Meat grinders can be a traditional crank-style or electric. Cabela's Meat Grinders, for example, come in three sizes, from small- to larger-sized hopper openings for grinding different quantities of meat. You can grind two to three pounds of meat per minute using the No. 10 Grinder, three to four pounds of meat per minute using the No. 22 Grinder and five pounds of meat per minute using the No. 32 Grinder. These are manually operated with heavy-duty cast-iron construction. All come with a knife, two grinding plates and a sausage-stuffer tube. Place the meat into the hopper and turn the crank to grind the meat.
Electric meat grinders are, of course, more powerful than their manually operated counterparts, allowing you to grind meat at a much faster rate. Northern Tool and Equipment's No. 12 and No. 22 Electric Stainless Steel Meat Grinders, for example, are 75-pound machines that produce 5/8 and 3/4 horsepower, respectively. Meat grinding capacity of the No. 12 model is about five pounds per minute; the No. 22 model grinds eight pounds per minute. Using the food pusher, feed clean, skinned meat pieces into the hopper and retrieve the ground meat from the discharge pan.
Meat mixers are typically boxy, stainless steel structures to which a hand-operated crank is attached. The crank churns a paddle, which mixes the meat and seasonings inside the tank. They come in different sizes to accommodate different quantities of meat, most commonly ranging from 20 to 50 pounds. Some brands of meat mixers include Prago, LEM and Weston.
You can also purchase commercial-grade, electric meat mixers, which can handle larger quantities of meat. The Sausage Maker, Inc.'s 110-lb. Capacity Commercial Meat Mixer is one such mixer that could be used to help increase production at a sausage shop, butcher or abattoir.
Meat Processing Knives
There is a knife for every imaginable purpose when it comes to processing meat. There are knives for paring, filleting, boning, skinning, butchering and breaking, as well as knives for steak, ham, lamb, seafood, poultry and just about everything in between. Knives have different handles and blades depending on their intended use. For example, poultry knives are much smaller and narrower than knives used for beef due to the difference in size between the animals. A cleaver's blade is large and resembles a hatchet; it is typically used for cutting through bones. Dexter-Russell, Inc. and Forschner are two large knife manufacturers.
Meat slicers are typically motor-powered machines that feature a tilted food carriage with a stainless steel rotary blade. They make quick work of cutting meats and can usually be used for other foods as well, such as vegetables and cheeses. The EdgeCraft 610 Chef's Choice Premium Electric Food Slicer, for example, features a seven-inch, stainless steel blade that slices meat from deli-thin to one inch thick. Other meat slicer manufacturers include Weston, Waring, Rival and Deni.