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What do I need to look for in a vintage meat grinder?
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Thread: What do I need to look for in a vintage meat grinder?

  1. #1

    What do I need to look for in a vintage meat grinder?

    Been wanting to get one of these for a while. Finally did an eBay search today and came across a bunch of old Enterprise/Chop Rite grinders for pretty good prices. I'm thinking of picking up something on the small side like a #5, #10, or #12. Is there anything in particular I should be looking for/aware of in these listings?

    I know that Chop Rite still sells replacement parts, so I'd be ok with getting some of those, but I wanted to know if anything immediately rules a grinder out as good to buy.

  2. #2
    Engorged Member
    El Pescador's Avatar
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    Make sure that the plates are in good shape. Any deal you get can be negated if plates are costly/and or unable to be resharpened.
    "So you want to be a vegetarian? Hitler was a vegetarian and look at how he turned out."

  3. #3
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    If you get a standardized size (#12, etc) then you can find blades and plates at Cabelas, Bass Pro, Academy Sporting Goods, etc. that are much cheaper than Chop-Rite replacements. The main thing is to make sure that the grinder isn't too pitted and any coatings that are on it aren't peeling off. Other than that everything solid cast iron and lasts forever and whats missing is repleacable. They're pretty basic machines so as long as its not too rusty you should be good. Even if its rusty it's still worth considering as a project to send out for sandblasting and refinishing as long as the price is right.

    BTW, I wouldn't go any smaller than a #22; I have one and even doing a small batch I'd much rather have a #32 as its just faster and easier to clean. I think I'd go crazy trying to use a #12.

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    I'd avoid carbon steel unless you use it a lot.
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle View Post
    Even if its rusty it's still worth considering as a project to send out for sandblasting and refinishing as long as the price is right.
    I sent an email to the folks at Chop Rite to see how much one would cost new. Most of the ones I saw on eBay were far from shiny or clean, and it seems like re-tinning is pretty expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heirkb View Post
    I sent an email to the folks at Chop Rite to see how much one would cost new. Most of the ones I saw on eBay were far from shiny or clean, and it seems like re-tinning is pretty expensive.
    Re-tinning is actually prohibitively expensive and it makes more sense to just buy a new one. I was actually talking about having it sandblasted and then powder coated (probably clear).

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    The way to check if plates are in good knick, is to place the blade and the die together as they would be when they are cutting, if there is any lateral rocking motion, then they need to be machined.

    Make sure you always use the same blade and die together so they wear evenly.

    I recently replaced the blades and dies on my #32, adn it was expensive but worth it for better performance - but I use my mincer most weeks.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty View Post
    I recently replaced the blades and dies on my #32, adn it was expensive but worth it for better performance - but I use my mincer most weeks.
    Did you get yours through Chop Rite? How much did the replacements cost?
    If the cost of all this seems high enough, it may just be worth it for me to find a vintage KitchenAid grinder attachment or to just buy one of the new non-plastic options.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    I can't say enought about my Porkert:



    Kyle is right on regarding size. This is a 12 and its not my preferred grinder for large batches like this



    For large batches this is my set up:
    Weston #22 1HP Stainless Steel Pro-Series Meat Grinder & Sausage Stuffer
    Weston 20lb Stainless Steel Meat Mixer
    LEM 10 Lb Stainless Steel Vertical Sausage Stuffer

    http://www.meatprocessingproducts.com/lem10ststves.html

  10. #10
    They're no longer produced, though, right? I can find some #10's on eBay, but nothing bigger, and it seems based on the comments here that a #10 is too small.

    Would the bigger grinders be too big for just grinding up a few burgers? I'm much more likely to make a few burgers or one meatloaf than I am to make 60 sausages. I will do that, too, but much less often.

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