grilling hamburgers
Like venison burgers? Get a grinder and you can process your own. pixabay

If your family harvests several deer a year—or even just one or two—you’ll find few better investments than a quality meat grinder. There’ll be no more trips to the butcher for you, since you can grind all the meat you want and package it in whatever size freezer bags you prefer. To pick the best meat grinder for you, consider three important factors—the power source you plan to use, versatility of the grinder and quantity of meat you’ll be grinding.

Great Value

This simple yet effective tool gets the job done on a budget. Amazon

The options here are simple: Benjamin Franklin’s “key” discovery or your own shoulder power. Most meat grinders on the market today are electric and are made to grind meat quickly and efficiently. Manual meat grinders are still available, though, and some people like to do things the old-fashioned way. If you want to leisurely enjoy grinding your own chili meat while yearning for the “good old days,” a manual model might be perfect for you. If you just want to grind all the meat you can in as short of time possible, electric is the way to go.


Perfect for everything from burgers to brats. Twinzee

Meat grinders grind meat, but the more versatile models also perform a variety of other chores. Many are equipped with sausage stuffer attachments to fill bratwurst and other sausage casings. Others have cube attachments that cut meat into cubes for use in recipes that require that. Some include special blades for grinding vegetables for salsas and sauces. If all you want to do is grind chili meat, a grinder with very few extras should meet your needs. But if you want to make sausage or do other things with your grinder, shop around until you find one that has all the attachments you want.

Top Pick

This large capacity option could feed an entire family—or five. Amazon

How many deer you kill each year, which determines how much meat you’ll need to grind, also plays an important role in your selection of the perfect grinder. If you plan to grind only 8 or 10 pounds of meat at a time, a less expensive, smaller, less-powerful model will work just fine. But if you are going to grind up a good portion of several deer each year, you’ll quickly wear out a small grinder. For big jobs, you need a big, tough model designed to grind lots of meat fast. Most are made of heavy-duty stainless steel with motors of ¾ horsepower or higher. Since big, commercial-type grinders are usually more expensive, they generally have lots of cutting wheels and attachments included.