If you are a sausage lover, you know that nothing beats the taste of freshly made sausages. To achieve this, you need a meat grinder, which is an excellent addition to any kitchen.
While many meat grinders come with plates, some sausage enthusiasts prefer to buy them separately to achieve different textures and sausage types.
One common question that many people ask when buying a meat grinder is what size plate is suitable for grinding sausages.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different plate sizes and types of grinds they produce to help you make an informed decision.
Table of Contents
What Is a Meat Grinder Plate?
Before we dive into the different plate sizes, let’s talk about what a meat grinder plate is. A meat grinder plate is a round metal component that is affixed to the grinder’s worm.
It shapes the meat after being ground and determines the texture and size of your sausage. Meat plates are typically made from durable materials like carbon steel or stainless steel.
Meat plates come in different diameters and with varying hole configurations. The diameter of the plate typically depends on the size of the grinder.
For instance, a #5 grinder requires a plate with a diameter of 2⅛ inches, while a #22 grinder requires a plate with a diameter of 3¼ inches.
The hole configuration also plays a crucial role in determining the texture of the sausage. The smaller the plate, the fewer holes it will have, and the finer the grind. Larger plates have more holes and produce a coarser grind.
For example, a plate with 1/8-inch holes produces a fine grind suitable for making hot dogs, while a plate with 3/8-inch holes produces a coarse grind suitable for making summer sausages.
Grinder Number and Plate Number
Most grinders have a “#” sign that indicates the grinder size. The sizes that are most frequently used include #5, #8, #12, #22, and #32. The size of the plate is mainly determined by these sizes.
The grinder number and plate number are virtually the same, and the number on the plate indicates the size of the holes.
|Grinder Number||Plate Diameter (inches)||Type of Grind||Recommended For|
|#5||2 1/8||Fine||Smaller batches of meat|
|#8||2 1/2||Fine||Small to medium batches of meat|
|#12||2 3/4||Fine/Medium||Medium-sized batches of meat|
|#22||3 1/4||Medium/Coarse||Large batches of meat|
|#32||3 7/8||Coarse||Extra-large batches of meat|
Note: The recommended batch sizes are general guidelines and can vary depending on the specific meat grinder model and brand.
Meat Grinder Plate Sizes: What You Need to Know
Common Meat Grinder Plate Sizes
Meat grinder plates come in different sizes that determine the diameter of the plate. The most common plate sizes for home use are 2 1/8 inches, 2 1/2 inches, 2 3/4 inches, 3 1/4 inches, and 3 15/16 inches.
However, larger sizes, such as 5 1/8 inches and 6 inches, are used by restaurants and butcher shops that need to process larger quantities of meat.
Hole Diameters and Sausage Texture
When choosing a meat grinder plate, you should consider the size of the holes, as it affects the texture and consistency of the ground meat. Here are the most common hole diameters and their recommended uses:
– 1/8 inches and 3/32 inches: These hole sizes provide a fine grind and are suitable for jerky sausages, bologna, or hot dog.
– 3/16 inches and 5/32 inches: These hole sizes offer a medium grind and are a better choice for German and Polish sausages, breakfast sausages, and hamburger sausage.
– 1/4 inches and 5/16 inches: These hole sizes produce a coarse grind and are ideal for making hamburger sausage, salami, summer sausage, or bratwurst.
– 3/8 inches: This hole size is recommended for the first grind, chili meat, and chorizo.
– 1/2 inches and 3/4 inches: These hole sizes are suitable for making Linguica or stew sausage.
Choose the Right Meat Grinder Plate for Your Needs
Now that you know the most common meat grinder plate sizes and their recommended uses, you can choose the right one for your needs. Remember to consider the texture and consistency of the ground meat you want to achieve and select the appropriate hole diameter.
If you’re unsure which size to choose, consider starting with a medium grind, which is suitable for most sausages. You can always experiment with different hole sizes to find your perfect grind.
By using the right meat grinder plate size, you can prepare delicious sausages, ground beef, or chili meat that meet your standards and impress your family, friends, or customers.
What are The Steps to Using a Meat Grinder?
- Prepare your meat by trimming away any unwanted parts, and cut the meat and fat into small chunks.
- Chill your meat and grinder blade and plate in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before using.
- Set up your meat grinder and insert the desired sausage/mincing grinder plate/die.
- Use the feed-stick to slowly add the meat and fat to the grinder, ensuring that they are evenly blended.
- If necessary, grind the meat a second time, but make sure it stays cold during this process.
- Disassemble and clean your meat grinder with warm, soapy water after use to avoid bacteria growth.
A meat grinder is an excellent addition to any kitchen for sausage enthusiasts. However, choosing the right plate size can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to sausage making.
We hope that this comprehensive guide has provided you with the necessary information to make an informed decision when selecting a plate size for grinding sausages.
Remember, the plate size you choose ultimately comes down to personal preference, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect plate size for your sausages.