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June 25, 2024 3 min read

Ground chicken can be used for making burger patties, chili, meatballs, and fillings for tacos and burritos. It's great for grilling, baking, or frying. Usually, the grounded version is bought at superstores or meat stores. But if you already have whole chicken at home and want to make a meal out of it, you might want to grind it yourself instead of buying a separate pre-grounded version. This guide will show you how to do just that.

What Type of Chicken Should You Choose?


chicken chunks in a bowl
Credit: Envato Elements/ Artem_ka2

For juicier, more flavorful dishes like burger patties or meatballs, go for chicken thighs with excess fat. They have a higher fat content. On the other hand, if you prefer a lower fat content or a lighter taste, skinless chicken breasts are a good option. They're leaner but can dry out a bit more during cooking, so they're great for dishes where you’ll add sauces or other moist ingredients. Lastly, make sure to go for boneless pieces.

How to Mince Chicken

Here’s how to grind chicken in a food processor, a mortar and pestle, or a meat grinder:

1) Using a Food Processor


a food processor on a countertop
Credit: Envato Elements/ staRRush

  • Start by cutting the chicken into small, one-inch cubes.
  • Make sure the chicken meat is partially frozen; this helps the blades cut through the meat more efficiently without smearing. Chill the blades as well.
  • Place all the meat in the food major processor.
  • Pulse in short bursts until the chicken reaches the desired consistency. It’s best to do this in batches. Make sure not to over-process, as this can result in a mushy texture.

2) Using a Mortar and Pestle


mortar and pestles on display
Credit: Envato Elements/ cynoclub

  • This method is more labor-intensive and best for smaller quantities. Cut the skinless chicken breast into very small pieces using a sharp knife to make the grinding easier.
  • Add a small batch of chicken pieces to the mortar and use the pestle to press and crush the meat.
  • Keep grinding until you achieve a minced texture.

3) Using a Meat Grinder


meat being put through a meat grinder
Credit: Envato Elements/ atercorv

  • If using a manual grinder, make sure it's securely clamped to a flat surface.
  • For both manual and electric grinders, cut the chicken into strips or one-inch cubes that will fit into the feeding tube.
  • Chill these cubes and the meat grinder blades for 20-30 minutes in the freezer.
  • Feed the cubed chicken into the grinder.
  • If your grinder has different settings, start on a coarser grind, and then pass the meat again through a finer option. Keep a bowl underneath the grinder to catch the ground meat.

Tips for Grinding Chicken


ground chicken in iron skillet
Credit: Envato Elements/ composter-box

Here are some additional tips to help you master grinding meat at home:

  • If you’re using chicken thighs or other fatty cuts, it’s especially helpful to partially freeze them. Fat can become smeary if ground too warm.
  • For more flavorful ground chicken, consider seasoning the meat before grinding. You can add different salt and spices to the chunks of chicken.
  • Minced chicken should be cooked immediately after grinding for the best quality. If you need to store it, wrap it tightly and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two days, or freeze it for up to three months.


Can I grind cooked chicken?

Yes, you can. Make sure to use a food processor for the best results.

Can I mix different cuts of chicken for grinding?

Absolutely! Mixing different cuts, like breast and thigh, can balance lean meat with a bit of fat.

Can ground chicken be refrozen after grinding?

Yes, you can. However, it's best to use it fresh or store it in the fridge if using it soon.


Grinding your own chicken at home is a simple process. You can use different tools like food processors, mortar and pestles, or meat grinders. With the tips mentioned in the blog, you'll be able to make delicious, homemade ground chicken dishes.

Looking for a way to elevate your home cooking? Check out Pepe Nero Mortar and Pestles. Perfect for those who cherish the art of traditional cooking, this tool lets you grind chicken, ground beef, spices, and herbs effortlessly. Shop with us today.

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