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OT - Meat Grinder/Sausage Stuffer

Good morning all--I have been interested for a while now in purchasing a meat grinder to begin experimenting with making sausages.  I have seen decent reviews for STX, Weston and LEM brands.  If anyone can provide any insight into products they have purchased and/or used, it would certainly help me narrow down my options.  Thanks.

Comments

  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 4,297
    edited August 2017
    If you are new, I would start off @ Harbor Freight, for around $50.00 https://www.harborfreight.com/electric-meat-grinder-99598.html you can get a good grinder/stuffer. If you are  only doing a few pounds the stuffer on the grinder is OK, after that you really need a dedicated stuffer. Buy a 10 Pounder at least, you will grow into it. I started With Harbor freight and quickly worked into a LEM Big Bite 12 and a 5 pound stuffer ( the 5 pounder was a mistake) the got into the LEM 20 # Motorized stuffer. Like the Egg, sky is the limit on sausage equipment




    Visalia, Ca
  • BotchBotch Posts: 7,036
    I'm still using my KitchenAid attachment for grinding, but gave up on the attachment for stuffing.  I got the 5-lb LEM (and haven't outgrown it (yet)).  :wink:
    I still don't make enough per year to require the larger machines, but maybe someday...  
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 8,478
    Like @lkapigian, I have the LEM Big Bite 12.
    Honestly, it's total over kill for my needs but I love it...
    The larger neck lets you use larger grind cut to mix in seasoning without turning meat to mush.
    Picked up at season end sale at local sporting goods store for almost half off. Just could not walk away.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 13,818
    Get a 10lb stuffer. Trust me on this one. 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,903
    im still using the kitchen aide attachment but with the bigger plates on ebay. the stuffer sucks as mentioned.
  • pabpab Posts: 258
    I have the STX and I would say it is adequate at best for my needs. Only 3 sizes of grind plates available only from them. Tends to bog down a little when using par frozen meat, but that could be operator error as it may be frozen a bit past par. Wish I had gone with the LEM. I also started with a LEM 5lb stuffer as well, sold it to a friend and bought the 15lb size. When I make sausage I use both butts that come in the cryovac. If I'm going to make a mess, it's going to be a big one  :)
    Nerk Ahia LBGE
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 4,297
    Photo Egg said:
    Like @lkapigian, I have the LEM Big Bite 12.
    Honestly, it's total over kill for my needs but I love it...
    The larger neck lets you use larger grind cut to mix in seasoning without turning meat to mush.
    Picked up at season end sale at local sporting goods store for almost half off. Just could not walk away.
    @Photo Egg I agree, still wish I would have bough the #22 1hp though =)
    betting most of us buy things that are overkill
    Visalia, Ca
  • highballhighball Posts: 16
    I use a Ameican made hand operated Chop Rite #22, and a Dakotah water  powered stuffer 
  • lkapigian said:
    If you are new, I would start off @ Harbor Freight, for around $50.00 https://www.harborfreight.com/electric-meat-grinder-99598.html you can get a good grinder/stuffer. If you are  only doing a few pounds the stuffer on the grinder is OK, after that you really need a dedicated stuffer. Buy a 10 Pounder at least, you will grow into it. I started With Harbor freight and quickly worked into a LEM Big Bite 12 and a 5 pound stuffer ( the 5 pounder was a mistake) the got into the LEM 20 # Motorized stuffer. Like the Egg, sky is the limit on sausage equipment




    I am considering purchasing the LEM Big Bite 12, so I don't have to buy another grinder in the near future and given the reviews, this should last me for quite some time.  How functional are the stuffing attachments that come with the grinder?  Do you really need to buy a separate stuffer, at least in the beginning?
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 4,297
    lkapigian said:
    If you are new, I would start off @ Harbor Freight, for around $50.00 https://www.harborfreight.com/electric-meat-grinder-99598.html you can get a good grinder/stuffer. If you are  only doing a few pounds the stuffer on the grinder is OK, after that you really need a dedicated stuffer. Buy a 10 Pounder at least, you will grow into it. I started With Harbor freight and quickly worked into a LEM Big Bite 12 and a 5 pound stuffer ( the 5 pounder was a mistake) the got into the LEM 20 # Motorized stuffer. Like the Egg, sky is the limit on sausage equipment




