Thread Number: 63998  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Cube Steak Machine
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Post# 865792   2/6/2016 at 09:09 (1,687 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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Has anyone ever seen one of these? I thought it was pretty neat so I bought it. Probably made in the early 1930s by the Cube Steak Machine Co. It is 14 inches wide, 21 inches long, and weighs 60 lbs.


You place a round steak on a platen under the slotted blade guide and pull the handle to run the blades across the meat. The platen turns 1/4 turn with each pass. Unfortunately, it is missing the platen and the turning mechanism. I can easily make a platen but will have to turn it manually, not a problem since I am not a commercial butcher shop and therefore won't use this a lot.

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Post# 865796 , Reply# 1   2/6/2016 at 09:32 (1,687 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

58 Limited, nice find. Academy and Bass Pro sell a smaller version that looks like a hand cranked laundry wringer. Popular with hunter's for venison. That is a nice find I have the "Academy version". I have to use an old tooth brush and bleach to clean it up. Not bad if you want to do some freezer meat, the one I have is a lot of fiddly work. Let us know how you like it.


Post# 865819 , Reply# 2   2/6/2016 at 13:29 (1,687 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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I've seen those modern ones, nice thing about them is they weigh a lot less than mine. I plan to use mine on some venison that I was given. Plus, I usually order a quarter of grass-fed beef every spring so I can use this on the tougher cuts.

Post# 865829 , Reply# 3   2/6/2016 at 15:03 (1,687 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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I haven't seen one of these in years.

I Love Cube Steaks. They are so mis understood. Full flavor, inexpensive, and lean.

I have only used the Hobart Version of a Motorized one.

Post# 865833 , Reply# 4   2/6/2016 at 16:05 (1,687 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Oh lord...... just what I need: Another gizmo to research and geek over. Do you have any idea how long a list I have? And that's just the generated stuff, lol.

No, please don't stop!

Very cool machine. It reminds me of all the mechanical pasta making/cutting devices that are/were used in Italy and by "little old Italian ladies" here. There were no motors involved, but a lot of things we like to think of as being hand made were actually made by hand powered machines such as this Cube Steak Machine.

Again, very cool. Thanks for sharing.


Post# 865836 , Reply# 5   2/6/2016 at 17:05 (1,687 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0600 CDT.))        
Very cool find:

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Haven't seen one of those before. Only a Jaccard that you press against the meat while it is on the board or as Eddie mentioned the Hobart machines that the meat goes through like a dough sheeter.

Post# 865839 , Reply# 6   2/6/2016 at 17:20 (1,687 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        
"They are so misunderstood"

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Truer words have not been spoken.  The cube steaks I know (more like remember because I haven't seen them in the butcher case in decades) look like hamburger patties with a pat of butter on top.   They were never served in our household growing up.   They've always struck me as a food you didn't admit to eating or liking.


I recently bought some veal cube steaks without realizing what they were.  I wasn't wearing my glasses, and they didn't have the tell-tale pat of butter.  They've been in the freezer ever since because I don't know what to do with them.  And then there's the whole question of why veal would need to be cubed.


Eddie, how about educating those of us who are unfamiliar on the merits of cubing steak and how best to prepare them?



Post# 865850 , Reply# 7   2/6/2016 at 18:23 (1,687 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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I haven't seen cubed veal patties in a store in at least 30 years! My family used to make Veal Parmesan with veal patties. It was delicious! First dredge the thawed veal patties in flour, then beaten eggs, next in Italian Seasoned bread crumbs, with grated Parm Cheese mixed in (use as much as you like, or leave out if you don't like it). Now fry the patties in oil, (enough to give about 1/8" to 1/4" ) until golden brown. Place the veal in a baking dish, cover lightly with your favorite Marinara Sauce, and place a slice of Mozzarella cheese on each veal pattie. Bake in a 350 F oven for 20 to 30 mins. to heat through and melt cheese. If I found these veal patties in a store I'd make this in a hot second.

As for cube steak, my family never ate those preformed beef patties with the pat of butter either. We did however eat a lot of cube steak, but the real deal. I like them either dredged in seasoned flour and fried until browned well, (my Grandma used bacon grease, and it was very tasty, but I wouldn't do that now). I like to eat them with A-1 Sauce or ketchup. Or I make Swiss Steak with cube steak, also something I and my husband really like.

Post# 865854 , Reply# 8   2/6/2016 at 18:58 (1,687 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Re Cube Steak

How else would you make Country Style Steak or Swiss Steak! I buy a lot of Cube Steak, For Country Style Steak, you salt pepper and flour the steak well, then brown it in shortening, add chopped onions and water to cover, cover and simmer about two hours, makes its own gravy, for Swiss, same deal except cover with thin sliced onions, add tomato sauce instead of water, cover and simmer.

