I went through a Bass Pro brand grinder a few years ago. Plastic gears. Cheap, and never did work as I wanted it to. the meat had to be partially frozen or it would gum up. After buying the Kitchen Aid I no longer had to freeze the meat. It's not an industrial machine but the components are good quality. I do actually use it as a mixer as well.Buy your wife a Kitchen Aid mixer!!!!!!!! And get the grinder attachment for yourself. Long story short, we bought my mom a mixers 35 years ago for Christmas. She has NEVER mixed anything in it, strictly used for grinding deer. She still laughs about the "gift" we bought her!!! Its not an industrial grinder and you have to cut the chunks smaller but it has done the job!!! Perfect for the kids to help. Guessing it has over 100 deer thru it, still works like the day we bought it. Been looking for a cube steak (tenderizer) attachment for it, just haven't ordered it yet.
When I bought my Vacuum Sealer I bought the Outdoorsman Model from Food Saver. I've had it for probably 5 years now and I do an average of 2 Deer a Year AND we buy our other Meat at Sam's Club in Volume Packs then use it to make Small Packs for just the Wife and I. It is still going great and we have never had an issue with it.I'd go crazy if I had to cut my deer in small enough pieces to run through our Kitchen Aid grinder. I have an old grocery store grinder, so not much help there. I do use a vac packer, but only for steaks. Do yourself a favor and get one of the Cabela's or similar commercial grade sealers. I went through 4-5 Foodsavers before buying the Cabela's about 15 years ago.
The best way to pack burger is with a vertical sausage stuffer and the poly bags from LEM. You can buy 1000 bags for about $40. I can package 20# of burger in about 5 minutes, airtight, no freezer burn and lasts for years. I've lost several bags of burger in the freezer to find them years later, and they are still good.
If you want better tasting meat, Remove that Silver Skin. Learned that as a Kid helping Mom and Dad do our 4-5 Deer a year up. If you cut that Silver Skin off the Meat will be much more Tasty and Tender. Eliminates any of the so called Gamey Taste.Switched from few cheapo gander and cabelas brand to LEM unit off amazon for ~$300. Night and day difference. Thing rips through silver skin no problem should've just bought quality from the start.
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We, along with other family members, have been using a .5 horsepower LEM for 7 years now. Still going strong! One thing to keep in mind, take good care of your plates and blades and don’t mix and match them! Meaning, don’t use an old plate with a new blade, you’ll end up dulling both, and they aren’t cheap.
My current grinder, but maybe not for long... Cabelas has 10% off and free shipping right now... During covid they were sold out of the #32's, but they appear to be back in stock now.I have a Chinese knockoff similar to a Weston #32, with a pulley, belt, and a 1.5 motor, all bolted to a board. A cheap way to grind meat, but cumbersome to move around. I'm not a Cabelas fan, but my friends have Cabelas grinders that they really like. I think that I might consider upgrading to one of those...