1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Sausage Newbie Question about a grinder.

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by bdskelly, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    I'm not sure if I should post this here or in the smoking equipment area.  Please forgive me if I screwed up.  I want to begin making sausage and snack sticks.  However I'm looking at "entry level" equipment for now.  If I get hooked I'll invest more later.  That being said I want equipment that is functional and will be acceptable for small batch work and built well enough for maybe 6 to 12 times year use. 

    Can anyone here recommend the LEM #8 grinder?  A sporting goods chain here in Texas has it on sale this weekend for $70. I looked at reviews on this site for the same model and it looks different. The unit on our site is appears all stainless 5 stars. 

    I was also recommended the Kitchener #12. On at Northern for $99.

    I also want an entry grade press. Ive been reading that using the grinder to stuff may not be the way to go. 

    Any help would be great!

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  2. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would go with the Lem they make good equipment never delt with the Kitchener I think the LEM for 70bucks is your best bang for the buck

    Good luck
  3. bkleinsmid

    bkleinsmid Smoking Fanatic

    My friend, you are about to enter a very addicting hobby. And the more you play the better it gets.

    I started with a K/A grinder because it was $12 on an auction site. As a grinder, it is "OK" for small batches......not great. I like the LEM grinder and will add it to my tool collection soon. IMHO.........especially if you want to do stix, get a stuffer and don't try to make your grinder do that duty. My first best day in this hobby was getting started. My second best day was getting my stuffer.........what a difference.

    This is a GREAT site for help and info.

  4. rexlan

    rexlan Meat Mopper

    Problem with LEM is they don't make anything and just have their name on stuff at 2x the price.  Generally good stuff but badly overpriced IMO.

    The Kitchener, from Northern Tool, is junk IMHO.  I returned the first one because it had zip power.  The second one all it could do was clog up ... returned it.  I think Sunmile makes the unit but the one they sell is actually superior because their auger is a little different.  The problem with both is they are a #12 size with a #5 size motor to power them.  Too big of a throat and auger for the power.  Their 1000 or 3000 watts is BS.  That is the locked rotor current and how much power it can draw before it melts.   It stopped working long before that.

    I have one of these and it never misses a beat and for 10# batches it is perfect, fast and it is cheap.  If I get serious then I use the big grinder that blinks the lights when it starts!


    You definitely need a small 5# stuffer and Grizzly makes as good of one as any.  Works perfectly too.   Be sure to get an extr O-ring -- click on purchase parts and order at the same time.

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    BD,  morning.....   I have the Grizzly 5# stuffer and the Kitchener #12 grinder....   both have served me well for the last several years....  I think the 5# stuffer is more than adequate and don't think I will ever need a larger one....   I have done 20#'s of sausage and 5# batches is perfect... keeping the meat cold in the refer between batches...  Same for the grinder... I don't overwork it....   I use a commercial food grade grease on all my equipment to keep it working smoothly....


  6. Hello Brian.  I am afraid I have no advice for you on your question.  I wanted to make a comment though.  I have read many posts on here.  You start learning who knows what.  There are several folks who I call: BIG/LEAD Dogs.  Each, for a different skill set.  Folks who I would PM should I have a problem I just can't figure out.  You are on that list.  Isn't it funny that no matter how much we know, when we take on a new challenge, here we are asking "newbie" questions.  Just goes to show that no matter what you know there is always another thing or another trick to learn.  I plan to try bacon soon so I'll have plenty "newbie" questions myself.  Good luck with the sausage!  Keep Smokin!

  7. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    They usually run the Northern Tools Kitchener #12 grinder on sale for the holidays.  I picked up one last year for $79 after all the discounts and got their 5# stuffer for $59.  Assuming you find both the Lem counter top #12 and the Kitchener #12 for around $79, here is the basic specs.  A lot of people here have the Kitchener model.


    Feature                            Lem #8 counter top model                              Kitchener #12

    -----------------------------          ----------------------------------------------------------          ----------------------------------------------------------

    Motor watts                      575 watts                                                      350 watts

    Grinder internal gears        plastic                                                           metal - carbon steel

    rated feed speed               2-3 pounds per minute                                   176 pounds per hour (2.93 pounds per minute)

    grinder plates                   two (fine 4.8mm & course 8mm)                      three (fine 3/16", medium 5/16", & very course 3/8" which is 4.8mm, 7.9mm & 9.5mm)

    plate material                   stainless steel                                               carbon steel

    stuffing tube(s)                 one - 7/8"                                                      three (not sure of actual measurements though)

    neck size                        not listed                                                       2 1/2" at top, 1 3/4" at bottom

    plate size                        #8 - 2 1/2"                                                     #12 - 2 3/4"
  8. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have the Kitchener and have had no problems with it. It was cheaper getting it from northern thru amazon.
  9. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You said small batches and for that any of the grinders mentioned will be fine.  If you start grinding a whole deer, maybe a little heavier duty unit.

