Why pay for a butcher to grind your venison, when you can do it yourself for only a small investment? Homemade, fresh-ground meat brings out the best of your venison, and you can adjust the fat content or add spices for your own prefered tastes.
Choosing the right meat grinder can be a frustrating process. They vary in price from just twenty dollars right up to the thousands, but the quality also varies a lot (even among similarly priced items). In terms of features, most are fairly similar, but the materials and ease of use can be very different. To help your decision, we’ve read hundreds of reviews and researched a wide range of the meat grinders available to provide a few pointers. We also offer a few suggestions to check out, and our personal top picks for the very best meat grinders for venison.
What makes a good meat grinder for venison?
To start with, there are two main categories of grinders available: manual and electric. Both have their advantages, but which style you choose is up to you. Manual grinders tend to last longer and are ridiculously simple to use, as they have less parts to wear out and no electronics involved. However, they can be tiring if you are grinding large quantities of meat at one time. Electric grinders, on the other hand, are more complicated, both for using and for cleaning. They also require electricity, of course.
No matter the type, it is very important that your grinder is constructed from good quality parts. Stainless steel is the best for the body and handle, as it won’t rust and is easy to look after and sanitize. For the cutting blades, however, carbon steel can be easier to sharpen, it lasts longer, and is often cheaper to replace.
What you definitely do not want is a cheap grinder made from plastic. A grinder is an investment, and while you can get a decent one for under $100, you don’t want to fall for the advertising gimmicks of a twenty dollar piece of junk that will break the first time you use it. Leave those for people grinding mushrooms and baby food.
Do I need a meat grinder for venison?
Well, no. You can keep paying a butcher to do it for you, but with the various risks involved. Can you be 100 per cent sure the meat you are getting back is the meat you asked to be ground? There might be higher risks of contamination from your butcher too, no matter how careful he is, and ground meat is one of the worst offenders for food poisoning. Why pay for someone to do something that is easy, simple and surprisingly fun to do yourself?
Any grinder will pay for itself, although how fast depends on how much venison you grind. If you are an avid hunter or a big fan of burgers (who isn’t?) you could be saving a lot of money in a short amount of time. As a bonus, your venison grinder can also grind beef, pork, chicken, or anything else you like—further increasing your savings as large cuts of meat are always cheaper than buying pre-ground. Grinding you own venison also offers the opportunity to add your own spices or herbs, or even make a delicious burger mix right before firing up the grill.
Keep alert on those early-morning hunting trips with a hot cup of joe. Find out which thermos is great for keeping your coffee steaming hot when you’re on-the-go!
LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder
Just like the one your grandfather used to use, this is a fantastic manual meat grinder made of the best components. LEM Products is a very well respected brand for meat processing equipment, with a great history of excellence and customer service. This grinder is constructed of 100 per cent heavy duty stainless steel. Reviewers say it looks and feels top quality—and that it proves itself with its performance.
A slight negative is that the machine is not as polished as it appears in the images, but most users say this is a nice look for the grinder, and for the outstanding price it doesn’t matter. With no electric parts or weak plastic to wear out, this is a very affordable machine that will last forever. Buyers say it looks good, works well, is durable and well worth the money.
STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-TF Turboforce 3-Speed Electric
For a machine designed for home use, this a heavy duty, great quality product. The main advantage, mentioned by many buyers, is the quantity of meat this grinder can process. It has a large two-inch feed tube, as well as bonus sausage stuffing attachments and a selection of grind sizes. Reviewers say it cleans well and is made to last, and the 1800 Watt motor is easily powerful enough to chew its way through pound after pound of venison.
Like most meat grinders, however, it won’t be strong enough to stand up to deer bones (although chicken bones and necks are fine), but that is to be expected at its fair price. (If you do plan to grind bones, check out these recommendations on the best economical meat grinder for processing bones.) For a typical, non-commercial user like most hunters, this is easily one of the most powerful and best quality meat grinders on the market.
Best meat grinder for venison
If you like your venison ground, for burgers, sausages, or anything else, then a meat grinder is a great investment that will save you money. Grinders come in a range of styles and prices, and the quality can vary dramatically from one brand to another, even at similar prices. It is important to choose a meat grinder that can handle all the venison you push through it and will not break or wear out fast.
All things considered, unless you are grinding huge quantities of product or have weak arms, then the LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder is the best choice for a venison meat grinder. It is built tough by a USA company and will last a lifetime of use if looked after well.
Now all you have to do is warm up the grill and get cookin’! Read my recommendation on the best smoker grill combination and enjoy freshly-ground venison jerky and much more!