Anyone tried the Kitchenaid meat grinder attachment?
October 7, 2009 11:03 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone tried grinding turkey using the Kitchenaid meat grinder attachment?

Having netted some sweet, sweet Amazon scrip from Coinstar, I'm considering buying the meat grinder attachment for our Kitchenaid mixer.

We don't eat a lot of ground beef, but we do use ground turkey fairly frequently. So my questions are:

Has anyone tried this? Experiences? Suggestions on the white/dark mix so it's not too dry?

How does the Kitchenaid attachment compare to a decent handcrank grinder?

How does a whole turkey break down by weight (bone, skin, white meat, dark meat) percentage-wise? I read something that said 70-30 white/dark, but nothing about the bones. I'm curious how the cost would work out per pound if I break down a whole frozen turkey.
posted by electroboy to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't know about grinding turkey, but I can comment on this:

How does the Kitchenaid attachment compare to a decent handcrank grinder?

There are better grinders, but once you've already invested in the mixer, the grinder is pretty cost effective. The fact that everything but the die and blade are dishwasher safe is a real time saver. Most handcrank grinders have to be entirely washed by hand, which can be a real pain if you're using it all the time.

Some tips:

Store the dies and blade in a plastic bag with some rice to absorb moisture. This will help prevent rust and keep your blades sharp.

If the meat you grind is going into sausage or otherwise not going to be consumed immediately, sterilize the grinder parts in a bath of hot water with a tablespoon or so of bleach before grinding the meat.

Make sure your meat is thoroughly chilled before grinding. This will help the fat stay solid and help the blade cut rather than smear the meat. I usually pop my meat in the freezer while I assemble the grinder.

Regarding breaking down a whole turkey: be aware that your butchering may leave more membranes, tendons, etc in place than commercially-bought pieces. These will tend to gum up the works in the grinder, requiring you to clean off the blade every few minutes. You may want to weigh that hassle against the cost savings.
posted by jedicus at 11:22 AM on October 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


i love the kitchen aid grinder and i heartily am seconding all of jedicus's points (Especially the rice bag storage and the bleach soak). as for ground turkey (or meat grinding in general) spices are your friend, and like good friends you can't really have too many or a wide enough variety..... (you'll be astounded how semi-bland your first batches are and just exactly how much pepper it takes!!!) and specifically for ground turkey to keep it moist and delicious use everything... fat, skin, everything. your cooking method will remove much of this (if you're health conscious) but you'll be sad without it. even making lean sausage still requires at least a couple really good chunks of fat/skin/misc....
posted by chasles at 11:45 AM on October 7, 2009


Cooks Illustrated has a recipe for turkey burgers which suggests that you:

(a) take the skin off of turkey thighs (and only thighs)
(b) cut the meat into 2-inch chunks
(c) freeze it for 20-30 minutes
(d) grind it in a food processor.

It works great- the turkey burgers are deliciously juicy. The recipe notes said that they tried leaving skin on, but the bits of skin inside the burger were unappealing.
posted by Clambone at 11:58 AM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Make sure your meat is thoroughly chilled before grinding. This will help the fat stay solid and help the blade cut rather than smear the meat. I usually pop my meat in the freezer while I assemble the grinder.

This is really important. The first time I used my Kitchenaid grinder, I did not do this and it went very poorly.

I don't know about grinding turkey, but we did use the grinder, pasta attachments, and ravioli crimping attachment to make amazing veal ravioli. It's some work, but a great Sunday dinner when you have the time.
posted by Jon-o at 12:05 PM on October 7, 2009


I grind my meat the cooks illustrated way. It started with there recipe for "drive in hamburgers", it is the best burger meat I have ever had. one inch cubes, freeze for 15 minutes and then food processor.

Henry
posted by silsurf at 9:13 AM on October 8, 2009


Nthing jedicus' comments. Only thing I would add is to chill everything when grinding, including all parts of the grinder and the bowl you're grinding in to. You really can't keep things too cold, it gives a much better texture to the meat when it's cooked, especially making sausage. I haven't ground much turkey, but in general grinding meat at home is more economical. Generally speaking, the more work that is done to the meat before it gets to you the higher the cost per pound.
posted by arcticbluejay at 11:36 AM on October 8, 2009


The meat grinder attachment is also perfect for making cranberry orange relish (grind bag of cranberries and 1-2 whole oranges, add sugar to taste).
posted by stefnet at 5:48 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Despite a general dislike for Cook's Illustrated, I have to nth the recommendation for their par-frozen turkey thigh technique. Works like a charm.

And the suggestion to add a little miso for more savoryness? Oh yeah.
posted by Lexica at 8:25 PM on October 8, 2009


Haven't gotten the grinder yet, but it's on the list of things. Thanks for the input!
posted by electroboy at 1:22 PM on November 6, 2009


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