Whether I’m grinding wild game from the hunt, or a whole cow from my local farmer, meat grinder plates allow me to take control and customize your grinds.
Meat grinder plates are circular discs with holes across them, and the texture of the grind depends on size of the holes in the plate.
Depending on what item you’re grinding the meat for, you will need one or more plates to achieve the right texture.
For example, if I’m grinding meat for summer sausages, I use a 2 ½” grinder plate, but I need both 1/4″ & 5/16″ grinder plates to grind meat to make fresh burgers.
What is the Usage of Meat Grinder Plates?
Whether you’re using a manual or electric meat grinder, you will need to load the machine with appropriate grinder plates to produce the final texture.
When you load the food tray of your meat grinder, it is pushed down through the feeding tube, and through the blade, which cuts down the meat.
If you don’t install meat grinder plates, then the grinding results will be thick and not consistent.
After the meat is processed by the blade, it goes through the holes of the grinder plates to give the ground meat coarse or fine texture.
The main and only job of the blade of a meat grinder is to mince the meat, so that it can smoothly go through the grinder plate holes.
Complete Meat Grinder Plate Size Chart
You can use the chart below to find the right meat grinder plate size for your needs.
Grinder Size Number Plate Diameter Hole Diameter Type of Grind Ideal for Grinding Meat for #5 2-1/8″ 6mm (1/4″) Coarse Sausages such as summer, salami, pepperoni and snack sticks #8 2-3/8″ 10mm (3/8″) Coarse / first grind Chili, chorizo and linguisa #8 2-3/8″ 4.5mm (3/16″) Coarse / second grind Hamburger. Regular sausages # 10/12 2-3/4″ 10mm (3/8″) Coarse / first grind Chili, chorizo and linguisa # 20/22 3-1/4″ 4.5mm (3/16″) Coarse / second grind Hamburger. Regular sausages # 20/22 3-1/4″ 3mm (1/8″) Fine Hamburger, bologna, hot dogs # 20/22 3-1/4″ 12mm (1/2″) Coarse / first grind Chili and stewed meats # 20/22 3-1/4″ 10mm (3/8″) Coarse / first grind Chili, chorizo and linguisa # 20/22 3-1/4″ 6mm (1/4″) Coarse Sausages such as summer, salami, pepperoni and snack sticks # 32 3-7/8″ 3mm (1/8″) Fine Hamburger, bologna, hot dogs and jerky #42 5 1/16″ 4mm Commercial use / coarse Hamburger, salami, summer sausage, pepperoni and bratwurst
What Meat Grinder Plate Sizes Should You Typically Have?
This completely depends on what you will making with the ground meat. If you’re going to be making franks, hamburgers, bologna and beef jerky, 1/8″ or 3/32″ fine grinder plates should be in your arsenal.
You can even make hamburgers and breakfast sausages with 3/16″ or 5/32″ hole size medium grind plates.
For coarse ground meat, that is to make items such as salami, chorizo, bratwurst, sausage, etc., you will need a grinder plate with a bigger hole size such as 1/4″, 5/16″, and 3/8″.
How do I Know What Size Meat Grinder I Have?
The numbers on your meat grinder refer to the size of the grinding head. Depending on the manufacturer, you can find the size of your meat grinder emblazoned on the appliance itself or in the owner’s manual.
In case you cannot find any size number on your grinder plate then just take a measuring tape and measure the diameter of the round plate and also use the same method to measure the diameter of one of the holes. Now use this information to lookup the plat size from the meat grinder plate size chart above.
The most common sizes of meat grinders for home use are #5, 8, 12, 22, and 32, whereas #20, #22, #32, #42 and #52 size meat grinders are mostly used in commercial settings.
Smaller size meat grinders come with smaller feeding tubes, and larger feeding tubes with large size grinders.
If you’re only grinding meat for burgers and sausages, then a smaller size meat grinder will do the job, but if you’re looking to grind wild game several times a year, then you should opt for a larger size meat grinder.
What is the Grinder Plate Size for Sausage?
This depends on the texture of sausages you’re making such as whether you like them with a fine or chewy texture. If you’re grinding meat for bratwurst sausages or summer sausages, you will need coarsely ground meat with a 2 3/4 inches grinder plate.
For chorizo, you will again coarsely grind meat, but this time with a 3 1/4 inches size grinding plate.
But if you’re grinding meat for breakfast sausages, Polish or Italian sausages, you should use a 3/16″ coarse grinding plate and also check out my previous article which covers meat grinder plate sizes for various sausages in detail.
How to Sharpen Meat Grinder Plate?
The grinder plates of a meat tend to get worn out after a period of use, hence need to be sharpened. If you grind with dull plates, great chances are that you won’t get the best texture and consistency from the respective plate.
The best and easiest way to sharpen your meat grinder plates and even knife is with the Sausage Maker sharpening system.
- Soak the stones in the sharpening system in water for roughly five minutes. You have to be very gentle with them because they can get damaged easily.
- There are two plates in the pack—one with the square hole is for the knife, and the round hole stone for the grinder plate.
- If you just want to sharpen the grinder plate, place the stone into the grinder head of the meat grinder first, and then place dull grinder plate over it, and secure them both with the retaining ring, but not too tight.
- Power on the meat grinder for only five seconds or so, and voila—the grinder is plate is back to new.
- Now repeat this process for the other side of the grinder plate to ensure both sides are sharpened.
There are other ways to sharpening grinder plates as well such as with a sharpening stone, but these will require a fair bit of elbow grease, so it’s better to do the job effortlessly with the Sausage Make sharpening system.