manual meat grinder and sausage stuffers?

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by zdawgnight, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. zdawgnight

    zdawgnight

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    Hi Guys I am looking into doing my own charcuterie and was hoping I could get some suggestions on equipment. I want a meat grinder and a sausage stuff that are both incredibly durable and easy to clean, also stainless steal would be nice. Any help would be much appreciated thanks.
     
  2. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    Do you have a Kitchen Aid mixer? Kitchen Aid makes attachments for grinding meat and stuffing sausages.
     
  3. duckfat

    duckfat

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    I used a KA grinder for years but I don't suggest them. They smear as much as they cut. Look at LEM products and Weston. Here's a link to a company that carries many brands. I have not ordered from this place but I expect to in the near future.

    Dave

    http://www.meatprocessingproducts.com/
     
  4. butzy

    butzy

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    We make our own mince for burgers, lasagna and the like.

    We got a big manual one, that can be attached to an electro motor if needed. If I remembered correct we bought it via amazon.com.

    I'm away for a couple of days, but will try to remember to check on the make when I'm back
     
  5. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    Thank you, Dave.

    Good to know about the KA. I picked up the attachments for a song at a thrift store--still new in their packaging-- but have yet to use them. I'm disappointed to hear they don't do such a great job but don't feel so bad since I only spent a couple of bucks. 
     
  6. chefedb

    chefedb

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    hobart is one.
     
  7. zdawgnight

    zdawgnight

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    Yeah I have a KA but I want to do some charcuterie so I want more control than the attachment can offer me. Thanks for the link duck fat and I will look more into hobart.
     
  8. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    The only Hobart you could afford in your wildest dreams uses the same meat grinding attachment as the KA.  It's not really a step up, at least not for home charcuterie. 

    Most of us started with the grinder/stuffer attachments for a KA when learning to make sausage.  They do a great job, but have some limitations.  The tray is too small, so they make a mess; there's not enough choice in plates; they can run hot; meat sometimes gets smeared instead of ground; it doesn't function as the world's greatest stuffer, etc. 

    If you're planning on making more than about 5# per batch and/or per month, and/or you want to make very thin or very thick sausage, you might want to look at something a little more convenient and with more options like a #10 grinder with three or four plates and tubes.  But if you're not there yet, it makes sense to stick with the KA until you outgrow it. 

    When it comes to a stand alone stuffer, you'll feel like you need to be a three armed monkey to get it right, but they're usually better for big lots -- especially when it comes to keeping the air out of the casing. 

    Three questions: 
    • Do you really need a separate sausage stuffer, or do you want to put tubes on the grinder and used that? 
    • What's your budget? 
    • If you want two pieces, what's your budget for each piece? 
    In addition to Meat Processing Products you might also explore The Sausage Maker.   They're both very good companies.  For reasons which have nothing to do with who's better (they're about equal), I buy my supplies from The Sausage Maker. 
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  9. zdawgnight

    zdawgnight

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    My budget is about $500, I definately do not need to have separate pieces of equipment. Easy, sturdy and puts out a great quality product is all I am looking for.
     
  10. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Between the two retailers, (I think) there are three #10 grinders, each priced at under $150; all of which come with a 3 plate/3 tube kit; any of which is far better than the KA's grinder/stuffer attachment (about $80, if memory serves); and each of which should meet your requirements unless you do serious volume. 

    But WAIT!  THERE'S MORE!!!   After the grinder/stuffer, the next big sausage purchase is some sort of smoker.  Sadly, not cheap.

    AND IF YOU ORDER NOW (dammit) You can't forget about expendables like seasonings, cure, casings, meat and fat.  Maybe less than $100 just to get started, but not by much. 
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  11. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Did you mean a #10 grinder as shown here:   http://www.meatprocessingproducts.com/61210.html

    Order NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    It seems that the manual grinders to get nowadays are made of stainless steel with plates and knives of carbon steel.  Am I correct?  If it stays sharper longer than stainless steel, then I'd rather have the carbon steel cutting setup despite its slightly higher maintenance.
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    The stainless steel blade will chip if it hits a small piece of bone fragment. Happened to me twice.(Electric machine)
     
  14. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Despite the title of the thread there really isn't much rationale for a hand cranked meat grinder anymore, unless you're Amish.  It takes at least three hands to use a manually cranked grinder as a stuffer, something you probably don't want.  Also, I was under the impression you'd decided to buy one machine for both functions so assumed you'd decided on an electric #10 like this.  (By the way, that's the same grinder at the same price as the one sold on The Sausage Maker's own website).  I can't tell you if the extra $25 for the FMA grinder is money well spent or not. 

    You might want to call MPP and ask. 

    Why a #10 instead of a #5 or #8?  A bigger head means a bigger auger; a bigger auger is faster, transfers less heat and cuts better.  More and better accessories for a #10.  The prices and overall machine sizes are close enough so as not to make a major difference.  In my opinion.

    But again, call MPP and ask. 

    Note that I'm recommending a different kind of grinder than Duck Fat.  He's pointing you towards "pro" machines like Weston and LEM; while the ones I'm suggesting are aimed at the enthusiastic amateur and/or hunter.  Is the arguably better build quality of a Weston or LEM worth going with either a smaller or significantly more expensive grinder?  I don't know.

    Also note that to the extent I understand what Ed is talking about, I don't believe it has much impact on someone who'll be working relatively infrequently and in relatively small quantities.   

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  15. zdawgnight

    zdawgnight

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    I appreciate all of your advice and opinions, this will definitely help point me in the right direction. 
     
  16. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  17. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I ended up purchasing a brand new Chop Rite #10 from the big E...E...E along and included two brand new plates: a 1/4" and 3/16" and an unused knife.  For sausage making I contacted Chop Rite and ordered from them some sausage making extras: kidney plate, stomper, extra knives and stuffer attachment.  Costly but enough to take me beyond pate into that huge brat in the sky....    And extra knives since each knife should be dedicated to a single plate in order for their contours to conform.  That leads to less mush and a much better chopping action.

    8^P

    Will keep y'all posted as to my brat making.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  18. jake t bud

    jake t bud

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    I guess this is too late, but




    Supposedly much better than the OEM version as per the reviews. I was thinking of getting it myself except it's stupidly not stainless steel.

    Anybody have one? But at the price, this one seems nice. It just takes up valuable counter and storage space for the home :

    http://www.meatprocessingproducts.com/war-mg855.html

    Also, doesn't freezing the meat before grinding prevent smearing and overheating?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  19. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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     Forget stainless steel.  It'll never NEVER NEVER NEVER be as sharp as either cast iron nor carbon steel knives and plates.
     

    And yes, freezing the meat prior to grinding so that it is SUPER FIRM BUT NOT FROZEN SOLID is the way to go.  Frimness facilitates a clean cut and avoids smearing.

    Upper case added for emphasis only (I'm not shouting 8))
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  20. duckfat

    duckfat

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      The last thing I want to worry about is rust in every hole in a carbon grinder plate. I can't fault the love of carbon but there's a reason companies like LEM, Weston etc primarilly use SS plates and blades. If you can't get SS blades sharp don't blame the steel. In short using SS blades and plates in regards to cutting performance in modern grinders is a non-issue. Maintenance is key with either material (there's just a lot more of it with carbon) as is quality of construction.

    No matter what type of steel you choose, electric or manual, make sure you pick a brand that either utilzes standard size plates and blades or is a brand that you can easilly get replacement blades and plates for.

    Dave