Instead of placing your trust in the local processing shop, you can grind your own trophy deer or elk at home.
It is because meat grinders are now more affordable and capable of heavy tasks like tough cuts of venison and other wild game.
They give you total control over what’s going into your ground meat, so you can rest assured you’re always consuming fresh, healthy food. Check out our reviews to pick for yourself the best meat grinders for wild game.
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7 Best Meat Grinders For Wild Game
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LEM Big Bite #12 – Best Overall
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LEM is the leader in the game-processing industry of its affordable and reliable meat grinders.
The series Big Bite #12 from the brand is the best meat grinder for elk recommended for frequent use. Powered by a 0.75 HP motor, you can power through 11 pounds of wild game per minute.
In addition, the patented Big Bite auger design sets this grinder apart from the pack. There is a greater distance between the spirals of the auger so that it can pull more meat at a time. With such a capacity and design, this series #12 from LEM can grind deer and elk with no issue.
LEM also approves this meat grinder for grinding soft bones, which is a nice plus for those wanting to make raw food for their pets.
The all stainless steel body makes the grinder look studier and prevents it from being smeared by greasy fingerprints. It houses not only the motor but also a hidden tray for plates, knives, and other accessories when not in use.
Thanks to the permanently lubricated motor with enhanced grease formulation, the machine is less noisy than many competing models. According to many users, they enjoy the quiet operation, and their meat grinders won’t overheat while grinding, either.
You can grind your wild game with either a fine plate (3/16”) or coarse plate (⅜”) and stuff sausage with the included 3 stuffing tubes and a sausage stomper. While this LEM #12 is not cheap, it is backed by an industry-leading 5-year guarantee, so you can use it to make jerky, sausage, burgers, etc., worry-free.
- Fast and efficient grinding
- Smear-resistant brushed steel finish
- Built-in circuit breaker
- Quiet operation
- Approved for grinding chicken bones
- 5-year warranty
- No reverse option
- Quite expensive
Weston 0.75 HP Pro Series #8 – Best For Ease Of Use
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The Weston #8 meat grinder can help you grind your kill without any hassle. It takes no longer than 15 minutes for the assembly before you can experience the efficiency of the grinder.
Weston #8 is a rugged stainless steel model with a large hopper to reduce your time cutting the meat. Besides, the grinder features an offset head design that claims to help it grind meat faster. The Weston #8 can grind 360 pounds per hour to meet most hunters’ and home cooks’ needs.
Once you’re done with the grinding, you can use the auger-grabbing stomper to remove the grinder head for cleaning in no time.
There is also tray-nested storage where you can toss the stuffing funnels or plates when not in use. Besides, you can keep your butcher knife in the best condition for meat cutting with the integrated knife sharpener.
However, we would appreciate it if the electric grinder had a reverse button on it. Although meat rarely gets stuck with this machine, it’s a nice touch to have, just in case.
- 5-year warranty
- Large hopper
- Durable stainless steel body
- Storage for accessory
- Easy assembly
- No reverse option
Happybuy – Best For Diverse Application
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Whether you want to make your ground meat in bulk, fancy homemade sausage, or go hunting, this meat grinder is cut out for almost all the tasks.
Its powerful motor runs at 750W and gives plenty of power to grind 550 pounds of meat per hour. There’s no need to cut your deer or elk into very fine chunks, thanks to the 2.1-inch feeding tube.
While a standard meat grinder often comes with 3 grinding plates, the Happybuy meat grinder offers its users up to 5 options. Depending on your needs, you can grind your meat to different coarseness using 4mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, and 12mm plates.
Besides meat, you can use this machine to grind fish, vegetables, and chili. The 3 included sausage stuffing tubes and a pusher also make it easy for you to make fresh, delicious homemade sausages at home.
For your safety, this Happybuy model is made of all food-grade materials. The durable stainless steel housing never feels out of place in any kitchen decor. It is also rust and wear-resistant, so you can process your kill for many years to come.
- Grinds deer and elk pretty fast
- Wide feeding tube
- 5 included grinding plates
- Great build quality
- Food-great components
- Hard to clean
STX International Gen 2 Platinum – Best For Multiple Attachments
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Up your burger and sausage game with this rugged meat grinder and a thoughtful list of accessories included! Whether you want to grind meat, stuff sausage, make burgers, or kubbe, you won’t have to look elsewhere for necessary attachments.
