For years I've been using a grinder from Cabella's with plastic innards that tend to break. Pretty soon I'm going to buy one of these: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...1267_200451267
I have a KitchenAid and while everyone likes the grinding attachment I like the idea of extra power.
My burgers are usually 50/50 chuck and sirloin with short ribs thrown in once in a while. I freeze bacon fat and fat trimmed from good steaks to add in. Always put the grinder parts in the freezer for 30-60 minutes and cut the partially frozen meat into strips. A single pass through the larger holes are fine for me but I'll try a second grind through the smaller ones.
I've made burgers topped with foie gras, exotic mushrooms and a fancy cheese on brioche that were PFG. That said, ground meat is about good fat content and a great basic burger is a thing of beauty.
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75% beef, chuck, round, what ever is on sale :P and 25% lamb. I grind once on the largest die, regrind on the smallest die. I used my KA for a while but find it's not so good on ammounts over 1 pound, it heats up to fast. I've been using a hand crank from my grandmother that fits in the freezer
The kitchen aid works wonders when doing small batches that will be mixed in, bacon, some veg, and what not
At AG we use shortrib, chuck blade, side of beef and brisket (might not be completely correct, due to swedish vs american ways to butcher, but i think this is correctly translated, everything has been well hanged) and then we add molten fat from the pieces that has been trimmed off, to get more of that nutty, hanged meat flavour
We use a mix of courseness depending on the cuts.
Atleast that was what we did when i was there.
Best mix I ever did was 50% Chuck, 25% Sirloin, 25% Oxtail. Cleaning the meat off the oxtails was a pain in the butt though. I usually just use short rib now. You won't get bad results using 100% chuck though.
The Kitchen Aid is great for grinding, not so good for stuffing sausages. If you're going to do much of that I'd pick up a LEM 5lb capacity hand crank stuffer (or any one with metal gears not plastic).
I just bought a LEM grinder and the thing is a beast. My KA served me well for years and processed a lot of venison but the LEM is soooooo much easier to work with and no schmearing. So far I'm doing 50/50 brisket and top sirloin. I'd really like to try grinding some tongue in the mix.
I have one of those Kitchener grinders and it does a really good job. I use the medium die - it makes a better feeling grind. I grind for meat balls, meat loaf, burgers, chili, etc. It ground 6 lbs of venison and didn't complain once. I remove as much of the sinew as I can when processing whole cuts like this hind quarter and that helps. I used 1-1/2 lbs of pork sausage for fat. Hard to beat this grinder for the price. I want to make some sausage with it next.
Kitchener - http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...1267_200451267
I get some good dry aged brisket and dry aged fat as well. But you mincer has to be really cold. 70:30 meat to fat ratio although 65:35 works too.
Mince it twice, both through the medium die.