Ground chicken is one of my favorite sources of protein to cook with. It is lean and, unlike ground turkey, can be used in any seasoning. However, the more recipes I create using ground chicken, the more I realize its poor availability. So today, I’m going to show you how to make ground chicken at home using a knife, food processor, or meat grinder. Don’t worry, it’s easy!
Also Read: How to Keep Green Bananas From Ripening
How to Grind Chicken With a Meat Grinder
WHAT TYPES OF MEAT TO GRIND
Chicken, turkey, fish
Use dark cuts of chicken or regular breast meat. Ground chicken or turkey can be used for tacos, salads, chili, burritos, chicken burgers or patties. If you prefer salmon burgers, they can be chopped in the food process.
Pork, beef, and lamb
When buying this type of meat, I always look for 80/20. They have less fat to cut.
Tips for chopping meat in a food processor
- Make sure the meat is evenly sized. Preferably 1-inch cubes.
- Arrange the chicken or meat cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet and freeze for up to 1 hour. If you are in a hurry, this step is not necessary. You can grate the meat at any time without freezing.
- Do not over process the meat.
- Always clean the food processor after use. Especially if you are grinding chicken.
Hamilton Beach Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper for Slicing, Shredding, Chopping, and Pureeing 10-Cup – Spiral, Silver
Chef’s Knife, DDF iohEF 8 inch stainless steel kitchen knife, professional sharp knife, antiseptic non-slip super cooking knife with ergonomic handle ideal for kitchen/restaurant
Chicken can be stored in the freezer (either whole or boneless) for a day or two before being ground. This allows us to keep the birds until the end of the butchering season and process the meat in batches.
If you freeze the meat, thaw it for the day of grinding. In our basement, all birds were done over 1.5 days. Please note that meat that has already been deboned and bagged will take longer to thaw.
It takes time
We thought it would take 1 hour to debone 40 birds, but we finished after 4 hours. Needless to say, bedtime was an hour later than planned because the bones had to be removed, requiring not only a sharp knife and a lot of effort, but also time!
Oh yes, the next morning we had 40 pounds of boneless chicken.
What parts can you use?
When making chicken burgers, breast meat is the piece of choice. We also remove the meat from the legs and drumsticks. But really? Anything goes, as long as it doesn’t have bones.
While working on the drumsticks, I soon discovered that there are long, thin, sharp bones next to the thigh bones. These bones are unpleasant, but can be avoided by working backwards from the thigh to the end of the leg.
How to avoid cartilage
If you want to avoid cartilage (a hard, unchewable substance), you can’t be frugal!” And. We learned that the hard way! We can still eat ground chicken at all, but next time we’ll leave some of the ends of the meat on the shank.
Also, do not cut into the cartilage around the joint. Save the bones for the soup pot so nothing goes to waste!
Speeding up the process Tip
I found it preferable to work with the chicken in a chilled or semi-frozen state. It makes it easier to handle and speeds up the process!
Also Read: How to Clean BBQ Grill Grates with Ammonia
Depending on your grinder, you may need to cut the meat to size! The one we used was capable of taking whole chicken breasts. But remember, these were not meat birds!
We did this first with a rough grind and then a medium grind. We are like my friend and his meat grinder. The end result is satisfactory!
Here is the finished product. You can see it’s lighter in color than ground meat or gibier.
Please forgive the poor quality of the photos. My camera is out of order, so I have to make do with the terrible pictures I took with my cell phone!
The chicken mince was packaged the same way as the red mince, with meat paper and tape. In fact, it looks exactly like our red meat packaging. So felt is always a good thing!
Also Read: How to use a Mandoline Slicer for Zucchini
How to Grind Meat
First, cut the meat into 1- to 2-inch-thick slices and place them on a large baking sheet. The final step is to make sure it fits completely into the grinder spout. Cover with plastic and chill in the freezer for 30-40 minutes.
The meat should be cold and firm, but not frozen. This will reduce the chance of contamination of the meat with the grinder head, which tends to happen with softer meats.
It is especially important to chill the meat first, as fat tends to spread easily. I cut mine into strips and it worked great.
Also, put the grinder in the freezer. You want to keep everything cold to make this process easier.
Second, set the grinder and feed the meat in from the top. For the KitchenAid, use a faster speed to make it quicker. Stuff the meat with the stomper, a manual attachment, and let the grinder do the work.
Place a chilled bowl under the spout and pour in the beautiful ground meat.
