Sausage stuffing - or how I got mad and threw a bunch of junk away.....

  • 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.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Hijack73

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Aug 9, 2020
832
903
SC, just a smidge from Charlotte
I did a thing.

I decided I'd get one of those little $8 packs of casing ends and pieces and just see if making a smoked sausage would be something I enjoyed. My grinder came with stuffer stuff, and I figured I'd be good to go on a 5lb practice run.

Saturday the bits and pieces showed up. I ground, seasoned, and vac sealed the sausage mixture. I started the rinse and soak process Saturday also. Today, I had a few hours before work and decided to stuff so the links could start to dry. The test patty was amazing. So was the second one......

So now I've got 5lbs all ready to go. I assemble the stuffing stuff on my grinder, get a longer end and piece on the horn, and I figure the rest of the process will just be me trying to control blowouts and tears.

So the hopper has about 2 lbs of this sticky meat goo on it and I start to plunge it down. This is where the fun ended. I was putting like 900lbs of torque on the plunger trying to get the mix to feed. It finally starts to come out of the tube. I go to pull my plunger up and it's basically locked into this sticky meat goo. I gotta be doing something wrong, but I soldier on. I get a nice rope about a foot long but it's taken me 15 minutes to get that much meat through the tube. So I says to myself, maybe this tube is too small. I was using the smallest one, but these casings seemed quite small. I clean ALL this crap up, put a larger tube on, reload the machine, same problem. Now I'm just ticked off. Another 20 minutes for approximately 10" of sausage.

Ok, I'll try a larger tube. Same result. This time I tapped out on a 6" link. F it - this will be enough for me to smoke and taste at least.

So I take all that sausage making attachment BS and throw it in the garbage. I was almost mad enough to chunk everything, but i put some expensive cuts into this 5lb batch. 75% pork (loin for lean, and enough belly fat to make it about 75/25) and a nice thick fatty ribeye for the beef element. And the patties were excellent.

I also took the time to dice up 7 oz of some Tillamook farmers reserve super extra sharp cheddar and some TM extra sharp white cheddar Sat to dry in the fridge. Thank God I had the foresight to not mix that in until I was sure I could get some to stuff.

Moral of the story, grinders are not stuffers. I saw that on here a few times during my research phase but I thought that surely I could muddle through this small batch.


So now I need something to stuff casings. I don't know enough yet to know if I want to pursue this (because what a pain in my everloving butt this has been so far) so I don't want to drop half a G note for some fancy electric job, or even know if I want to spend $175 for a fairly run of the mill vertical jobber on Amazon. I notice a few horizontal stuffers in the 3lb range for around $40-50 on Big Daddy Bezos' Online Flea Market and my question is this. Do they work well enough for me to decide if I want to actually pursue this? If they don't, I'll bite the bullet and get a vertical, but if they do, I'd rather go that route. Normally I'd just order one and if I hate it I'd send it back to Big Daddy Bezos, but WTH, why not dip into the collective knowledge here?

My end goal is that if I like it, I might do a 10-15 lb run every couple/3 months.

All is not lost as I do have roughly 2 lbs cased to smoke. I put a bit into a loaf pan (with cheese) and will cook that like meatloaf and I froze a lb for patties.

Appreciate all the help in advance!
 
Oh boy. I'm getting ready to take my virgin voyage this weekend. Can't wait! I just bought the Hakka 3L for about $130 on Amazon. Haven't used it yet, but it gets good reviews on here and it appears to be very well made. Comes with 4 ss horns as well.
 
I just stuffed a bunch of game bags with my LEM #12 grinder.

Worked ok, but next time the 5lb manual or the 20lb motorized stuffer depending on amount.

Don't give up yet....
 
Too much to address at once but sounds like you tried stuffing the meat too warm, which might be why it wasn't wanting to run through the grinder.

Grinders are for grinding and stuffers are for stuffing.

From my own experience, buy a dedicated stuffer ....... not some cheap outfit. Buy something decent. Anything less will just cause frustration and make you hate the process of making your own sausage before you really even get started. Also buy good quality casings.
 
Moral of the story, grinders are not stuffers. I saw that on here a few times during my research phase but I thought that surely I could muddle through this small batch.
You learnd the hard way. Grinders are not stuffers and any company, family member or anyone on this forum trying to tell you they need a in reality check. They are diffinatly not stuffers. They are made for grinding PERIOD.

I would buy a horizontal stuffer as they tend to have less waist in the neck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hijack73
Too much to address at once but sounds like you tried stuffing the meat too warm, which might be why it wasn't wanting to run through the grinder.

Grinders are for grinding and stuffers are for stuffing.

From my own experience, buy a dedicated stuffer ....... not some cheap outfit. Buy something decent. Anything less will just cause frustration and make you hate the process of making your own sausage before you really even get started. Also buy good quality casings.
Great advice!
 
Oh boy. I'm getting ready to take my virgin voyage this weekend. Can't wait! I just bought the Hakka 3L for about $130 on Amazon. Haven't used it yet, but it gets good reviews on here and it appears to be very well made. Comes with 4 ss horns as well.
Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: GatorAGR
Oh boy. I'm getting ready to take my virgin voyage this weekend. Can't wait! I just bought the Hakka 3L for about $130 on Amazon. Haven't used it yet, but it gets good reviews on here and it appears to be very well made. Comes with 4 ss horns as well.
Just take your time and know that it takes a little practice to get a feel of how full to stuff the casings.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GatorAGR
Also got the 5# LEM. Love it -but- It "does not" hold 5#'s.
A few members have jumped to the 7# Hakka and are pleased with them. At least you can get your full 5# in one load
 
  • Like
Reactions: DougE
So, you have now figured out that you need a stuffer to make quality sausage. My best advice is a 5# vertical such as the LEM. It won’t break the bank, it will run smoothly and you have the option of doing sticks. The bigger manual stuffers become a Pita when doing sticks because of the extra force required to push the batter out of a 3/8” tube. Get a good 5# stuffer and thank me later.
 
So, you have now figured out that you need a stuffer to make quality sausage. My best advice is a 5# vertical such as the LEM. It won’t break the bank, it will run smoothly and you have the option of doing sticks. The bigger manual stuffers become a Pita when doing sticks because of the extra force required to push the batter out of a 3/8” tube. Get a good 5# stuffer and thank me later.
I see 2 LEM 5lb on the 'Zon

One has a little bigger profile, but both claim to be a 5lb stuffer. Any major disadvantage to the smaller one? Model HY200297 and model 1606 - 40$ difference


 
I think I found the difference...... even though the picture says LEM, the manufacturer is different.



1709601618962.png
 
I think I found the difference...... even though the picture says LEM, the manufacturer is different.



View attachment 690593
Yes it seems maybe so, but the cheaper one is still called. “Mighty Bite” which is correct, and the description is the same on both, same write up, the cheaper one doesn’t list manufacturer, that concerning, but I’d be confident in it, either way you should get a good stuffer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hijack73
Yes it seems maybe so, but the cheaper one is still called. “Mighty Bite” which is correct, and the description is the same on both, same write up, the cheaper one doesn’t list manufacturer, that concerning, but I’d be confident in it, either way you should get a good stuffer.
I think there are still some older ones without the covered gears around. Maybe that? (Even though the pic shows the covered gears)
 
I'll know soon gents. Free shipping but it's apparently coming from Neptune. 3-6 weeks shipping.

Appreciate all of the inputs/help.

If it's crap, the lovely thing about the worlds biggest flea market is that returns are easy as pie

1709603643328.png
 
SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads

Clicky