    Like Dave, I have the 5LB Grizzly stuffer.  No problems or complaints there.

    Definitely go with a dedicated stuffer.  You can stuff with a grinder, but when I switched to a dedicated stuffer it was like light coming into my sausage world.

    Have fun!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  10. xfitjay

    xfitjay Fire Starter

    I have the Kitchener from Northern Tool. I usually do batches of 10#-15#. It works fine. I know the LEMs are great grinders. On sale at that price the LEM would be very tempting. You might want to look into a foot pedal control switch from LEM. Makes controlling the grinder very convenient. I haven't gotten a stuffer yet, but when I do, it'll be a LEM. Probably the 5#.
  11. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Brian, I think you need to make some sausage with one of these first to appreciate why you worked all these years to have the ability to upgrade.

    LOL........ That is a sausage makin motor scooter.  I think I know the location of one and its a great deal at only 1100.00 dollars. Its refurbished and extensively tested, AND it does both jobs, no need to buy and maintain two seperate machines. No plastic parts, and no grease required. Its the ultimate multi-tasker, just buy a cow and stake it in the back yard, you'll get the grass cut, free fertilizer, cut off a price of meat and make your own hamburger, all beef hot-dogs, sausage, heck, even that fresh ground coffee you always make and take to bride in the mornings when you bring her breakfast in bed.

    ROFLMAO So have I convinced ya yet? I'll throw in a package of pork casing also!
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  12. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'd like to thank everyone for the opinions and sound advice. (And the kind words Danny)  Clearly there are so many options that it is a bit confusing. I appreciate the comparisons to the two models Dave. And DaveO your hints and tips are always appreciated on this end. Rex that recommendation is tempting at the price! Brad, I thought seriously about the K/A attachment. Cheap and always on sale at the auction site. But Disco talked me out of it. He currently uses one and is telling me to upgrade. 

    Any other comments are greatly appreciated.

  13. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    You know I love ya… But unless you're coming over to crank that darn thing, it's just not gonna happen!  LOL
  14. bkleinsmid

    bkleinsmid Smoking Fanatic

    I agree with Disco and as soon as I have the play money, that upgrade will happen.

  15. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Brian,

    I'm a little late to this party, but I wanted to add my 2 cents to your question. First, I have a both an LEM #5 big-bite electric grinder and the LEM 5 lb vertical stuffer. I have been incredibly impressed by the customer service at LEM. I've received warranty replacement parts quickly and with no hesitation on their end. I've also called in when I accidentally got my meat stomper jammed into the grinder auger and couldn't get it out.....they connected me with a guy in service who talked me through how to turn the auger in reverse to unjam it, and that guy actually called me back about a half hour later to make sure that everything was OK.

    You asked specifically about the LEM grinder. The #5 is smaller and with less HP than the #8, but I've had absolutely no trouble with smear or jamming. I've even run chicken skin through the grinder following Couger's chicken sausage recipe, and the grinder had no trouble with it. I think you'll be very happy with the #8, but if you were thinking on saving a little money or counter space, I also have no hesitation in recommending the #5. The biggest disadvantage to the #5 is the feeding chute diameter, which requires you to cut your meat down to about 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks. But I can run 6 lbs of meat and fat through my #5 in less than 5 minutes even through the fine plate. Running it through a second time takes a little longer because the ground meat doesn't drop through the feeding tube as freely as meat chunks do.

    Hope this was helpful.

  16. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Brian, The KA does not stuff casings....   It attacks your patience.... It will drive you crazy....  It will drive you over the edge...    

    The grinder part is OK as long as you don't do what I did.....      blow out the gear box.....   then get bride a new machine.....  fix the old broken one..    and then buy a Kitchener Grinder to use for meat..... and a Griz stuffer...   It cost me quite a bit during this learning experience....  

    Take one giant step and go close to first class the first time.......      Dave

  17. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    But the next time a hurricane blows into Dallas, you'll be able to make yourv own sausage rather than going to FEMA to get it.

    Did I mention its an antique?  A Multi-tasker?

    Ok, if its that close, I'll pay the frt. C.O.D. Dallas, and you'll only need pay a small handling fee.
  18. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    I think you're cranking more than that meat grinder!  LOL 

    Hope you had a good weekend my friend. b
  19. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looking at your brides mixer convinced me. I stay in enough trouble around here without grinding the gears on the K/A!
  20. friskiedgrrl

    friskiedgrrl Newbie

    Hey just so you boys don't get the wrong idea about Foamy's little ole grinder here, my 5'1" grandmother used one just like this for ALL the meat grinding she ever did. She made some awesome sausages! I think I still have it somewhere if y'all need a lesson with it. lol