What Size Meat Grinder Do I Need? (With Plate & Hole Size Advice)

what size meat grinder do i need

Have you experienced being confused by looking at the numbers on a meat grinding machine? Although then, you know that they refer to the diameter of the grinding plates, you once again wonder “What size meat grinder do I need?”

If you haven’t figured out its meaning, the plate sizes directly affect a meat grinder’s capacity, thus deciding which appliance is right for your needs. So, let’s go into detail on meat grinder sizes and select the one that’s best for you.

What Size Meat Grinder Do I Need?

The exact size of your desired meat grinder depends on your specific situation. Typically, sizes #5, #8, #12 are common for home use and #22, #32 are for commercial use. On the other hand, #5 and #8 are suitable for light home users with small grinding batches, #12 is more beneficial for large chunks of meat, and the bigger versions are capable enough to process bones.

The numbers mentioned above are the most popular. But before going further on the topic, let’s understand why you need a suitable size for your meat grinder.

Why Is Meat Grinder Size Important?

Each meat grinder consists of a “T” shaped feeding tube where you run the ingredients through. A round-shaped grinding plate of a specific size at the end of the tube where the finished products come out. Interestingly, the bigger the plate, the larger the feeding tube, and the higher the machine’s capacity. 

Looking at the plate, you should pay attention to two aspects: The diameters of the plate and the holes on the plate. The first factor directly affecting the appliance’s efficiency is the main subject we’re discussing, while the other decides how finer the output is.

Standard Sizes Of The Grinding Plates

Below are the most common sizes of the meat grinder based on the diameters of the grinding plates. Let’s pick #22 for an example – it comes with a 3 ¼ inches diameter plate. For a #32 version, it is designed with a 3 ⅞ inches diameter plate. 

Sizes #5 #8 #12 #22 #32 #42
Diameters  2 1/8″ 2 1/2″ 2 3/4″ 3 1/4″ 3 7/8″ 5 1/16’’

Which Plate Size Is Right For Me?

To find the one that benefits you the most, let’s find out what you are getting a meat grinder for. Then, when you understand your needs, you can pick the one that benefits you the most in the long run.

How much do you expect to grind?

Imagine getting a grinder to get ground beef for some burgers or meatballs to treat your family, and the volume for each time is not much, then #5 or #8 should be OK. Otherwise, you are a social person, usually have your friends visiting, and entertain lots of people weekly, so you should get #12 or even #22.

In the case of commercial use, #22 and bigger versions with larger feeding tubes are more beneficial as they can process a high grinding volume. 

How often do you grind?

Suppose that you are an unusual user, need to crush ingredients once or twice a week with small volumes, then the #5, #8, or #12 should be enough. But if you own a restaurant and plan to grind large batches of meat daily, the #22, #32, or #42 are the right ones for you.

It’s essential to specify your frequency of use as smaller grinders are often cheaper than bigger ones. If you are an infrequent user, there’s no need to spend a significant amount of money on a heavy-duty appliance.

What do you grind?

Another deciding factor for choosing the size is the grinding ingredients’ hardness. In the case of processing soft materials like meat, vegetables, fruits, and grains, the small sizes under #12 are eligible for the job. But when it comes to hard elements like bones, you would need powerful models with the sizes above #12.

Also, there are two main kinds of bones, including soft bones from chicken, turkey, duck, rabbit, and solid ones like pork, beef, and lamb. The harder the materials are, the larger the machine should be.  


Standard Sizes Of Plate Holes

Besides plate sizes, you can also rely on the hole diameters to get the exact smooth level. Naturally, the smaller the holes are, the smoother the output is. Each meat grinder is typically packaged with 3 to 4 pieces of plates differing in hole diameters. Here is a list of plate hole sizes.

Hole sizes 1/8’’  3/32’’ 5/32’’ 3/16’’  1/4’’  3/8″ 1/2″ 3/4″
Output Fine Medium Coarse

Fine ground

The 1/8’’ and 3/32’’ come with minor holes producing super-fine ground meat. Usually, people use them for making hamburgers, bologna, franks, and beef jerky. 

Medium ground

When it comes to medium holes, they produce average textures that are not too smooth or coarse. Thus, the 3/16″ or 5/32″ are ideal for hamburgers,  breakfast sausages, and similar stuff.

Coarse ground

It is so-called because these sizes of holes offer coarse ground products. In the case of coarse ground meat for salami and chorizo, the 1/4″, 3/4″, and 1/2″ may be the ones you need. Also, they are recommended for grinding bones for the first section. 

By the way, you can combine the plate size and the hole size to deliver the desired ground texture. For instance, to make ground meat for sausages like the summer and salami versions, you can consider 2 1/8 plates and 1/4″ hole sizes.


How Many Watts For A Meat Grinder?

If you are getting an electric grinder, you should know that the power may range from 250-watts to 3000-watts. The higher the power, the more efficient the machine is and the more electricity it will consume. 

For general home use, a household grinder of more minor than 600-watts should be enough. However, for commercial or frequent and intense use, a capacity above 600-watts will be required. 

On the other hand, if you are planning to make raw pet food from ground bones, you should also get those with powers from 600-watts.

How Do I Check The Size Of The Meat Grind?

Depending on the manufacturer, the size will be listed on the equipment or in the manual. You can also ask the seller in the case of buying new.

But what if those solutions are impossible? Just take a tape and hand-measure the diameter of the grinding plate, then use the information to look up the size from the table given above. Here, you would need to disassemble the machine to free the plate to get the exact measurement.


By the end of the article, we hope you know what meat grinder size you need the most. No doubt that choosing a suitable size for this kitchen tool is essential since it will enhance efficiency and afford the amount of work needed, thus benefiting you in the long run.

For further discussion on the topic, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment in the section below. We would love to hear from you!

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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