5lb stuffer or go larger?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by matlocc, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. matlocc

    matlocc Fire Starter

    I just picked up a Cabelas 5lb stuffer. It looks very small. I have not done this before and wonder if I need larger or can work well with a 5 lb model?  How many brats do you usually get from a 5lb batch?
  2. matlocc,

    Depending on how many you are cooking for and how often I'd say 5lbs is  plenty.  I just have me and "what's her name"  and I do brats about 4 times a year, along with other sausages in 5 lb. batches.  It came down to "where are you gonna store it!"

  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have a 5 pound stuffer and it suits my needs. I find it easy to make five pound batches of what I want. Usually I will do (2-3) five pound batches of different kinds of sausage at a time. Variety pack. The only times we do larger batches (25 pounds) is when we are making snack sticks or summer sausages and that's usually once or twice a year.  It's no biggie to reload the hopper and keep on stuffing.

    I think if I had a larger one I wouldn't use it as much. Making a 2-5 pound batch for dinner is easy to do.

    Another consideration is storage. The 5 pounder in its box takes up a good chunk of real estate.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Oh yeah depending on how big you make your links you should get 15-20 brats out of 5 pounds of meat.
  5. matlocc

    matlocc Fire Starter

    Thanks, unless I get a few more comments I guess I will lean toward keeping it. As far as storage, It will go next to my hobart deli slicer and 1 h.p grinder!
  6. uzikaduzi

    uzikaduzi Meat Mopper

    sometimes i wish i went the next size bigger that 5pds because i hate having to run the plunger back up and then back down for a handful of meat... but it's a practical size and works well, but that's my only complaint... i always seem to have just a little bit more than would fit in one go
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I think my 5 lb stuffer is more than adequate, but when I make 5 lbs. of sausage I do have to fill it twice.

  8. lancer

    lancer Smoking Fanatic

    For my wife and me the question revolves around how large of a batch we are making.  We start at 15 pounds and go up so a 5 lb stuffer can be a pain in the neck and all we have a 5 lb stuffer.  Storage space is not an issue so I've keeping my eyes open looking for a 15-25 pound two speed or electric unit in good shape. 

    I have not yet been able to convince convince myself that the less expensive units will work well (despite many here who swear by them) and also haven't been willing to spend the money something like a new Sausage Maker or F Dick stuffer would run.

    As others have already mentioned, don't expect to fit a 5 lb batch into the stuffer in one go.  If you start with 5 lbs of meat and add water, salt, spices and maybe cheese to it you now have more than 5 lb to stuff.......

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  9. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Have 4 stuffers... a 5 lb,. 2 15 lb. and a 25 lb. The 5 lb. gets used the most often cause of ease of clean up, size of the batch and if you are making meat sticks or sausage links it is the go-to.
  10. mickey jay

    mickey jay Meat Mopper

    +1 for Uzi's quote.  5lb stuffers should fit 6lbs so you don't have to refill on a 5lb batch.
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you are a Snack Stick guy, the 5 can handle the pressure. The average larger plunger shaft will bend with sticks. I say average because F Dick's have no issue but are high end...JJ
  12. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a LEM 5lb and have done 3000 lbs through it in the past 7 years. Also have 2 water stuffers and a horizontal 7lb stuffer. Never had issues with doing sticks even with a small 3/8" tube for smaller15mm collagen.

    A 5lb stuffer canister will not hold 5lbs, you will have to re load it for the entire 5lbs
  13. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What most all have said...

    Like nepas, my 5# unit has pushed a LOT of mince over the years and is still going strong.  As with any stuffer, it'll work as well for you as you work for it.  Don't force it and take care of it and you'll do fine.
  14. The Cabela's one is the same as the LEM stuffer with metal gears and a different sticker. It should last a long time. It's an even better deal if you got it with the sale last week of $109, $10 off and free shipping.

    We waffled around for awhile when we bought ours, but in reality getting a larger one wasn't worth it to us. The few times that we'd be casing more than 10 or 15lbs of the same sausage at a time is very rare. Reloading it isn't that troublesome after 4lbs of meat, it just works smooth. The smaller version is easier to clean in a regular sink, and takes up less storage room. Lube the seal, don't force it too hard, and it will probably last forever.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  15. wayne b

    wayne b Newbie

    Bought a Hakka on Amazon 15lb'r

    Made in China $159.00 Built like a brick you know what. Have made over 300lbs in the last 6 months

    Go read the reviews on this thing, convinced me to change from Lem.

    My wife is an Exec.Chef and she could not believe the price for the quality! Hey I will buy USA when I can. But not for the price that is that far apart.

    All Stainless and Steel Gears, with 2 speeds and 4 stainless tubes.

    Again go read the reviews. 85 or more with 5 stars and they have nearly all sizes on the same page. Hell my wife took it to work a few times before they finally bought one of their own. I cut them off! (LOL)

    Good Luck!


    PS Personally I felt for the price why not go big? Next size down was 11, 7, or 5 pounds. Seems it only $20.00 bucks per jump up. I have many times with some friends made many pounds of venison sausage at one time and the small ones were a lot of extra work. Something to consider, all comes down to the balance on your Visa![​IMG]
  16. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've been using a 5 pound Northern Tool vertical model for about 4 years now.  Seems like every time I make sticks recently, it is a 10 pound batch at least once a month, and they go quick (co-workers and kids figured out how good they are!).   I've been sitting here today looking at the larger sizes and was really taking a shine to that Hakka 11 pound (5 liter) stainless horizontal model.  It looks like the horizontal will leave a lot less un-stuffed meat in the base of the stuffer body than the vertical ones will.  And you can get the Hakka 11 pound on Amazon for less than what a 5 pound LEM would cost you (plus free shipping & no sales tax). On the other hand if I go much bigger than that, I would be looking at something with a motor...... (and it would be more than a hobby). If I go bigger, I will also keep the 5 pound unit as it would be easier to work with on smaller runs.

    As to the original question....

    I think you will find that most people are good with a 5 pound unit for quite a while.  And you always reload it for bigger batches.  I guess it depends on what you are going to make and how often the batches are going to be bigger than 5 pounds.  If it is infrequently you go over 5 pounds, you would probably be better served with the 5 pound stuffer.  But if you get into making 10 or 15 pound batches at least every 2 months, you might think bigger IMO.  Also do you vacuum pack and freeze or just use what you make "fresh"?

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