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What odd things can I do with this food chopper?

 
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I bought a hand crank food chopper/grinder the other day, I think it's a nice one, they had 2 of them, I got the older one that had more attachments.

I know these are used to make sausage. I just used it to turn some hard as rock crackers into crumbs.

What else can I do with this critter? and I don't believe in "It wasn't made to do that!" I like finding odd uses for things. I violate warranties...  :D

What happens if I put squash in it? Winter, summer, raw, cooked? Bet I can make great hummus out of cooked beans with it. Can you run raw fruit through it to make jam? The only thing I have ever heard of people doing with them is sausage.




Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

Original subject line said Food Grinder, so wording in this thread is mixed between grinder and chopper.

It says Food Chopper on it, so the thread title has been changed to use that term.

 
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Hey, Pearl! I can advise... I wouldn't do anything juicy in it. Lol. I tried, with mine, and... Well, the juice will leak out both sides - badly. Buh-bye, juice... (though I didn't try it with frozen fruit)

It will, however work for the squash (if you cut it small enough to go into the auger), with not-so-juicy apples, & nuts.
 
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Hey Pearl.. it sounds like you’ve got some great ideas already. How about pulverizing eggshells for the garden, or even whole hard boiled eggs to feed chicks? Coarse ground coffee beans? Shaved ice? Please keep us updated on your uses!
 
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Grinding and mixing clay, soil, charcoal, compost and food waste.
 
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I adore my universal food chopper .

universal food chopper The bits of food you throw away, should make a meal another day

 These are especially good for transforming leftovers,  like roast into shepherd's pie.   It's basically the ancestors of the electric food processor and differs from grinders in the blade being on the outside instead of in the tube, making the chopper easier to clean.  You can chop almost anything in it.  Mine comes with several extra blades including one for nut butter and another one for bread crumbs.

Here it is making hummus with the nut butter blade.

smushed chickpeas for hummus

helping with sausage making day

universal food chopper chops meat instead of grinding it

chickpea miso

making miso in my universal food chopper

My favourite advertisement for this tool.

The universal food chopper and a few of the things it chops advert

 
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Carla Burke wrote:I wouldn't do anything juicy in it....the juice will leak out both sides



I wonder how wet the grinding medium can be. We have a meat-grinder attachment for our stand-mixer that works on the same principles and it produces salsa of the very best texture. (The blender and food processor over-process even when careful and the molcajete is a lot of work.) I was thinking one of these hand-operated grinders would be great in the same way, but maybe not.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Christopher Weeks wrote:

Carla Burke wrote:I wouldn't do anything juicy in it....the juice will leak out both sides



I wonder how wet the grinding medium can be. We have a meat-grinder attachment for our stand-mixer that works on the same principles and it produces salsa of the very best texture. (The blender and food processor over-process even when careful and the molcajete is a lot of work.) I was thinking one of these hand-operated grinders would be great in the same way, but maybe not.


I am wondering if I can put it on a slant, so the juices only run downhill into my bowl that's catching processed food. Juices out the back would be a mess, but out the front would be fine.
 
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If you mount the grinder on a food safe base, like a cutting board, then you can put the entire thing in a roasting pan.
The juices could come out any which way and still end up in the pan.
The clamp on the bottom will make the mounting harder.

 
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i've used mine for grinding soaked/cooked corn for masa harina
cracking malted grains
coffee
my mother in law uses hers to grind soybeans to make miso

i really like the idea of charcoal, though, there have been times i've needed to do just that and didn't think of this grinder.
 
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I use mine to make protein balls or bars. The balls delete the need to roll out the mix. Equal parts nuts and dried fruit of your choice, peanut butter, usually ends being about the same volume but depends on the the dryness of the dried fruit. Sometimes add honey but not always. Mix it all together and roll into meatball size balls. If they are a little too moist roll in cocoa powder or coconut.
 
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I wonder if a meat grinder like that one could be used to break up clay?

Like Judith asked here:

https://permies.com/t/218774/method-deal-rock-hard-clods

What about using the grinder to shred leaves?

https://permies.com/t/40196/shred-leaves-mower


 
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I looked through my grinders (the ones I could find, anyway) and I have the #2 version.

