Can A Meat Grinder Grind Bones? (A Detailed Guide)

can a meat grinder grind bones

So far, we’ve used meat grinders for processing various types of cooking materials, but they are typically soft stuff like meat or veggies. As a result, many question us, “Can a meat grinder grind bones?”

If you are here, you must have the same question. Don’t miss out until the end to discover if a meat-grinding machine can process hard ingredients like bones. Also, we’ll provide valuable tips on how to grind bones safely with the equipment and recommend some ideal cleaning standards. Let’s dive right in!

Can A Meat Grinder Grind Bones?

You can use a heavy-duty meat grinder to grind bones, but not hard bones like pork, lamb, or beef. Typically, a powerful grinder can crush soft bones such as chicken, turkey, duck, and rabbit. You should also look for heavy-duty versions made for intense grinding jobs to ensure efficiency, ideally an electric one with power from 600-watts. 

So you know that it is possible to grind bones with such kitchen tools. But before going into detail, let’s discover what it is and how many types are available in the market.

What Is A Meat Grinder? 

A meat grinder, also called a meat mincer, is a kitchen appliance mainly used for grinding and crushing meat. It also functions as a food processor crushing various materials like vegetables, fruits, cookies, and grains. 

At first, there were manual meat grinders, the hand-cranked model that people place the meat into the mouth and turn the hand crank around to get the job done. Over the years, the electric model has come and replaced our effort with electric power and made things easier for home cooking.

Will A Manual Meat Grinder Grind Bones?

Now you know that a robust electric grinder can deliver ground bones, but how about the manual models? It’s possible but time-consuming and labor-intensive to get the job done with hand-cranked equipment. So here, a powerful machine is a must, and patience is required. 

Typically, there is no specific standard for calculating the power of manual machines like the electric ones. Thus, you should look at the build constructions and the grinding plates alongside asking the sellers if this version can grind bones when choosing the product. 

How To Grind Bones By A Meat Grinder?

The process of crushing bones in a meat mincer resembles most meat grinding processes. However, what matters here is the bone’s solid textures, so you should pay attention to the instructions below to avoid damaging the motor.

Step 1: Choose a proper machine

If you use the electric model, the ideal powers range from 600-watts up to 3000-watts. The higher the number, the more efficient it’s going to be.

In the case of manual equipment, you should consider strong versions, for instance, the Sportsman MHG22 # 22. Besides, sizes #12, #22, #32 are considered the best for grinding bones. 

Step 2: Prepare bones 

Like crushing meat with this equipment, you should cut the bones with knives or kitchen scissors into small pieces for efficient processing. The proper sizes should be equal to your thumb or smaller to avoid damaging the grinding plates.

The bones can be cold but not frozen. Cold materials will result in lower grinding pressures and smoother product textures.

Step 3: Grind bones

Put your machine on a flat surface and feed the bones one by one to avoid blockage of the head. Also, place the bone side with smaller joints into the grinding mouth first for more effortless moving inside the machine.

For the first section, try to crush bones by the coarsest plate of about ⅜ hole to protect the motor. Then, you can go further with the same plate or regular ones to get smoother bone textures.

Step 4: Post-grinding

Put the finished product into an airtight container to avoid smelling rancid if you plan to use it later. 

Don’t worry if you find any grey substance in the ground bones or the grinder head. It’s typically burnt fat staying too long in the machine. Thus, you should clean it entirely post-use to avoid blockage inside and growing bacteria from leftover food.


How To Clean A Meat Grinder?

It’s essential to clean the grinder immediately after grinding bones. Not only does it protect the machine from growing bacteria and accumulating food, but it also removes minor bones pieces and avoids sticking to other food in the following sections.

Step 1: Run bread into the grinder

Feed several slices of bread through the machine like you are grinding them. This way, they will absorb oil and grease, plus push out the bones bits left inside.

Step 2: Disassemble the parts

This step allows you to clean every part of the machine and minimize the chance of growing bacteria. First, unplug the machine if it’s an electric model, then break it down according to its construction. Generally, the process consists of:

  • Disassemble the top with the pusher, the meat tube, and the hopper.
  • Next, remove the screw (forcing the materials through the machine), blade, and grinding plates (or die).
  • Finally, unscrew the cover for the plate and blade (where the finished products come out).

Step 3: Soak the parts

Soak all the metal parts into warm water with some dish detergent and a teaspoon of baking soda (optional). Let them there for about 15 minutes to make leftover food unstuck from the parts and remove food stains that can discolor the steel.

Notes: Don’t soak any motorized parts of your electric grinder. Instead, wipe their surfaces with damp towels and then fresh ones to dry them. 

Step 4: Rub the parts

Now you will handwash all the parts with a sponge and then bottle brush to remove all the waste. 

  • First, use the sponge to clean the blade, metal cover, and screw. 
  • Then, switch to the brush to deeply clean the inside of the tube, hopper, and plate. 
  • Finally, rinse them under running water to finish the process.

Remember to be careful when cleaning the sharp blade to avoid cutting yourself. Also, pay attention to the rubbing pressure to reduce taking away the coat of grinding parts. 

Step 5: Clean the grinder

You should also clean up the outside of your grinder. Use a damp cloth to wipe all the waste left on the sides of the machine.

Step 6: Dry the parts

It’s vital to keep everything dry to avoid rusting. It also prevents you from electric accidents in the case of an electric meat mincer.

First, use dry towels to absorb excess water in the parts. Then let them air dry on a dry towel or wire rack.

Besides, you should keep your machine in a cool place to reduce the risk of rusting and oxidizing from accessing high moisture content in the air.

What types of bones can you grind with a meat grinder?

You can grind all types of bones with a meat grinder, from small chunks of beef bones to fish bones. Some people even grind chicken bones to make a nutritious bone broth.

When it comes to grinding bones, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure that your meat grinder is powerful enough to handle the job. Many grinders can handle small bones, but you may need to use a manual grinder or a larger electric model to grind bigger bones.

Second, always grind the bones in small batches. If you try to grind too many at once, they will clog up the grinder and it will be difficult to clean. Finally, make sure that you are wearing gloves when grinding bones. They can be sharp and can easily cut your hands.

So, if you’re looking for a way to add more nutrients to your diet, consider grinding up some bones. Not only will you get the nutritional benefits of the bones, but you’ll also get the added bonus of delicious bone broth.


In a nutshell, you can use a meat grinder to grind bones as long as you have the correct type of materials and machine. It will be best to go with a powerful electric model; otherwise, a heavy-duty manual model also helps you do the job but takes more time and effort. 

We hope our information can clear your mind on this problem, thus helping you be more confident and relaxed in the kitchen. Enjoy your cooking!

Tamara Pierce

Tamara Pierce is a food writer at Elapasony, passionate about exploring diverse cuisines and sharing recipes and food experiences. From trendy restaurants to local hotspots, she's always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors.

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