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Need advice, New LEM Stuffer is difficult.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I made about 25 pounds of Deer/pork sausage last night. Today I get the big Idea that I'll spend the bucks and get a " Real Stuffer" instead of using my very slow Krupps meat grinder / stuffer. So I look on the internet and decided to get a LEM #3 horn stuffer. As anxious as a 5 year old at christmas we quickly drove home. We cleaned the LEM stuffer,
and set it up. Now I'm a big boy. and I swear I thought I was gona do push up's on the dang thing, or get a cheeter pipe so I could stuff the casings. Right away I'm thinking I got ripped again by a kitchen gadget..
So before I drive 40 miles again, I thought I would ask here what could be the problem. The Deer / pork is a 50/50 mixture. I added no liquid. althoug the deer had been soaking for a few hours in water and vinager. The mixture was cold and stiff. I added some water to the mix and it seemed to go a little better but still not what I had thought of. It seems inhearently wrong to let your mix get warm, or keeping adding water until it gets easy to stuff? Where did I go wrong, or what can I do?

post #2 of 13
I do not think I am familar with the horn style stuffer, I tried Google and got nothing but meat stuffing horns normally used for just stuffing bulk into meat bags or large summer sausage style casings by hand.

I have used nothing but hand crank style stuffers that are geared and a threaded rod connected to a stuffing plate presses the meat out the stuffing tube.

Even with the style I use, cold meat not loosened up with water is a devil to crank out of the stuffer when filling small diameter casings such as meat sticks. I like to add water to the sausage mixture and let it warm up an hour or so at room temperature after taking it out of the fridge. It is much easier to work with.

What size tube are you trying to squeeze this through or what exactly are you making?
post #3 of 13
From what I have heard those horn style stuffers are a pain.....I agree with Mossy on letting the meat warm up and add water.......I have never used the horn style stuffers but I have seen them and for the money I would have gotten Lem's 5 pund vertical stuffer- it's a crank model......Thats the stlye I am looking at getting.......
post #4 of 13
yup vertical is the way to go-add water till sausage will squish out from between fingers when makeing a fist-horns are a pain I hear.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

More info

Well I've had a beer and thought about what I have read.. I have done the math and added 1.28 oz water per pound of mix. Based on the 1 quart per 25 lbs of meat. I'm letting the 2nd batch warm up to room temp and I'm going to use my Krupps, For the 76 Bucks I spent, don't think I'm going to be anymore impressed, I'll just save that 75 for a much better machine. But... I'll post more later..

I attempted to use the LEM #3 stuffer. For what it's worth.. I tried 2 diffrent stuffing tubes. She's going back to Bass Pro in the AM.

56 jeff
post #6 of 13


So far i have used a cheap Rival grinder/stuffer. With four hands(my buddy's) I have done alright. I never thought of adding water. I guess I'll try it.
post #7 of 13
i bought a horn stuffer right off the bat also used it twice ,bout had a heart attack ,went to the chiropracter wore out 2 friends threw it away and bought a lem verticle stuffer .loveit loveit loveit. the only way to go!PDT_Armataz_01_18.gif
post #8 of 13
Buddy had a horn, I think it's buried in his back yard someplace! I bought a lem 5lb vertical for $99 at Mill's Fleet Farm, love it! Great investment, has metal gears rather then plastic! If you can find it, I'd buy it! You can't beat the mechanical advantage of gears over the arm power you have to put into a horn stuffer.
post #9 of 13
hey Kookie I have price out the Lem model 5lb vertical stuffer and I ended up with one from Grizzly.com the have the same design for only 69.95 the also have a 15 lb model for 249.95. Just thought I passed that along.
post #10 of 13
Welcome to SMF... stop into Roll call forum and intro yourself properlike and then thank the kind folks for their advice :{)
post #11 of 13
I also have the griz,word of thought from my first use-the plunger could use a small metal washer in there where the virtacal screw ball fits in-It only rides on the neoprene and looks like with the pressure exerted on it could weaken or crack-the washer works great-almost finished with 25#s here.
post #12 of 13
I also have the LEM 5# Vert. with the metal gears. It works really well. Only thing I wish it would do is "disconnect the gears" so that you could remove the can and put more meat in, without having to crank the plunger back up. I've seen one that does this, but I don't remember what brand it was. It's not a big issue, but it does take some time if you are doing 20# or more of meat.
post #13 of 13
Here's a little insight into what is going on. When you grind your meat, you expose the intracellular contents of the meat to the outside world. The proteins, fats, etc., become available to anything that comes along. Probably not all cells are damaged, but most will be.

When the cure, salt, and binder are added and mixed well, they combine chemically with the meat. This combination acts more than a little like glue. Sausage is characteristically mixed well to produce this "bind" because it promotes proper texture in the finished product and ensures a good mix. It is usually something desirable. One of the reasons to add water is to facilitate this combining of materials and another is to loosen the mix. The longer this mixture sits, the harder it gets; it's a little like concrete setting up. You have been letting this sit too long for a simple horn type stuffer.

Try mixing and stuffing all in one session, if you can. Well, if you can and still keep the meat cold, etc. That will give you a looser mix and the water will be more available to smooth things out before it sets up. The sausage can then be left in the frig over night to develop the flavors and the bind.
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