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How to Use Ground Pork (& Grind Your Own)
If you’re looking to save money, eat better quality meat, and elevate your cooking, then you’re in the right place. Learning how to grind your own pork is simple with just a couple of tools. More importantly, we’ll talk about how to use ground pork once you’ve taken that extra step.
If you’re a fan of tacos, soup, chili, dumplings, spring rolls, stir fry, meatballs…..tell me when to stop, cause I could keep going…..we’ll get you set up with options on what dinner with homemade ground pork can look like.
Many people claim to use just a knife and cutting board or a food processor to grind their meat, but I won’t advocate for those methods. In a pinch, sure those can work. But, to make good quality & textured pork you really need a grinder or grinding attachment. And once you get started grinding meat at home, you’ll find the grinder to be a huge time saver and such a simple way to prepare food from scratch.
Choose meat– Pork shoulder (also known as Boston Butt or Pork Butt) is considered the ideal cut of pork for grinding. While it is a tougher cut, its meat-to-fat ratio of around 80/20 makes for juicy, flavorful meat. Grinding the meat helps tenderize what can otherwise be a more fibrous cut, and pork shoulder delivers quality flavor and texture.
Freeze Meat– Freezing your meat for 30 minutes before cutting it into smaller pieces will ease the cutting process.
Freeze Attachments– Place your grinder attachments (auger, blade, & dies) in the freezer for 1 hour before you begin your grind. If you’re choosing a coarser grind, you will only need a coarse grinding plate, but if choosing a finer grind you will need both a coarse and fine plate. Our grinder came with 8mm and 4.5mm plates, so we use those.
Prepare & Freeze Meat– Remove your meat from the freezer and cut it into ½-inch – 1-inch cubes. You need it to be able to fit easily down the entrance tube of your grinder. Cover the tray with another piece of foil, and place the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes. Cold meat is easier to grind and will help prevent the smearing of fat.
First Coarse Grind– Take the tray of pork and grinding attachments out of the freezer in preparation for your first, coarser grind. Place a medium-large bowl below your grinder to catch the meat. Guide the meat through the feed tube and into the grinder. Watch the magic happen. If you are going for a more coarsely ground pork, then you are finished here! You can store your pork in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer for months. If you want a finer grind, continue with the steps for the second grind.
Freeze– Place the ground pork back on the foil-lined tray. Cover with foil again and place the tray in the freezer for another 20 minutes. You want to ensure that it’s plenty cold before running through the grinder again.
Second Grind– This is going to be your finer grind. Repeat the steps of the first grind but with a finer grinding plate. Run a piece of bread through at the end of this grind to help clear the equipment of lingering meat. Your ground pork is ready to use! I suggest placing it in the fridge for another 30 minutes before immediately cooking with it or you can go straight to portioning it out for freezing. We freeze ours in 1-pound portions using a vacuum sealer, but you can use plastic bags or plastic wrap. Just try to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.