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How to Clean and Store a Meat Grinder

Cleaning your meat grinder thoroughly after each use is imperative. Small particles of meat that are left behind can spoil and ruin your grinder. Also, oil and grease buildup can clog the grind plate and turning screw, making it difficult to operate. Most meat grinders have parts that are not dishwasher safe, so make sure you take special care to hand wash and dry each part.

What you'll need:

  •  Three slices of white bread
  •  Sponge or wash cloth
  •  Dish soap
  •  Dry towel
  •  Food-grade mineral oil
  •  Plastic storage containers or bags
  •  Rice

Step 1: Run bread through the grinder.

After you've finished grinding meat, start the cleaning process as soon as possible. Take the slices of bread and run them through the grinder one at a time. Doing this will help push through any last bits of meat, and the bread will help naturally soak up grease left behind. Even extremely lean meats will leave some oil or grease within the meat grinder.

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Step 2: Dismantle and hand wash your grinder.

Dishwashing your meat grinder is not an option since the appliance can crack under the high temperatures. Electric meat grinders should not be submerged in water at all to keep the motor in working condition. Wash your meat grinder by hand using a sponge to clean the parts and attachments individually. Doing so protects the blades and the grinder from rust.

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Step 3: Dry pieces completely.

Use a dry towel to dry each piece of the meat grinder individually. Air drying can cause rust on metal pieces, so only plastic parts should be air dried.

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Step 4: Spray with mineral oil.

Mineral oil is key to staving off rust formation. Spray or wipe food-grade mineral oil onto all of the metal components. Take special care to cover the screw and pusher, as these are the parts that do the most work to actively grind the meat.

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Step 5: Store parts in containers with rice.

Storing the grinder parts in rice removes all excess moisture and can further prevent rusting. Disassemble your meat grinder and store pieces individually in rice-filled containers.

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