Is it okay to grind meat

Why is my meat grinder clogged with tendons?

Is that normal?

Yes, it is. Tendons and other connective tissue (silver skin / fascia, ligaments) are very tough; You need to remove as much as possible by hand before sanding.

The tendon and ligament are strong, whitish strands or "cables" that connect bones to muscles or other bones. They're in the same place in every location of a particular cut of meat: a poultry drumstick has an easily identifiable piece of tendon - actually the "Achilles' tendon" - that runs from the fleshy part to the exposed end of the bone.

Silver skin is a connection boundary between muscles. It's a thin, clingy, and annoying sheet, translucent silvery white, that you find on the surface that defines the subdivisions of various cuts of meat. It could get through the grinder if your blade is nice and sharp and the piece isn't too big, but it's best to take it off (your teeth can't handle it much better than the grinder). To do this, you need a thin, sharp, narrow blade: a fillet / boning knife, sometimes a good peeling kife.

Essentially anything that isn't fat or muscular needs to be taken out before the meat gets into the grinder.

Chicken thighs have a lot of connective tissue. Part of it is hidden in the muscle segments on the underside of the thigh. Make sure you cut these open.

Depending on the particular piece of meat you have, this process can result in extremely small pieces. Even a nice pork shoulder can result in 1/4 "or thinner pieces after the internal connective tissue is removed. This has no real impact on the grinding process. The only thing to look out for is thorough and even mixing when you end up with a lot different sizes and marinate / harden the meat before grinding.

You can grind without that entire Removing tissue (it gets frustrating at times), but you need to be prepared to stop the grinder and clean the blade and plate frequently - once you find the meat is not coming out of the plate in clean, contiguous and separate lines. If you see signs of smudging or overgrinding (the grind becomes too fine and turns pink as the fat and meat combine), stop and clean the blade. Otherwise the mixture will not emulsify properly, the fat will melt out during cooking and the sausage will be dry.

Does my blade have to be sharpened yet?

It may be very good, but this still doesn't help with tendons and ligaments.

You should treat your abrasive blade the same way you treat your kitchen knives - hold its edge instead of waiting for it to completely dull. I would say I put my blade on a sharpening stone every 50 pounds. or so. The nice thing is that it's extremely easy - you sharpen all of the arms of the blade at the same angle: flat. The plate also needs maintenance by sanding the surface where it meets the blade (the edges of the holes should be sharp) but I would say this can be done much less often. The blade and plate can be serviced quite successfully and easily with a piece of fine (800 grit) wet and dry sandpaper that has been hit on a table.


I looked at some chicken thighs for another recipe last night and took a closer look at them. Yes, connective tissue was a big part of my problem. Thanks for the help!

John Feltz

Connective tissue is elastic - it stretches instead of cutting or breaking.