If you do a lot of meat mincing, a meat grinder is one of the best appliances to have in the kitchen.
If you are like me and like grinding meats then you may be wondering how many plate sizes you need to get all of your grinding needs met.
There is no one-size-fits answer to this question because the activity in which you planned to use the plates is the one that would determine the size of the grinder plates you should have.
There are different sizes of grinder plates, with each having a different hole. Plates with smaller holes give a better ground.
A grinder hole of 1/62”, 3/16”, and 14” can be used to successfully ground stuff like franks and hamburgers.
Coarse/medium ground is usually given by bigger hole sizes of 3/8′′, 3/4′′, and 12”.
What Are Grinder Plates, Blades?
A car that is powered by fuel can’t move without fuel, so it is with a meat grinder. A meat grinder requires grinding plates like the fuel it needs to function.
These plates are made of either steel or carbon and are round in nature and come in a variety of sizes with each having unique holes.
The grinder plates made of steel are likely to last 3X longer than carbon steel, and they are more durable than carbon steel.
Steel plates are quite expensive and they don’t rust as easily as their counterparts.
How Are They Used?
Meats are forced through a hole in a grinding plate so they need a grinding blade to cut them into smaller pieces.
When you find out that your meat won’t come out correctly through the plates, it’s usually because it appears mushing.
The plate, blades, or both of them may be dull if this is your case. You did not assemble them well to fit in where they are supposed to.
If the meat is frozen, this will make it easier for you to grind it. You might face issues trying to get fresh meats grounded because they don’t go well with the grinder.
If you can re-access the grinder, you’ll be able to see if the parts fit correctly.
If both steps have been checked and you are still finding it hard to mince your meat, then you will need to replace it.
When you replace your plates and cutting blades, make sure they fit and match what you have in there. Don’t just go for one of them, change both of them as well.
How Are They Measured?
Measure the plates to find out the size of your grinder. If you measure the diameter of the plates you can match it with the size chart.
How to Measure Your Grinder Plates Accurately:
- If you want to do this exercise, you will need a measuring tape or ruler.
- The plates should be laid flat on the floor.
- If you want to buy a new one, you will have to disassemble your grinder and take your plate out.
- Start by measuring the distance between the center of the plate and your measuring tape.
- Then write down the plate diameter on a piece of paper.
- Cross-checking the new one you intend to buy will be done by using this diameter.
- If you want to know the size of your grinder, you can use this diameter to match it with a grinder chart size.
Why Are The Different Grinder Plates Hole Sizes?
If you are not familiar with grinder plates, you should know that there are different hole sizes. You can see the holes on the plates, but they don’t have a purpose.
Continue reading to learn about the different hole sizes in the grinder plate.
There are three major uses for the hole size you see in most grinder plates.
- Fine grind
- Medium grind
- Coarse grind
It is possible to ground items to a fine smooth using a grinder plate with a hole size of 3/32′′.
They can give you a smooth, fine ground because the hole size is usually smaller.
It can give your meat products a texture that is not too coarse or fine, but in-between when you spot a grinder plate with a hole size of 3/16′′ or 5/32′′.
You can use this hole size to ground hamburgers, breakfast sausage, and other items.
The coarse ground is caused by having a grinder plate with a bigger hole size so if you say something is coarse, it means that it isn’t smooth.
If you have a plate with a hole as big as the above sizes, it’s possible to grind many items.
There is also a hole size that I would like to talk about. You can get very coarse ground if you have a hole of this size.
If you want to ground stew meat, chunking meat, or vegetable, you can use this hole size.
What Are The Numbers On Meat Grinders?
This is a good question for people who have never used a meat grinder before.
If you are buying a commercial meat grinder for the first time, you should know that they come with unique identification numbers.
The numbers on the body of the grinder are indicators that show the diameter of the plate to you to make you aware of the size of the grinder you want to buy.
Knowing the diameter of the plate will help you decide whether you need a smaller grinder for at-home use or commercial purposes.
Unless you own a food industry, you should only buy a small grinder if you want to use it at home.
