Divine, delectable, and delicious sausages come from effort, excellence, and proper tools. However tasty and yummy they are, making sausage with flawless texture and flavor is tricky. Grinding your sausage with a perfect size plate can make your task easier.
When you’re making your own sausage, you’ll need to grind the meat, requiring a different size plate for each type of meat you’re processing.
However, what size plate for grinding sausage should you use?
When grinding sausage, it’s crucial to choose the right size plate. There are many types of grinders, so it’s essential to find the right size plate. Some prefer coarse grind, while others want their sausage to be smooth. The size of your sausage will come into consideration. Suppose the sausage is smaller, then you will need a smaller plate.
By choosing the right size plate, you can ensure your sausage’s even and correct grinding, giving it a perfect texture.
Here’s what you need to know about each type of meat and the size plate it needs, prepared just for you by Small Diner.
Grinder and Plate Sizes: Why They Matter?
If you are new to the sausage-making world, you need to understand the A-Z of your grinder and grinding plates before you make sausage. The reason is the texture of your totally depends on how you grind your meat. Therefore, enter three essential parts of your sausage grinder plate – plate number, plate size, and hole size.
However, first, let’s learn about the grinder plate.
1. Grinder Plate
A grinder Plate is a round metal part usually made of steel or carbon, from where meat passes after grinding. They are attached to your grinder’s worm and feature several sizes with specific holes.
When you make and eat sausage, sometimes you find mushy meat and sometimes chewy. It is the contribution of grinder plates. However, it needs a blade to chop off the meat. In short, it’s a grinder plate and the blades that give that texture and shape of your sausage.
The material of grinder plates are usually durable and long-lasting, so having a grinder with different hole size is a smart and safe move. Moreover, your sausage-making experiments become simple and satisfactory with these plates.
The most used grinder plates are 2 1/8 inches, 2 1/2 inches, 2 3/4 inches, 5 1/8 inches, and 6 inches. The first 3 are suitable for the home kitchens; the remaining 2 are primarily for mass production, which butchers, shops, and restaurants use.
2. Grinder Number
Have you ever noticed the ‘#’ sign on your grinder? There is a number beside it – look closely. This number represents the size of the grinder, and the plate diameter depends on these sizes.
Grinder plates have several diameters and hole numbers. The smaller plate consists of fewer holes, whereas the larger plate has more holes. The texture of your meat mostly depends on these holes.
3. Grinder Plate Diameter
As we now know, the size of the grinder plate is essential when grinding sausage. Depending on the plate number, the diameter comes. The diameter of the grinding plate determines the overall size of your sausages.
Smaller plate diameter is usually adequate for home use; however, you can add different grinder plates with various numbers to experient with your sausage. Large plates serve more in mass production.
4. Plate Hole Size
Meta grinder plates come in multiple diameters and lengths with different-sized holes. These holes usually help the meat chunks to pass through after grinding. Smaller holes make fine chunks, which are great for franks, bologna, etc. On the other hand, larger holes are for coarse or medium grinding, great for several types of sausage.
For example – 3/32 inch and 1/8 inch holes are for fine grindings; 1/4 inches and 5/16 holes provide coarse grinding.
A meat grinder usually comes with one or two grinding plates. Nevertheless, you can always buy them separately, adding a new dimension to your sausage grinding.
However, one issue you can face is the bluntness of these plates over time. So use them often and replace them periodically.
If you are still scratching your head thinking about what grinder plate is suitable for here, here is a chart for displaying all you need to know about plate size – plate numbers, diameters, hole sizes, and types of grindings.
|Grinder Number||Plate Diameter||Hole Dimensions||Grinding Type||Ideal For|
|#5||2-1/8″||6mm (1/4″)||Coarse/ Medium||Summer sausage, salami, pepperoni, bratwurst, chorizo, hamburger, and snack sticks.|
|#82-3/8″10mm (3/8″); 4.5mm (3/16″) Coarse/ MediumBreakfast sausage, Italian sausage, hamburger, chili, chorizo.|
|#10/12||2-3/4″||10mm (3/8″)||Coarse/ Medium||Salami, summer sausage, bratwurst, chili, chorizo.|
|#20/223-1/4″4.5mm (3/16″); 12mm (1/2″);10mm (3/8″);6mm (1/4″)Coarse/ MediumSummer sausage, salami, pepperoni, bratwurst, chorizo, stewed meats, hamburger, and snack sticks.|
|#20/22||3-1/4″||3mm (1/8″)||Fine||Hamburger, franks, bologna, beef jerky, forcemeats, hot dogs.|
|#32||3-7/8″||3mm (1/8″)||Fine||Hamburger, franks, bologna, beef jerky, forcemeats, hot dogs.|
|#42||5 1/16″||4mm||Coarse/ Medium||Summer sausage, hamburger, salami, pepperoni, stewed meats, and bratwurst.|
What Size Plate For Grinding Sausage Should You Have?