For instance, the grinder offers up to 5 grinding plates, while the standard number is only 2 to 3 plates. It also comes with a patented cooling system, which helps double the motor’s service life. This special feature can prevent the engine from overheating and burning out at high-power running.
The large food tray measures 2” D x 9.75” L x 7.25” W and can accommodate over 3 pounds of meat. It’s pretty impressive for such a meat grinder in this class. Furthermore, it is made of polished food-grade stainless steel to guarantee healthy meat processing.
With a maximum capacity of 225 pounds per hour, this STX model cannot compare with other grinders on the list in terms of speed. However, it is approved for grinding bones for the pet BARF diet – a big bonus for pet owners. Hence, rest assured that this unit can grind a large batch of bone-in chicken without bogging down.
Some people noted that there’s always meat left behind the grinding plate, which is a bit wasteful. Yet, it’s just a minor quibble for such a high-performing machine.
- A wide range of attachments
- Patented cooling system to extend the motor’s life
- Reverse option
- Large meat tray
- Leftover meat behind the grinding plate
STX Turboforce 3000 – Best For Multiple-Use
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While this STX meat grinder is not the cheapest option, you enjoy an assortment of attachments and solid performance for your money.
You’ll get all you need for sausage stuffing and meat grinding: 3 steel grinding plates, 3 cutting blades, 3 sausage stuffers with adapter, 1 kubbe accessory, and 1 burger/slider press, and 2 meat claws.
With these included accessories, you can put the grinder to good use. So it’s not only for grinding meat but for stuffing sausage and making mouth-watering kubbe.
This new STX Turboforce version offers an upgraded meat tray from 1 pound to 3 pounds. Thus, you can prepare more cubed meat ready for grinding on the tray.
With a range of power between 800W to 1200W underload and a large hopper opening to feed the meat, this device can process from 180 to 240 pounds of meat each hour. This capacity equates to 3 to 4 pounds per minute. While we do not recommend it for commercial use, this appliance is perfectly fine for home cooks and hunters.
- Grinds meat, stuffs sausage, and makes kibbeh in one machine
- A comprehensive list of attachments
- 3-pound meat hopper
- Large meat tray (3 pounds)
- Not recommended for commercial use
Chef’s Choice Commercial Food Grinder – Best Compact Design
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Looking for a heavy-duty meat grinder that won’t take up too much of your kitchen space?
This Chef’s Choice, measuring 11.63 x 7.5 x 10.88 inches, would be an excellent choice. With only under 11 pounds, it is one of the lightest grinders on the list. The built-in handle also makes it easy to transport and store.
This compact grinder houses a robust motor that can reach up to 400 watts of power to grind through tough meat like elk and deer. Thanks to the torquey gear drive system inside and die-cast larger hopper, the grinder can grind 3.5 pounds of venison every minute without any complaint.
You also have more choices about the meat coarseness with 3 included stainless steel plates (3mm, 4.5mm, and 8mm). In addition, the grinder gives an instant workout of veggies and fruits, making it ideal for food prepping tasks.
One of the nice things about this meat grinder is the resettable motor overload protection. It gives peace of mind to those tending to stuff too much meat into their grinders. Even better, you will appreciate the reverse feature to back out any piece of meat that may bind.
While we find it hard to bog down the grinder, it’s not as quiet as other models on the list.
- Compact and lightweight
- Powerful motor
- Overload protection
- Grinds meat, vegetables, and fruits
- All-metal components for ease of cleaning
- Quite noisy
ALTRA – Best Budget Pick
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If you’re looking for the best meat grinder for venison without breaking the bank, the ALTRA grinder is worth your consideration.
Straight out of the box, you will find that this meat grinder is built with durability in mind. There are 3 stainless steel layers to guarantee the housing is sturdier and more resistant to corrosion and temperature.
However, the ruggedness of the grinder goes beyond what the eyes can see. ALTRA’s motor is equipped with durable thick copper wire to hold up to the high-power output of 350W. Thanks to such power, the grinder can go through 3 pounds of the wild game every minute.
ALTRA uses its advanced technology to retain the ground meat quality. The meat comes out from a specially designed rod attachment so it can keep the best texture for your sausage and burgers.
