How To Grind Meat Without A Grinder

How To Grind Meat Without A Grinder

We’re here to give you the daily grind on how to upgrade the flavor and quality of your next ground meat

Let’s face it – very few of us play butcher on the weekends and therefore do not own a proper meat cutter.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to grind meat without a grinder. Stop whatever you are doing and pay close attention to what I’m about to say – you do not need a professional meat grinder to make your own ground meat.  In fact, you don’t need a meat grinder at all!

Meat grinders can be expensive and have a very narrow range of use.  We will be exploring how to grind your own meat using an everyday kitchen appliance that is likely in your house right now – the food processor.  Or, for those who wish to forego technology altogether, by knife.

Did I just blow your mind?

Welcome to (almost) 2017, a simpler time where you can brew coffee without a coffee maker, de-skin potatoes without a peeler, or even foam milk without a frother.  Because, kitchen hacks.

If you still are not sold on grinding your own meat, here are a few reasons why knowing how to grind meat without a grinder is better than buying it at the supermarket:

How To Grind Meat Without A Grinder selection

  1. Better Taste: Grinding your own meat means a better taste.  Why?  Hate to be a whistleblower, but the ground meat you buy at the grocery store isn’t always ground that day.  Sometimes the meat has been sitting at the counter for up to a week.  The result?  Meat that has lost its flavor and freshness. Grinding your own meat means you can be sure your meat has been ground fresh that day.
  1. Cleaner Meat: When meat is ground at the factory or sometimes even at your local butcher, it has a greater likelihood of being exposed to bacteria like E.coli.  As your meat sits around at the supermarket, its exposure to air leads to further bacterial growth and has the potential to make you sick. Yuck.
  1. Customized Meat: When you grind your own meat, you can choose how much fat you want in the meat and can even make your own meat combinations!

Now that you’re ready to grind your own meat, let’s take a further look into what tools will enable us to learn how to grind meat without a grinder:

Tools to grind meat without a grinder:

Food Processor

Do a quick google search and you’ll wonder if there is anything a food processor can’t do.  From homemade nut butters to ice cream, the food processor continues to make itself a great alternative to creating your own homemade treats.  When you are learning how to grind meat without a grinder, you’ll be delighted with how fast and easy to use the food processor makes this process. It may not yield the exact same results of texture as the meat grinder, but, all in all, it’s the easiest alternative to store-bought or meat from a grinder.


  • Easy to use
  • Better tasting than store bought
  • Probably already have a food processor in your kitchen


  • It can be difficult to get consistent texture (some bits will be chunkier than others)
  • Fat smearing makes clean up more time intensive on the blade and other compartments

Grinding Tips:

How To Grind Meat Without A Grinder tips

  • Keep the meat cool: Cut meat into 1 – 2-inch squares and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes before cutting.
  • Grind in small batches: Grind in small half-pound batches to ensure consistent texture
  • Don’t forget to pulse: Use the “pulse” function to get a more even grind
  • Don’t over process: You want a finely chopped meat, not a paste

By Hand

Taking “handmade” to a whole new level, grinding your meat by hand is a great way to grind your own meat and get a workout all in one.  You don’t even have to be eating paleo or reminiscing about neanderthals to enjoy taking it back to simpler methods.  Go ahead and make your ancestors proud by cutting your meat by hand!  A clever is your best tool here, as the weight will mean less force needed on your part.  Simply place the meat on a wooden cutting board and begin chopping!  You want to work on small portions at a time so that you can better manage the consistency of the final product.


  • You can chop as coarsely or as fine as you like
  • Texture has some variation which cooks up well
  • No need to clean up messy blades and components
  • Better flavor than the meat from a food processor, store bought, or meat grinder itself


  • Time consuming
  • Lots of handling of raw meat
  • Tiring

Grinding Tips:

  • Cool the meat and knife: Store the meat and knife in the freezer 15 minutes before cutting
  • Organize your cutting: Cut your meat into thin slices, keep the slices even in a single layer
  • Cut from left to right: Chop from left to right, then flip and cut perpendicular to previous cuts until all chopped at a consistency that pleases you

What To Make?

Customized Meat

We love grinding our own meat because this means you can mix and match any kind of meat you want for your desired meal.  Here are three of our favorite ways to mix our own ground meat:

How To Grind Meat Without A Grinder custom


When working with burgers, you can start with a blend that is higher in fat to make the most flavorful burger.  Burgers are best at a ratio of 70/30:

-70% lean protein, like chuck or round

-30% fat, like navel, short rib, or brisket

Meatloaf & Meatballs:

Generally, when preparing other meats, it’s best to keep in mind the ratio 80/20.  If you are able to keep this ratio steady, there is no reason not to mix and match multiple different cuts of meat.  To make meatloaf and meatballs, we recommend mixing equal parts ground pork and beef.

grind meatloaf and meatballs without grinder


How about adding veal into the equation?  You can mix equal parts veal, pork, and beef to make this velvety, rich meat sauce that would never taste the same with meat that’s not freshly ground!

Single Meat Grind

If you would rather just pat yourself on the back for being a total boss by grinding your own meat, you shouldn’t feel bad for sticking with one kind of meat.  Like we’ve mentioned, simple can be better:

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Thinking of enjoying your own freshly ground meat that falls on the lighter side?  Why not try out your own turkey sloppy joes with this great recipe that will have you licking your fingers.

grind turkey without grinder

Pork and Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Take a walk on the wild side with pork and tofu lettuce wraps.

Regardless of what you decide to cook with your homemade ground meat, we are sure it’s going to be a show-stopper.  If you liked learning how to grind your own meat without a grinder, feel free to leave us a comment below!


Quincy handles most of the marketing at CAPPEC and will work for coffee or IPAs. Currently residing in Asia, you can follow him at @YouKnowQuincy to see what he's up to.

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