A meat grinder’s cutting plate is where homemade ground meat extrudes out of the grinding unit. When grinding meat, it moves from the grinder’s funnel or hopper and into the horizontal screw conveyor which mixes, squashes and partially shreds the meat via a large screw. The screw is powered by a hand crank or by an electric motor.
A meat grinder’s extrusion plate can have varying hole sizes which obviously impacts the size of the meat that is extruded. Extrusion or cutting plates have different sized hole diameters. The size of the plate’s holes results in the ground meat being either fine, medium or coarse. Different grinder brands can come with a few various sizes of plates, thus, when purchasing a grinder, you will probably want to purchase several additional extrusion plates which have different diameters. Manufacturers have different sized plates but here is a general classification of the typical plate hole sizes and the type of grind that those plates result in:
Plate Hole Diameter and Fineness Of Ground Meat
- 1/8 – very fine
- 3/16 – medium fine
- 1/4 – medium
- 3/8 – coarse
- 1/2 – very coarse
In general, a plate’s fine, medium or coarse plates can be used for the following dishes:
- Fine Cutting Plates – Use when grinding meat for baby food, hamburger, sausage, pates, or any other kind of meat based spreads.
- Medium Cutting Plates – Use when grinding meat to use in hamburgers, relishes, sausage, or soups.
- Coarse Cutting Plates – Use when grinding meat to use in chili, stuffings or for pairing with vegetables