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Old 05-13-2013, 01:20 AM   #1
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ISO opinions on electric vs. manual meat grinders/sausage mskers

i've been wanting to buy a meat grinder with sausage attachments for a while now, but after looking at some threads here about them i'd like some more opinions.

i'd like to buy a manual one with 2 sausage tubes as i only plan to use it infrequently (maybe once or twice a month) to make fresh burgers from lean meat such as london broil or trimmed chuck, and the occasional attempt at pork, chicken, or furkey sausage.

i've seen a nice, manual one in a sporting/hunting/fishing store that has 2 sausage attachments for a mere $30, but after seeing dawg's post about electric grinders from cabelas, i'm wondering if i should go for it.

the small extra cost is not a problem, but as an engineer i'm not looking to buy a large unit with unquestionable power, andmoreso, i have no room in my tiny kitchen (it'll need to find somewhere to hide between uses).

i'm only planning on making about 2 or 3 lbs of burgers at at time, and maybe 5 lbs. of sausage. the idea is to make things fresh for immediate cooking; not to freeze anything.

should i go for a $100 to $150 electric unit, or would a small but heavy manual unit suffice in such a case?

do manual units provide an equally good grind of various sizes? i tend to like chunkier sausage, but average grind burgers.

are they that much harder for one person to feed sausage casings properly while cranking?

i know about handle torque, so fitting a small breaker bar and handle wouldn't be a problem.

i like the look of the cabela pro and from it's pictures it has a small footprint.

if electric, what wattage motor should i go for with leaner meats?

tia for your help.


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Old 05-13-2013, 05:19 AM   #2
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As far as electric grinders go, I would recommend getting the most horsepower you can afford. Of course, if you can find a reasonably priced commercial grinder (which I am in the market for,) that may be a good option. I am getting too old to hand crank large amounts of meat. My BIL runs a small diner. I am thinking about asking him to see if he can acquire a good quality grinder at the restaurant supply store he frequents.

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Old 05-13-2013, 05:31 AM   #3
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You still have boy power on your side for a few more years.

I think you should start out with an old silver manual meat grinder that has multiple plates and a sausage stuffing funnel.

By the time your son is too old to help you should be able to decide on the right electric model!
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:17 AM   #4
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For grinding I use the grinder for the KA. It has worked fine for my use and at some point I plan on getting a coarser plate. The sausage stuffer bit stinks though. The hopper is too small.

One thing you should take into consideration is the size of the hopper mouth, especially is you want to do a double grind. A small mouth and trying to push already ground meat down it is really no fun. Unfortunatly you will find this to be an issue with all electric ones as a safety thing.

We found a manual grinder at a thrift store for $6. I tried it once and sent it on its way. It was a cheapo piece of junk so I don't judge manual grinders by it. When I was looking at better options for stuffing I did consider a manual grinder/stuffer. Kathleen solved the quandry for me with the vertical stuffer she got me for VDay.

Good luck and let us know what you get.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:26 AM   #5
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I've used a manual grinder before and liked it. Sometimes it's nice to process something without having to listen to a motor.
But if I was going to get into rope sausage making I think I'd go electric. That way you can concentrate on feeding the meat into the hopper and guiding the finished product out without also turning the handle.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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Go for the electric.

Hand grinding works and they are less expensive but you will work for what you get.

Sounds like you want to grind enough to justify an electric grinder.

Plus you get to plug it in and what engineer doesn't like that?

Check out LEM Products. They have good equipment at reasonable prices.

I've been very happy with mine.

Sometimes they offer reconditioned products at a really good price.

It sounds like about 3/4 hp will fill your needs. IMHO it's better to have a bigger motor rather then wish you'd gotten a bigger one.

Once you start grinding your own you'll be surprised how much you'll want to grind.

Be sure to get different sized plates to get the grind you want. Different grinds for different things.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:04 PM   #7
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I'd go for a small electric or the grinding attachment on a KA. I use the KA for grinding.

If you want to make really good even sausages, you need a separate stuffer. Large diameter for easy filling. Manually operated and easy to control the flow.


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Old 05-13-2013, 08:25 PM   #8
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I really like my Cabela Pro. It doesn't take up a huge amount of space, though I should probably use it more than I do. Oh well, summer's coming and I'll have more time. Solid little machine that does what it's supposed to.

I don't own a KA, so I can't speak to that (not a baker).
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:53 AM   #9
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A separate sausage stuffer is usually better because the meat grinder will mush the filling a lot. Just my experience. I have a 10 pound stuffer but seem to have lost the picture. this is a #22 1hpgrinder and a 25 pound 1 hp meat mixer thanks for resizing for me

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Old 05-14-2013, 09:56 AM   #10
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Meat Processing Equipment | Sausage Making Supplies | LEM Products

They have all types and sizes of grinders, stuffers, etc..

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