April 11, 2013
Enterprise #5 antique meat grinder
This is the cute little brother of the Enterprise #10 meat grinder which I detailed in a previous post. I actually bought this one first, off ebay, but later developed the opinion that this one was not going to cut it and I'd better go to the next size up. After overhauling the #10 and getting it working well, I wanted to tune up the #5 and sell it off on ebay. But now that I have it working in top form, I'm instead thinking of selling the #10!
You can see the #5 compared to the larger #10 below. The #5 has a smaller diameter screw and barrel, the barrel length and crank radius are shorter, and the cutting face area is smaller.
One reason why I didn't like the prospects of the #5 initially was that the replacement cutter I bought for it did not fit well on the square boss on the end of the extrusion screw.
I was concerned that under load, it would eventually strip or otherwise munge itself into non-functionality. But I figured I ought to give it a try so I could sell it in good conscience.
I cleaned it thoroughly, then applied furniture wax to the outside surfaces and shortening to the inside surfaces, baked in with the oven. I also found a thrust washer to put between the screw and the housing, but it pushes the cutter plate out too far such that it doesn't engage with the anti-rotation pin in the end of the barrel. I guess it will still outlast me even with no thrust washer in there.
The first thing I did with it was to grind up a load of semi-frozen beef heart for some chili Becky was making up.
With the 12mm plate on, it went through beautifully in a couple minutes. A big pile of quivering fresh ground beef heart is something you don't see everyday, and really makes you think about your dedication to eating meat.
I found the #5 easier to clean than the #10. A scrub brush can still mostly fit down the barrel and into the hopper, and fingers and a sponge can more easily access the internal facets that need cleaning. Since the cutting face has less area, there are fewer holes in the cutter plate to poke out and clean, and overall the pieces are a little lighter and easier to handle in the sink.
I put the #5 to a tougher test; grinding up sprouted einkorn for bread. The kids have a little easier time turning the crank on the #5 than on the #10.
It did a fine job on the sprouts. As a final test, we made 2kg of breakfast sausage from a nice, fatty chunk of shoulder I got from our neighborhood boutique butcher.
For this sausage, I followed the recipe in Charcuterie, by Polcyn and Keller, but substituted homebrew hard cider for the water added at the binding stage.
I manually cubed the meat, mixed in the spices and salt, then chilled it for a while in the freezer before we started.
The kids did almost all the cranking and feeding.
For some reason, they can't get enough of the cranking!
Millie found the cranking a bit tough.
Buster is helping me pour the liquid in before the binding mix in the picture below. One of his favorite things is to "dump" something, and he has very little ability to discriminate when it is appropriate to do so. He also is in love with the mixer, so he was all over this step.
Buster and I dumped the sausage filling onto a length of saran wrap to form two big quenelles.
These got put in the freezer for a while, until they were very firm but not completely frozen, then were sliced up and frozen in zip bags.
So all in all I have been very impressed with the #5. It has a lower throughput than the #10, but for the amount of stuff I'm grinding at a time the actual grinding time is a lot less than the prep and cleanup time. So an increase in grinding time from 5 minutes to 10 minutes in not very significant, and probably gets recouped in a shorter cleaning time. The machine is lighter and smaller, and a little easier for the kids to crank. There are not as many plate options available, but I have honestly been happy with the output from the 5 and 12 mm plates I already have. The hopper is significantly smaller, so when the kids are feeding it there tends to be more misses and stuff ending up on the floor than with the #10.
I'll keep the #10 around for a while longer just to make sure the #5 isn't going to strip, break, or be found inadequate for some task I have yet to undertake. But after a year of not using the #10, I vow to find it a new home.