Another good news is that the ALTRA can tackle meat and garlic, carrots, and peppers. It also sheds the unitasker label of a regular meat grinder. You can grind minced meat, make sausage, and kibbeh with this 3-in-1 appliance.
Many users noted that it’s a pleasure to use this meat grinder, despite its price. Grinding at high power involves a lot of movements and noise. However, the trapezoidal design coupled with the reinforced chassis help to keep the whole unit in place while grinding.
The powerful motor also features bearings engineered to reduce noise, making it more enjoyable to grind many batches back to back. Besides, the extra safety lock on the head will give you peace of mind while using the machine.
However, the manufacturer recommends not running the grinder for more than 10 minutes. So to avoid overheating, it pays to let it cool down for some minutes before the next batch.
- 3-layered stainless steel housing
- 3 grinding plates
- Accessory box
- Needs frequent cooldown periods
Deer And Elk Meat Nutrition Facts
Wild games, including deer and elk, spend a significant amount of time foraging and staying alive in the wild. Thus, they have more muscular and lean tissues. You get a leaner cut from your kill than from domesticated animals.
Low in fat and calories
While venison is considered a form of red meat, it contains less saturated fat and calories. You won’t fatten yourself up eating venison burgers (of course, if you don’t go overboard). A 3-ounce serving of ground venison has only 159 calories, and the same serving of beef contains up to 215 calories.
Venison is lower in fat yet high in proteins – the best of both worlds! However, due to the low content of fat, you will find it has a tougher texture and slightly lacks flavor.
Deer and elk are wonderful sources of nutrients. Venison is chock-full of B vitamins. It contains B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin), which work wonders for metabolism. Also, there is a high amount of vitamin B6 and B12, which reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
Venison is also rich in minerals. For example, it has more iron (much more than beef), which is beneficial for energy levels and prevents anemia. Other nutrients that can be found in venison are dietary zinc and phosphorus.
Low in sodium
Venison is naturally low in sodium. For example, a serving of 3-ounce ground venison only provides over 65 milligrams of sodium.
The sodium amounts derived from venison shoulder roast and tenderloin cut are even lower, at 45 and 50 milligrams in a 3-ounce piece, respectively. A low-sodium diet helps lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.
Deer Processing Tips
Add fat while grinding
Since venison is relatively clean, it can dry out and get crumbly while grinding. Adding a little fat to the meat can help you create a good consistency of the ground venison. There is no need to add deer fat, however. Pork butts, beef tallow, or bacon ends are preferable as they give more flavor and juice to the ground meat.
Many hunters usually add 10-20 percent of pork fat to their ground meat while using more fat when making sausage. If you want to add spices or herbs to your meat, the best time is after the first grind so the grinder can mix them up with the meat thoroughly during the second grind.
Keep venison and accessories cold
The key to deer processing is to keep your meat, auger, grinding blade, tray, plate cold at 40 degrees. It’s best to place them in the freezer 30-45 minutes before grinding.
Freezing the meat to make it firm and help it hold the shape better, so the grinder can quickly process it. Keep in mind that your venison only needs to be partially frozen, not rock solid. So, before you’re ready to grind, tossing it in the freezer for around half an hour is enough.
Only meat go into the grinder
Before feeding venison into the grinder, you need to make sure that you’re grinding raw muscles. Remove all the bones because the even most heavy-duty meat grinder is not recommended for tough bones.
It is advisable to discard fat, tough sinew, and silver skin, too. Trimming fat can improve the texture and flavor of the meat. The fat in venison is usually the cause for the strange, gamey flavor.
Grind your deer fresh
Our meat is usually ground right before we cook it to keep it fresh. Freshly ground meat is essential, especially if you want your burgers to be on the rarer side.
Nevertheless, if it’s not possible for you to grind your meat before every meal, you can pre-grind large batches of meat. Yet, instead of using the regular freezer bag, we recommend vacuum-sealing your ground meat to keep it fresh for longer.
You should grind huge chunks of venison twice, first with a large grinding plate and second with a smaller plate. Double grinding helps you break down tough cuts and power through stringy sinew. You may want to place the meat back into the freezer for around 10 minutes before grinding it again.
The optimal way to enjoy great, tough venison is to grind it out. The best meat grinder for wild game will let you take charge of the grinding process and ensure what comes out is delicious and healthy ground venison. You also have control over the fat-meat ratio: burgers with lean or rich patties or succulent sausage – the choice is yours.