Saturday, October 8, 2011

How to Clean Your Meat Grinder

Cleaning all small kitchen appliances is important for healthy food preparation to occur. Meat Grinders require specific cleaning techniques. Using a brush is important. The reason for using a brush is careful removal of meat, nuts and vegetables left from the grinding process. Prior to first use wash the Meat Grinder with warm and soapy water. Regular dish soap works well. Make sure you dry the grinder with a towel. If the grinder specifies or allows, use the dry cycle on your dishwasher.  Manual Meat Grinders have chopping or cutting blades. One type of Meat Grinder has the cutter blade on the outside of the grinder body. The second type has a knife blade inside the grinder body. Both types come with a clamp or "bolt-down" and suitable for tabletop mounting.

The drawing above illustrates the parts of a clamp-on manual meat grinder. This is a good guide to disassemble your grinder prior to first use. Each part needs careful cleaning according to have a clean and sanitary grinder.  After first use and consecutive uses of your meat grinder, a household kitchen brush with plastic or silicon bristles is necessary to properly clean the grinder. Do Not Use a Abrasive Cleansers or a Metal Brush! Abrasive cleansers and metal brushes scratch metal creating problems for this appliance. A brush enables easier removal of fat, gristle and meat from every part of the grinder. After brushing the grinder, use hot or warm soap and water carefully cleaning each and every part. Use a cotton or linen towel to dry immediately. Drying immediately removes the opportunity for corrosion and rust. Corrosion and rust reduce the life span of the meat grinder and lead to unsanitary conditions.

The steps above detail what I recommend in cleaning of a Manual Meat Grinder. An Electric Meat Grinder warrants you disassembling the Cutting Blade/Knife, Grinding Plate and Auger is possible prior to first use and each subsequent use thereafter. Make sure the Electric Grinder is not plugged in prior to setting-up and cleaning. When unplugged, you can safely use a brush to clean fat, gristle and meat from the inside of the grinder. Make sure you follow manufacturer guidelines along with any drawings included in the product manual. Safety is always paramount for everyone.

After you properly clean your grinder prior to first use, follow our recommendations for healthier food preparation.  Whether your preference is using a Manual Meat Grinder or an Electric Meat Grinder,  a few moments of sanitation prior to your food preparation further ensures a healthier meal for you, your friends and family to enjoy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Meat Grinders Are a Healthy Food Prep Appliance!

Meat Grinders provide the chef an excellent means to prepare a health meal. A quality Meat Grinder is easy to use and easy to clean. They are sanitary for ongoing use and re-use. This is an important part of anyone's small kitchen appliances. A Meat Grinder is an excellent way to control fat content. They make meats easier to digest and take only a few minutes to grind a pound or two of meats. This is if you use a manual grinder. Most manual Meat Grinders are made from caste iron and /or tinned iron. Some are made from Stainless Steel. Both are quite sanitary to use. People tell me that sometimes cleaning is a chore. The information I obtained led to the determination that this is from lower-cost and lower-quality models. Usually, the lower-quality models are manual grinders that were never tinned.
When an iron product is not tinned, it releases carbon on the meat that is black. This carbon comes from the acids in meat. The acid combines with the metal causing it to turn dark. This is sometimes referred to as ‘turning black.' Most products sold today do not have this risk. However, I have read user comments and customer reviews on various Retail Web Sites where I first became aware of this. Another example of a good reason to shop at a quality site where price and lower prices are stressed
 Before approaching the actual grinding of the meat, I recommend using the FDA recommendations on cleaning meats, fruits, vegetables, and all produce. This includes washing your hands at least twenty (20) seconds with soap and water, rinsing the meat or produce for several minutes. In addition, before proceeding further it is vital to wash your hand again with soap and water to reduce and eliminate the transfer of bacteria from the meat and/or produce back to your hands before you continue food preparation. You should also change the cutting board and any dish or dishes used in preparing meats along with all other foods.
After this, you are ready to continue with your healthier food preparation! Some people use a Meat Slicers rather than a knife to cut larger sections of meat especially for Deer and other wild game. Whether you use a knife or a slicer, you obtain the same results. A little more work with a knife, but the same results none-the-less. Remember to wash hands before and after when using different tools and appliances for food preparation! Have the Meat in small chunks cut by 2x2 or 1x2 inch sections make the grinder work less. This preserves the motor of an Electronic Meat Grinder as well as your hands and arms for a Manual Meat Grinder. 
Experiment with the course, medium and fine grates available on many grinders sold today. You will find that they can provide even more options for creative food preparation and the cooking that follows. I know people have specific meals in mind before beginning this process and other that like the freedom of ongoing and continuous creativity when cooking after the completion of food preparation.  I recommend using a Meat Grinder made from Caste Iron that is 'Tinned.'  This is shown in  the picture above. Aluminum is also a good choice and lighter weight. This can be both a good thing and bothersome depending on your personal preferences. I think the best and healthiest metal to use is Stainless Steel. At En Fuego Inc, we recommend a new site that sells quality grinders, juicers, slicers, and food dehydrators and choppers:    Cleaning is easier in most cases and Stainless Steel is durable too.  Bacteria do not like metals. While it can live on them, they do not find metal food preparation products as being as 'inviting places to live.'

