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flatboat mark

Original poster
Dec 16, 2010
Baton Rouge, LA
Hello everyone,

  New to site. Two of my neighbors and I all deer hunt and we are going to start processing our own meat. Found this site doing my research and have enjoyed reading many of the articles. We are all chipping in together and buying the grinder, smoker, and necessary equipment to process about 5-10 deer a year. Budgeting around $600 for smoker and grinder. Any recommendations of products, gas versus electric versus charchoal, grinders (brand, hp, ect.). Thanks for any suggestions and look forward to sharing experiences with y'all during this learning process.

Smoker model and expense is a personal preference deal.  Electric or gas is low fuss.  I prefer hardwood charcoal, myself.  But I like to play with my fire AND my food. 

My Oster food grinder stripped out last year (although we were processing 2 buffalo at the same time
).  finished with a friend's Kitchen Aid attachment.  Got a nice sized converted with an electric motor now that spews meat right out in a nice stream.  My advice is: don't go cheap on the grinder.
Hey another red stick smoker!!!

 I assume that by processing you mean making sausage,

 If it was me and i had two other guys to help i think i'd  build a smokehouse.

 you can build for less than buying and have more room in the process.

 That way you can spend more $$$ on a quality grinder and stuffer.

 You can do a propane smoke house and smake sausage and still be able to get the temp high enough to smoke buts ,briskets and other things.

 I have a burner on hand that would work fine . If ya are interested shoot me a pm.

Check out the LEM grinders
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Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.

This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

For those of you new to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.

Click Here it's "FREE" ... 5 Day eCourseE
Hello FM, the SMF says "Let the Good Times Roll". Sounds like you and your friends have a master plan. It's all good my friend.
Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
Welcome and I can only agree with what was already said. Don't skimp on the grinder and the best way to get a smoker that fits exactly what you need is to build one.
Yep agree I would suggest making a smoke house. You can build a plywood smoke house for pretty cheap and it will hold a ton of meat. We use to make 400 lbs of sausage each year and it was a pain in the butt on the small smokers. If you have to do like 20 loads of  meat it really takes a long time. Now with my smoke shack I can do it all in 2 loads. And also like they mentioned if you are doing any large amount of sausage I would highly suggest a good grinder and a good stuffer. You can go cheap if you are doing small batches a couple times a year but if you are doing larger batches with a bunch of guys its a pain in the butt and very time consuming if you don't have the right equipment. In my experience go big right away that way you don't have to buy cheap now then realize you need bigger stuff then have to buy new stuff again. That's what we ended up doing and it stinks.
Agreed. If you plan on doing large quantities, large equiptment will save your hair and your time. It makes life much less stressful when you have dependable tools that can get the job done.
Thanks for all the great advice and support. Finished the 5 day Ecourse today and it is loaded with great information that I have saved and will definately reference to in the future. I bought Jeff's rib-rub and bbq recipe and really look forward to trying them out. Just an extra gesture to say thanks for the site Jeff.  We ended up buying the LEM #8 grinder and was very pleased with its performance. It spit chuncks out as fast as we put it in the tray. Sunday night I made 20lbs of fresh green onion sausage and last night we made 30lbs of bacon burger.(Quick question, can I smoke the green onion sausage once I buy or make my smoker? I used collegen casings and the LEM fresh sausage bratt seasoning.) Stuffing the casings takes a lot longer. I guess that's where a larger grinder would help out  but so far no buyers remorse here.  The neighbors and I had a great time throughout the process. I'm still stuck on the smoker though. I'm going to give it some more thought and I'll keep y'all posted.

Hello Mark and Welcome to SMF - looks like you are off to a great start. I am not sure if that mix has any cure in it and we need to hear more about the whole process you are contemplating and how you will store the sausage until you get the smoker
 Welcome to SMF Mark
, Glad to see someone else from Louisiana
. I do agree with the others about building a smoker, it would save a lot of $$$ if you were to build your own. My son and I built ours about 2-3 years ago and have enjoyed it ever since. There's a bunch of great people on this site that are more than willing to give advice on anything… its dealing with smoking , building a smoker or anything else that may come up…it doesn't matter, that’s what so great about this site……..
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