Recommend me a stuffer

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by ol smoky, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. ol smoky

    ol smoky Smoke Blower

    I just bent the acme rod on my lem 5lb stuffer attempting to stuff 19mm casings with a 3/8 tube. I need something that can handle a 3/8 tube. What is everyone using for small diameter snack sticks? I mixed in 1 cup of water per 5lbs of meat and attempted to stuff right after mixing. It was extremely hard and took away all the fun. The next 5 lbs I mixed in 1.5 cups of water without much difference. I switched to a 1/2 inch tube, but the damage was already done.  I don't mind spending some money on a quality piece of equipment that will stuff small snack sticks with ease.


  2. charcoal junkie

    charcoal junkie Smoking Fanatic

    I have a Smokehouse Chef 2 speed stuffer i bought off of Amazon a couple years ago works great. I believe it is 10 lb cap.
  3. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    LEM 5lber.  Never looked back.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For sticks, you do need a 5# stuffer...  about the bending...   too much pressure was needed to get the meat through the tube..  BUT you already knew that.....  

    I use the 5# grizzly...  plastic gears...    I grease the piston and the meat canister really good...  I lube the screws, shafts and bushings also.... for the metal to metal parts, I use the lube pictured below...  It is a modified edible mineral oil...  the same stuff you can take for constipation....   If it will lube you up, think of how good it will work on the stuffer allowing meat to flow easily...  (I'm trying not to picture that..  It would be a picture that is difficult to UN-SEE)

    What I did to reduce the friction from the tube was make my own tube that has a really thin wall....   I flared the end of the tube so it would stick inside one of the plastic tubes that comes with the stuffer...  

    .. ..

    That tube is 1/2" OD because my flaring tool works on 1/2" OD tube...  otherwise I couldn't flare the tube to stick inside the OEM tube...

    The casing you see on the brass tube is 21MM but smaller casings will work...   The extremely thin wall tube allows for a larger I. D. which reduces friction a lot... 

    It is important to really grease all the friction points very well...   I like Crisco for the piston O-Ring and walls of the meat cylinder...  It is really slick and the movement is friction free when you crank on it....

    When I bought the stuffer I was well aware of the problems folks have had with plastic gears...  Taking the extra precautions of lubing the stuffer has given me years of service.... 

    Also, you can't allow the meat to sit and set up...   It will get sticky and thicken like old gravy....    Season the meat, grind and stuff immediately...   If you use a meat mixer to mix the ground meat...   mix immediately after grinding and stuff immediately.....   Then you can let the cased meat sit in the refrigerator for an extended time....

    .. ..

    The tube is available from McMaster-Carr...  or some Ace Hardware stores have it...  The tubing is mandrel drawn and extremely hard... It needs to be annealed when flared or solder a flared nut to it, or solder a washer to it to fit the stuffing canister...  that will have to be made..

    The flared nut below could be soldered on the end of the tube for a transition piece that allows meat to flow and holds the tube inside the OEM stuffer tube..

    I flared the end of the tube and slipped a brass washer on it to help hold it inside the plastic stuffing tube...    It ain't pretty but it works....  the tube on the left is copper pipe...  it's wall thickness is MUCH thicker and causes more friction plus it is 5/8" OD..  It will barely hold 21MM casings... only about 36" at one time.... 

    ol smoky likes this.
  5. I agree with Dave, I have a Kitchener 5# plastic gears, I new I would not be a heavy duty user . I use the same lube, Threaded rod, gears use a little vegetable  oil on the O ring and inside the top portion of the canister . I crank at a slow steady pace and when I know I'm getting to the bottom I back off even more. Haven't had a problem yet. From being in the Crane and steel erection business, I'm a firm believer in gear lube.

  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  7. ol smoky

    ol smoky Smoke Blower

    hahaha yeah I hear ya dirtsailor, I read that thread and the ordeal you went through. I cringed today when I called them about the bent rod. It actually wasn't too bad, but she did have a bad tone with me. her exact words were " you bent the threaded rod? how the heck did you do that? your going to have to send me pictures." Whatever, I got a new rod coming in the mail at no charge because it's under warranty. I will try and lube everything better. I feel it was my meat mixture. It was very very sticky. I stuffed immediately, and worked outside where it was around 35-40 degrees. here's exactly what I did with the meat. I ground 3lbs pure venison and 2lbs pork butt through a coarse plate. I added seasoning, 1tsp cure, 1 cup NFDM and 1 cup water. mixed this for a minute or two then ran it through the fine plate of grinder. began stuffing immediately. This is a true 3/8 tube. I could slide on a whole thing of 19mm casing without expanding it. Thanks for the detailed post Dave, I will try some of your suggestions
  8. ol smoky

    ol smoky Smoke Blower

    right now the sticks are in the MES40. they have been stalled at 136 IT for two hours now. I put them in at 4am this morning. 8 hours now as we speak. Not sure what to do? Just ride it out at 165 pit temp?
  9. ol smoky

    ol smoky Smoke Blower

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you feel you have enough smoke on it, you could bump it up to 180° to get it done. The spread between your IT and your smoking temp is less than 30°, if your therm is accurate.

    Also what are you using to measure your smoker temp?

  11. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Man that rod is tough to bend.  Either its a failed component or you're the hulk and dont even know it.
  12. ol smoky

    ol smoky Smoke Blower

    maverick is monitoring smoker temp and meat temp. mes40 meat probe is agreeing with maverick and mes40 smoker temp is within 5 degrees of maverick. Checked a snack stick with a thermoworks instant read and it's agreeing also
  13. ol smoky

    ol smoky Smoke Blower

    my wife was doing the cranking and I was working the casings. She kept having blow outs with the casing so I made her crank the stuffer like a monkey cranking a jack in the box. She's not a big girl, but is pretty strong. It was very hard to crank
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK---Then like I said---Turn it up a little to get it finished. I wouldn't go above 190° though---180° should be fine.

    Sometimes when your smoker temp isn't much higher than your current IT, it can take forever, and it's already in there for 8 hours.

  15. ol smoky

    ol smoky Smoke Blower

    roger, I'm up to 180 smoker temp. meat temp is at 144. it started moving again a little bit ago. I am going to pull them at 150. sound good?
  16. tjmitche

    tjmitche Smoke Blower

  17. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hearing problems like this I am glad I only use my Jerky Cannon LOL

  18. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    I agree with Bear.  If you sit at 165, the things will never get done.  Gradually get to 180.  

    As for your stuffer, one thing I've learned, and learned quickly, was to bolt the thing to a base.  For me, I drilled holes in my deck rail and I bolt it to that.  Really eliminates the frustration of trying to crank on sticks.  You might think about bolting it to a 1" piece of plywood that's about the size of a tabletop.  It will add stability and the thing won't wiggle all over the place.

    I prefer LEM, but I don't recommend getting plastic or teflon gears.
  19. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    Pull at a minimum of 155, IMHO.  I like to go to 165 IT for sticks.  Personal preference.
  20. ol smoky

    ol smoky Smoke Blower

    I pulled them at 150. some were 151-153 using thermapen. the texture is good. I think they are plenty dry, but still moist, Maybe the NFDM I added? I like the flavor, it's the seasoning from sausage maker. I made 5lbs hot and about 3lbs regular because that's all I got out of the stuffer before it was pretty much unusable. next time I would like the hot ones to be hotter. what do you guys add to raise the heat? red pepper? how much per pound?
    bearcarver and tjmitche like this.

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