As you comprehend all about grinding plates and how their dimensions matter, let’s step forward and check what kind of size you should have.
First of all, there is no set rule written in scripture that you have to use any specific plate. It’s all about your preference – what kind of sausage you want to make, the texture, size, and shapes.
You need a fine grinder plate if you want to make bologna or beef jerky. Therefore opt for ⅛” or 3/32” hole plates for a finer texture.
If you want medium grinding, especially for breakfast sausages, 3/16” or ⅜” is perfect.
And finally, if you want coarse meat, opt for bigger hole sizes – ¼ “, ⅜” etc. They are great for salami, sausage, chorizo, etc.
#4 grinders with 4mm holes are the best choice for commercial use. The coarse grinding will give your mass production pleasing perfection.
Here is a list of different meat grinder plate discs to help you determine which suits you most.
|Grinder Number||Meat Grinder Plate Disc|
|#5||Smokehouse Chef Meat Grinder plate disc|
|#8||The Sausage Maker Meat Grinder Plate|
|#10/22||Smokehouse Chef meat grinder plates|
|#20/22||Butcher-Baker Meat Grinder Plate|
|#32||The Sausage Maker Meat Grinder Plate|
|#42||Smokehouse Chef Meat Grinder Plate|
How to Grind Sausage at Home
To make homemade sausage, you need a meat grinder. The larger the grinder, the less time to grind the meat. For the best results, you should grind the meat in a meat grinder that is large enough to accommodate all the ground meat.
The first step is to get your meat cold. This is important for a clean grind. Once the meat is ground, mix the other ingredients lightly. You can also use a food processor. Set the mixer to 50 rotations and give it a gentle whirl to mix the ingredients. Once everything is mixed, it’s time to add the seasonings.
Once the meat is a grind, you can chill it. This is important because it prevents bacteria from growing and allows the meat to cool quickly. The sausage will retain its flavor longer if it’s chilled properly. After that, store it in the fridge or freezer. Using water will give the sausage the right texture and help it moist. Once the meat is ground, the seasonings will not clump together.
It’s easier than you think, and the results will be delicious. Once you have mastered making sausage, you’ll be making it regularly in no time at all.
Let’s check what you should do with your cheap cuts of meat and, most essential when to season your sausage.
1. Cheap Cuts Of Meat
When buying a grinder, know what size plate to use to grind your cheap cuts of meat. A fine plate is excellent for grinding very cheap cuts of meat. A medium plate is better for grinding cheap cuts of meat with a lot of fat.
When grinding meat with a coarse plate, the fat will get mixed and cause the meat to be too dry and bland. It is important to have a plate that has enough room to grind all types of meat.
2. Seasoning Before Or After Grinding
One of the significant differences between making sausage and a hot dog is the texture of the meat. While seasoning the sausage before grinding is an excellent way to keep the flavor from deteriorating; adding the seasoning will mush up the meat after grinding.
While some people may prefer the consistency of a hot dog, most people prefer juicy sausage with plenty of texture. Whether to season the sausage before or after grinding depends on personal preference and the type of meat you’re using.
How Do You Size A Meat Grinder?
To find out the correct size for your grinder, you must know how to measure the plate of your grinder. It’s easy, and all you need is a measuring tape and ‘the chart.’
With the measuring tape, measure the distance across the plate’s center. Note down the number and match it with the chart of meat grinder plate sizes. It’s the diameter of your plate size. Done!
If you want to buy a new one, in that case, you can dismantle your grinder and take the measurement. Crosscheck with the new one later to find if you have got the right one.
How To Sharpen Your Dull Grinder Blades
It is possible to sharpen the dull blades of a meat grinder yourself just by following a few easy steps.
- The first step in sharpening a meat grinder’s blades is to remove any protective covers.
- Now, using a piece of sandpaper, you can start by cleaning the blades. You should then lay the sandpaper out on a work surface.
- Line up the sandpaper with the grinder blade at a 45-degree angle.
- Use a black marker to mark the blades.
- Repeat the process until you’re satisfied with the sharpness of the blades.
- When you’re finished sharpening, wipe the process off with a damp cloth to prevent the sandpaper from breaking.
- What size grinding plate should I use for hamburger?
Whether you’re making a few hamburger patties or bulk preparations, choosing the right meat grinder size can make your life easier. While a small grinder may suffice for the occasional pot of pasta or hamburger patties, a larger machine can be more helpful in preparing large quantities of food.
A good meat grinder will have at least three or four plates for grinding meat. So consider the size of the meat you’ll be grinding during shopping.
Grinding meat is an essential part of sausage making. However, what size plate for grinding sausage should you use?
There is no set rule for any particular plate; choose and use them according to your preference and purpose.
Remember, using the right size plate for grinding sausage is important to achieve the best results. So choose your plate size thoughtfully and enjoy grinding.