Post# 865859 , Reply# 9   2/6/2016 at 19:09 (1,687 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        

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Eddie, that VP recipe sounds like a plan!  Could I save myself some clean-up by using a Corningware dish for both the frying and (after dumping the oil) baking?


Hans, two hours?  Really?  A pressure cooker isn't an option?

Post# 865863 , Reply# 10   2/6/2016 at 19:18 (1,687 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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Actually Ralph, when ever I've made this dish I would just make the sauce in the frying pan after I finished frying the veal. So I don't know why you couldn't use your Corningware skillet to bake the dish too. Just drain out the oil well first. Or you could make your sauce in the Corningware, take out all but a thin coating, add the veal back into the pan, ect. I always look to save time, why make things more difficult than they need to be? Most cooking shows on TV drive me crazy, because they use WAY more bowls, pans, ect than are necessary. Work smarter, not harder, after all who's going to have to wash all this stuff!

Post# 865881 , Reply# 11   2/6/2016 at 21:44 (1,687 days old) by Kevin313 (Detroit, Michigan)        

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What a great find!! Now you make make Swiss steak to your heart's content!! My butcher has a larger electric version of your machine.

Post# 866042 , Reply# 12   2/7/2016 at 21:31 (1,686 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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This Little Eddie went to the Market.

This Little Eddie Stayed Home (to cook Cube Steak)

This Little Eddie Pan Seared his. (Rare)

And with No Fat This Little Eddie went to the gym and got fit and lean and ran all the way home.

Good Lord... I should start drinking again LOL.

Post# 866064 , Reply# 13   2/8/2016 at 01:15 (1,686 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        

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Those cocktails in JC's CNN post looked delicious!

Post# 866188 , Reply# 14   2/8/2016 at 16:27 (1,685 days old) by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        

We found one at Brimfield maybe 4-5 years ago and for $5 I couldn't pass it up. It was slightly different, but the same era with the same color. Never did do anything with it other than have it hang around then put it in the yard sale a couple years or so later!!


Post# 868560 , Reply# 15   2/23/2016 at 11:22 (1,670 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

Ah, cube steak.  The red-headed step-child of the Steak family.


Cube steak was my absolute favorite beef when I was a child.  As I blossomed into a Junior Foodie, back before that word “Foodie” actually existed, I turned my back on that old friend.  It seemed so low-class and unworthy of attention.  But my great aunt kept making it for me, and I kept loving it on the down-low.  Of course, today I embrace it with no shame at all, but that’s what happens when we grow up.


Years ago, I read an article about the competing styles of cube-steak preparation: chicken fried vs smothered.  Apparently, it’s a regional thing.  I grew up with smothered steaks: floured and fried, but finished in a long simmer with a little bit of liquid (and sometimes onions) to make a gravy.  I was puzzled the first time I saw “chicken-fried steak” on a menu; it’s obviously Southern, but not from my part of the South (i.e. back in them hills).  I wish I could find that article. 


For those who make their own cube steak, I’d like to put in a recommendation for eye of round.  That’s my favorite.  It has a great flavor, but it is so tough it desperately needs the cubing procedure.  I’d love to have a machine, but space being what it is, I just cube mine with a knife.  I make lots of little cuts going two ways in a diamond pattern, on both sides.  You have to have a little patience and sharp knives, but it’s a fun and easy procedure.

Post# 868563 , Reply# 16   2/23/2016 at 11:40 (1,670 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

This is not the article I remember, but it discusses some of the same material.

Post# 1055505 , Reply# 17   12/25/2019 at 11:31 (269 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        
A long time coming...

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An update on this: I decided making the missing parts was too difficult. After waiting a few years another one of these of the same style came up on ebay. It was complete so I bought it. The enamel on it wasn't as nice as the one I already had and one of the brass tags was missing so I moved the platten and rotator mechanism over to the better unit. Here are some pics and a youtube video:


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Post# 1055540 , Reply# 18   12/25/2019 at 18:07 (269 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Nice demo.  I'll bet with some experience you could crank those things out all day long.


For me, it would get even less use than the bread baker that Dave had to have some 15 or more years ago, which is long gone now.


At this point I'm fairly certain that cubing steak has become a regional thing.  Like Eddie stated above, you just don't see cube steak in grocery store cases or butcher counters around here.

Post# 1055541 , Reply# 19   12/25/2019 at 18:40 (269 days old) by rickr (.)        

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Very cool! And I love the beautiful 1930's green enamel.

Post# 1055614 , Reply# 20   12/26/2019 at 11:29 (268 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Safer than

an electric one that supermarkets use. If your finger gets too vlose to the cutters, it stops when you do.

Post# 1055667 , Reply# 21   12/26/2019 at 20:42 (268 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        

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I definitely would not operate it if my hand was resting on the blade guide. The handle has a safety shield built in to keep the hands off the blades (by deflecting them) if they slip off the handle.

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