Do you love to eat ground meats or even make different dishes out of ground meats like meatballs, hamburger and sausages? Well, you are just like everyone else in that matter. But do you hate using the pre-ground meats you find in packages at the supermarket? Or even the meat that has been ground up, placed in a plastic package and then frozen? If so, then we understand.
This is the lowest of the low when it comes to sourcing ground meat. And even to add to that point, you never actually know what cut of meat that already ground meat comes from. It can be frustrating. So, you would think to buying a meat grinder and grinding your own meats. Well, meat grinders can be expensive and sometimes a little difficult to use. Or maybe you are someone that doesn’t like to get that intimate with the meat when preparing it.
Well, don’t worry. Because there are a few other options you can choose from to acquire ground meat. In this article we will show you some other ways to grind meat in your own home without the use of a meat grinder. We will also show you other ways to get ground meat with grinding it yourself or buying it is a package that has been frozen.
Acquiring Ground Meat
You probably already know by now that if you want ground meat, you can buy it in the supermarket. It will either come in one of two ways. Either it will come in a plastic sealed package that was most likely frozen and was ground up in a factory. These ground meats are a culmination of the scraps of many different cuts of meat thrown together and ground up. It is a good way for most meat companies to get rid of unwanted cuts of meat or just scrap. It’s not very good meat at all and is at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to ground meat. The other type is usually ground in the supermarket by the workers and packaged in house. This meat can be better but it is not fresh and could have been ground days or weeks before you actually purchase it.
The other way to get ground meat and probably the best way because it will be fresh, is to go to the local butcher shop. When you go to a butcher shop, the butcher will be more than happy to give you any cut you desire and even grind that cut of meat up for you in house. So, it is just like buying meat and taking it home to grind it yourself except you don’t have to do any work and you still get freshly ground meat. You may have to pay a premium for the cut of meat and there may be a charge to have the butcher grind the meat, but if that doesn’t bother you then that is the way to go.
Aside from these ways to get ground meat, you will most likely have to grind it yourself. But if you don’t have a meat grinder don’t worry, there are a couple ways to still grind meat at home.
Grinding Meat with a Knife
Before there were meat grinders, blenders and food processors people would have to grind their meat the old-fashioned way. By using a sharp knife. We will admit that this process will be very boring and will be labor intensive. But if you want ground meat, this is the original way to go with.
You will need a chopping block or a sturdy cutting board and a very sharp straight edged knife. One of the best knives to use for the job is going to be a cleaver. The weight of the cleaver will make it easier to continuously chop the meat over and over. You will need to make sure to remove or cut out any unwanted sinew, fat and bones in the cut of meat to start. After you do that, cut the meat into smaller pieces and then place on a tray or plate and freeze for about 30 minutes. You can still chop the meat fresh, but if it is frozen, it will make the process much easier.
Once the meat is ready, just go ahead and start chopping the meat over and over again. Make sure to turn it in several directions to make sure the meat gets cut up evenly. You will need to chop the meat for a while until you reach to consistency that you desire the ground meat to be. This is the way meat was ground up before machines, hence the name, mincemeat. Which is exactly what it is. The process may take some time, but you will be left with a great and fresh product and the cleanup will be much less intense than cleaning a meat grinder.
Grinding Meat with a Food Processor
Another way to grind up meat is to use a food processor. This is a fairly fast way to get ground meat but you can take it a little too far and grind the meat till it turns to mush. So, make sure you are aware of how much you are blending the meat. A blender is not a very good way to grind meat but a food processor will still do the trick.
Just like before, you will want to remove the bones and any unwanted fats or sinew. You will also want to freeze the meat for a little bit to make it easier to grind up. But, when you grind meat in a food processor, you will want to cut the meat up much smaller. Try to get the pieces of meat fairly small diced. If they are any bigger, they most likely will not grind up in the food processor. They will get stuck and clog up the blades which will cause the food processor to stop or even worse, burn out and break the food processor. Just be aware of how small the pieces are and how long you blend the meat.
You can also use a meat tenderizer to help break down the meat fibers and help them pass through the food processor easier as well. Using a food processor can be a very easy and fast way to grind meat but you need to be self-aware.
If you are in the market for fresh ground meat, we recommend you start to think about purchasing a meat grinder. But if you don’t want one or can’t afford it, then any of these methods will work just as well. You may need to put a little more elbow grease in the process but at least you will be left with a fresh product that surely will not disappoint.