LEM Grinder

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I have a LEM #12 Big Bite meat grinder. It is 3/4 hp. It blows through the initial grind. Im having trouble with the follow up/finer grind. I bought the grinder at the end of last season so i havent not really used it yet. I added some preground frozen beef fat to my chunks if meat at a 10% ratio. First ground went through flawlessly. The 2nd ground with the finer plate, not so much. I looked inside the throat and the fat has clogged it up. How do i get around this? Because now i have 30lbs od meat that is too rough for ground. We will eat it anyways, but prefer it a little finer. Should i grind meat only through coarse plate and then follow it up with grinding that through the fine plate with the fat added? I think grinding the fat twice is the issue but i can not find where anyone else has the same issue.
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
Never had that problem? I've never ground twice either. I just run it through the smallest plate once, and it's perfect for me.
 

Jimmypop

Senior Member
It's just how it is. I been using a similar machine about 15 yrs , 3,4 deer per year. I use the coarse plate first grind, then use the medium plate for second grind. I use pork fat rather than beef, just because we like it better for both sausage and hamburger. The auger will pull the chunks thru much faster on the first grind. I use the plunger to help the machine on the second grind. It still takes at least twice as long on the second grind.
 

naildrvr

Senior Member
The colder the fat and meat the better it will grind the 2nd time.
This is the key. I used to have the same problem that you are having, but if you will put the meat in the freezer for about 30 minutes or so before the first grind, it will help. Also put it back in the freezer before the second grind. I have also put the grinder parts in the freezer before starting so that everything stays cold longer.
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
Why do you grind meat twice to begin with?
 

JackSprat

Senior Member
The colder the fat and meat the better it will grind the 2nd time.
This.

First, don't add the fat on the first grind. (I don't add the fat at all until I'm ready to use it). If you must, freeze the fat and coarsly grind it separately.

Then freeze or nearly freeze the first ground meat, and grind it. If you have a refrig big enough, chill the grinder. Dropping the occasional ice cube in the regrind of the first grind will help too. some sausage makers just add a scoop of bagged ice every so often. The ground meat will absorb an amazing amount of water.

in traditional (more or less) sausage making the fat is only coarse ground, because it will cook down when the sausage is cooked. Then it's added to the ground meat and mixed. There's no point in fine grinding the fat.

NCHillbilly, many traditional sausages have two grinds, The second, fine grinds helps keep the sausage together when it is cooked, and improves the texture. Bratwurst, kielbasa and so on. It works the machinery too much, and heats the meat too much to do a fine grind on the first pass. If you want to put it into casings, a fine grind produces a much superior product with minimum air pockets.

For the best results, grinding the meat into a pan sitting in a pan of ice, then putting in the freezer, or at least the frigidaire will produce the best results. The more the meat gets above refrig. temp, the more it will smear.
 
BTW make sure your cutter and die plate are properly adjusted. There cutting blades should ride right on the face of the die. The retaining ring needs to be as tight as possible, and no play in the die.
 
This.

First, don't add the fat on the first grind. (I don't add the fat at all until I'm ready to use it). If you must, freeze the fat and coarsly grind it separately.

Then freeze or nearly freeze the first ground meat, and grind it. If you have a refrig big enough, chill the grinder. Dropping the occasional ice cube in the regrind of the first grind will help too. some sausage makers just add a scoop of bagged ice every so often. The ground meat will absorb an amazing amount of water.

in traditional (more or less) sausage making the fat is only coarse ground, because it will cook down when the sausage is cooked. Then it's added to the ground meat and mixed. There's no point in fine grinding the fat.

NCHillbilly, many traditional sausages have two grinds, The second, fine grinds helps keep the sausage together when it is cooked, and improves the texture. Bratwurst, kielbasa and so on. It works the machinery too much, and heats the meat too much to do a fine grind on the first pass. If you want to put it into casings, a fine grind produces a much superior product with minimum air pockets.

For the best results, grinding the meat into a pan sitting in a pan of ice, then putting in the freezer, or at least the frigidaire will produce the best results. The more the meat gets above refrig. temp, the more it will smear.
Never had a lick of trouble grinding a few thousand pounds of deer, wild pork, tame pork, beef, etc. through the fine plate on the first grind. I have never even used the coarse plates that came with my $99 Nothern Tool grinder nearly 20 years ago. Haven't noticed any wear on the machinery or heat in the meat in all that time, either. It takes me about ten minutes to grind all the grind-able meat on a deer. And it's delicious, and will hold together to make burgers just fine without adding fat. I have also made countless stuffed sausages, and such with added fat. I have never seen the need or any reason to grind twice.
 
Never had a lick of trouble grinding a few thousand pounds of deer, wild pork, tame pork, beef, etc. through the fine plate on the first grind. I have never even used the coarse plates that came with my $99 Nothern Tool grinder nearly 20 years ago. Haven't noticed any wear on the machinery or heat in the meat in all that time, either. It takes me about ten minutes to grind all the grind-able meat on a deer. And it's delicious, and will hold together to make burgers just fine without adding fat. I have also made countless stuffed sausages, and such with added fat. I have never seen the need or any reason to grind twice.

I'm glad that has worked for you.

I have about a dozen books on sausage making, and a notebook of journal articles. They all (mostly, I didn't check them all today) recommend double grinding the meat for cased goods. I have followed this procedure and been satisfied with the results. The few exceptions are some large sausages which are fancy versions of hogs head cheese (brawn).

The OP was having known issues, for which there are easy solutions, the use of which he has confirmed.

I have done a lot of experimenting with fermented and cured products, which is a challenge with no curing chamber. Some of these use whole cuts of meat.

I am putting some homemade corned beef on the smoker today to make homemade pastrami.
 
To add. Don’t forget to put your grinder and grinding plates and tray in the freezer for an hour so before you start grinding. I use a little Pam on mine when I go to grind on either fine or course before I put it in the freezer.
 
As the grinder heats up, the fat sticks to the walls. Grind frozen fat before you grind any meat. Buy an ice pack to put on the grinder, or put the whole head and augers in the freezer. I thaw my fat enough to cut it, then refreeze it. I grind it first, then the meat. If I am doing 2 deer I just work quick, if doing more once everything is ground I will put the mixed meat back in the freezer for an hour, clean the grinder and put it in the freezer for 30 or so minutes and then regrind/stuff. It really doesn't take any longer since when the grinder clogs you have to work a lot harder and slower!
 
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