Author Topic: meat grinders  (Read 12005 times)

Offline Stargazer

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Re: meat grinders
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2008, 09:12:50 am »
Im alittle skeptical myself about being 2hp. Like I said earlier, even your midrange higher end grinders such as tor-rey and hobart max at 1 horse power before they start getting into 3phase.

The thing is, doing a search on other sites, their listing it as 2hp as well, unless they are using the same description which could very well be.

However, Im not saying it isnt a good grinder. My Alfa is about 1/4 horse power and does just fine.

Im going to do a deeper search on this grinder and see what I can find out, out of intrest and post an update if I find anything more on it. Just out of personal intrest.
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Offline Smokin Soon

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Re: meat grinders
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2008, 03:19:56 pm »
While I'm looking at meat grinders still, I also see sausage stuffers. If the grinder I buy has stuffing attachments, so I still need a stuffer?
I will probably only do 10 pounds or so at a time.

Offline Stargazer

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Re: meat grinders
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2008, 06:25:03 pm »
While I'm looking at meat grinders still, I also see sausage stuffers. If the grinder I buy has stuffing attachments, so I still need a stuffer?
I will probably only do 10 pounds or so at a time.
You 'technically' don't need a stuffer and can use your grinder converted into a stuffer. You can use any grinder to convert into a stuffer actually. All that it requires is a spacer plate and stuffing horn which you can buy seperatly. Most grinders that are #12 come with stuffing attachments though.

Here is the problem with using a grinder as a stuffer. You have to keep stuffing ground meat into your hopper. The only way is to use your stomper which will come with your grinder.

Sounds easy enough... but this is where it begins...

The meat is already ground, so the worm gear has nothing to grab onto. You stomp and stomp and stomp with nothing coming out your stuffing horn, then you realise you have only been fighting a trapped air pocket for the past 5 minutes. Add each 5 minutes every times that happens while you keep in mind you have alot of fresh ground meat laying out getting alot of air thats starting to slowly dry out.

The best thing if your going to use a grinder as a stuffer is get a foot rest so you can get comfortable. Keep a small bowl of food grade oil near to occasionally dip your stomper in as so the ground meat dosnt start clinging to it as it slowly dries. And don't stomp straight down. Always go in at an angle.

Let [ ] be your hopper

and let | be your stomper

instead of stomping like this... [|]

Sort of like this... [\]

Where you can actually feel the tip of your stomper rub against the inside metal throat of your grinders hopper. You won't hurt a thing. Your stomper will be a high grade durable heavy nylon like plastic and your grinders head will be all metal.

Doing the second way will help reduce air pockets to fight. Youll still get air pockets, but youll find its alot less by stomping at an angle.

Mind you, it will still be very slow. For you can only stuff what you stomp down with a grinder converted into a stuffer. 10lbs is still going to be a small job, but can be done.

Personally, I have been using a grinder converted into a stuffer for as long as I been making bratwurst and rope sausage, Im finally breaking down and getting a stuffer. 30lbs Weston with a motor, but I always do 25lbs per batch any how and usually 50lbs 'or more' per month. However, they make stuffers as small as 5lbs, 10lbs and 15lbs, meaning the batch of meat it will hold.

But the main thing with sausage/brat making is to make it enjoyable. Have fun with it. Make it that cool hobby that everyone envies and can't wait until you make the next batch :)

After you make your brats or rope sausage, then its time to hang them in the smoker and let history be made  8)

Note: One thing I have never seen ANY grinder especally #12 size head grinders come with is a spacer plate. They usually come with stuffing horns of differant sizes, and 3 general plates, but NEVER a spacer plate. You will want a spacer plate to help hold your worm gear in place that the grinder plate does, but you dont want to 're-grind' your meat. Thats where your spacer plate comes in.

Re-grinding your meat makes it way to mushy. And no plate at all will allow your worm gear to slide out of the motor making you have to continuously stop, take apart to reattach your worm gear constantly which makes the fun stop in sausage making after the first time.

If you get a stuffer machine you wont need a spacer plate then. But for a grinder converted into a stuffer you will. Keep in mind, although the spacer plate helps, youll get alot of build up around it which you cant stop from happening. This causes some clogging during your stuffing process slowing you down also.

Lastly, don't forget the bread crumbs. During your last fill of a hank, when your out of meat, stuff a handfull or two of bread crumbs through. This will help push any meat thats left in your stuffing horn through and get one more link out.

Enjoy and good luck!
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 06:48:01 pm by Stargazer »
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Offline Smokin Soon

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Re: meat grinders
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2008, 08:08:18 pm »
Stargazer, that is a wealth of info. So the bottom line is if you want to get serious on some sausages, learn the quirks of stuffing with the grinder, or get a stuffer. I see that most here prefer a vertical stuffer. Whats your weapon of choice?

Offline Arcs_n_Sparks

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Re: meat grinders
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2008, 08:11:43 pm »
I have the 5# stuffer from the Sausage Maker. Excellent companion to the Cabela's grinder I have.

Arcs_n_Sparks

Offline Stargazer

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Re: meat grinders
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2008, 08:38:37 pm »
If you really want to get serious with sausage making, you definatly want a stuffer then. Your arm, shoulder, lower back and legs will definatly thank you for it.

I dont own a stuffer as of yet but I really Really REALLY enjoyed when I used a vertical stuffer.

The hand U shape stuffers are actually quicker then a grinder turned stuffer, but they usually max at 3lbs so your always reloading meat.

