Plate size question, newbe

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by makeme, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

    I am new to sausage making and have not yet began doing so because I am still in the process of setting up my manual #32 with a motor, almost there. So now my attention has turned more toward other things like recipes, how to and now plate size for grinding sausage, in particular stuffing Italian sausage, breakfast sausage and making hamburger.

    I currently have the original 4mm plate and blade that came with it and a new stainless steal 3/8 or 10mm plate and blade. I would like to attempt to do a first pass grind and stuff but not sure what would be the best plate to use for this.

    Any suggestions to get me on the right track would be great. I only bought the larger plate in this size because it was the only one my BassPro had at the time.
  2. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hello. If your doing a grind and stuff into casings, your 4mm should be fine. I have done it with my 3/8 as well. Important thing to do is get your meat to the point where its starting to freeze, that way it actually grinds it instead of mashing it. I take it you are cubing your meat prior to grinding/stuffing?
  3. trapper

    trapper Smoke Blower

    I do not stuff with my grinder but I don't think you can do it that way. The stuffing plates that I have seen just have 2 big openings in them to let as much meat as possible pass through. Here is what I am talking about, although this is not the right size for your grinder:

    Edit: Meat Hunter posted before me and if he has done it go with his advice. I have not and was just telling you what I have read. I do agree 100% with his advice about the meat being nearly frozen when grinding.
  4. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

    Yes I have done some reading on the subject and understand the importance of cubing and freezing the meat prior to the grind. Also I was planning on seasoning the meat after cubing and before grinding to do the first pass and stuff method. If this is not going to do well for me I will eventually pick up a vertical stuffer but I would like to try this out first and just want to have all my ducks in a row so I don't get discouraged right out of the box.

  5. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    One really should I believe have a separate grinder and stuffer. I know when I make large batches, you can really feel the heat building up in the motor and that transfers to the meat. I still use a 1hp combo unit, and hopefully I will get my stuffer soon. Making sausage is not hard. Pretty easy after you make some a few times. The method of cubing the meat and running it thru once is the best as far as I'm concerned when using a combo grind and stuff method. Sounds like you have a good understanding of what your doing. Don't do like I did the first time I made sausage links. I tried to mix the spices and cure dry into the meat. I must have mixed that stuff for 10 minutes by hand. Mixing with water is Sooooo much easier. There are a few books out there, and you said you have been reading on the topic. Do you have a copy of Rytek's book? If not, you may want to add that to your library. Very very informative and loaded with recipes. The 4th edition.
  6. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

    Thanks for the tip on the water, I knew about adding liquid but thought if was for a different purpose not sure what though. So you are mixing the seasonings with a liquid before mixing into the meat or I guess it could be done by putting in seasonings and then mixing.

    I don't have any books at this time but will look into them soon, thanks.

  7. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    What Meat Hunter said. If not gospel, it's close.

    There is a Siren's Song of wanting to get double duty out of your equipment, and that means trying to stuff with a grinder. It can be done.....has been done, but eventually, most wind up going to a stand alone stuffer and are happier for it. Grinders are made to grind. Stuffers to stuff.

    As to your plate question, before you hook up that motor to your #32 hand grinder, try to grind a few pounds through each plate by hand. Will give you a feel for the load and strain that is being place on the motor. Doing the first grind through the 3/8" plate, then mixing spices, then grinding again will be a whole lot easier on the equipment than pushing the first grind through the 3/16" plate. Again, prove it to yourself by trying it by hand. The motor doesn't change anything that's going on inside the's just a different power source.

