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Electric Vs. Manual Meat Grinders

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your cat's diet, please contact your vet!

  
Bishu

~Proud Princess~
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 6, '12 1:31pm PST 
I've been researching into making raw food at home for my American Eskimo dog and two (recently rescued) cats. I've read through most of the sites recommended on this forum, as well as some others, but I don't see a lot of focus on meat grinders and what type someone new to raw should buy.

Most of the sites mention expensive 150 dollar and up electric grinders, rather than the old fashioned hand crank versions. Is there a reason for this aside from the ease of use? Do the manual meat grinders not handle bone as well as the electric ones do? I'd be very interested in hearing from people with experience with both types.

Aside to the obvious (it being much more expensive) - are there any other cons I should know about when purchasing an electric model? What are the pros to electric as opposed to manual? Thanks so much to any and all who answer - I like to do thorough research before jumping into something, especially when my babies are involved. =)
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Wed Mar 7, '12 4:58am PST 
I don't have experience with grinders but my guess is that it all has to do with the bone. I know that some of the cheaper electric ones don't handle bone well so the more expensive ones are often recommended. And I assume that hand grinding bone is difficult, especially if you're trying to grind anything larger than chicken or rabbit. Plus you need to make sure that the bones for the cats are finely ground. I find that the cats that eat ground are kind of fussy about bone and will often spit out the larger pieces.
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Mr. Softee

1229969
 
 
Purred: Mon Mar 12, '12 7:50am PST 
When I introduced my older cat to raw, I had the meat ground just to get him used to the taste. I then went to rough ground with bone. Then to no grinding at all. Cats as well as dogs will not get the teeth cleaning benefit from ground raw food. We started with chicken for the first month and then slowly added new proteins from there. My Maine Coon took to raw right away so he got a chicken neck or two wings in the morning, then boneless chicken at night. I also gave him a chicken heart every day for the taurine. (the darker the meat, the more taurine).
Also, you lose taurine when meat is ground because of the exposure to air. You also have more bacteria in ground - again because of the air exposure.
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Karela

Purr-meow?
 
 
Purred: Sun Apr 1, '12 2:42pm PST 
I actually have experience with both because we just switched from a manual to electric grinder.

We've only made 1 batch of food so far with the electric, but as far as I can tell, the quality of product is the same, it's just faster and easier.

For the manual we had the LEM Products #10 Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder (bought from Mad Cow Cutlery - paid $79.95 with free shipping) and switched to the Tasin TS-108 Electric Meat Grinder (bought from One Stop Jerky Shop - paid $156.96 shipped). Our primary reason for switching was because we moved and our new kitchen counters were too thick to clamp the manual grinder to. Figured it was cheaper to replace the grinder than the counters. laugh out loud

The manual was definitely a workout to grind up bone. My husband generally tightened it to the counter with vice grips and even then the plastic protectors for the clamp got kind of warped from the force. Then he would cut up and feed the meat while I turned the crank - it was definitely a 2-person job.

For the electric, it seems like we have have to cut up the pieces a bit smaller than with the manual to get them through the grinder, but it seemed to gobble everything up just fine. Just drop in pieces and use the plunger as needed if they are not feeding though. (And don't forget the blade like we did at first - oops! red face)

The Tasin is LOUD (1200 watt motor - sounds like a jet engine) but much faster than manual. It came with 3 plates (we used the largest with the holes that look like slices of pie, which seemed to work great) and some other accessories.

One thing we have been very impressed with on the Tasin is that it is made in Taiwan versus the LEM which was made in China. The difference in quality of the blades and unit is apparent and seems to make a big difference in functioning. Also, with the LEM, I also found that after about a year of use, the varnish on the wooden crank handle was starting to get worn down from the moisture/friction.

The Tasin is significantly bigger than the LEM and somewhat harder to clean since you can't submerge the whole thing, but most of the parts detach for cleaning.

Overall, I would definitely recommend the Tasin over the LEM. Wish we'd gotten it in the first place!
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Smudge

I am the Love- Monster.
 
 
Purred: Thu Apr 5, '12 5:40am PST 
I also have a Tasin 108. At first I thought I killed it with overuse but I was wrong. big grin I also use a food processor when need be. I do have a couple of oldsters that need a fine grind, almost puree, food.

Yes, the Tasin is loud but it is fast and easy. Just chunk your meat/parts and drop it in. And if you have any problems, just ask us and check out www.catnutrition.org. Anne has a really nice pictorial on how to use and set it up. Moving on here.

I find it best if I use food that is partially frozen. It handles small bones well (I never go larger than a chix thigh bone). I use the pie-wedge shaped blade mostly for the nice bite sized meat pieces it gives. And speaking of cats and food it is time for me to get grinding. Got 18 hungry felines and 3 "Hounds of the Baskervilles" types. big grin
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