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Sausage stuffers - what to look for?


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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

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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

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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"
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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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.)

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

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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.

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I imagine he means something like this.

Thanks, Melkor, for the input.

=R=

Exactly - this one is the one I use.

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

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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.

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This is the one i have, http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/sto...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 (log)
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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.)

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

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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 (log)
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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.

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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

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  • 3 weeks later...
This is the one i have, http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/sto...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

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 (log)

Expat Russ

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Travel<=click to go to my travel website...

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  • 1 month later...
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