• Yearling

    So I am wondering what the preferred method is for grinding beef and pork trim into ground product. I recently just got a new mixer/grinder and I am looking into all the different sizes of plates and knives that I can buy for it, such as 1/4", 1/8", 3/16". As far as methods go, does everyone prefer switching plates for a course and fine grind? Just course grinding twice? Any other methods that anyone prefers? I will be mixing in seasonings for pork sausage, snack sticks, summer sausages, and other further processed products like that into the mixer/grinder. Just wanting to figure out the best plates to use to make the highest quality ground products that I can.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Big Green Egg Dry Cured Sausage Sous Vide Canning Power User

    BRYARRR_80 It depends on what I am making. Sometimes grinding it twice through the same plate will work. Some sausages have different cuts ground with different plates to give the property texture and finished product look. Breakfast you can use the same plate and grind twice. Keep the meat very cold. An important thing to have is have a cutting blade an grinder plate matched up this way they will wear together.

  • Team Orange PK100 Sous Vide Power User

    I’m afraid I have a similar answer. It depends on what I’m making. Many recipes give some guidance (some better than others) as to what grind you want.

    I can tell you this–you’re not likely to kick yourself for having a plate you almost never use, but you will if you need a plate you don’t have. That said, if you plan on getting a different size grinder fairly soon, you can be a bit more judicious.

  • Regular Contributors Power User Bowl Choppers

    I think I am like a lot of others in that the majority of my grinding is done with either a 3/8 inch plate or a 1/8 inch. If you start making some less common sausage styles, you may find the recipe calls for some other size plate.

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors Veteran Masterbuilt

    we use to have three plates the standard large or breaker and the small finish plate and one that was an in-between size that some people would ask for there sausage to be ground with

  • Team Blue Masterbuilt Yearling Sous Vide Canning Power User Regular Contributors Military Veterans

    BRYARRR_80 Well Sausage Warrior you can’t make a mistake here. The texture and looks is the way you remember it to be. That being said, i grind some sausage with 3/8" because that’s how i remember the old polish and Italian sausage. Summer sausage i use 1/4"… hotdogs and bockwurst i double grind 1/8". I would think starters would be 1/4" most grinders come stock with that. Emulsified texture best with 1/8", maybe double grind if you have the patience, and a stuffer plate when you see a use for it. In summary buy what you need, not what you want. Budget wise, i could live and be happy with just the 1/4" until i wanted, and saw a need for a specialty texture. There is no wrong way… Good sausage is the way you remember that sausage you liked was.

  • Yearling

    processhead do you normally use the same plates and grind through twice? Or do you grind once with one plate and then switch to a smaller plate and grind again a second time?

  • Sous Vide Canning PK100 Team Blue Power User Colorado Military Veterans Veteran

    A lot of this depends on what type of bite you prefer. I did some Italian sausage for a guy who liked a more substantial bite and had me do his next batch with a chili grind.
    Personally, I like the smaller grind.

  • Regular Contributors Power User Bowl Choppers

    BRYARRR_80 said in Grinder Plate preferences:

    processhead do you normally use the same plates and grind through twice? Or do you grind once with one plate and then switch to a smaller plate and grind again a second time?

    For finer textured sausage I will grind once through the coarse plate once and once or twice through the fine plate.

    Like others have said, it all depends on the variety/style of the sausage as to how you grind course or fine.

  • Team Orange PK100 Sous Vide Power User

    I’m looking back at your question and realizing I didn’t really answer.

    Frankly, I don’t grind twice anymore, and I don’t intend to do so unless and until I do some emulsified sausage. I just use whatever plate I find appropriate. I’m just doing this as a hobby to please myself and those around me, and I found that I get very little (if any) bang for the buck out of a second grind. I would much rather grind once through my 3mm (1/8") plate than do a second grind

    Now, if I had infinite time, a larger grinder, and a dedicated cold room where I could keep all my processing stuff, then I might change my answer. However, I don’t. I gotta tell you, I am very happy with the texture of what I’m cranking out, and I have folks slapping the table when they try it.

    That said, I am pretty much sold on the idea of grinding fat no larger than 4.5mm (3/16"). Fat out becomes a much bigger problem at coarser grinds. It’s not that you can’t manage it, but it’s much more difficult. It’s certainly worth the small effort to separate the large chunks of fat in pork butt, beef chuck, and chicken thighs, and then to switch plates (and knives) if you are grinding your leaner bits at coarser than 4.5mm.

  • Regular Contributors

    I grind twice for summer sausage and snack sticks, but I grind my fat first with 1/8 then change plates and grind the meat 3/8 or 1/4 then I thoroughly mix fat with the ground meat and then regrind the two together as I feel that this gives me a better distribution of the fat.

  • Team Blue Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors Kansas

    For the most part, I grind fresh sausage through 3/8 plate twice. Cured sausage through 3/8 plate once and then smaller plate. Product will determine how small plate for 2nd grind and maybe even 3rd grind.

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors

    It just depends on your preference as a lot have said. For andouille I grind once through a 10mm, for summer sausage I grind twice through 10mm, and for the genoa salami I just did I ground the pork and fat through 10mm once and the beef through a 10mm and 4.5mm.

  • Sous Vide Dry Cured Sausage Traeger Team Blue

    mrobisr said in Grinder Plate preferences:

    It just depends on your preference as a lot have said. For andouille I grind once through a 10mm, for summer sausage I grind twice through 10mm, and for the genoa salami I just did I ground the pork and fat through 10mm once and the beef through a 10mm and 4.5mm.

    That’s my exact combination for both mentioned (andouille and Genoa)

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