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How to mince meat

There's been an upsurge of interest in home mincing in the UK since the meat adulteration scandal, according to the Mail Online. Even if you are not worried about contamination, the cuts of meat used to make prepackaged mince are often not the best. Mincing your own meat allows you more control over the quality, texture and fattiness of the mince. Whether you're cooking a chili con carne, lasagne, burgers or anything else requiring minced meat, making your own mince can make a real difference to the flavour and can also work out a lot cheaper.

Home mincer

Place the meat on a chopping board or durable work surface. For lean mince, cut away any unwanted fat with a sharp knife. Cut the meat into rough cubes of about 2.5cm (1 inch) per side.

Put a few cubes of meat into the hopper or funnel part of your manual mincer. Place a bowl, tray or similar container under the part where the mince will come out. Adjust any settings that allow you to select the fineness of the mince. Turn the handle to start mincing the meat. Add more cubes of meat to the hopper as required.

Plug in your electric mincer. Place a bowl, tray or similar container under the part where the mince will come out. Adjust any settings that allow you to select the speed and the fineness of the mince. Press or turn the "On" button or switch. Feed in the cubes of meat one or two at a time until you have enough mince.

Food processor

Place the meat on a chopping board or durable work surface. For lean mince, cut away any unwanted fat with a sharp knife. Cut the meat into rough cubes of about 2.5cm (1 inch) per side. Spread the cubes in a single layer on a tray and put in the freezer for 15 minutes. Partially freezing the meat will help prevent the fat from smearing and will give a better consistency.

Separate the meat into batches. The size of the batches will depend on the volume of your food processor. Do not fill the bowl to over around a third of its capacity.

Put the meat into the food processor bowl and replace the lid. Use "pulses" to chop the meat. If your processor has a "Pulse" button, press this five times, then check the consistency of the meat. If it does not, press the "On" button for a second then release. Repeat this five times, then check the consistency of the meat. Continue until you have the consistency you want.

Knife

Place the meat on a chopping board or durable work surface. For lean mince, cut away any unwanted fat with a sharp knife.

Cut the meat into small cubes using a sharp, heavy knife or cleaver. Make the cubes as small as you can reasonably get them, then gather them together. If you are right handed, position the knife to the left of the cubes. Place your left hand on top of the knife to steady it.

Chop the meat again using a rocking motion on the knife. The end of the knife should stay in contact with the chopping board while the back of the knife rises and falls. With each chop, move the knife fractionally to the right in as smooth a motion as possible. Repeat until the meat is chopped to the right consistency.

Things You'll Need

  • Meat
  • Sharp knife or cleaver
  • Mincer
  • Food processor
  • Freezer
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About the Author

Paul Travers has worked as a freelance journalist since 1990. He has worked primarily for "Kerrang!," the U.K.'s leading rock magazine, but he has also published online content and in print publications worldwide, from "MusikExpress" in Germany to "Smash Hits" in Australia. Travers holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and media studies from the University of Central Lancashire.