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Making Boerewors at Home: The Essential Guide to Using a Meat Mincer in South Africa

July 4, 2024

One thing is a must at any braai: the much-loved succulent sausage, boerewors. Now, you can bring this traditional delicacy to your kitchen. In any case, the biggest factor in perfect boerewors is the quality of the grind, where the meat mincer plays the most important role. 

This guide describes what basic equipment you need to make boerewors at home: saw blades, butchery equipment, and butcher knives.

Choosing the Right Meat Mincer

To make the best boerewors, the key to grinding is in the meat: a coarse grind will produce a sausage with the correct bite. You can use a meat mincer to do this with various interchangeable plates. 

The Role of Saw Blades and Butchery Equipment

Saw blades will be needed for the meat and bones, and a range of sausage casings will need to fit into the equipment. You require a blade that can stand up to the meat and bones but not crush it – especially in the case of boerewors.

The butchery equipment involves a meat mincer, saw blades, and anything from a work table to mixers. You might need a sturdy table and a mixer to process the meat well at home.

Butcher Knives: Your Best Friend in Sausage Making

Good, strong butcher knives are essential; you will use them to trim meat, remove membranes and excessive fat, and ensure your boerewors have the right fat level. Serrated knives work best. Or look for knives with thin blades that allow a precise cut.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Boerewors

Select Your Meat

Choose a mix of beef and pork for the best flavour.

  • Trimmed Beef: Make your cleaned brisket and tough cuts of meat into four-ounce chunks, trimming or smacking away excess fat or sinew.
  • Grind the Meat: Using the coarse setting on your meat mincer, grind up the pieces of raw meat.
  • Season It: Add the spices – coriander, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper – to the minced meat.
  • Stuff the Casings: Take the stuffing tube, fill the sausage casings with stuffing, and twist them into links.
  • Rest and Cook: Although the meat can be eaten immediately, let the boerewors sit in the fridge for a bit before making it – the flavours become more pronounced in those extra hours. 

The boerewors is a South African sausage, an integral part of our food culture and a celebration of tradition and communal culinary delights, otherwise known as the South African braai or barbecue (the name comes from Boer, Afrikaans for ‘farmer’, and wors, meaning sausage). 

Meat Mincers and Their Role in the Food Processing Chain

Meat mincers, also known as meat grinders, play an important role in the food processing industry. They are vital for turning a huge chunk of meat into a ground product that is the starting ingredient for millions of dishes in many countries.

The Invention and Evolution of Meat Mincers

The idea for the first meat mincer came from a German inventor, Karl Drais, in the 19th century. Early versions were hand-cranked, pushing meat through a plate with many tiny holes that pulled up to form long, thin pieces. It was the first in a long line of appliances to reshape home cooking by making it much quicker and easier. Earlier versions of the meat mincer consisted of a mincing knife or a cleaver.

With the widespread availability of electricity, powered meat mincers inevitably developed, which allowed for the efficient processing of several pounds of meat at a time into a consistent mince. Electric meat mincers typically came with various attachments that allowed them to make sausage, kibbe, or juice.

Importance in the Food Chain

Every butcher, restaurant kitchen and home cook needs a meat mincer. There are very specific textures involved in producing certain meat and sausage dishes, which demand the right size of grind – the coarse grind to produce authentic boerewors and the fine grind for certain sausages and patties.

In commercial contexts, meat mincers facilitate functionality and cleanliness by obviating labour costs and preventing contamination by limiting the amount of meat dealt with manually. The ability to prepare meat on demand enables the provision of freshness and quality, which consumers demand more.

Global Manufacturing and Impact

From the company name, which is left out, it is clear that the meat mincer started a large-scale meat production of minced meat worldwide. The invention of the meat mincer has changed the process of meat production, allowing butchers and food processors to increase production, maintain high quality and create new products.


Nowadays, meat mincers are a vital part of the food industry. In an era of the evolution of how people prepare food from earlier times to the present, meat mincers enabled people to prepare food in a modern, efficient, and low-labour way instead of the ancient way by slicing. However, mincers are still needed to make sausage and pork. They will always be needed because they ensure the food in the chain, from farm to table.