Avoid what you can to avoid reducing opportunities for healthier food preparation. Bacteria, not taking the time to properly prepare meats and other foods before beginning to cook are the common sense part of this article. Do not let time or lack of time cause problems in the kitchen. Take pride in your health. Take pride in what you eat. Make sure you prioritize this to avoid regrets for you and your family. Save money and time by investing in a good meat grinder. Make time to first plan a little, prepare a little more, and enjoy a healthy meal a lot!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

REI Health Fair & Expo July 9, 2011 Clock Tower Resort in Rockford, IL

See you at the health fair                                       

By Richard S. Gubbe
People can find answers that will help them reach their goals for a healthier lifestyle from both conventional and complementary medicine through local and regional businesses at health fairs this summer and fall.
Reiki Energy International will hold its second annual REI Health Fair & Expo at the Clock Tower Resort on Saturday, July 9, to be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Wallingford Center.
The REI Health Fair and Expo will feature more than 65 heath-conscious exhibitors showcasing healthy services and products as well as offering symposiums on current health issues. The free fair will include local and national businesses and is designed to build awareness of healthy-living opportunities in our community.
The symposiums will be held in a separate meeting room throughout the day and will include the topics of "Herbs and Healthy Cooking," "Organic Gardening," "Reiki" and "Preventative Health."
In-Kind sponsors already secured for the REI Health Fair & Expo include The Rock River Times, the four Nutrition Works health care stores in the Rock River Valley, Maverick Media and WNTA Radio, The Rockton Inn, Beth Ann Weis Salon & Spa and The Clock Tower Resort. Last year's vendor space was sold out.
Vendor fees for businesses start at $50. For vendor applications, visit: for call (815) 398-6326.
This event will feature the largest number of vendors offered for a health fair in this region in a convergence of Eastern and Western modalities representing the latest products, technologies and services. The event will provide a platform for clinical and complementary medicine, health care outlets and products and services that currently are available in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Included in the 2010 fair were regional health care facilities, nutritional businesses, drink companies and fitness centers, as well as massage therapists, Reiki masters, holistic chiropractors and other health care practitioners.
There will be a free wellness night Tuesday, June 14 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Aldeen Golf Club in Rockford. The Aldeen Men's golf Association will hold its annual "Take Aim At Your Health" night at the Rockford Park District's Aldeen Golf Club and Practice Centre, 1902 Reed Farm Road in Rockford. The event features health and wellness information designed to improve play on and off the golf course. There will be wellness screenings, testing and assessments, chair massage and numerous golf-related activities. Refreshments will be available. Call (815) 282-4653 for info.
Wind Ride Herb Farm will hold it annual Herb, Garden and Wellness Faire from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. June 25. The fair is held outdoors in rural Caledonia. Call Liz Fiorenza at (815) 885-1444 for info. Wind Ridge, located at 466 Quail Trap Road in Caledonia, features more than 400 varieties of medicinal and culinary herbs. Wind Ridge produces all natural products without dyes, preservatives or additives.
The Janet Wattles Mental Health Fair will be held Oct. 1 at CherryVale Mall. This event features vendors at tables throughout the mall during the day. Last year's fair drew a variety of businesses and organizations. Janet Wattles also is hosting a talk on Reiki Energy Healing on June 1 at 6 p.m. at their Mildred Berry Center. Call (815) 968-9300 for info.

Richard Gubbe is an award-winning journalist, public relations specialist and Reiki Master Teacher. He is a longtime Rockford resident who has taught preventative health, visualization and Reiki at Rock Valley College since