Clogging is one of the most common problems presented when you grind your own meat. It shouldn’t be too difficult to solve if you know just exactly what to do.
Keep in mind that there are some meat grinders that are really prone to clogging. Some people overuse their meat grinders and include fatty parts and bones without even considering if their meat grinder is really cut out for that job. Not all meat grinders are equal – some can run chicken bones with ease while others will break down if there’s so much as an ounce of fat in the meat.
There are also additional things you can do to prevent clogging. Here are some of them:
- Trim off excess fat and sinew from your meat before running them. This shouldn’t be an issue with most upscale electric meat grinders but if you’re using an entry-level meat grinder that has plastic for its parts, you might want to do this step before running a cycle.
- Do the same for bones. Some people like grinding the chicken bone together with the meat to feed to their pets but if your grinder isn’t equipped with the parts needed to fully grind bones, you are bound to have a wonky grinder on your hands.
- Maintain the cutting plates and the blade. These are the parts that cut and grind your meat so you have to make sure that they are really sharp. Frequent use can dull them over time so it’s best to detach these parts and have them sharpened.
- It is important to clean the blades properly. Corrosion can dull the blade and cause rust to form. After washing the blades, make sure you dry them properly. Immediately dry the blades using a dry towel and place the parts on your countertop to dry completely. Unless they are completely dry, do not re-assemble them or corrosion can set in, especially if you are using a grinder that is not completely made from stainless steel.
- Clean your meat grinder properly. Clogging is caused by fat and sinew accumulation. Some meat grinders are more prone to clogging while others are not. If yours tend to clog often, you would need to disassemble the cutting plates frequently to wash them. If you notice a sluggishness in the grinding process, clean the parts.
Wash the parts in soapy lukewarm water or water mixed with a bit of baking soda. Baking soda effectively removes oil residues. If you don’t have time to completely clean your meat grinder, try grinding a piece of bread first. This will help get rid of some of the grease and sinew collected in your grinder.
- Instead of grinding big slabs of meat, cut them first into smaller pieces so they won’t physically tax your meat grinder. It is also easier to grind frozen meat than room temperature meat. This reduces the instances of clogging.