LEM Products is a big name in the home meat processing industry. Their quality equipment makes meat and game processing easily accessible to hunters, processors, and home cooks.
The LEM Big Bite line of grinders fits that description, offering professional strength and quality in a retail, consumer machine.
The magic is in their auger design, allowing for a bigger initial “bite” into the meat compared to standard augers. This allows for more meat to move quickly to the knife without clogging the head or having to use the stuffer.
In this review, I’ll go through my experience testing out the LEM Big Bite .5HP meat grinder and let you know if it’s worth the investment.
LEM Big Bite meat grinder overview and first impressions
The LEM Big Bite grinder is a quality piece of equipment. It’s pretty robust in size and weight when unboxing.
We tested out the .5HP motor size. LEM’s Big Bite product line starts at .35HP and goes all the way up to 1.5HP.
The higher the horse power the more meat you’ll be able to process per minute.
The low-end and cheapest model is capable of processing 4lbs per minute, while the 1.5HP model can process a rediculous 17lbs per minute.
The one you choose will be dictated by the amount of grinding you intend to do.
The .5HP Big Bite grinder is the sweet spot for most people, allowing you to quickly and casually grind when you need to without worrying about it taking all day.
The grinder itself is stable and heavy. Its brushed steel finish gives it a commercial feel, but it also lends itself to easy cleanup.
It comes with all the standard accessories, sporting three stainless steel plates – 4.5mm, 10mm, and a plate for stuffing sausage casings – a stainless steel knife blade that fits snugly on the auger, three stuffing tubes of varying sizes, a meat stomper, large meat pan, and plate extractor.
The rifling in the head unit pulls meat toward the blade so you don’t need to use the stomper so much, but the magic in this grinder is the Big Bite auger.
LEM’s Big Bite technology allows its auger to take an extra “big bite” of meat and push it into the grinder head quicker than other grinders with standard sized augers.
They’ve added a storage drawer to keep your attachments and plates when not in use which is very helpful when you only grind a few times a year and can’t remember where you put your coarse plate or your stuffing tube.
All the pieces fit exceptionally well together too. Assembling the Big Bite is like constructing a well-precisioned machine waiting for its time in the spotlight.
It was quick to set up. Maybe five minutes to full assembly, though you’d want to wash all the parts before initial use.
What I like:
- Quality parts and construction – There’s no denying the LEM Big Bite grinder is precision engineered to maximize quality and efficiency. It’s well put together and will last a long time after its initial five year warranty with regular care.
- It’s powerful – the .5HP model flew through meat grinding in minutes. Even untrimmed meat like a pork butt with some residual sinew and connective tissue didn’t slow it down.
- It’s quiet – With such strong grinding force and speed I fully expected this grinder to be louder than normal, but that was not the case. I’ve had much smaller grinders be much louder than the Big Bite.
- Lots of attachment options – LEM continues to innovate with the attachment options for this grinder line. You usually just see some sausage stuffing attachments, but LEM has a foot switch, a juicer, a patty maker, meat mixer, jerky strip maker and thensome. It’s easy to see the company continues to put out great options for the home cook and their investments.
What I don’t like:
- Difficult to stuff sausages – This spans all grinders: they’re not good sausage stuffers. It’s really a two man operation to feed the ground meat into the hopper while leading the casing as it fills. You don’t want to create a big suction vacuum of meat by overpacking the grind into the auger. It’s very inefficient and time consuming.
The LEM Big Bite was selected as our best high-end meat grinder in our guide to the best meat grinders. It easily handled everything we could throw at it, and it represented a huge step up over some of the cheaper models we tested.
What’s in the box and specifications
The LEM Bit Bite meat grinder came well packaged in a branded box. For being on the heavy side, the box held up fine during shipping.
Inside the box:
- Stainless steel 0.5 HP electric grinder
- Stainless steel meat pan
- Stainless steel Coarse Plate 3/8″ (10mm)
- Stainless steel Knife
- Stainless steel Fine Plate 3/16″ (4.5 mm)
- Stainless steel Stuffing Plate
- Three stuffing tubes
- Meat stomper
Every Big Bite grinder is warranted for five years and offers a lifetime customer support line for the entirety of grinder ownership.
LEM Big Bite grinder specifications:
|HP & Wattage||.50 HP|
|Head Size||#8 – Stainless Steel|
|Hole in Head Opening||2″|
|Dimensions mm||470 x 232 x 396|
|Dimensions inches||18.5 x 9.13 x 15.59|
|Grinds lbs per min||7 lbs. per min|
|Pan Dimensions (mm)||310 x 232 x 108|
|Includes||3 Stainless Steel Plates: 4.5mm, 10mm, & stuffing plate, and Stainless Steel Knife|
|Stuffing Tube Sizes||3 plastic stuffing tubes (1/2″, 1″, and 1 3/8″ OD)|
|Certifications||US and Canada ETL and ETL sanitary certified, conforms to UL Standards|
|Country of Origin||China|
|Other Features||on/off switch with sanitary cover, storage drawer|
Using the LEM .5HP Big Bite grinder
Out of the box, the grinder takes about five minutes to assemble, but you want to prep a few things before you dive right into grinding meat.
You’ll want to wash the parts to remove any residual packaging or manufacturing grime. Then you’ll want to get the grinder parts as cold as possible before grinding.
The head parts, the blade, plates, tray and auger should all go in the freezer while you’re prepping the meat. I’d give it a solid half hour to get everything cold, so plan ahead for grind day.
After preparing and assembling, it’s as easy as grinding gets. The Big Bite grinder has one speed and one “on/off” switch, so you don’t have to mess with any reverse settings.
The Big Bite auger size keeps meat flowing fast into the knife and plate, and I found I used the meat stomper minimally throughout the whole process.
I tested the speed of the grinder with a 4lb brisket flat, fully trimmed. The meat was parfrozen for an easier grind, and the Big Bite ran through the meat in 3:08 flat. The time would have been faster, but I was slow reloading the tray. I was done with the beef before I knew it.
LEM states the Big Bite grinder can run through 7 lbs of meat in a minute. To more accurately test, I did a double grind of a 6lb pork butt, parfrozen and untrimmed.
The grinder didn’t bat an eye as it rolled through the meat. Again, I barely used the meat stomper as the auger swiftly pulled the meat to the knife and plate.
What was most surprising is the grinder didn’t slow down grinding through some leftover sinew and silverskin between the muscles in the pork butt. I couldn’t tell a performance difference from this, whereas in other grinders you must clean and trim the meat thoroughly or else risk bogging down the grind or clogging the knife and plates.
All in all, the Big Bite finished double grinding the pork but in 12:20, and that’s with me stopping to switch out the coarse plate for the fine plate.
LEM .5HP Big Bite Meat Grinder Test Results:
|4 lb brisket flat single grind||3:08|
|6 lb pork butt double grind||12:20 (including time to switch plates)|
It’s so fast and efficient, I wished I had more meat to process.
The LEM .5HP Big Bite meat grinder is a fantastic piece of equipment for the hunter and home processor. It may be overkill for the casual cook who only grinds a few times a year, but it feels as close to a commercial countertop machine as you can get for a consumer-oriented product.
Though the price is higher than other grinders we’ve reviewed, the investment is well worth it with the 5-year warranty and life-time support. This grinder will last like a cast-iron skillet.
If you have a LEM grinder or other brand, let us know your experience in the comments, and as always – thanks for reading.