Grinding pork

KevinButchering, PorkLeave a Comment

Better the spoon than my digits, no? The grinder has to learn to play with others.

A friend and I cut 3 sides of Berkshire hog yesterday, and one thing I was resolved to do was to grind my meats that day in one big shot rather than to do so each time I was making sausage, or needed ground meat for any other use. And I’ll be honest: I buggered up many a sausage/forcemeat/etc grinding pork with a hand grinder. The plate and blade would get full of sinew. So I’d use a larger size plate – which led to gross crunchy/sinewy bits in the sausage that was, frankly, disgusting. I was guided to grind pork cold – almost icy. Grinding cold back fat with a hand grinder ain’t so easy. I searched online about how to grind pork. I failed, over and over.

So I borrowed my dad’s monster grinder [modded w/ a powerful motor], and learned 2-3 things that are key to grinding pork. Things I wish I knew a year ago:

  1. pork sinew/connective tissue and grinders don’t get along. If the knife had a hard time with it, we trimmed it. We had to go through all our trim and edit. It added up to very little extra work, and very little trim loss – but made grinding possible without binding up the blade. Next time, we’ll simply lose the tough sinew as we go.
  2. the ring that tightens the die/plate to the blade needs to be tight enough so that crap can’t get behind it and bind stuff up. My theory is if you do point 1 well enough, this may be far less important.
  3. cold meat grinds better. This I knew. And was not as key as the other two items, but it helps.

So now, when it’s time to make sausage, I will pull a pack of fatty ground pork ready to rock, and save a heck of a lot of work. Should have done this last year. Live and learn.

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