When it comes to manual meat grinders, the market is littered with junk that are hardly worth it as paperweights. Parts that rust after a few months, poor casting, and difficult operation are a few of the many gripes people have with most hand-cranked grinders.
In this post, I’ll compare two of my favorite manual meat grinders that don’t suffer from any of the major quality issues so rampant with other manual grinders.
Whether you’re looking to make the occasional hamburger patties, sausages, meatballs, or even dog food, either will do the job admirably. But like with any two things, one is always better than the other. Let me break down how the two models stack up in the key areas that matter when it comes to meat grinding.
Whatever product we’re buying, the most important thing to consider is, of course, the product’s ability to do its task. For manual hand crank meat grinders, this translates to grinding meat with as less fuss as possible.
One thing that I noticed right away is that the LEM #10 can take larger chunks of meat. With it, I only need to cut a large chicken breast into three pieces whereas the Huanyu requires that I slice the meat into 2-cm thick strips for smooth grinding. This means that I need to spend more time preparing the meat with the Huanyu compared to LEM #10.
What’s more, the LEM #10 can handle soft poultry bones like chicken neck and wings better, making it a great choice for making raw pet food.
WINNER: LEM #10 Meat Grinder
Durability and Material
Durability is a necessity when it comes to meat grinders, especially hand cranked ones. You don’t want to invest your hard-earned money into a meat grinder that breaks after just a few uses. As such, the product must not only be sturdy, but rust-resistant as well.
The good news is that both the Huanyu and the LEM #10 meat grinders have a stainless steel construction.
Huanyu’s auger and stuffing tube are made from grade 304 stainless steel while its cross knife and meat plates are 3cr13 stainless steel. Since stainless steel is known for being corrosion-resistant and durable, you can expect years of use from this grinder with proper care.
As for the LEM #10 meat grinder, the unit and its parts are stainless steel except for the carbon steel cutter head, stuffing tubes, thumb screw, and rubber pads. The carbon steel cutter head of the LEM #10 is more prone to corrosion, but with proper care, there’s no reason for it to not last as long as the Huanyu meat grinder.
Ideal Weight and Size
With dimensions of 11.5 x 8.3 x 5.3 inches, the LEM #10 is slightly bigger than the Huanyu meat grinder’s 10.6 x 7.7 x 6.9 inches. Since there is barely any difference in terms of size, both meat grinders will need roughly the same amount of storage space.
The 9.37-pound LEM #10 is heavier than the 7.1-pound Huanyu meat grinder. I actually prefer the LEM #10’s heavier weight since it feels more sturdy. But, if you have weak wrists, the Huanyu might be the better option for you.
You might want to consider electric meat grinders as well if you don’t mind the noise and higher maintenance. The biggest advantage of going electric is obviously that it negates the need to burden your wrist and arms with hand cranking the appliance.
Better Anchoring Mechanism
An effective anchoring mechanism will allow your meat grinder to stay firmly on top of your table or countertop, preventing it from moving while you work. The most common types of anchoring mechanism are suction cups, clamps, and bolts.
The LEM #10 meat grinder comes with a clamp that can accommodate surfaces that are 1 ¼” thick while the Huanyu meat grinder comes with both suction cup and clamp. The suction cup is very easy to install and works great if you have a smooth working surface.
If you find that your countertop is too thick for your meat grinder’s clamp, you can follow the instructions below. This also works great in preventing the surface of your work area from getting damaged by the clamp.
- Clamp the meat grinder on a ¾” plywood.
- Lay a towel on top of your countertop and place the plywood on top of the towel.
- Secure the plywood onto the countertop by using speed clamps.
In this department, the Huanyu meat grinder clearly wins since it offers more options.
WINNER: Huanyu Meat Grinder
Most Features and Accessories
The grinding plates dictate the coarseness of the ground meat. Having more plates with different sized holes is definitely an advantage since it will let you personalize the texture of your ground meat.
