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Grinder question

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by jsk53, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower


    New to smoking and one thing I want to try is making summer sausage. I have Rytek's book and am just now reading it. I have a couple of equipment questions that perhaps I can get some guidance on.

    First is the meat grinder. I have a hand grinder I've used for years to make ham salad with. While that may work, I'm not sure about getting the sausage stuffer components. My wife has a big Kitchenaid tabletop mixer that has an accessory meat grinder and sausage stuffer kit available for it. I've also seen some pretty heavy duty grinders at Cabelas. Any recommendations, pros or cons?

    Second, I've seen where the stuffing tubes are fairly small in diameter, where summer sausage and thuringer are significantly larger in diameter. Is there a separate set of tools needed to make a full size summer sausage?

    I'm sure these are really basic questions but as I get this underway, I need to know the basics first. Thanks.
  2. I have a cabelas 1 hp grinder and I like it a lot . I personally dont like stuffing with a grinder attachment and would recommend that you invest in a sausage stuffer . You can stuff large casings such as summer sausage with a smaller tube . Simply hold the casing tightly around the tube and fill er up !!! 8^) 

     Good luck 
  3. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    I never thought about a stand alone stuffer. That actually sounds like a really good option. Then maybe I can continue to use the hand grinder I already have. Thanks for the suggestion on filling a larger casing as well. The Cabelas grinders do look pretty impressive though. I may want to try my hand at it before making that kind of investment though. That was why I was thinking about the attachment for my wife's Kitchenaid as that isn't too expensive. Appreciate the advice.
  4. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use the KA grinder attachment and it works fine. Not a big selection of plates...only large & small. I've ground through the large and then the small with good results and also just used the small for a single grind. 10 pounds is no trouble for it to handle. I also have the stuffer attachment...used it once, once was enough....big PITA. So, I invested about 50 bucks in a Lem 5# stuffer and it's a breeze to stuff now. So, the KA grinder will get you through OK but don't waste $ on their stuffer......Willie
  5. I have a grinder and a vertical stuffer, both from Northern tools, the grinder does 176 pounds an hour, great for the home gamers, and not expensive.  They are affordable verses that stuff from LEM..
  6. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Thanks Wille and Jeff,

    Based on some info in Rytek's book on grinding, I was able to find the two recommended grinding plates for my Universal hand grinder on Ebay. I think I'll start out with that and see how this adventure progresses. As far as the stuffer, Jeff, you indicated you use the Northern Tools vertical stuffer. I was looking at that but I saw a number of reviews that said they had durability issues with the plastic gears. Have you had any issues?

    One other question comes to mind as I read more about this. I have an electric 30" Masterbuilt smoker. The more I see on the forum I'm wondering if I need a smoke generator for sausage versus using the built in smoker system. Any thoughts?

    Thanks all for your help.

  7. I had a 5 lb stuffer from the "Sausage Maker"  that had plastic gears/ It worked fine until I tried to stuff snack sticks . I stripped the gears . It takes a huge amount of pressure to force meat thru the really small tubes . I would recommend buying a stuffer with metal gears .
  8. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Thanks Voodoochile. That is what I have seen in many reviews. That leads to one other question. I've seen both this type of stuffer with the gear set, and I also saw another design that looked a bit like a piece of curved plumbing pipe with a handle that presses the meat down through the tube. I believe the brand is Sportsman. Any pros/cons of both?
  9. you want gears . I just got a new LEM 15 lb stuffer for my birthday . 8^)
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  10. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    @Jsk53, that sounds like a horn stuffer, if I'm using the correct name for it...... If it is, I personally would pass on it. On the cheaper ones, that I've seen, they do not seal very well and you will get blow by around the seal causing more work than stuffed sausage........ I have never owned one, so there may be a trick to it that I don't know about too........ Hope that I was able to help ShoneyBoy :sausage:
  11. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Thanks all. I think I gonna go with the LEM as you guys have recommended. I'm lookin' forward to working on my first summer sausage...I just moved from Wisconsin to Arizona and I find the sausage selection out here quite lacking....Once I get everything together and start, I'll post some photos of my progress. I appreciate all the input!
  12. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    @Jsk53, I'm not trying to talk you out of the LEM grinder, but give the Cabela's grinder a look........
  13. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    they have a set of 4 plates and a much much better cutting knive on amazon.com. I got it and my KA is a thousand times better now. I second the stuffer. I got a Weston 5 pounder and love it. Steel gears on that puppy too.
  14. jsk53

    jsk53 Smoke Blower

    Thanks Shoneyboy. I will check out the Cabelas. Didn't know they had one. I get a bunch of stuff there and it's all been good quality. Thanks for the pointer.
  15. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    . I have one, at first it was the only tool I had in my sausage making arsenal. The thing that lead me more towards it was the ability to stuff with it too.... Now it's not nearly as fast as a separate stuffer, but it's a good start......... I still use it if I have 5lbs to stuff, but that is very rarely these days.....ShoneyBoy
  16. About 8 years ago, I drove 45 min to get a horn stuffer,, That was a big mistake, most people use them for door stops.   As I mentioned above, I have a #5 Northern tool stuffer ( I think made by grizzley)  and yes it has nylon gears.. I have to admit I was really upset at first about this, however I can tell you I have probably made over 200 pounds of sausage using this stuffer, and I have yet to strip a gear.   Remember these gears are not for a 454 engine.You do have to be conscious about bottoming out or raising the piston to top until the gears stop you.   I can see that this will cause the gears to strip and possiably break. But If your remember that it has nylon gears, like most geared stuff does now, you should have plenty of trouble free use from this stuffer.  
  17. I have also made meat sticks with the vertical stuffer,   I remembering we had to make the meat somewhat wetter to get it to flow thru that meat stick tube.
  18. I am going to sell a Cabelas 11 pound verticle stuffer on eBay. IT will be listed in the next few days 
  19. JckDanls 07

    JckDanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    why not offer it in classifieds here first....
  20. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member