Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Norpro Meat Grinder, Mincer, and Pasta Maker - A Plasic Meat Grinder?
I was initially reluctant to buy the Norpro Meat Grinder, Mincer, and Pasta Maker. My wife wanted a meat grinder and after figuring out that we didn't want to get an electric one (due to cost, complexity, counter space, convenience, durability and safety issues) I started looking at different kinds of manual grinders online.
Most were of conventional type: made of metal and needing a table lid to be attached to. That would be problematic since we wanted to use it on the marble countertop and there wasn't enough lip to it to attach such a device. Plus damaging the countertop would not be cool.
Then I saw the this Norpro Meat Grinder, etc. Made of plastic and employing a large suction cup it seemed a good solution to the above issue, albeit the plastic build was questionable in terms of durability. But the reviews I saw were mostly glowing and much more positive overall than the ones of the metal, conventional models.
I went ahead and bought it. Upon arrival, the assembly required was minimal. Ditto the disassembly and washing. The manual is small but the use is self-explanatory and the pictures on sides of the box it came in provide excellent information on locking/unlocking the suction cup.
The suction cup on the base works surprisingly well and holds the device in place securely. The supplied key is similar to a little plastic wrench and helps you rotate the lock/unlock knob for the suction cup. But I was able to rotate it by hand, without the key also.
The plastic construction was suspicious at first because even the feeding screw is plastic. The only metal parts are the cutting mechanism, the two pins in the plastic feeding screw that hold the cutter and the plate with holes as well as the crank. Surprisingly, when we started grinding beef, the effort required was much less than I expected (remembering how much effort I had to apply when I used an old-school metal manual grinder) and the whole plastic-fantastic device worked superbly.
The meat we used was USDA Choice top sirloin, so there was no tendon involved, but still the ease of use was unparalleled. And due to having transparent top part, we were able to see what was going on inside, which is not necessary, but interesting.
Lately we have been eating grass-fed beef only (on a paleo diet) and although I have no hesitation buying grass-fed ground beef, being able to grind your own has been convenient and is probably still safer.
After the use, the disassembly and washing was very easy. And it looks to be well build and therefore at least moderately durable. Will it last virtually forever like an all-metal model? Probably not, but we are not planning on using it every day either and with occasional use I suspect it will serve us for many years.
The device comes with a sausage funnel attachment, pasta and linguini attachments, the aforementioned plastic locking key and two metal "output" plates with holes of a different sizes.
Pros: Compact, light, easy to use and take apart, suction cup, accessories, sharp cutting mechanism
Cons: Questionable durability in heavy use (note: it held up fine in my use)
The Norpro Meat Grinder, Mincer, and Pasta Maker is an inexpensive, light, compact and easy to use device. I highly recommend it if you want a meat grinder with a suction cup attachment.