The LEM #10 meat grinder comes with two grinding plates – a coarse 3/8” plate and a fine 3/16” plate. The same goes for the Huanyu which has grinding plates with 9/50” and 8/25” holes. If Math isn’t your thing, the plates are almost identical between two units.
If you’d like to take your meat grinding a step further by making sausages, stuffing tubes are just what you need. The Huanyu only comes with one stuffing tube while the LEM #10 has 1/2″, 3/4″, and 7/8″ stuffing tubes, giving you more options in terms of sausage thickness. To get an idea of how it works, you can check out this video of a father and son using the LEM #10 to make sausages:
Overall, the LEM #10 meat grinder has an edge when it comes to features since it offers stuffing tubes of different sizes.
WINNER: LEM #10 Meat Grinder
Ease of Use and Assembly
Both the LEM #10 and the Huanyu are very easy to assemble. To give you an idea of how the Huanyu is assembled, you can check the seller video and user manual. The LEM #10 meat grinder’s user manual doesn’t disappoint either. It includes a numbered illustration of the parts followed by detailed step-by-step instructions.
Once assembled, you can install them on your countertop using the anchoring mechanisms that I’ve mentioned above. Then, you can start adding the meat to the mouth.
The Huanyu and the LEM #10 do not come with food pushers, so you have to be careful with your fingers. Of course, the better thing to do is to just purchase a meat stomper to prevent accidents.
As for making sausages, it’s much easier if there’s one person turning the handle of the meat grinder while another is in charge of stuffing the casings. If you want to be able to easily stuff sausages by yourself, an electric meat grinder with a foot pedal is the better option.
Ease of Maintenance
In general, meat grinders that are easy to disassemble are easier to clean. This holds true for both the Huanyu and LEM #10 meat grinders. Also, since these products are similar in build and materials, the cleanup and maintenance are just the same.
Both companies recommend washing by hand, since placing the units and their parts in the dishwasher can lead to discoloration. To clean hard to reach areas, you can use an old toothbrush or a tube brush. Once it’s clean, dry and coat the grinder and its parts with food-grade silicone spray or edible oil to prevent oxidation.
On Amazon, one satisfied buyer raved about how fast he was able to grind meat with the LEM #10, and that preparing the meat took longer than grinding it. One tip that he gave for other buyers is to chill the meat in the freezer for an hour for better texture.
The common complaint about the LEM #10 is that the clamp doesn’t open wide enough for some countertops. To overcome this issue, I suggest following the tip that I shared above by using a ply board and speed clamps.
As for the Huanyu meat grinder, one user mentioned that she was impressed at how well the suction mechanism worked on her countertop. On top of that, she said that aside from meat grinding, she also uses it to make ground pecans for her baked goods.
Since the Huanyu doesn’t have a lot of reviews on Amazon, let me tell you what I find lacking about it based on my experience. I’m someone who prefers making large batches of sausages that will last me and my family for several weeks. What I often do is pre-load several stuffing tubes with the casing to make the process smoother and faster. Unfortunately, the Huanyu only comes with one stuffing tube, and I can’t find out where to buy more tubes. This means that I have to pause after one casing is done to load another one.
When it comes to price, the LEM #10 has the upper hand against Huanyu. The Huanyu meat grinder costs close to double the LEM #10 at time of writing. This significant difference in price doesn’t make sense since the Huanyu isn’t much different from the LEM #10 when it comes to performance and construction.
WINNER: LEM #10 Meat Grinder
The verdict? The LEM Products #10 Manual Meat Grinder has a sight edge over the Huanyu Manual Meat Grinder IMO. Except for the anchoring mechanisms where the Huanyu shines, the LEM #10 excels when it comes to performance, accessories, and price. For quite a lot less, you can use the LEM #10 to make raw pet food and sausages of varying thickness, things that the Huanyu can’t provide.
At the end of the day though, both the LEM #10 and Huanyu are the two best hand cranked meat grinders currently out on the market. You really won’t be disappointed with either.