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-   -   New grinder - what hole size for chili grind? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f172/new-grinder-what-hole-size-chili-grind-281822/)

billtzk 11-18-2011 12:05 AM

New grinder - what hole size for chili grind?
I just bought a new #12 size electric grinder. I mainly bought it for making sausage, but I want to grind some beef for chili. Yes, I know there is the big debate over hand cut versus chili grind, and I don't want to get into that. I usually hand cut a mix of chuck and sirloin, but I want to see how my chili comes out with a chili grind.

My grinder came with a 1/4 inch (6mm) plate, and a 5/16th (8mm) plate. Those are too small for sure. I'll need to buy a plate with larger holes. I can get 3/8" (10mm), 1/2" (12mm) 9/16" (14mm), 5/8" (16mm), or 11/16" (18mm).

I'm thinking 9/16th inch or 5/8th for chili grind. Or is that too big? Would 1/2" be better? Does anyone know what butchers normally use for a coarse chili grind? Or anyone have any experience doing it?

dataz722 11-18-2011 12:09 AM

I would say either 1/2 or 9/16 but that is pretty much a complete guess. I have never seen a "chili grind" before so I can't really say for sure.

billtzk 11-18-2011 02:04 AM

Thanks dataz722. I've been searching the web, and it seems that 1/2 inch is frequently mentioned for a coarse chili grind. That's what I'm aiming for. So that's what I'm going with. I'll probably order a 9/16th size too, just in case, and it'll probably come in handy for grinding large chunks of back fat for andouille.

billtzk 11-18-2011 11:41 PM

Had to bracket the 1/2 inch size when I ordered today. They were out of stock on that one. So I ordered the 3/8th and the 9/16th.

billtzk 11-21-2011 04:56 AM

I think 3/8th will do fine for chili. I was at Whole Foods today and I asked the butcher what plate size they use for their chili grind, and he said they use 3/8th.

Meanwhile, I used the 1/4 inch plate to make 14 pounds of bulk breakfast sausage today. It was a variation of Len Poli's "close clone" of Jimmy Dean sausage. It came out tasting great. I didn't stuff it into casing. I just packed it in a bunch of one pound meat bags in roll form. Breakfast tomorrow, with eggs and waffles.

RedHouse 11-21-2011 01:05 PM

I have a 3/4" plate that I picked up off ebay.....I've used that for chili when I didn't have time to cut by hand.

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billtzk 11-21-2011 05:25 PM

So how well did that work? I'd think you'd get huge chunks. And was that with chuck, sirloin, brisket?

The biggest I can get is 11/16ths (18mm), at least from the manufacturer of the grinder. But now that I see how my existing 1/4 and 5/16 inch plates work, I can't think of what I might use one that big for. I bet I''ll be using mainly the 3/8ths and smaller, as I'm mostly interested in sausage making.

RedHouse 11-21-2011 11:16 PM

It worked out pretty well....it was chuck. I have never tried sirloin or brisket in my chili, but I'm they are pretty good.

I usually try to cut my chuck roasts into 3/4" chunks when cutting by hand. The 3/4" plate doesn't cut the meat into quite as large chunks as when cutting by hand.

billtzk 11-23-2011 05:04 AM

After making 14 pounds of breakfast sausage from 10.5 pounds of pork shoulder and 3.5 pounds of uncured pork belly, I still had 9 pounds of pork shoulder left over. I put a rub on it and let it sit overnight, and now I'm smoking it low and slow.

My new grinder plates and knives came in. I now have 4mm (5/32"), 6mm (1/4"), 8mm (5/16"), 10mm (3/8"), and 14mm (9/16") plate, with a 12mm (1/2") on backorder. Each one is paired up with its own knife.

And I've just ordered a 15 lb vertical sausage stuffer. Should be here in a few days, maybe next week considering the holiday.

In a couple of weeks when I'm on vacation, I'm planning on making andouille using this recipe and process:
Nola Cuisine Blog Archive Andouille Sausage Recipe

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