Can a Meat Grinder Grind Bones? Essential Tips for Safe Bone Grinding

Can a Meat Grinder Grind Bones?

Yes, electric meat grinders can grind soft bones such as those from chicken, duck, small fowl, and rabbit.

Certain models can also handle denser bones like those from turkey.

However, hard bones from pork, beef, lamb, and venison are not suitable for grinding.

It is recommended to use a hole size of at least 3/8″ for the first grind, with the option for a second grind using the same or smaller plate for the desired bone size.

The meat and bone should be very cold but not frozen.

Key Points:

  • Electric meat grinders can grind soft bones from chicken, duck, small fowl, and rabbit.
  • Some models can also handle denser bones from turkey.
  • Hard bones from pork, beef, lamb, and venison are not suitable for grinding.
  • A hole size of at least 3/8″ is recommended for the first grind.
  • A second grind can be done with the same or smaller plate for the desired bone size.
  • The meat and bone should be very cold but not frozen.

Did You Know?

1. Contrary to popular belief, not all meat grinders are capable of grinding bones. It is crucial to look for a specifically designed grinder with a powerful motor and sturdy construction if you want to grind bones.

2. The use of a meat grinder to grind bones can be beneficial for pets, as consuming bone meal provides them with essential nutrients like calcium and phosphorus, which promotes healthy teeth and bones.

3. Several factors determine the success of grinding bones in a meat grinder, such as the type of bones being ground (smaller, softer bones are easier), the freshness of the bones, and the quality of the grinder’s blades and plates.

4. Grinding bones in a grinder requires a different technique than grinding regular meat. It is recommended to freeze the bones for a few hours before grinding them, as this helps to produce cleaner and less messy results.

5. Meat grinders used specifically for grinding bones are often categorized as “heavy-duty” or “commercial-grade,” as they are built to handle the challenging task of grinding bones consistently and effectively. These types of grinders are commonly used in pet food processing facilities and butchers shops.

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Soft Bones Suitable For Grinding In Electric Meat Grinders

When it comes to grinding bones in electric meat grinders, not all types of bones are suitable for the task. However, soft bones from chicken, duck, small fowl, and even rabbit can be efficiently ground using electric meat grinders. These types of bones are relatively easy to break down and can provide essential nutrients for pets, making it a convenient choice for pet owners who prefer homemade pet food.

Dense Bones That Certain Models Of Grinders Can Handle

While soft bones are safe to grind using electric meat grinders, certain models are capable of handling even denser bones like those from turkey. For example, the Weston #22 and Weston #32 Meat Grinders are specifically designed and warranted for grinding bones from chicken, duck, small fowl, and rabbit, and may be able to handle turkey bones as well. However, it is worth mentioning that these models may have difficulty with knuckles, so caution should still be exercised when attempting to grind more dense bones.

Bones Unsuitable For Grinding In Electric Meat Grinders

It is important to note that not all bones can be ground using electric meat grinders. Hard bones from pork, beef, lamb, and venison should never be attempted to be processed through a meat grinder. These bones are denser and harder to break down, and attempting to grind them can damage the grinder and pose a safety risk. It is recommended to dispose of these bones appropriately instead.

Optimal Hole Size For Grinding Bones

The hole size of your meat grinder’s plate is crucial for effectively grinding bones. For the first grind, it is recommended to use a hole size of at least 3/8″. This size allows for the bones to be broken down into smaller pieces. If desired, a second grind can be done using the same or a smaller plate to achieve the desired bone size. This two-step grinding process ensures thorough grinding of the bones without posing any risk of damaging the meat grinder.

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Tips For Grinding Meat And Bones In Electric Meat Grinders

To ensure the best results and safe bone grinding when using electric meat grinders, follow these helpful tips:

  1. Keep the meat and bones cold: Make sure the meat and bones are very cold but not frozen. This helps prevent the fat from melting and clogging the grinder, reducing the risk of damage.

  2. Watch out for gray substances: Check for any gray substances in the grinder head or ground meat, as they may indicate burnt fat. These substances should be promptly cleaned out to maintain the grinder’s efficiency and hygiene.

In conclusion, electric meat grinders are suitable for grinding soft bones from chicken, duck, small fowl, and rabbit. Some models like the Weston #22 and Weston #32 Meat Grinders can even handle denser bones from turkey. However, it’s important to avoid grinding hard bones from pork, beef, lamb, and venison as they can damage the grinder and pose safety risks. By following these tips, including using the appropriate hole size, grinding cold meat and bones, and cleaning out any burnt fat residues, pet owners can safely and effectively prepare homemade pet food.

  • Ensure meat and bones are cold, but not frozen
  • Watch for gray substances in the grinder
  • Avoid grinding hard bones from pork, beef, lamb, and venison


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you grind bone with a manual meat grinder?

Certainly, a manual meat grinder can indeed be used to grind bones. With the appropriate manual meat grinder, grinding bones becomes a feasible task. As long as a sturdy and efficient manual meat grinder is chosen, it will proficiently assist in the grinding process.

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What machine can grind bones?

One machine that is specifically designed for grinding bones is the Bone Crusher. With its ability to grind various types of animal bones such as pork, cow, chicken, and fish bone, it is highly versatile. The Bone Crusher can finely grind bones to a final fineness of 3-5mm, making it suitable for various food products such as sausages, ham, meatballs, and pet food. Its wide range of applications includes the production of frozen food, salt essence, bone powder, and powder soup.

What is the best meat grinder for bones?

When it comes to grinding bones, the STX International Turboforce 3000 Series Electric Meat Grinder stands out as the best option. With its powerful motor and heavy-duty construction, it can effortlessly handle the task of grinding bones. Not only does it provide consistently excellent results, but it also offers a wide range of other features that make it a versatile and reliable choice for any home cook or professional chef.

Additionally, for those on a budget, the Cuisinart Electric Meat Grinder is a great value option. Although it may not have the same power as the STX International Turboforce, it still delivers impressive results when it comes to grinding bones. Its compact design and easy-to-use features make it a practical choice for any kitchen.

What is the best way to grind bones?

When it comes to grinding bones, using a good quality meat grinder or blender is the best approach. These tools are capable of pulverizing soft bones, such as those from chickens or small animals, into a fine powder. This finely ground bone material can then be utilized as a rich source of calcium in raw cat and dog food, providing essential nutrients. Alternatively, the powdered bones can also be utilized as an organic and nutrient-rich fertilizer, promoting healthy growth in plants.