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Newbie needs assist

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
OK....I want to make sausage. First off I need to know what type of electric meat grinder should I start off with. From what I've seen some grinders are rated #8 or #12 or #22. What do those numbers mean?

What manufacturers should I look at? Cabela's has a few but there is a great difference in price. Should I look at the grinder's horsepower rating? Is there something else more important than the horsepower rating that I should be looking at? Oh...I don't plan on doing a whole pig / goat or venison, but I want something that will last and should have accessories available. Customer support would be great too. Thanks All.
post #2 of 8
The sizes are the different head sizes and the higher the number the larger the grinder plate and generally grind more per hour and you can use larger pieces of meat. The horsepower is probably one of the most important things to consider when buying one as well as the companies reputation and service. Cabela's builds a nice heavy duty grinder as does LEM but they are kinda pricey. I believe you get what you pay for. Personally I have the LEM 1.5 hp #32 its rated at 720 lbs per hour and that is kinda overkill but we grind a bunch of venison and pork every year. If doing sausage just once in awhile or doing smaller batches I think I'd look at 1/2-3/4 hp models. The Cabela's and LEM's are all stainless steel I believe and that adds to the price as well. Kinda watch Cabela's as they seem to put theirs on sale quite often. For a vertical stuffer I'd recommend Northern Tool or Gander Mountain they seem to have the best price on stuffers.
post #3 of 8
Don't forget to check out what the gears are made of. The cheaper ones have plastic gears. They might be alright for small jobs. I have a Cabela's 1 1/2 horse for deer season and and just getting started with the sausage making it has the metal gears and came with different sized stuffing tubes but after doing some fresh brats I really need to get a stuffer.
post #4 of 8
If your just thinking or wondering about sausage making you can try one in the $99.00 range, but they are slow going.

If you know you want to, or when you decide you are going to continue making sausage get the LEM or Cabela's. Once I upgraded to a Cabela's I enjoy the process much more.

You will eventually want a stuffer; when you use the grinder to stuff it tends to emulsify the sausage.
post #5 of 8
All good advice, I have a cabellas Grinder, I don't know what the gears are made of but I was grinding goose and got a steel pellet stuck in there, really messed it up....but guess what cabellas has a lifetime warranty on all of there cabellas brand items, they sent be a brand new one. I got it out of the bargain cave for 119.00, normally 169.00 it is the pro grinder and I have ground around 500 lbs so far. I would definatly reccomend a stuffer if you plan on making much.....using the grinder as a stuffer is SLOW and it really sucks. I have made 30lbs of kielbasa that way and would rather have you whip me with an electrical cord!
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks all....and keep the advice coming. Has anyone ever seen the Cabelas 1/2 horsepower unit go on sale?
post #7 of 8
I just looked at their website and they have 30 dollars off the 1/2 commercial grider till 7/28 I think was the date.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the heads up. I emailed them last night and asked if and when the unit goes on sale. I got an answer to the effect that they do not know when these specials come up. And the next day you spot their ad. Thanks partner.
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