I want to be able to mince a small amount of meat for steak tartar to eat right away. I want the mince to be fresh each time, so mincing more in advance and storing is not an option, no matter what you do, the meat will never be as fresh as stored in a large piece and minced just before eating.

I bought a meat mincing machine, and I tried mincing 500 grams of meat (about one pound for you non-metric USAnians). The amount of meat stuck in the machine after finishing was substantial, and the amount of cleaning afterwards makes the whole exercise pointless. 15 seconds of mincing, and then 15 minutes of getting meat remains out of the machine, chopping it and cleaning the machine.

So I chop it by hand with a knife, but that is also quite time-taking although faster then using the machine and cleaning it later. The machine is something like this:

Zelmer 987

Does anyone know a meat mincing machine which would be suitable for mincing 500 grams of meat at a time, or a technique to do it efficiently, faster then chopping it by hand with a knife? The meats in question are tender, lean meats like beef tenderloin or roe deer haunch.

  • Before cleaning the machine for fifteen minutes, I'd mince the meat by hand - perhaps in three batches on a large chopping board and with a large, sharp knife.
    – Stephie
    Jan 6, 2017 at 10:07
  • 1
    Has anyone tried using a multi-blade herb roller on meat?
    – Joe
    Jan 7, 2017 at 4:00
  • 3
    I think the knife simply wins, here. Small quantity, far less to clean up (and no "lost in the machine" bits.) Perhaps ask that question, and/or practice more.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 7, 2017 at 18:18
  • Now that I think about it some more ... one of 'nut chopper' type devices (eg, 'slap chop') might work for this.
    – Joe
    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:28
  • A heavy but decently sharp knife (cleaver) would do. You just cut the meat repeatedly like you beat a drum. Mar 28, 2018 at 19:17

3 Answers 3


There are a few workarounds to mince your meat, but the results may be not what you are looking for:

  • Some immersion blenders have a special attachment especially for mincing meat or stringy veggies. It's got two super-sharp "winglets". (I'll add a photo once I find mine.) You need to be super careful and fast, or the meat will be more like a puree / paté instead of tiny minced pieces.
  • Food processors will have similar issues: blend a second too long and you have a farce again.

This is based on the fact that meat grinders are based on a totally different principle - they push the meat towards the holes and cut off tiny pieces from the larger chunks while the rotating knives puree the food.
If you are ok with that, they can be an alternative to dragging out the large meat grinder (and cleaning it afterwards). Note that both substitutes require prepping the meat carefully - remove all sinews and similar. Also, chill your meat well. Cold meat will keep its consistency better than slightly warmer meat.

I personally would use a large chopping board and a sharp large knife and chop up the few servings before bothering with tools. But YMMV - it depends on how comfortable and skilled you are with your knife.

  • "equire prepping the meat carefully - remove all sinews and similar" - that practically makes it pointless, as its the most time-taking part of cutting it by knife, so when I do that, I can just cut the whole thing with a knife. Maybe I need to ask about correct technique of chopping meat with a knife.
    – lowtoxin
    Jan 6, 2017 at 10:48
  • If your meat is cold and your knife sharp it is quite easy to chop a pound of meat rather quickly, using the same technique as if you were chopping herbs
    – canardgras
    Jan 6, 2017 at 16:12

If you've got a robust enough cutting surface, mincing in the Chinese fashion, with one or two moderately heavy, sharp meat-cleavers, is very fast and easy to clean up, with no waste. The texture is slightly different from the results of rotary mincing. Take a look at some videos of some skilled practitioners!


I find that using two knives to mince the mince meat would be even faster and not add much time to cleanup for the added efficiency. You would kind of chop the mean like beating a drum, with a knife in each hand. Of course they have to sharp and have proper chopping board.

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