Camp Cooking and Game Processing Trade recipes and other tricks of the trade for cooking wild game.

grind my own?

Old 03-10-2008, 05:13 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: MB.
Posts: 2,984
Default RE: grind my own?

As previously mentioned a couple times, don’t go cheap and yes stay away from plastic gears. Also, get one with lots of power...
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 321
Default RE: grind my own?


my family consumes approx 100# of ground deer/wildhog a year my processor does a great job with just enough fat added to make it cook well, and pakages it very well. will it be worth the investment
to purchase my own grinder and and mix and package it myself. if so what type of grinder and about how much should it cost.
Ground beef here goes for around $1.99 a pound for the cheap stuff and as much as $3.00 a pound for the good stuff.

So let's figure this in butcher terms.

The Amish that I have process, at least one deer a year, charges $45 to cut up a deer. They also charge $15 to skin it. They also charge another $25 - to debone it and grind it all up.

There is not a lot of meat in a deer.

My guesstimation - for a Pennsylvania Whitetail would be around 33%

Which means that if your deer weighed around 100 lbs / live weight, you would get about 33 lbs. of meat out of it.

So right there - with no pork added, you are going to pay the butcher $85 for 33 lbs of meat.

When you figure in the price of fuel and the price of a hunting license and the price of clothes and guns and ammo, you are probably up around $8.00 a lbs.

Now you want to BUY your own grinder and make your own.

A good grinder will run you around $300 or more.

Since I cut up no less than 3 deer a year and give away the meat and don't get anything given to me. I would figure that I have just as much into my meat as what I would have if I would take it to the Amish and have them do it for me.


When I cut the meat, I control what goes into it, how it is stored, how long it is aged, how much fat goes into it, how much hair ends up in it. How much gristle and bone fragments ends up in the meat.

As long as you have some place to hang the deer that is very cold or refridgerated and unless you have some people to help you. It wouldn't be in your best interest to start cutting your own meat.

At the same time, if you are LAZY, and like to sit on the couch and watch football games and not do much on the weekends except drink beer and watch TV. Then butchering is not for you.

I figure it takes me 8 hours, from the time I skin my deer until I clean my grinder to cut up a deer by myself.

Lot's of people will say that they will help you, but when the time comes to do the actual work. Everyone will have an excuse!

I have looked at lot's of grinders and will be the first to tell you that bigger is always better.. Forget about the amperage rating and estimated horsepower ratings on most grinders. Get one that is mounted on a plain old piece of board and uses a top cog V belt and a seperate motor.

The only other grinder I would look at would be the one from Harbor Freight and Salvage that has a grinder mounted to the side of a band saw.

A grinder is nice, but a bandsaw is even better.

It's hard to cut meat when it is frozen and in large pieces on your kitchen table.

Cut it into smaller pieces and you will be able to cut it up quicker and throw the scraps in a plastic bag and put it out with your regular garbage.

Most garbage men here don't like to take deer bones, because once they take it from one , they have to take it from everybody. Just figure 10,000 people, cutting their own deer and how many bones do you have in the garbage truck that week? Lot's!

My only other suggestion would be for you to spend the extra .01 a pound and eat BEEF!
The Rifleman is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 06:42 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 920
Default RE: grind my own?

I started many years ago with an hand crank #32 converted to electric pulley driven. It worked ok, though a little dangerous with the exposed parts. Then about 12 years ago I converted another #32with and industial right angle drive and 2 hp motor. This one worked ok too but was a bear to handle, it is heavy and cumbersome. I recently purchased this Cabela's # 32 and it's grinds very well and it's made where you can attach other things to it. Here is a picture I took while making up a small batch of summer sausage. You can really see the leaness of the venison on the left. So far I am pleased with the Cablea's equipment, I see it money well spent if you want good quality and to last a long time.

Here is a mixer attachment for the motor unit, it makes it a snap.

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Old 03-12-2008, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 321
Default RE: grind my own?

One thing you have to remember with a direct drive motor is that if an obstruction gets in the grinder.

A belt driven grinder will sometimes stop and slip the belt.

A direct drive will just keep on grinding and you will end up with shards of bones and other matter in your meat.
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:38 AM
Giant Nontypical
jerseyhunter's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: the woods of NJ.
Posts: 5,643
Default RE: grind my own?

A direct drive will just keep on grinding and you will end up with shards of bones and other matter in your meat.
Like my knife handle used to push the meat down cause the pusher was in the other room.[:@]Better than the fingers.
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: oklahoma
Posts: 71
Default RE: grind my own?

i have a hobart 22 head 5 hp220v/single phaze grinder this is a commercial grinder i payed $400 for it an put about $50 into the rebuild you can find these grinders out their the trick is to find one that is not 3/ phaze check restaurant supply co's that do repairs the down side it is about 100LB's
but it gets the job done fast.I picked up a Berkel digital scale with printer an LCD readout for 50 bucks an for my outside work i have a 16" jarvis 404 well saw. I am now in the market for a slicer i want a hobart edge

i would post some pictures but don't know how
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Old 03-17-2008, 06:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 5
Default RE: grind my own?

I process all of my own venison and find it to be one of the most rewarding aspects of hunting. I dont have much $$ so I still do it the hard way. A #20 hand crank and a fillet knife work for me. My family eats deer 90% of the time and I wouldnt have it any other way.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:30 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Hells Canyon
Posts: 130
Default RE: grind my own?

I guess how much you spend should depend on how much excess money and time you have. I save everything I need to grind and do it once a year at the end of hunting season. I have a smaller grinder and it might take me an extra hour to grind a couple hundred pounds of meat, but like I said, it's only once a year. I have the Rival that looks like Cabelas cheap grinder with plastic gears that I just saw on special for $60. I have ran tons of meat through this thing. I ground a whole moose a couple years ago andI can't even remember how many years I have had this thing. Money well spent.
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