    I am considering purchasing the LEM Big Bite 12, so I don't have to buy another grinder in the near future and given the reviews, this should last me for quite some time.  How functional are the stuffing attachments that come with the grinder?  Do you really need to buy a separate stuffer, at least in the beginning?
    You don't have to, but the first time using the grinder as a stuffer you will want to. Along with being a pain, it changes the texture of the sausage running it through the grinder again..Try the attachment first,it will certainly stuff a sausage 
    Visalia, Ca
  • BotchBotch Posts: 7,036
    lkapigian said:
    steelcity314 said:  I am considering purchasing the LEM Big Bite 12, so I don't have to buy another grinder in the near future and given the reviews, this should last me for quite some time.  How functional are the stuffing attachments that come with the grinder?  Do you really need to buy a separate stuffer, at least in the beginning?
    You don't have to, but the first time using the grinder as a stuffer you will want to. Along with being a pain, it changes the texture of the sausage running it through the grinder again..Try the attachment first,it will certainly stuff a sausage 
    I've seen simple metal funnels that you slide the casings onto, and then stuff the ground sausage into using just your thumbs.
    That would work quicker than the KitchenAid attachment; trust us.  
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 4,297
    All I all welcome to the sausage fray. It has become my favorite kitchen hobby, and a great compliment to good Q. It is something that is always better than store bought , and lends itself well to freezing for later use. 
    Visalia, Ca
  • pabpab Posts: 258
    I agree with @lkapigian on using the grinder as a stuffer. After doing it once you will want a dedicated stuffer. It is nice having a freezer full of sausages though, no matter how you stuff them. I even use my stuffer to put bulk sausage into food saver bags, much neater and easier as well.
    Nerk Ahia LBGE
  • Awesome, thanks for all of the information. 
  • tjosbornetjosborne Posts: 527
    edited August 2017
    I'd pick up the book Charcuterie as well. There's about 25 sausage recipes in there as well as lots of other information. The brat and chicken,basil, and sundried tomato sausage recipes are great.
    middle of nowhere- G.I. NE
  • tjosborne said:
    I'd pick up the book Charcuterie as well. There's about 25 sausage recipes in there as well as lots of other information. The brat and chicken,basil, and sundried tomato sausage recipes are great.
    I'm finding a handful of books titled "Charcuterie". Which author would you recommend?
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,986
    Idk but the thread title made me think of a woman I dated for a while.  :o
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 4,297
    edited August 2017
    tjosborne said:
    I'd pick up the book Charcuterie as well. There's about 25 sausage recipes in there as well as lots of other information. The brat and chicken,basil, and sundried tomato sausage recipes are great.
    I'm finding a handful of books titled "Charcuterie". Which author would you recommend?
    You Tube---a of books are good for sure, but very advanced--IMO Michael Ruhlman book is awesome but dated, I have Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausage as well- Both are great when you start going above "Fresh Sausage" ..Basic Fresh Sausage is easy ( Yes I tossed a few batches in the beginning) but when you get into curing,aging, etc those books, you will need. For just starting out
    http://www.lets-make-sausage.com/
    http://thespicysausage.com/
    http://lpoli.50webs.com/

     
    Visalia, Ca
  • westernbbqwesternbbq Posts: 2,311
    the HF looks like a great deal

    I got a LEM #12 big bite and have to say LEM cust svc is impeccable.  I also like the interchangeability of parts and attachments.  Maybe the HF unit can be connected to various blade, tube, mixer, stuffer configurations.  I have 15# and 5# LEM stuffers and te 2" SS tube for grinding directly into freezer bags,    super helpful and i use the foot controller and various blade configs for sausage, flaffel, hamburger etc


    Used to attempt to grind with kitch aid attachmnt and spent more time unwinding sinew from the blade than actual grinding.   Lem 12 blasts right through it

    But, if i were in the market today, $50 at harbor freight sounds a lot better than $400 or sonfrom lem.....

    Ive read on this forum somewhere that the hf unit works well, although i have no experience with it

    But if you want to expand your grinding into mixing, stuffing, patty making and multiple blade 
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