If you’re someone who consumes a lot of meat in their everyday diet, you must have considered the classic ground beef in your meals. Generally, ground meat is versatile in that it can be used in almost all recipes seamlessly while providing it with a fuller texture. However, that’s not the be-all-and-end-all of ground meat – notice how jerky, salami, and sausages all have different textures of ground meat?
This is mainly because they’re passed through different sizes of meat grinder plates. If you’ve recently considered investing in a meat grinder to cater to your ground meat dish cravings, then it is essential to learn about the different components of the meat grinder and how they can affect the final form of meat.
And perhaps the most important component is the meat grinder plate and its sizes, so read on to find out which meat grinder plate size is the best for you!
What Is A Meat Grinder Plate? Is It The Same As A Meat Grinder Blade?
If you’ve ever observed all the components of a meat grinder carefully, you’ll notice that there’s one part of it that resembles a disc-shaped structure with holes of varying or uniform sizes on it. This is referred to as the meat grinder plate, and it is this part of the meat grinder that gives your meat its final shape. Whether coarse or fully minced meat, the meat grinder plate is responsible for the final product of your meat – and it is thus different from the meat grinder blade.
On the other hand, the meat grinder blade is primarily responsible for cutting up your meat before it is passed through the meat grinder plate. The meat grinder blade processes the meat and cuts it up to prepare it for being passed through the meat grinder plate, after which it receives its final form – whether as sausages or jerky.
Without the meat grinder blade, the meat would not be minced to the degree that it can pass through the meat grinder plates. It is important to remember this distinction even though they both perform similar functions. The difference in cutting blade diameters and meat grinder plate hole sizes can mean a difference in the final product of the meat you’re preparing.
What Is the Use Of Meat Grinder Plates?
As said before, the most important function of meat grinder plates is that they give meat its final shape. Once the meat has been minced and cut up by the meat grinder plates, it is passed further along in your meat grinder machine to be input into the meat grinder plates.
These plates have holes of varying sizes in them, depending on what kind of meat you want to produce. Once the meat is cut up and fed into the meat grinder plates, it comes out of the meat grinder in the desired form you want.
Meat Grinder Plate Size Chart
|Diameter of the Meat Grinder Plate||Diameter of the Plate Grinder Hole||Type of Ground Meat||Best for Making:|
|3 – ¼”||⅛”||Finely ground||Bologna, hamburger, hot dog meat|
|3 – ⅞”||⅛”||Finely ground||Bologna, hamburger, hot dog meat, jerky|
|2 – ⅛”||¼”||Coarsely ground||Summer sausages, pepperoni, salami|
|3 – ¼”||¼”||Coarsely ground||Summer sausages, pepperoni, salami|
|3 – ¼”||⅜”||First grind||Chorizo, linguisa, chili|
|3 – ¼”||½”||First grind||Stews, chili|
|2 – ⅜”||⅜”||First grind||Chorizo, linguisa, chili|
|2 – ¾”||⅜”||First grind||Chorizo, linguisa, chili|
|2 – ⅜”||3/16”||Second grind||Sausages, hamburger patties|
|3 – ¼”||3/16”||Second grind||Sausages, hamburger patties|
|5 – 1/16”||4 mm||Coarsely ground and commercially produced||Pepperoni, summer sausages, hamburger patties, bratwurst|
How Are Meat Grinder Plates Measured?
If you’re attempting to measure your meat grinder plate sizes to replace the ones you already have with differently-sized holes to make different forms of meat, then the procedure is pretty easy.
To measure your meat grinder plates, you will have to take them out of your meat grinder machine by disassembling the latter and then lay the plates out flat on a surface. Using a measuring tool of any kind, measure the diameter of your meat grinder plates.
This measurement can then be compared to a chart that tells you more about the sizes of meat grinder plates so you can decide which one to purchase or replace your current meat grinder plate with. With this, you can write down the exact measurement you want your replacement meat grinder plate to avoid discrepancies.
Different Meat Grinder Plate Sizes Explained
1. 3 to 4mm – Fine Grind
Meat grinder plates with hole sizes as small as 3 mm to 4 mm produce meat that is extremely finely ground – which is to be expected, considering the holes’ diameter is tiny.
Meat produced after going through 3 mm to 4 mm grinder plates are minced finely and can be added to recipes that call for your meat to be thoroughly ground. Producing the meat patty for hamburgers, beef jerky, or even bologna can be easily made with the help of finely ground meat, resulting in a smoother texture of food.
2. 4.5 to 6mm – Medium Grind
Meat that is put through the medium grind diameter of meat grinder plate holes turns out to be slightly fuller and more coarse than finely ground meat. It can be added to recipes that ask for coarser meat types than the finely ground kind – thus meaning that you can go for breakfast sausages and coarser hamburger patties with this kind of meat.
You can even stuff your peppers with medium ground meat or make meatloaf for a low-effort meal. Meat grinder plates having holes at 4.5 mm to 6 mm can easily produce a more textured meat-eating experience than the finely ground kind.
3. 10-12mm – Coarse Grind
Lastly, if you’re going for a recipe that calls for fully coarse grinds of meat, then you want to invest in the largest diameters for meat grinder plate holes. At sizes of 10 mm to 12 mm, you can make a myriad of meat types used in dishes such as bratwurst, sausages, hamburgers, or even ground beef.
If you like your meat chunky or the recipe you’re considering asks for coarse cuts of meat, then this is the meat grinder plate size for you. The texture of coarsely ground meat is the roughest and will not feel nearly as smooth as finely ground meat.
What Meat Grinder Plate Sizes Should I Have?
In most cases, when you buy a meat grinder from one of the best brands, you will receive a variety of meat grinder plates as well. However, if you are after new plates or new to meat grinders,
What most people who are new to grinding meat don’t expect is that you can combine more than one meat grinder plate to get the exact form of meat that you want. If you’re wondering “what meat grinder plate sizes should I have,” then you should look into what type of meat you consume the most in your diet.
If you’re planning to incorporate a lot of ground meat into your diet, then it would be a good idea for you to get multiple meat grinder plates to suit your tastes – whether you’re going about making hamburger patties, salami, or simply ground meat as sides. However, if you find yourself grinding a specific form of meat more often, it is best to invest in the corresponding meat grinder plate size as shown in the meat grinder plate size chart above.
Do Meat Grinder Plates Need Sharpening?
As all objects and appliances are responsible for cutting up things, meat grinder plates also need to be sharpened just like how the meat grinder blades need to be sharpened every now and then. A sure sign that you need to sharpen your meat grinder plate is observing how your meat is being ground – if it comes out looking lumpy and shapeless after a while, then it is most likely that your meat grinder plates or cutting blades have dulled.
For the purposes of sharpening, you can take out your meat grinder plates from your machine and use sharpening stones or sandpaper to sharpen them once again. If you’re unsuccessful or simply don’t want to sharpen your meat grinder plates and blades yourself, then you can always purchase replacements from the store.
If you’ve been considering purchasing a meat grinder machine as a frequent meat-eater, then you must have greater insight into the many ways in which your meat grinder can be used. You don’t have to stick to one form of meat in your diet – instead, with different sizes of meat grinder plates, you can enjoy finer or rougher forms of meat in different recipes according to your preference.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to ensure that your meat grinder plates and cutting blades are always in optimal condition – so regular cleaning and sharpening are a must. If you have doubts on cleaning a meat grinder, you can read our articles on how to clean an electric meat grinder. If you have any doubts about the sizes of the meat grinder plates, you can let us know in the comment section.