My local butcher gave me a 25lbs F.Dick stuffer made in Germany, however the piston is jammed in the bottom and cant get it out with out destroying the cylinder. F.Dick is top quality but the price it costs to replace just the stainless cylinder I could get a brand new 30lbs Weston, which are pretty nice stuffers themselves.

A few things to keep in mind...

You want at least 2 meat lugs and no less. This way you have one to store your ground meat, and another to hold linked or rope sausage after stuffing before smoking or vac-sealing.

You also want a decent table for your grinder and one for your stuffer. It gets to be a hassle moving them around so I designate a table for each. They dont have to be anything expensive. Just sturdy and high enough for you to work comfortably.

If I had the money I would definatly get an F.Dick but they are about the price of a used car. And a motor is about another grand for this type of stuffer.

Being realistic, Weston makes a superb stuffer for a fraction of the price, and a motor you can purchase seperatly for $200 if you ever decide to make large quantities.

However, if you wish to keep it a small operation, sausagemaker brand makes some very fine 5-15lbs stuffers that are the Weston style, being a screw instead of bar stock with teeth for the gears.

Eventually I would like a smaller one just to designate for making snack sticks to smoke. Thats something else you can't really stuff with a grinder turned stuffer is snack sticks. You technically can, but thats a road I dont even want to try. And I have bratwurst down to 5lbs an hour stuffing  :o

1 hour cutting/grinding meat + 1 hour per 5lbs stuffing * 25lbs spiced meats= aprox 6 hours total.

But keeping in mind theres alot of getting the hang of it to beable to do it all in around 6 hours.

A vertical stuffer will easily knock this time down to... approxamiatly a 30 minute job stuffing.

Thats one of the many atvantages of a vertical stuffer over a grinder convertate into a stuffer. Besides the ease of making snak stix option too.

Weston style vert. stuffers are affordable and also endorced by PS Seasoning on their own video/DVD's.

Alfa which is the brand of my meat grinder makes a nice stuffer as well that is a Weston style and appears to be identical in every aspect including affordable price. You can find Alfa brand on Amazon com. Im not sure if the Alfa has the specail air lock release like the Weston and F.Dick styles but Im sure they do. Its a specail valve that lets air pockets release so they dont go into the casings. A dream come true actually.

All in all, I narrowed it down to Weston 30lbs

There is a water stuffer called a Dakota, it holds around 10lbs I think and is horizontal. It hooks up to a sink. I honestly dont know much about that one but it dosnt seem like you would have much control over your speed/flow of grind into casings. Also seems like that stuffer can get rather messy, plus alot of parts to replace if they ever go such as gaskets and such.

If you do decide to get a stuffer, I would actually recommend you at least try stuffing a full batch 'not one or two hanks' with your grinder convertate into a stuffer just so you can know more of the ins and outs, and appreaciate your stuffer so much more.

Sort of like learning Linux all command prompt at first to enjoy an x-windows enviroment better :D
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Offline Stargazer

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Re: meat grinders
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2008, 08:40:50 pm »
I have the 5# stuffer from the Sausage Maker. Excellent companion to the Cabela's grinder I have.

Arcs_n_Sparks
Sausage maker makes some really great quality gear. You could fire that stuffer of yours out of a cannon, drop off a 2000 story building, and I doubt it would get so much as a finger print on the thing. There built to last.
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Offline Smokin Soon

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Re: meat grinders
« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2008, 09:37:48 pm »
Thanks again Stargazer, that info really helped alot. Also felt the linux command prompt thing, cause I'm a burned out programmer.
Tossed out a CS degree after dot com bust. Gotta finish my research and make some sauseges! Can't seem to buy a proper Linguiza after trying the real home made stuff. Adult beverages may have killed my spell checker, sorry.

Offline Stargazer

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Re: meat grinders
« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2008, 09:43:33 pm »
I have a Kentucky spell checker so its all good.

I think once you get set up and start making your own sausages, youll eventually get that right preportion of seasoning and spices to make the batch 'yours'.

Is Linguiza the same as Chorizo? If so, or if close, thats a very tasty Mexican sausage.

Youll end up nailing the perfect blend, then from there you start your tradition of making them for yourself, your family, and for friends especailly on the holidays. Something money cant buy :)
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Offline Mr Walleye

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Re: meat grinders
« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2008, 09:51:53 pm »
Good information Stargazer!

I've only been making sausage for a year or two now but you quickly realize you want a stuffer. I picked up a 1 HP Cabelas Commercial Grinder which works very well. I also picked up the Weston 11 lb Vertical Stuffer with the motor. Last batch of Kielbasa I did was 30 lbs. Start to finish (not including grinding) was just under 3 hours by myself. Having the motor on the stuffer really makes it possible to operate with just one person.

Mike

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Offline Stargazer

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Re: meat grinders
« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2008, 09:59:56 pm »
You can say that again Mr Walleye

Even a stuffer with out a motor is much easier then with a grinder converted into a stuffer. That 11lbs Weston really makes life much easier I bet. And the motor is like icing on the cake.

Good for making the Kielbasa :) Such a good rope sausage. Did you give it the icewater bath afterwards? Thats a really good sausage for the hobbiest. And I bet it drove your neighbors nutty when smoking them up  :D
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Offline Mr Walleye

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Re: meat grinders
« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2008, 10:12:25 pm »
I always do the ice bath for sure. I can't seem to make enough of this stuff. I can't argue though, it really is good.

I also meant to add in my last post that you can get the motor attachment directly from Weston. You may have to call them but they usually have a number of rebuilt ones for sale. I can't remember for sure but I think I paid around $139 for mine directly from them.

Mike

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