Bulk pesto-making equipment - robot coupe, automated morter & pestle, buffalo chopper?


I'm looking for a better way to make 10+ quarts of pesto at a time. The robot coupe isn't cutting it (literally & figuratively) because I rapidly blanch the basil by pouring boiling water over it, and there's not enough texture left to be chopped by the spinning blades.

I'm wondering if my meat grinder could do it. If not, is there such a thing as a motorized mortar & pestle? I don't think a buffalo chopper would work either, since it's essentially the same mechanism as food processor.

Thanks in advance!

Miles Tamboli
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Miles T. July 13, 2019

I tried the meat grinder this week and it worked like a charm. Faster than the food processor, and came out just beautiful.

Thanks for the ideas, y'all!

memebalbo November 1, 2023
Hi there. What kind/brand of meat grinder did you use? Did you change anything about your process?
MMH July 7, 2019
I make quantities of pesto. I have always used a cuisinart. I don’t blanch the Basil. Just thinking about it, the blades probably get a better grip on the raw leaves. It’s slow but it’s the only way I’ve ever done it.
Smaug July 7, 2019
A meat grinder would be awfully coarse for pesto, though I've heard of them being used for guacamole in quantity. Conceivably a flour grinder of some sort- it might just make a mess, but grinding does make for better pesto than chopping. Have you tried running your blanched basil through a food mill? Another thing that occurs is a juicer, but I'm not really familiar with their mechanism.
Miles T. July 8, 2019
Thanks. I haven't tried a food mill. I'd like to hear from someone who has before I buy one though. I'm going to try the meat grinder this week, since I already have one.
Smaug July 8, 2019
Might as well try anything you can think of- there's precious little to lose. You could use a blender too, though it's a bit of a pain, but once you get it going it'll do a better job than a food processor- one of those double-bladed Ninja blenders might be just the thing.
Smaug July 8, 2019
OK, tried a food mill, both a hand cranked model and the Kitchenaid attachment- not promising, though they did remove a good deal of water.. Also tried the Kitchenaid meat grinder- some went through- it didn't seem to be working awfully well, but might do better with a larger quantity. At any rate, I now have an aromatic, if somewhat messy, kitchen.
Smaug July 8, 2019
By the way, what is a buffalo chopper? I must say the name sounds a bit intimidating.
Miles T. July 8, 2019
Hey, thanks for trying! I'm going to give the meat processor a shot.
Smaug July 8, 2019
No problem, it was Fun With Science Monday chez moi- it was between that and making a puffy quiche.
Miles T. July 8, 2019
They're basically sideways food processors and they are awesome. There's a spinning bowl (sort of shaped like a bundt pan) and a set of spinning blades on one side that chop food as it turns through. They're mostly used for chopping meat (sausages, meatballs, hot dogs, etc).
Smaug July 8, 2019
Are they big enough to take a whole buffalo, or do you have to cut it up?
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