Now that you know what the numbers mean in a grinder, it is time to look at the different numbers you might see in a grinder with their corresponding diameter plate.
Is It Possible to Sharpen a Dull Meat Grinder Plate and Blades?
If you find out that your meat grinder is no longer sharp, you don’t want to buy a replacement to make up for it.
You don’t need to do anything else when it comes to the blades and plates. You will need to disassemble your grinder to take the blades and plates out.
Here’s How to Do it:
- A tool that you can use to loosen the grinder fastener is the first thing to look for.
- If you notice the way things are set up in the grinder, you won’t have a hard time getting them back in their proper position after you have sharpened them.
- One easy way to sort this out is to place the blades and plates in a separate place and then mark them with a number.
- The blades and plates need to be free from grease and dirt.
Now that you know how to disassemble the grinder to take out your plates and blades, it is time to sharpen them.
How Can I Sharpen My Meat Grinder Plates And Blades?
You can use a variety of ways to sharpen plates and blunt blades. It’s up to you, which of them you feel comfortable with or which is easily accessible for you.
Below Are the Ways to Sharpen Your Grinders Blades:
- Sharpening stones
- A sandpaper
It is easier to sharpen the edges of steel tools with the help of sharpening stones.
The stones come in various shapes, compositions, sizes, and textures with each side serving a different purpose.
Here’s How to Do it:
- You can get two ceramic stones and soak them up in a bowl for a few minutes.
- One stone is for sharpening the knife and the other is for the blades.
- Fix the square hole to the knife, then the circular one to the plate.
- The grinder should be assembled with its corresponding stone.
- To keep the rings a bit loose, screw them gently.
- For about 5 seconds, switch on your grinder.
- Do the same for both sides, turn it off.
- You will need to take the burr off the blades once you finish.
- If you want to remove the burr, rub them on cardboard paper.
Sand papering your blades is a way to improve their sharpness.
The difference between the above step and the next one is that you will need to get yourself dirty to use sandpaper.
You’ll Be Needing some Items:
- Workman’s gloves
- Wipe paper
- Start by putting on gloves. I like to think of safety as ABC and once this is done, spread your sandpaper on the floor.
- Put the blades at a 40 angle and push them through the sandpaper in a circular motion for five minutes.
- When you have achieved your desired results, repeat this.
- If you would like a smooth surface, you can use 600 grit sandpaper.
- Don’t forget to wipe off burr between intervals.
- When you are done with the sharpening process, rinse the blade with water to remove any excess particles.
- Allow the blade to dry before it is assembled.
If you want to make sure that you have done a good job, you need to cut through the paper before you even think of sharpening the blade.
You must have finished the whole process before you do the same. You can know whether or not you did a good job by doing that.
What Size Plates Do I Need For Hamburgers?
You already know that meat grinders come with grinding plates which are usually filled with holes.
This hole size is the most important factor in determining the texture of a meat grinder.
It is possible to grind hamburgers, franks, bologna, beef jerky, etc to a fine, smooth grind with a plate with a hole size of 1/32′′ or less. Smaller holes of about 1/4′′, 5/16′′, and 3/8′′ can be used to ground food.
What Size Plate Do I Need For Venison?
It can be a bit difficult to grind venison if you are new to it. There is a way to go about it so that you don’t mess things up.
The first thing to do is to use a larger plate measuring 3/8′′ to coarse ground, followed by a smaller one. The double-grind technique helps to break the meat down better.
How To Take Care Of Meat Grinder Plate?
You must care for your meat grinder once you are done using it. One way to do that is to wash them and dry them before assembly them.
They should be kept in a moist environment to prevent them from rusting. Be sure the plates and blades are free of oil.
You should always feed bread into the grinder the same way you used meat. The slice of bread will help remove grease and oils from the grinder.
The number of plate sizes for the meat grinder is related to how often you grind. If you are the type that does a lot of grinding then it is wise to have different meat grinder plates.
I hope that this post has answered your question. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below if you have more questions about this topic.