History of meat grinders

The humble meat grinder has a very long history, one that involves the necessity of pulverizing or mincing meat to suit the various needs or recipes of people back in the day. Before meat grinders were even ever invented, people have devised different ways to grind or mince their meat into small pieces. Still not having invented the meat grinder, people used different objects to process meats into their desired size or texture, or whatever the recipe called for. Some of the tools that were used back in the day were a spoon and a sharp knife, specifically, the mincing knife which was used to scrape the meat into small pieces.

However, all changed because of Karl Friedrich Christian Ludwig Freiherr Drais von Sauerbronn, also known as Karl Drais. Born in Germany in 1785, he was a revolutionist and was heavily involved in politics. This involvement in politics lead to interfering his passion for inventing. As a man who saw the need for innovation, he invented various contraptions such as the 25-key typewriter, the pedal-powered quadricycle, the stenotype machine, the running machine which brought him fame, and of course, the meat grinder.


Developed in the 1800s, the very first meat grinder processed meat in a cruder fashion than the modern electric meat grinders of today. When it was first developed, the meat grinder would process the meat by forcing it through a metal plate which had several small holes. Passing through the metal plate’s small holes, meat came out in long and thin strands. Earliest versions of the meat grinder were hand-cranked, permitting the person to grind the meat much easier than a spoon or a mincing knife. The hand-cranked machine made sure that people who had to grind up large amounts of meat did not get tired from all of the processing they had to do.

German meat grinder ad vintage

But aside from grinding meat into finer pieces, other people found other novel ways to use the machine. Back in the late 1800s, it was believed that an American physician thought of the idea of using the hand-cranked meat grinder into pulverizing peanuts to make a paste. This paste was used to feed patients who were not capable of chewing. Come the early 1900s, peanut paste became all the rage in America as it became very popular among the country’s population.

As time went on, the meat grinder received several innovations, which made it easier to use as well as gave people a more reliable way of processing meat into smaller pieces. Before long, the meat grinder became electric, allowing people to grind their meat automatically, skipping the need for the crank which became obsolete as electric grinders could process the meat on their own.

Electric meat grinders allowed people to grind meat faster, easier, and more accurately as the metal plates that were used to force meat into smaller pieces became blades which ground the meat up. This innovation also made the life of butchers a lot easier as that meant that they will no longer have to hand-crank a machine just to process large amounts of meat.

Today, electric meat grinders can be found outside the butcher shop and inside the homes of different people such as homemakers and hunters who want to achieve that perfect grind for their recipe or needs. Electric meat grinders of today come with several different metal plates and blades which allow people to choose which kind of grind they want their meats to have, particularly, fine, medium, and coarse.


Aside from the different metal plates and blades, electric meat grinders also come with various attachments such as the sausage attachment, which also comes with various sizes so as to allows you more control on how large or small the size of the sausage you are making; while the kebbe attachment allows you to create Middle Eastern inspired dishes. Some brands also have a juicing attachment included, which allows you to juice certain fruits such as the tomato. Electric meat grinders also have become more diverse in terms of what they process as they can now grind up vegetables, fruits, as well as tougher meats, particularly that of wild game. These modern innovations allow people to really have a variety as to what they can do with what was once a very simple machine.

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