Processing fruits with iron tools can impart a taste or affect color. But apparently a lot of people did it around here. If the tin plating is in good shape, it would maybe be minimal, pretty much just the cutting edges. Though it may not be be a big enough issue to you.

I almost forgot... I looked in the Manual that came with it and it showed all the Universal models of grinders. Of particular interest was that they made a model called the "Climax." I bet that's a highly sought after model!
IMG_20230626_063203883_HDR.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20230626_063203883_HDR.jpg]
 
r ranson
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A bit more about the difference between this food chopper and a grinder.

The chopper dices for the most part.  Depending on the blade, how sharp it is and the food.  This is the best example I have.

Meat grinder/mincer



food chopper



from my sausage making day

Looking at history, the chopper replaces the knife and the technique of dicing.  It compacts the food through the holes, so something like a raw onion gets a bit crushed (and reacts with the iron/coating so it's not a great food to put through this).  But the chopper is designed for processing cooked leftovers.  Like this.



Where the food can smoosh through the holes without being crushed.  

The grinder/mincer replaces mincing which smooshes the food through the hole more, and then cuts it off inside.  It crushes the food while cutting it.  The closest we have these days is the apple sauce sive.
 
r ranson
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Here's the universal chopper cookbook at archive.org

Some of the recipes I want to try from it:

Hotch-Potch

MINCE about two pounds of lean beef in the “Universal” Food Chopper, using the coarse cutter, and place in a stew-pan with a little fat beef or veal, five pints of water or stock, and a half a pint of beans.

When these come to a boil, add two carrots, two onions, two stalks of celery, two turnips and cauliflower, chopped also with the three tooth cutter, cover lightly and boil gently for about three hours. Melt two ounces of butter and mix (smoothly) with it a teaspoon¬ ful of flour, let it brown, dilute with a little of the broth, and add to the stew. Season with ketchup.

When it boils up again season to taste. Hotch-potch can be made of other kinds of meat as well.


Potato Soup

CUT one-half an onion in the “Universal” Food Chopper with the coarse cutter, and fry in a saucepan until light brown. Add two potatoes cut with the same cutter and fry. Add two quarts of stock or water and boil twenty minutes. Strain through a sieve and boil again. Just before removing, add one glass of cream or rich milk mixed with one tablespoonful of butter. Do not let it boil after adding the milk.



Mince Meat


CUT up in the “Universal” Food Chopper, using the medium cutter, two pounds of lean, fresh beef, boiled and cold, five pounds of apples, pared and cored, two pounds of seeded raisins, three-quarters of a pound of citron. With the fine cutter pulverize one pound of beef suet,*one nutmeg, one table¬ spoonful of cloves and two of cinnamon. Add all together with one pound of sultana raisins, two pounds of currants, two tablespoonfuls of mace, one of allspice, one of fine salt, two and one-half pounds of brown sugar, one quart of brown sherry and one pint of brandy. Mix all thoroughly together and stand in a cool place. It will last all winter. Wash the fruit, especially the currants and sultanas, most thoroughly.



Turbot Croquettes

FOR utilizing the rest of turbot. Carefully bone and remove the skin, pass through the “Universal” Food Chopper, adjusted with the coarse cutter. Prepare a white sauce, as shown in the preceding recipe, let it become sufficiently thick and put in the chopped turbot and two or three yolks of eggs. When this mixture becomes quite cold form it into croquette forms about the size of walnuts, put them into beaten egg and afterwards into bread crumbs, dip them again into beaten egg and roll once more in bread crumbs. Cook and serve hot on serviettes or toast.

Although I think I'll try a different fish that turbot as it's not something we see here.  It basically looks like yummy fish cakes from leftovers
 
r ranson
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Is it working?  Or, more importantly, is it working well?

For anyone with a food chopper, you can test this by running a raw potato through it and seeing if it chops or smooshes (maybe try the potato soup above).

If it's smooshing it could be a few things.
- the blade isn't tight enough or too tight (adjust the screw)
- the blade isn't sharp enough (I own a few of these and the ones that chop the best cut my hand like a papercut)  Usually this wears sharper with use, but sometimes it needs loving.  It's the same as fixing the next problem.
- the blade isn't fitting right to the machine.  It could be the wrong blade for that modle, but more likely something got used in it that maybe shouldn't have.  

