Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

Sausage stuffers - what to look for?

Charcuterie

  • Please log in to reply
86 replies to this topic

#1 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 01 February 2006 - 12:48 PM

Hi,

I've done a search through several useful threads about sausage making but I haven't been able to find much information about sausage stuffers. I'd like to purchase one but I'm really not sure what to look for.

What makes a good one? What kinds of features/attributes should it have? Is there a particular material or construction method which makes for a superior machine? I'm sure there are dozens of other nuances of which I'm not even remotely aware -- but I'd like to be.

Can any of you well-seasoned sausage makers walk me through this? I'd appreciate the benefit of any experience you can share.

Thanks,

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#2 ianeccleston

ianeccleston
  • participating member
  • 339 posts
  • Location:Chicago

Posted 01 February 2006 - 01:53 PM

I'm sure there are more knowledgable people here at EG - but for my part I'm happy with my Kitchenaid sausage stuffer/grinder attachement. It's the only one I've ever used so I can't compare it to others, but it seems to work well enough.

Cheers,

Ian

#3 fifi

fifi
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,727 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 01 February 2006 - 02:34 PM

Good question. I will not be a lot of help with this since I am a newbie at this. I have the Kitchen Aid attachment stored away somewhere and that is likely what I will eventually use. I inherited the KA from my mom & dad.

Dad really got into sausage making for a time and I helped him with it some. He had bought the KA attachment and also had one of those that grinder/stuffers that clamps on a table or countertop. As I recall, he came to favor the hand cranked one. He said that he had more control over "fill rate" with the hand crank.

I just told you everything I know on the subject and will be awaiting information from those with more experience.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#4 snowangel

snowangel
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 8,140 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted 01 February 2006 - 02:36 PM

I recall looking at the KA ones on ebay and there seemed to be a lot out there for sale with some sort of crack somewhere in the plastic. Naturally, everyone said that it did't affect performances. Hmmm.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#5 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 01 February 2006 - 02:39 PM

I own the Kitchen-Aid unit but I'm concerned that, by virtue of its design, it can produce some heat which, I've read, can lead to "breaking" in emulsified sausages. I'm nowhere near that stage at the moment but I anticipate being there before too long.

Since I'm looking to buy just one stuffing machine which I can use universally, I hope someone can weigh in with some K-A alternatives.

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#6 melkor

melkor
  • legacy participant
  • 2,554 posts
  • Location:Northern California

Posted 01 February 2006 - 02:40 PM

I'm a huge fan of the hand-crank piston style stuffer - you load all the filling into it, air pockets are less of a problem, and you've got complete control over the rate the forcemeat comes out at. The only disadvantages are price and the need to wash the thing by hand.

#7 fifi

fifi
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,727 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 01 February 2006 - 02:50 PM

I'm a huge fan of the hand-crank piston style stuffer - you load all the filling into it, air pockets are less of a problem, and you've got complete control over the rate the forcemeat comes out at.  The only disadvantages are price and the need to wash the thing by hand.

View Post


Just to emphasize my ignorance, what do you mean by a piston style? I am thinking that the one my dad had was the same screw conveyor type that was also a grinder. Am I remembering this wrong. (Note to self: must go rummaging in my sister's garage.)
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#8 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 01 February 2006 - 02:57 PM

I'm a huge fan of the hand-crank piston style stuffer - you load all the filling into it, air pockets are less of a problem, and you've got complete control over the rate the forcemeat comes out at.  The only disadvantages are price and the need to wash the thing by hand.

View Post


Just to emphasize my ignorance, what do you mean by a piston style? I am thinking that the one my dad had was the same screw conveyor type that was also a grinder. Am I remembering this wrong. (Note to self: must go rummaging in my sister's garage.)

View Post

I imagine he means something like this.

Thanks, Melkor, for the input.

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#9 Pallee

Pallee
  • participating member
  • 188 posts

Posted 01 February 2006 - 03:02 PM

You may find it useful to get one that has a couple different "horn" sizes. This makes it much easier if you will be using lamb casings to make breakfast size links as small casings can be tough to get on a universal size horn.

I second the piston style as being superior to the KA. Better control and less chance of heating the emulsion to the breaking point. My brother has a water stuffer he loves, but I've not used it. It uses water pressure to push the mix into the casings.

#10 melkor

melkor
  • legacy participant
  • 2,554 posts
  • Location:Northern California

Posted 01 February 2006 - 03:20 PM

I imagine he means something like this.

Thanks, Melkor, for the input.

=R=

View Post

Exactly - this one is the one I use.

