Homemade grinding: best meat grinder for bones & raw food
I have to admit. I was a bit shocked at the time I researched what meat grinder for chicken bones should me and Greg get.
A lot of sites seemed to recommend the STX 3000 as a top choice…Despite the manufacturer pointing out it’s NOT intended as a chicken bone grinder! Go figure!
I really wanted to see a functioning, heavy duty meat and bone grinder for dog food, though. So I did my homework going through pet owner forums, consumer discussions…
It turns out that the STX 1800 is way better. Why?
Because it actually has the right metal plates and screens to grind bones properly. This is crucial – without these you risk investing your money in something that will get broken!
As you can guess, there’s a lot of misinformation around the web when it comes to the best meat grinder for bones. I hope to clear things up with this list of the top 3 models perfect for raw dog food or just general bone grinding purposes.
If you don’t have the time to read it all, my top 3 picks are:
3 best meat grinders for bones or raw food
1. Personal favorite meat grinder for chicken bones:
As I already said, the 1800 is equipped with the right blades and screen to grind through chicken bones properly. It’s heavy duty enough that you can use it to prepare a lot of raw dog food.
I know – at 3000 watts it does look weaker than the famous STX 3000 model. However, at least you don’t risk it getting broken due to incompatibility, right?
This is a size 12 grinder with a 2 1/2″ output for the meat that you will prepare. It’s not commercial grade (they’re usually size 22 or above), but for moderate home use you don’t really need more anyways.
STX’s best meat grinder for bones can accommodate chicken parts pretty easily. Most of the time you can just throw in the drum sticks in their entirety. For thighs, cut them in half for optimal results.
The manufacturer advises against trying to grind larger poultry bones (for example, turkey)…but I’ve done so a few times. I still stick to chicken bones anyways as they’re the easiest to grind.
The quality of construction and the durability of the grinding plates is outstanding for the price.
You’ve got 3 tempered steel plates and the same amount of sharp, heavy duty cutting blades. With the sausage tubes and even a tomato juicer attachment, you’re set for both raw dog food grinding or other purposes.
What about the dreaded cleaning, though? Good news here too! It’s ridiculously easy to take this chicken bone grinder apart and wash it thoroughly.
Fetch a bit of dish soap and pour the hot water, then dry after rinsing it properly.
The only drawback is that can get somewhat noisy. Has to do with the more heavy duty operation, though – you can’t escape that. Also, make sure that you don’t grind too much chicken (or other) skin.
Size 12 meat grinders for raw food don’t have that big of an output and you can clog it if you go overboard with the skin.
2. Best commercial grade raw meat grinder:
Weston size 22
Weston’s pro series meat grinder is an absolute beast that will help you prepare gigantic doses of raw food for weeks to come. It’s a size 22 meat grinder with a bigger 2.85″ output for the meat (you have different sets.)
The big news here is exactly how heavy duty this grinder is. With other models, you can process around 200 lbs of meat per hour. With the Weston 22 you get an increase to 725 pounds/hour.
Do you have a lot of dogs or cats AND you like preparing sausages/meat for your family too? Only a few hours with this meat grinder and you’ll stock up for ages to come!
Here’s an example video of it going through raw meat:
You can pick from different watt and horse power configurations. For general home uses, the 1 HP / 750 watt model I’ve listed is more than enough. If you do want to go full commercial meat grinding with this, though, grab the 2 HP / 1500 watt monster.
With the higher pricing point come different perks. This is an all-in-one grinder that not only will chew through bones like there’s no tomorrow. You also get:
Two grinding plates: coarse (7mm) and medium (4.5mm.) For the first chicken bones grind, use the coarse plate.
Three sausage stuffing funnels at 20, 30 and 40mm
A snack stick funnel (10mm)
A high quality, durable tray guard for safety purposes
With its output, the Weston 22 is the best option for quick raw pet food grinding (both a top grinder and suitable for dogs, really.) Still, be careful with bigger poultry here too – smaller turkeys (13 lbs or less) should be fine.
As for the cleaning, it’s no different than the STX 1800. Parts are easy to disassemble for a good hot water rinse that will prepare your raw grinder for the next batch of delicious meat.
3. Best budget meat grinder for dog food:
Sunmile SM G50
Sunmile is an affordable option that still delivers quality results, albeit a bit weaker than the STX 1800. It operates on 350 watts, but can go up to 1000W depending on your needs. Same as the STX, it’s a number 12 meat grinder for bones.
For moderate grinding uses, you’ll be more than fine with the SM G50. Its output is around 200 lbs/hour – way lower than the Weston 22, but then again the price here is way more lucrative too.
Once again you have 3 stainless steel cutting plates to pick from, depending on the bones/meat you plan to grind. The big difference with the STX is that you only have one stainless steel cutting blade, instead of three.
You also get 3 sausages attachments and a plastic food pusher. Not as diverse as the Weston 22, but then again, this is not a commercial grade meat and bone grinder.
For chicken thigh bones and general bone usage (as long as it’s small poultry), this is a very nice pick. If you want to prepare some tasty raw food for your cat or dog and don’t want to break your bank, grab it.
I like how Sunmile have approached the design and storage with this grinder. You can store the cord inside the appliance and there’s proper space for storing the attachments too. Saves a bit of space and keeps things neater.
As a finishing touch, the circuit breaker inside watches out for motor burnout. This thing should last you for a while, provided you take proper care of it!
How to grind chicken bones and prepare raw food
Even the best meat grinder for chicken bones and raw food can break if you don’t use it properly. Usually, manufacturers clearly outline what you can use raw grinders for and how to do it.
Here are my top tips for grinding meat and bones in a way that will keep your appliances safe.
Don’t put frozen chicken meat inside your grinder. For optimal results, it can be cold or semi-frozen, but never fully frozen.
Break down bones/meat parts that are too big. It’ll make things easier for your grinder’s motor.
Be careful with grinding too much chicken skin. It tends to stick and can clog up your raw grinder. Hence why drumsticks should be grinded in moderation!
Always keep in mind your bone and meat grinder’s power and size. Smaller, weaker motors will struggle with bigger bones (like turkey, for example) and you might compromise them. The usual home use raw meat bones grinder is great for chicken or perhaps rabbit parts, but not more than that.
How to clean your bone grinder
Keeping your meat grinder for poultry bones neat and clean isn’t rocket science.
The first thing you want to do is wash it with dish soap and warm/hot water after each use. This also prevents bacteria buildup or foul odor – especially if you live in hotter places.
What a lot of people tend to forget, however, is coating the grinding plates. You need to sprinkle some oil on them (vegetable oil or olive oil is ok usually!)
This will make sure they don’t rust and give smooth results for a longer time. Don’t stack them too close to each other when you do so – keep them separate.
Hope all of this helped! To continue on the healthy meat snacking topic, be sure to also check our review of a popular brand – the Epic Bar meat snacks! We sampled a 9 flavor variety pack in search of the perfect flavor 🙂