May 31, 2021

From my Instagram - Grinding and Packaging Beef Today! (Grinding chuck roast into ground beef for your home freezer - easy, quick and affordable)

Regular readers know we grind our own beef, as well as chicken and pork but for those new to the site or saw this on my Instagram account, this post is in regards to that!

I am not sure how many years ago I started to grind our own beef here at home and make packages of 'ground beef' for our freezer; but it was long enough ago that I don't remember the last time I bought ground beef in a store.  

I didn't plan to go into reasons in this post, but I suppose I should touch on them briefly because I'm sure someone out there is asking themselves why I would even think to do such a thing?

Many reasons actually.

I like knowing our ground beef comes from one cut of beef.

Depending on where your ground beef comes from, it could have up to 1000 different cows contributing to it.  On average it will have at least 100 at minimum.  

The more cuts of beef from various animals you have going into it, the more likely you are to have harmful bacteria - like the ones that cause E. Coli.  I'm not overly concerned because we cook our ground beef and patties well done, which kills the bacteria, but for elderly and young children e. coli can harm the kidney's and ultimately, cause death.  So it's something that has always been in the back of mind - even before I started to grind our own meat.

"..... It is not uncommon for a single ground beef patty to contain the meat of over 1,000 different animals. Only 10% of Americans correctly answered that a single patty will likely come from more than 100 different animals."*

The most common way to get an E. coli infection is by eating contaminated food, such as:

  • Ground beef. When cattle are slaughtered and processed, E. coli bacteria in their intestines can get on the meat. Ground beef combines meat from many different animals, increasing the risk of contamination.

Not only do I like knowing our ground beef is coming from one cut of beef, but I know what is in our meat.  Pure 100% meat, no fillers.

Lastly, I found the flavor of our home-ground meat to be superior to the store bought mish-mash.  I honestly hadn't thought about this when we started to grind our own beef but it quickly becomes obvious when you grow used to the taste of a taco or burger made with your beef and then eat the same elsewhere with store bought beef of multiple animals and cuts of meat.

Even if I'm grinding 4 or 5 roasts that day I still keep them separate for the most part

Having explained a bit about why we grind our own beef - I have to add that I totally, 100% don't expect anyone else to do and there is zero judgement from us if you don't! MOST people don't - and we are totally cool with that!

But we LOVE it and I can't imagine EVER going back to store bought ground beef.  I also grind our own pork and chicken as well; and make our own sausage and chicken feta spinach sausage too - which I have posted about all of this a few times previously here on An American Housewife ( so I'm sure it's old news to many of my regular readers.

*IF* you are interested in grinding your own beef, it is SO EASY!!!!   

It's relatively fast too.  And you don't need huge expensive appliances/machines to get started.  My meat grinder is a pretty cheap 'household' model we got on clearance for about $50-60 about 9 years ago.  

Really all you need to get started is one item.  A meat grinder

(...almost any kind, brand; even a manual hand grinder like our great grandparents or grandparents use/used - although that is a lot of cranking!)

You buy your roast (chuck roast is good and typically affordable).  Partially freeze it for easier cutting if you wish.  I cut ours into chunks about 1-2 inches.  Feed them into your machine per your appliances' directions.

At this point you can use the meat or put it in a container to store in the refrigerator or the freezer.

I freeze ours in food sealer bags with a food sealer and pop them into the deep freeze.  I do some as ground beef, some I form and freeze as hamburger patties and some I keep in chunks to use as "stew meat" and shish-ka-bobs.  (Is that how you spell that? LOL).

If you already own a food sealer - awesome!  You're one step ahead of the game.  My first was a Weston that we got on clearance at the same time we found the meat grinder on clearance. Again, it was a cheap $50-60 one but it's worked great for the almost 9? years we've had it.  Recently it's started to need a new heating element but I ended up buying a new machine with a couple more options (like moist sealing and double sealing) and I'm SMITTEN WITH IT.....  seriously.  It's a Nesco and I love love love it. 

So, there ya go.

An unintended post really.  LOL.  It was supposed to be a short 15 second 'fly by' post but turned into a short novel.

PS:  you can use the search engine to find numerous times I've mentioned and posted photos of grinding beef, chicken and pork here on An American Housewife if you want to see more photos of the actual process.

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