Some people might find it hard to believe, but cleaning a meat grinder is quite easier than it seems.
Meat grinders are a well-known kitchen appliance, but whenever you deal with raw meat, there is a chance of bacterial infection which comes from the remainder. So, cleaning meat grinders is a must-to-do task.
The washing process of a meat grinder is quite simple because the machine consists of several simple ingredients. Cleaning your grinder is just like cleaning another cookware.
Each and every spot inside the grinder needs to be washed properly after every use so that it continues to keep grinding smoothly, and it prevents it from getting defiled. Reserving its parts after cleaning will keep the machine smooth.
Now, how can you clean your meat grinder properly and effectively?
So, here’s a perfect meat grinder cleaning guideline for you:
Primary cleaning of a Meat Grinder
Start cleaning it right after use. The meat will definitely leave oil as well as grease behind as it goes through your meat grinder. You should start cleaning up as soon as possible before it gets dry. Make your life simpler by dealing with it quickly right after every use.
Before putting your grinder apart, get a piece of bread all the way through the grinder, similar like you do with meat.
Bread will remove all the excess meat and other unnecessary parts. Washing the grinder will become more efficient. You might think this is weird, but it will make your work much easier for you. You just need a few pieces of bread.
Dismantling the grinder
If the meat grinder is electric, you need to unplug it. After that, you can dismantle the parts. A meat grinder usually includes:
- A meat tamper
- A stuffing tube
- A hopper
- A screw (It is an internal piece that pushes the meat through the machine)
- A blade
- A plate or die (it is the metal piece along with holes where the meat comes out)
- A cover for the blade and plate
You can begin by removing the grinding screw, then the cover, and then the blade and the plate.
You need to be super careful while dealing with the blade. Or else you might damage the blade and even harm yourself.
Soaking the machine parts
Take a bucket and pour some hot water with detergent in it. Put the disassembled parts in the bucket carefully. Wait 15-20 minutes. This will loosen up the sticky meats properly.
If you have an electric grinder, don’t soak it. Rather clean the outside parts with a slightly wet cloth and then dry it.
Lastly, wash all the parts of your grinder. Clean every part that had contact with the meat.
We don’t recommend washing your grinder in a dishwasher because it can weaken the grinder’s blade, which can be very harmful.
Scrubbing the parts
For cleaning the screw, cover, and blade, we recommend using a sponge. You need to be very careful when you are dealing with the blade. If you want to clean the inside of the stuffing tube, you can use a thin brush. You should rinse each part after finishing it.
It is highly suggested not to rush through this process. You need to make sure that you remove all traces. So, make sure that you scrub it properly.
Drying the parts
After cleaning the grinder properly, we need to dry it. We can do that using a dry towel, and the towel should be clean.
We must avoid air drying. You need to carefully dry each of the elements; otherwise, it will get rusty. You need to make sure that each and every element is bone-dry. The plastic ones can be air-dried without any problem.
Assembling back the meat grinder
After washing and storing the meat grinder once, a time will come where you have to use it again. You must ensure all the parts are properly tightened. A few grinders might come with a slight configuration difference, but all the grinders have a general way.
These are the steps to assemble the meat grinder.
- After ensuring that all the parts are clean and dry, check and make sure that the power code is not connected before assembling.
- The T link should be enclosed in front of the grinder. After that, use a screw to tighten the link.
- Insert the screw while pushing the bar in the link, rotate the bar, and ensure it goes till the back.
- Then you should add a four-leaf blade into the screw and push the flat side so that it can face out.
- After that, place a round knife into the tip of the pushing bar. Make sure the knife edges are very flush, having the screw edges pushing the bar.
- And after that, you should attach the handle cap with the T link having been well tightened.
- Lastly, you should add a stainless-steel plate or food pans on the top. And you are once again ready to use the meat grinder.
Right Process of Storing Meat Grinder
Since you already know how to wash your grinder, you will find it very easy to restore it.
Why should all of that effort go to vain?
Your job will be completely done if you store the meat grinder and all of its parts properly.
Oil any metal parts
Remember to keep your meat grinder well lubricated. This will prevent rust. You can spray mineral oil (food grade) over your grinder. Avoiding the electronic parts, of course.
The pusher and screw collide a lot with your meat as it goes through the machine. So it should be handled carefully.
Use rice bags
You can keep every part of your grinder in a plastic. A plastic bag for each part. And you can add some rice to each bag. This will surely absorb any present moisture. This will be very helpful if you live in a place with high humidity.
Use freezers to store
Your grinder will work smoothly when the parts are cold. So you can put the machine parts inside the plastic bags and put them in the freezer. Check out the Best Mini Fridge here.
In case you don’t have space, store your parts somewhere dry. After that, just put them in the freezer for some time to chill them so that you can easily use them again in the future.
Use bleach on oily parts
Mix a tablespoon of bleach. Then take around 3.7L water in a bottle. Mix the bleach with the water. Then spray this bleach water over every metal part that you oiled. After that, you can store the parts properly. Finally, rinse the entire thing with fresh water. This will keep the parts disinfected as well as get rid of the bleach.
Proper Use and Maintenance of Meat Grinders
Keep parts and meat cold
Warm meat is most likely to create problems when you’re grinding it. So, it is wise to keep the meat and the grinder parts cold. If you want to grind the same meat several times, follow these steps.
- Take a big bowl
- Take some ice and put it in the bowl
- Take another small bowl with meat in it.
- And put the smaller bowl in the big bowl to chill the meat.
- Keep the bowl inside until it’s cold enough.
Get rid of sinew
Meat sinew is most likely to weaken your grinder’s blade. So, you must cut this away. This will keep the blades smooth.
Sharpen or replace blades as needed
It can be easily said that a floppy blade will create problems inside your machine. So, if you see that your machine isn’t working properly or a lot of meat is smearing around, you should consider sharpening your blades or getting a new one.
If you can avoid sinew, you will notice that your blades will get sharper the more you use it. You might need to sharp/replace the blades once a year.
Maintenance of Meat Grinder Blades
The blades will remain sharp if it is taken cared in a proper way. If you know how to handle it, you will keep your body safe. If there is any kind of interaction between the blades and other parts of the meat grinder, it might be very harmful.
It is highly recommended to sharpen your blades professionally once a year. Or you can get new ones. You will find new blades at any meat grinder manufacturers. Don’t use any sharpening stones.
Only professionals should sharpen the blades. You don’t need to do it yourself. Use a soft cloth to wrap the cutting blades and store them. It keeps the moisture away, and the blades will stay smooth.
Before you use your meat grinder again, you need to disinfect it first. You can do it by spraying bleach water. You need to follow the instructions carefully if you want to avoid the trouble situation. So, follow the instructions and keep yourself and everyone else safe.
Check out our rundown of best manual meat grinder here.