Grinding meat in a meat grinder – why and how.
As always, keep your hands and workstation clean.
Then, decide on the finished product and flavor combination.
Using A Meat Grinder
Choosing a meat grinder is only the first step in the processing process. Whether it is maintaining near-freezing temperatures or keeping knives and plates sharp, the methods and techniques used can make the difference between tender meat and perfect texture.
Temperature of the meat
It is very important to keep the temperature of the meat to be processed just below freezing until it is ground. The fat and connective tissue of the meat can be easily cut when it is almost frozen, but as it warms up, these areas become resistant, making it difficult for both the machine and the operator to grind.
Knife and plate sharpness
The next important aspect of a successful meat grinder is to have a good, sharp, properly matched knife and plate. If the knives and plates (see below) are dull or don’t match, the grinder will not work well, causing jams or producing tender meat.
Knife and plate sets
A quality knife or plate, when new, has a very sharp edge and is perfectly flat. When knives and plates are used together, they will wear in a pattern that will no longer be perfectly flat. When they are together, they still function properly, but when a non-flat knife is replaced with a new, perfectly flat plate, there is a gap between the edge of the knife and the edge of the hole in the plate. Even if the edge is sharp, the effect of this type of offset is almost the same as if the edge were worn and dull.
For this reason, we recommend using a different knife for each plate and storing this blade/plate pair carefully (even a mismatch that is barely noticeable to the naked eye can have a significant impact on performance and yield).
The plate is reversible; use the special knife for one side, discard the knife after flipping the plate, and replace it with the knife for the new side. Scratch the discarded side of the plate with the sharp edge of a screwdriver or other hard tool so that you can distinguish it later.
Some electric mincers have an inversion function, but if you choose a high-quality, appropriately sized mincer and use it well, you should rarely need the inversion function. Meat grinders are unlikely to jam if they are the right size for the job, sharp and equipped with the proper plates and knives, and if the meat is kept frozen until it is ground.
Also Read: How to Use a Wok On a Gas Stove
How to cook chicken mince using a knife?
Now that we have decided which parts to use for chicken mince, let’s take a look at how to prepare it. We will start with the method that does not involve a chopper, i.e., using a knife. To make it easier, we recommend partially freezing the chicken for 60-90 minutes. It will be more manageable and easier to cut.
I use a method I got from The Woks of Life website. First, cut a 1/4″ horizontal slice in the chicken at a 45° angle and cut at 75% of the length. Next, flip the chicken over and make a 45° cut in the opposite direction. And finally, cut lengthwise to form a checkerboard pattern.
Chicken breasts are a little easier to do because they are uniform throughout. If you have rectangular chicken thighs, you can cut off the uneven pieces and grate them on their own.
Gather the chicken in a heap and make several rough cuts in different directions. Repeat until you have the desired coarseness and fineness of minced chicken meat.
And that’s it. Once you get the hang of it, put on some music and you will be able to make large quantities of ground chicken with a knife in 10-15 minutes.
If you are making large quantities and want to keep the chicken as cold as possible, place it in a chilled bowl resting in ice water. You can also remove the chicken from the freezer one or two pounds at a time and work in batches.
Also Read: How to Slice Cheese Thinly
Make ground chicken in a food processor
This method is probably the fastest, but not my favorite. Ground chicken in a food processor is for recipes that require chopping chicken, not for making burgers or meatballs. You also run the risk of over-mixing the chicken and making a paste. Also, depending on the size of your food processor, you will always have to work in batches.
But this is definitely the fastest and easiest way to do it. To make ground chicken in a food processor, simply add the chicken (I always like to use a mixture of breasts and thighs) and pulse 4-6 times until you get the desired texture. Don’t overdo it and proceed slowly. You can also remove any large pieces and chop them by hand or add them to the next round of chicken you make.
Also Read: How To Boil Milk WithOut Curdling
How to Grind Chicken With a Meat Grinder | Video Explanation
A meat grinder is the easiest way to grind meat, but a knife can be used to make a fine mince. Ideally, use boneless, skinless meat and mix different fat contents. Fat gives flavor and moisture to the mince.
Hope you enjoy our guide. Happy Shopping!!
Hi, I’m Jennifer Lawrence, Went to Calhoun High School (Georgia) my goal is to make the kitchen fun by providing a mathematical and logical component to our approach to cooking good food. I look not only at delicious recipes but also at kitchen tools and gadgets to give you the tips and tricks we hope you will find useful. Read More Here