Name: Waring Pro Professional Meat Grinder MG-800
Price: $145, available on Amazon
It looks like: A cross between an espresso machine and an electric can opener.
What we were looking for: A well-designed machine that would process meats faster than a food processor. It should also be easy to use, with no pushing or prodding the meat through the hopper required. Our ultimate goal? Ground meat that would produce tender, juicy burgers and sausage. (See why we recommend grinding your own meat for exceptional homemade burgers.)
How we tested it: We processed 1-inch chunks of sirloin steak tips and fatty pork butt through the medium and large grinder plates (to make hamburger and chorizo, respectively).
How it actually works: It churned out perfectly ground meat efficiently and with no trouble. It yielded almost as much meat as we fed it, meaning no fat or sinew got stuck around the grinder plate and ground into unusable pâté.
Good to know: While its powerful motor offers a reverse mode to help unclog any stuck pieces, we never had to use it.
My favorite part: It comes with a five-year warranty, which helps us come to terms with its steep price. It’s also easy to assemble.
Drawbacks: The machine is fairly high-maintenance: The raw meat has to be cleaned out meticulously for food safety reasons, and since it’s not dishwasher safe, you have to do so by hand. When it comes time to put it away, you have to oil the metal parts and swaddle them in towels for storage.
Best for: Those with cash and counter space to spare.
Overall: This is a powerful, high-performing machine that won’t let you down. If you regularly grind your own meat, the Waring Pro is worth the investment.