#11 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 01 February 2006 - 03:26 PM

I imagine he means something like this.

Thanks, Melkor, for the input.

=R=

View Post

Exactly - this one is the one I use.

View Post

Melkor, I was looking at that one earlier today. How does that one mount? Do you have to permanently bolt down the base or can you clamp it to the work surface?

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#12 melkor

melkor
  • legacy participant
  • 2,554 posts
  • Location:Northern California

Posted 01 February 2006 - 03:37 PM

I use a pair of clamps from my pasta roller to hold it down. I stick a large plastic cutting board between it and the counter so I've got some work space. It works really well.

I just need to find a die extruding pasta using it - there's a shop in San Francisco that makes them, I just haven't gotten around to figuring out exactly what I need and getting it made.

If you do end up buying one of these things, be sure to get the food grade grease for it - you'll need to use some on it every couple of times.

#13 jmolinari

jmolinari
  • participating member
  • 1,364 posts

Posted 01 February 2006 - 03:47 PM

This is the one i have, http://www.northernt...623&R=200308623

same as Sausage Maker's, onlyit costs $80 instead of $200. The crank ones are infinitely better than the push plunger models and the kitchenaid one.

jason

Edited by jmolinari, 01 February 2006 - 03:47 PM.


#14 Doc-G

Doc-G
  • participating member
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Adelaide, Australia/London, UK

Posted 01 February 2006 - 04:28 PM

Hi,

For our R&D department we have the same one as Melkor. We find it very useful for doing small runs of new varieties of sausage for tastings. It is easy to use and easy to clean and you can easily control the rate at which the filler works. Only possible drawback is that with the more tricky things, you may need a second person to help!!

The other thing is that you also get 3 different sized nozzles for filling different sized casings so you can 'thins' and 'thicks' (as we call them) as well as really big salamis etc...

Just my 0.2c worth!

Cheers

Doc-G

#15 melkor

melkor
  • legacy participant
  • 2,554 posts
  • Location:Northern California

Posted 01 February 2006 - 04:40 PM

I was happy to pay the $200 for mine - it looks exactly like the one jason linked to for $80, that one seems like a no brainer to me.

#16 fifi

fifi
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,727 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:21 PM

I have to say that those sausage stuffers make a lot of sense design-wise. But . . . You have to be a pretty committed sausage maker to shell out for one. Back to rummaging in my sister's garage. That thing makes so much sense that I wouldn't be surprised if dad bought one.

I checked jason's link and there is a Northern Tool place not far from me. I never heard of it. Looks dangerous.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#17 fifi

fifi
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,727 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:34 PM

Yes . . . That web site is truly dangerous. Go there at the risk of your credit card.

This model stuffer looks interesting. For an occasional sausage stuffer, that might fill the bill. I can't imagine making more than 5 pounds at a time for myself. What do you think?
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#18 jmolinari

jmolinari
  • participating member
  • 1,364 posts

Posted 01 February 2006 - 06:00 PM

Fifi, DO NOT buy that. I have one, which i used before i got my crank one, it is terrible. The meat paste sqeezes past the plunger since there is no sealing ring..it is a huge pain to use, requireing almost all your body weight to plunge it.

I'll sell you mine if you really want, cheap. it is the stainless steel 5lb model.

jason

#19 fifi

fifi
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 7,727 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 01 February 2006 - 06:06 PM

Fifi, DO NOT buy that. I have one, which i used before i got my crank one, it is terrible. The meat paste sqeezes past the plunger since there is no sealing ring..it is a huge pain to use, requireing almost all your body weight to plunge it.

I'll sell you mine if you really want, cheap. it is the stainless steel 5lb model.

jason

View Post


So much for that idea. While I have the body weight to make it go, using it doesn't sound like much fun. I'll pass on the deal. :biggrin: (Another reason I love this place.)
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#20 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 01 February 2006 - 06:09 PM

So much for that idea. While I have the body weight to make it go, using it doesn't sound like much fun. I'll pass on the deal.  :biggrin: (Another reason I love this place.)

View Post

Agreed. I appreciate all the excellent information. It's really helpful.

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#21 syount

syount
  • participating member
  • 5 posts

Posted 02 February 2006 - 01:14 PM

While I'm a little late to the party, I have both the KA stuffer and one of the vertical piston types. The KA leaves me cursing everytime because it is too hard to control how fast the stuffing goes into the tubes. The vertical piston stuffer is worth every penny. Very easy to use.

Sam

Edited by syount, 02 February 2006 - 01:16 PM.


