If you’re ready to step up to the brat big leagues and start making your own homemade bratwurst from scratch, you’ll need a meat grinder that’s up to the task.
Selecting the best meat grinder can be tricky, especially if you’re trying to justify the expense to a significant other.
Spend too much and you might regret it.
Spend too little and you might end up with a crappy meat grinder from China that bursts into flames or breaks the first time you use it.
Never fear — we”ll walk you through what to look for in a meat grinder and highlight our pick for the best meat grinder for bratwurst and other sausages.
Tips for Selecting the Best Meat Grinder
Watch the # and wattage: Meat grinders are sold on a number system that refers to the size of the blade/plate assembly.
Most commercial grinders are #22, #32, or #44, with hobby grinders starting as small as #5.
Generally speaking, look for at least a #12 grinder when starting out such as the STX-3000 Turboforce.
It’s more than powerful enough for what you’ll tackle at home and anything smaller than a #12 usually is under-powered and disappointing.
Wattage is also important to consider. It’s basically the same as horsepower in cars.
Avoid meat grinders with less than 1,500-2,000 watts, even if they seem like a great deal.
“Saving” $50 or less by going with a less powerful grinder often costs you money in the end if you quickly realize you need to upgrade to a more powerful meat grinder.
Avoid hand crank grinders: We’re nostalgic as the next person but there’s a reason you don’t see farmers plowing fields with mules today.
If you only make a tiny bit of sausage each year and have a quality vintage hand crank meat grinder in great condition, knock yourself out.
But if you want to make ground meat or sausage in any kind of quantities you really don’t want to use a hand crank grinder.
It’s an enormous amount of hard work and a “nostalgic” task that will quickly turn into a nightmare.
Save Your KitchenAid: You can use meat grinding plates and attachment kits with KitchenAid and other stand mixers but it takes much, much longer to grind meat and can burn out your mixer over time.
Most home mixers aren’t up to the heavy-duty task of grinding large amounts of meat over time.
Yes, it’s cheaper to just get the plates and kit for your mixer but you’ll get far faster and better results with a stand-alone meat grinder — plus you won’t risk destroying your mixer.
You’ll also have far more control over the grind of your meat with a stand-alone meat grinder and it will be able to handle all types of meats.
Ready to Buy a Meat Grinder?
Like a lot of items, you’ll typically get the best deal on a meat grinder by buying one online at Amazon.
Aside from saving money, buying a meat grinder online lets you sort through and read reviews from folks just like yourself.
As you can likely tell, we’re big fans of the STX-3000 TurboforceÂ and it’s our own pick for the best meat grinder under $200.
Scan some of the reviews and you’ll quickly see why.
The Turboforce is a #12 grinder with plenty of wattage — perfect for the home chef just getting started with making their own bratwurst, sausage, and other meat.
The Turboforce also comes with a full one year “fix or replace” guarantee that covers all parts and labor — something you’ll never find with cheaper meat grinders.
It also comes with 3 tempered steel plates (fine, medium, and coarse), 3 stainless steel cutting blades, and a 3 piece set of sausage tubes and Kubbe attachment — everything you need to jump right into making bratwurst!