grease plus other residues off the grinder.
What Meat Grinder Plate Sizes Should I Have – Conclusion
The number of meat grinder plate sizes you should have is directly proportional to how often you grind. So if you are the type that does a lot of grinding then it’s wise to have different meat grinder plates to suits your needs.
I hope this post on What Meat Grinder Plate Sizes Should I Have has answered your question? If you have any more questions concerning this topic, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below using the comment box.