There are six common parts to electric and manual meat grinders: the pusher, screw, hopper, blade, plate and cover. Other parts include auger pins, washers, forming cones, stuffing spacers and funnels.
The pusher is used to push cubes of meat down into the hopper. The screw, located inside the hopper, feeds the meat toward the blade of the grinder. The blade cuts the meat, and it is pushed through the small holes of the plate. Plates come in different die sizes to allow for coarse to extra-fine grinds. The cover keeps the blade and plate in place during operation.
Electric meat grinders are preferred over manual grinders for ease of use and setup. They do not require permanent installation, clamping to a counter top or manual cranking. Electric meat grinders are available as standalone machines or as attachments for stand mixers. Most standalone grinders have a reverse function, which allows users to remove sinew and meat tissue caught in the blade easily.
Grinder attachments for stand mixers make projects such as sausage preparation easier, due to their ability to grind meat and mix in the bowl below immediately afterwards. Other accessories such as sausage stuffers, hamburger patty makers, meat tenderizers and juicers are available for electric meat grinders, as well as foot pedals for hands-free use.