Meat grinders help chefs create artisan burgers, specialty meatballs, and house-made sausages. Kitchens that process a lot of meat often run into some of the most common meat grinder problems. Proper cleaning and maintenance can help you keep this vital piece of equipment running.
Meat grinders that process fatty and sinewy meats can clog, sometimes very often. Fatty and sinewy build-up can cause these clogs. Restaurants should already clean their meat grinder’s blades and plates regularly. If the machine is clean and still clogs up, try freezing the meat before you grind it or cutting it into smaller pieces before grinding.
Grinders naturally create friction. Frozen meat creates less friction, though some complain that grinding frozen meat dries it out. Using olive oil on the internal parts can help further reduce friction and may even enhance the flavor of the meat, which should go through the oiled parts of the grinder with less resistance.
Dullness and Corrosion
The grinding blades and teeth can become dull with heavy use, and you may need to sharpen or replace them, depending on the amount of wear they have undergone. Thoroughly drying all cutting parts before reassembling the grinder will help avoid corrosion that could affect the machine’s cutting ability or result in rusty parts.
Grinder Head Issues
The grinder head pushes the meat down toward the cutting blade. If the grinder head doesn’t press the meat down consistently, you may just need to clean it. Another problem could be that you didn’t properly install the head when you reassembled the machine after its last cleaning. Detach the machine from its power source, clean the head, and make sure to reattach it properly. If you still feel resistance, take out the pins that hold the grinder, put them back in again, and see if this adjustment solves the problem.
The Machine Won’t Switch On
Battery-powered machines won’t turn on if they aren’t sufficiently charged. Corded machines that won’t switch on might not be plugged in all the way, or you may need to reset the GFS switch they’re connected to. Check the cord and prongs for damage, and don’t use a machine with damage.
These common meat grinder problems are usually easy to solve, either by cleaning or replacing a worn-out part. If you need to replace your machine, Pro Restaurant Equipment has commercial meat grinders for sale that will work for your kitchen.