#22 bigwino

bigwino
  • participating member
  • 201 posts

Posted 05 February 2006 - 02:04 PM

Just piling on here, but I just finished using the KA stuffer attachment and am now in the market for the vertical stuffer kind. What a total PITA the KA attachment is. Useless and aggravating.

So, the nice length of italian sweet sausage from Charcuterie is now mostly in patty form.

#23 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 05 February 2006 - 02:24 PM

I ended up getting the one Melkor has. I liked the fact that all its metal parts are stainless steel. I got it from Sausage Maker Inc. (dot com) and they really came through for me. I ordered it on Wednesday evening and it arrived on Friday afternoon. Sometimes places build in an extra day or 2 of processing time -- even when you request next day shipping. At this place, next day air really means next day. I was also able to order casings, gear lubricant and other supplies, so overall, it was a great place to shop.

Anyway, I'm about ready to stuff my inaugural run of spicy Italian sausage links with it. I hope to have a report and some pictures soon.

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#24 Expat Russ

Expat Russ
  • participating member
  • 35 posts
  • Location:Metro Detroit

Posted 24 February 2006 - 09:12 PM

This is the one i have, http://www.northernt...623&R=200308623

same as Sausage Maker's, onlyit costs $80 instead of $200. The crank ones are infinitely better than the push plunger models and the kitchenaid one.

jason

View Post

amen jason...amen...the kitchen aid is tolerable for 5 lbs (barely)...the push plunger is ok, but i find it sometimes takes a lot of effort to push through...but the one pictured is so worth the money if you are going to do any larger amount....we typically get about 5 people together and make 5lb batches of 5 or 6 different types (25-30 lbs total)...it goes very easy with a vertical stuffer.

Edited by Expat Russ, 24 February 2006 - 09:16 PM.

Expat Russ

Three Passions:

Food
Travel<=click to go to my travel website...
BBQ and BQ<=click to go to my blog about trying to balance great food and qualifying for the Boston Marathon

#25 lgrass

lgrass
  • participating member
  • 8 posts

Posted 31 March 2006 - 08:15 AM

In case anyone is interested, I have a vertical stuffer that looks identical to the northern tools model, but is $20 cheaper, from Grizzly Tools:

http://www.grizzly.c...og/2006/main/74

#26 Navin Johnson

Navin Johnson
  • participating member
  • 6 posts

Posted 31 March 2006 - 02:00 PM

I've mostly solved the problem with my plunger stuffer by stuffing some waxed paper between the meat and the plunger in such a way that the paper creates a tighter seal between the plunger and the tube (if that makes sense). Now it works quite well, especially for a 5lbs stuffer that was less than $30 delivered.

Still, the crank models are almost certainly better (although I wouldn't know from experience)

Eric

Fifi, DO NOT buy that. I have one, which i used before i got my crank one, it is terrible. The meat paste sqeezes past the plunger since there is no sealing ring..it is a huge pain to use, requireing almost all your body weight to plunge it.

I'll sell you mine if you really want, cheap. it is the stainless steel 5lb model.

jason

View Post



#27 adegiulio

adegiulio
  • participating member
  • 979 posts
  • Location:Red Hook NY

Posted 31 March 2006 - 03:27 PM

A piston type is the best way to go, in my opinion. I have a Dick, which is very heavy and well made. I love it. It also has a pressure valve and an assortment of tube sizes. I like this type because there are fewer air pockets and it is easier to control the flow. Plus its just plain fun...
"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young
"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

#28 ojisan

ojisan
  • participating member
  • 377 posts
  • Location:Monterey Bay area, California

Posted 04 April 2006 - 05:27 PM

In case anyone is interested, I have a vertical stuffer that looks identical to the northern tools model, but is $20 cheaper, from Grizzly Tools:

http://www.grizzly.c...og/2006/main/74

View Post


lgrass -

Does this model have a pressure relief valve in the piston, and does the piston have an o-ring? I'm trying to find out how this made-in-China $60 version differs from the Sausage Maker's $185 made-in-US version. What's your opinion of the Grizzly stuffer?

Monterey Bay area


#29 jmolinari

jmolinari
  • participating member
  • 1,364 posts

Posted 04 April 2006 - 05:47 PM

ojisan, it has both a pressure relief valve and a silicone rubber o-ring.

#30 ojisan

ojisan
  • participating member
  • 377 posts
  • Location:Monterey Bay area, California

Posted 04 April 2006 - 05:59 PM

ojisan, it has both a pressure relief valve and a silicone rubber o-ring.

View Post


Is there any reason to spring for the more expensive version? I assume there are differences, but maybe the they aren't worth the $... ?

thanks

Monterey Bay area






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Charcuterie