To fix this, I get a fine bit of sandpaper like a 3000 or 6000 grit wet/dry sandpaper.  Put it over the machine end with the rough side facing out.  Put the blade on and doing my best to keep the sandpaper still, run the machine so that the blade can shape to the machine.  

Wash really really well because ingesting metal dust isn't fun.  

I'm sure there is a better way to get the blade to fit the machine.  I'm not sure what it is.  
 
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How well would this handle grape leaves/vine/tendrils?
How about green mulberry branches/leaves?
My experiments with lactobacillus ferments are going so well that a way to process these leaves would be very handy.
Most modern food processors deal with stems very poorly.
Grinding them to paste , while extracting some juice, would also be good prep for dehydrating them.



I was thinking about the mounting again.
Of we invert a 1/3rd size  hotel/steam table pan and cut a 1 1/2 to 2" hole in the bottom near one end, we could slip the clamping knob / mechanism into the hole  and clamp the chopper onto the metal of the base.
The result should be a food safe stainless steel base that is stable, with room to place a steadying hand and for the crank to turn freely.
 
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I would stay away from woody matter as it dulls the blade.  But stiff stems work fine.

I have a chopper dedicated to dye materials like woad for woad balls.



It just chopps them and doesn't get out as much juice as I would like so I have to spend a lot of time kneading the balls to get them to the right consistency.  

I find a sharp food chopper doesn't have very much juice coming out the back as it doesn't create the same back pressure that a grinder does.  That said, some juicy foods like tomatoes can be problematic.  I think it's worth trying it out with your favourite foods before deciding if you need to modify the set up.  
 
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Here's the manual, but it's in pretty bad shape. I couldn't find a better scan on the internet.
IMG_20230626_231219312_HDR.jpg
manual for the universal food chopper
IMG_20230626_231207486_HDR.jpg
manual for the universal food chopper
IMG_20230626_231052546.jpg
manual for the universal food chopper
IMG_20230626_231028024.jpg
105140006
IMG_20230626_230833006.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20230626_230833006.jpg]
IMG_20230626_230816934.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20230626_230816934.jpg]
 
William Bronson
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My father in law picked me up from work today.
We share a passion for thriftstores.
5 bucks later:
20230627_174047.jpg
Chicken food?
Chicken food?
 
Pearl Sutton
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William Bronson wrote:My father in law picked me up from work today.
We share a passion for thriftstores.
5 bucks later:


Envious! I paid 15 for mine.
:D
 
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I was digging through some stuff looking for a juicer, and you'll never guess what I found:
IMG_20230712_180022993_HDR.jpg
I had a Climax and didn't even realize it.
I had a Climax and didn't even realize it.
 
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My Mom would make red flannel hash from boiled dinner leftovers (don't forget the beets!) , I know she did more with it but that was 50 years ago, I just don't remember.
 
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Carla Burke wrote:Hey, Pearl! I can advise... I wouldn't do anything juicy in it. Lol. I tried, with mine, and... Well, the juice will leak out both sides - badly. Buh-bye, juice... (though I didn't try it with frozen fruit)

It will, however work for the squash (if you cut it small enough to go into the auger), with not-so-juicy apples, & nuts.




I used to make sandwich spread with Bologna, pickles and mayonnaise, and indeed, it made quite a mess on the floor as the pickle juice would pour out of both ends!
I switched to grinding the Bologna on its own and then adding the sweet pickle relish and the mayo, mixing well. It might work a little better with frozen fruit, but frankly, when pressure is applied, the fruit can go squishy again.
If you have something that is really juicy, it is better to work it in separately, cut in tiny pieces perhaps.
Red flannel hash might be pretty good as well, using the grinder:
https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/red_flannel_hash/
The corned beef and the potatoes would work great in the grinder, but the beets? I would cut them or mash them in a bowl separately and add them afterwards.
 
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I make protein balls, dried fruit and nuts 50/50 then a bit of peanut butter  if i want honey sometimes. Roll them into meatball size protions. If it is too sticky roll them in coconut or cocoa powder.
 
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