Michigan-Sportsman.com banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,131 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I been thinking about getting into making my own snack sticks and summer sausage this year . but looking at all the choices of products is a bit confusing . Do I need a heavy duty one or is a middle price one fine what about the foot pedal control , what brand do you guys that do this use ? What ones should i avoid
 

·
Trophy Husband
Joined
·
2,948 Posts
My two cents, don't try to use a grinder for stuffing snack sticks. Due to the small diameter of the stuffing tube used for snack sticks the grinder cannot get rid of the meat fast enough and will emulsify the meat in the grinder head that is waiting to get out. This totally changes the texture of the snack stick, you won't be happy and will end up buying a stuffer. I have been down this road...I found there is a reason they make them.

https://www.waltonsinc.com/ is a really infomative website with 100 or so very well done, "how to videos". They can sell you everything you need, equipment, seasonings etc and are really good to work with. For a home processor doing a few deer a year a 7lb vertical stuffer would be ideal. No need for a foot pedal unless you want the convenience. Especially if you have a second set of hands available. FWIW, I just did 80lbs of summer sausage with a hand crank unit by myself so it can be done.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,169 Posts
My two cents, don't try to use a grinder for stuffing snack sticks. Due to the small diameter of the stuffing tube used for snack sticks the grinder cannot get rid of the meat fast enough and will emulsify the meat in the grinder head that is waiting to get out. This totally changes the texture of the snack stick, you won't be happy and will end up buying a stuffer. I have been down this road...I found there is a reason they make them.

https://www.waltonsinc.com/ is a really infomative website with 100 or so very well done, "how to videos". They can sell you everything you need, equipment, seasonings etc and are really good to work with. For a home processor doing a few deer a year a 7lb vertical stuffer would be ideal. No need for a foot pedal unless you want the convenience. Especially if you have a second set of hands available. FWIW, I just did 80lbs of summer sausage with a hand crank unit by myself so it can be done.
I have a good friend that does a ton of processing and sausage, jerky and snack sticks for friends and family. He has a badass grinder and said the same thing. Stuffer is the only way to go for snack sticks. Summer sausage can be done with a grinder, but still a stuffer is a better way to go.

SO, to the OP, I am in a similar boat and wanting to get a new one. I am leaning towards a grinder that will work fine, but not a bigger than needed and more expensive than needed. I will use the money that would be spent on overkill for a stuffer. That is my plan anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
I've tried stuffing with my grinder, and it might work but I don't recommend it.
Find somebody with a stuffer and see if you can't borrow or rent it for a bit.
The problem with these things is you spend all this money, use it once a year, and it sits on a shelf the rest of the year.

Grinder's been worth every penny though, even once a year.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wild Thing

·
Registered
Joined
·
35,217 Posts
LEM sells a great grinder and sausage stuffer. It should last you a lifetime. If you plan on making lots of sausage a meat mixer is a nice option.

When making snack sticks make sure to add plenty of water to the mix. It greatly reduces the force the meat through the 3/8” stuffer tube. If you don’t you will eventually strip the plastic gears. Water does not change the taste one bit and will evaporate when cooking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,131 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Ok so the grinders that say grinder / stuffer really are just best for summer sausage and if I want snack sticks it’s best to get a stuffer separate . This is the input I was looking for also because I thought one unit would do both jobs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Ok so the grinders that say grinder / stuffer really are just best for summer sausage and if I want snack sticks it’s best to get a stuffer separate . This is the input I was looking for also because I thought one unit would do both jobs
Yes, basically you are correct. I second the LEM products, I invested some money a few years back in a good grinder/10# stuffer/Mixer. I process all my own venison from start to finish and make anywhere from 50-100 pounds of various flavors and sizes of meat sticks/salami logs/jerky and smoke them up. We do it all at once at the end of season in January. If there was one thing I would have done different is NOT purchase the Mixer, it's a real pain to clean and I find it quicker and more simpler to mix the meat by hand in large meat lugs.
 

·
Trophy Husband
Joined
·
2,948 Posts
Ok so the grinders that say grinder / stuffer really are just best for summer sausage and if I want snack sticks it’s best to get a stuffer separate . This is the input I was looking for also because I thought one unit would do both jobs
All grinders will stuff which is probably the only reason they list them that way. Essentially they are just using the auger to push the meat out through whichever size tube you have attached. You do not want a cutter and plates installed when doing this, especially for small stuffing tubes. They make a star that goes over the end of the auger to help keep it centered if you go this route. Truth is you don't even need that...the auger is being pushed backwards by the meat being pushed out....once she is loaded the auger will find its center and just run. I do this when pushing hamburger into bags, anything else I use a stuffer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,622 Posts
Agree with most everything posted above. I have the 3/4 HP Cabelas Carnivore for grinding , a mixer for mixing large batches and a hand crank stuffer. Have to agree with LTH that my grinder is seldom used. For anything 25# or less I just mix by hand to save the time required for cleaning the grinder. Stuffer works great although it helps if someone can crank it for you while you are stuffing casings. Foot pedal is really nice for grinding and well worth the extra cost.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Old lund

·
Trophy Husband
Joined
·
2,948 Posts
When making snack sticks make sure to add plenty of water to the mix. It greatly reduces the force the meat through the 3/8” stuffer tube. If you don’t you will eventually strip the plastic gears. Water does not change the taste one bit and will evaporate when cooking.
For the OP, this is good advice, I would only recommend a using a binder or carrot fiber with the water. It is cheap and tasteless....it prevents too much evaporation and will keep your summer sausage, snack sticks etc from getting all shriveled up.

Last, be a little careful if hand mixing any cured product. Tough to get a really good protein extraction but can be done with effort. For any fresh sausage such as breakfast, italian, brats, etc hand mixing is fine and a lot less cleanup!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,643 Posts
I have a Cabelas Commercial Grinder I am going to be selling. I inherited it and already have one. They are great grinders. Shoot me a message if interested I will see exactly what model it is when I get home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,622 Posts
Correction to my post above. It is my “mixer” that is seldom used. My “grinder” gets a lot of use. Too late to edit original post
 
  • Like
Reactions: Waif

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
35,136 Posts
I agree with an above post that a grinder can pulverize the meat too much. If you set it up right with a good amount of water, it's acceptable and goes fast. If it has to work to push through the tube into the case, it comes out the consistency of "branschwagger" (spelling?).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,643 Posts
I have a Cabelas #22 1hp commercial grinder available for $275 if anyone is interested. Comes with sausage tubes etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,059 Posts
I've tried stuffing with my grinder, and it might work but I don't recommend it.
Find somebody with a stuffer and see if you can't borrow or rent it for a bit.
The problem with these things is you spend all this money, use it once a year, and it sits on a shelf the rest of the year.

Grinder's been worth every penny though, even once a year.
Get sticks made once or for the same price stuff snack sticks rest of life. PS seasonings has really good stuff. Honey BBQ with cheddar is my favorite.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
620 Posts
Cabela's 1 1/2 hp grinder, probably could have got by with 1hp.
I have the mixer as well and went with the Dakotah water stuffer for around 130$ at that time. I have been happy with the stuffer, YouTube water stuffer.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top