    I've not used a motorized grinder, but based on my hand powered experience, my guess is a lot of problems with the smaller units is the heavy load of pushing that first grind through a small plate. A small motor may do it for a while, but the load eventually burns them out. It could be you have to go to a geared down 1 HP motor turning a #12 blade and plate setup before you have enough HP to handle it. That could be why those larger 1HP jobs are so popular.
  8. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

    I have thought about trying it by hand first to do exactly as you mentioned to get a feel for it. The motor will be a 1/2hp gear head motor with a lovejoy coupling. I have only snugged the set screw so if it does bind it should turn before something breaks. It is very low geared and only has an rpm rating of 30 a bit slow maybe but I think it would grind up almost anything the grinder could handle. And yes most likely a dedicated stuffer is in my future.

  9. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Going over your original post again, some recipes for Italian sausage suggest grinding only once through a 3/8" plate before stuffing. That being the case, if you cube your meat up pretty fine, mix the spices with ice water and mix well into the fine cubes, it may work to grind once and stuff as you go. In addition to helping evenly distribute the spices, the extra water helps the flow through the grinder/stuffer. It doesn't hurt the final product. Try it and let us know how it works.
  10. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So far it looks like you are getting good advice. If I were stuffing using the grinder I would just second grind with your larger plate. The grinder tends to emulsify the meat some as it stuffs. If you are looking for a hot dog texture it won't be an issue. If you are looking for the coarser texture of sausage be careful. I gave up on stuffing with the grinder and bought a stuffer. Much happier.

    My 2 cents, good luck.
  11. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    When I make sausage, I take whatever amount the recipe calls for in water and add all the spices that I am going to use to it. I usually mix everything well in a blender, but you could probably skip that. (Always mix your spices with water as you will get better distribution throughout when doing so). I then take the spice/water mixture and add to the cubed meat and mix well. I then take the meat with the spices and such and put it into the fridge overnight. ( I remix everything once before I go to bed). Kinda let things absorb and sorta marinate a bit. The next day when I am going to stuff casings, I set the pan of meat in our chest freezer about an hour or so before Im ready and the meat starts to get semi-solid. During that freeze time, I am getting other things ready, tables cleared off, casing rinsed and so on. If your using a small grinder/stuffer, maybe divide the meat mixture into halves or quarters, depending on the amount you plan on doing. That way you avoid the meat coming up to room temp. Want to keep things as cool as you can.
  12. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Heres my method. I cube to around 1 to 1 1/2 in. Then first grind with a 3/4" plate. Then regrind to whatever final size I need, usually around 3/16". When I used to stuff with the grinder, I would have the meat all ground and mixed, then stuff with a stuffing spacer. I have a large horn for salami sized sausage which worked pretty well. The smaller you go the more trouble I would have. Now that I have a stuffer, I won't likely use the grinder to stuff, except possibly very small batches. I'd post some pics, but right now the forum won't let me.
  13. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone for your tips and tricks, I know they will save a ton of grief. Hooking up a toggle switch today and need to build a cover box for the motor and coupling. Those photos I see of setups with exposed pulleys and belts scare the bajesus out of me.

    I have an old cutting board I am thinking of sacrificing for the base plate to mount everything on but have not settled on that yet. If I can figure out how to post pics here I will when it is done and hopefully with some end product. In the meanwhile I will enjoy reading up on this business of messing with your meat. [​IMG]

  14. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  15. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

    The one with the belt drive from china looks like the very same grinder I have. The motor as I mentioned will be a lovejoy setup, just a note the augur on mine is apparently metric and the only couplers I could find around here are standard so I had to take the coupling to work and have it bored to fit. So far it seems to work great.

  16. makeme

    makeme Fire Starter

    Sorry for the double post, have not quite got this forum down just yet.[​IMG]

  17. tsulcoski

    tsulcoski Smoke Blower

    Just some thoughts on the subject..........

    When I make sausage or Kielbasa, I use 3 size plates. A coarse plate for really lean meat, a meduim plate for the meat that is a little fatty and a fine plate for the fat. I grind everything 1 time, mix it all together with my water and spices and then use my grinder without a cutter and plate, just the stuffing horn to stuff it into casings. Has worked pretty good for me over the last 20 years.

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