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New and have a few questions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
So I picked up a LEM #12 Big Bite grinder a few days ago and knew that I was going to get a stuffer. After making some fresh sausage today, the wife said to get a stuffer. I went with the LEM 5 pounder. My first question is about grinding plates. My smallest plate is 4.5mm, should I get the 3mm? Or is 4.5 small enough for hot dogs? My second question is what size casings would be good for my first time? If it matters. I have read the stickies, and read a lot, just kind of need a kick in the right direction.
post #2 of 4

You are worrying too much Mike. You just can't screw up sausages.


I have never used collegen, I have always used beef, pork or sheep casings. Sheep is what is good sized for wieners but know, the smaller the dia, the more pricey the casing... 


In use the sheep casings for snack stix, weiners, and breakfast links. 20/22MM, 22/24MM, 24/26MM, or 26/28MM. Guessing you can figure out which is which by the size,


I use the pork for basically sausages doesn't matter so far what size, but usually either 32/35MM or 35/38MM


I tryed the beef middles for my andouille but I much prefer the 46MM+ hog casings.


There are many good places to buy from, but I suggest you get with one of the top line seller up front. I use Butchers and Packers, I have never had a problem. Google them, look at their acsing and you too can me as smart as me...>LOL


I suggest you talk to Boyjko about the wieners, he's does a damn good looking weiner! I have not made weiners or bologna yet and I think both take an emuslion, that's  proper French culinary term for mush. To get to this texture requires usually a minimun of two and possibly 3 grinds. be glad you got the #12, I am guessing it will also require ice but like I said i have yet to do a mush meat. 


Boyjko is the Hotdog guru I believe.


I wish you luck, and remember to take loads of pictures. BTW Boykjo was an excellent casing tutorial stickied in the sausage section. I most highly recommended it. The sheep caseing if you use it, is a challenge to even verteran stuffers.



Its late my spelling and typing are not to great at the best of time either..... LOL

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I am putting together an order on butcher packer for curing salt and casings, and was wondering what other staples do you recommend?
post #4 of 4

I started the same way, I went to B&P for cure, I started with bacon. Then the casings. I suggest you take a look at fastening devices for your LEM stuffer. Someone on here the last week or so showed they were using suction cups which I want to try, I use locking pliers. 




They are nice to hold it stationary on the kitchen counter.


I do my spices, I don't get "kits" although many here use and like them. Check out Woodcutter's latest post where his order came in. LOL Hey, he gets for real with it! There are a load of great sausage makers here, I am just learning, a lot of those sausage makers can be a bit tight with their special recipes. But most will share, they realize its just a starting place for you to build your own flavor profile. Its all about you making exactly what you like.


Most folks want to start out and just make everything, the same with smoking meats. Me, I usual;ly stay with what I am going to use and like and work at it till I am happy before chasing a different type. If you build in 5# batches, you can better afford to play with, and tweak it in.


Also I like the 5# because it doesn't get too much for an old man to do solo. <Chuckles>


Boykjo, Woodcutter, Hoity Toity and too many more greats to list are the ones who can help you most. I suggest you pick something, say a bratwurst look at who makes them and where they live. If they live in an area of German decent I would watch what they do. Then make mine using their suggestions. If you want Italian sausage etc...


TAKE NOTES and keep 'em up to date! If in no other area, sausages and cures you need to keep notes.


Don't be affraid to experiment. Buy spices are the store come home and research them, then try it on the recommended meat to see what they really taste like to you.


Just remember to have fun, and you'll know your a sausage head when you see butts on sale under a dollar and go look in the freezer to see how many you can squeeze in....ROFLMAO!

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