Help for beginner wanting to make sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by bman62526, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    Hey all,

    I am looking for advice on sausage making. I have never attempted this, but I'd like to get into making my own!

    First off - I don't see me doing this all the time...or making huge batches. I just want to experiment and if I like the results, I am MORE than willing to upgrade equipment later.

    What size/type of grinder is good for a beginner? Do some of the grinders w/ stuffing tube attachments work ok, or is a vertical stuffer a MUST for the novice?

    Where do you recommend I shop for the supplies - equipment, casings, accessories, etc.??

  2. I would definitely get a grinder and stuffer. You can pick up a nice grinder for around $100 from Northern Tool. You can pick up a nice stuffer from Grizzly for around $70. So for less than $200 you are in the business. You will be upgrading down the road. It is an addiction.
  3. grothe

    grothe Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the tip...

    I was kind of hoping to get away with a beginner set-up for around $75 -$100 total, but if that's not possible then I'll save a few more bucks! After all, what if I don't really get into it?

    I've been doing some reading. Some folks are happy with a grinder and the stuffer attachments, some others curse those and insist on the seperate, vertical stuffers.

    I'm easily addicted to almost everything I've ever tried - so I would think this will be no different [​IMG]

    The flip side, is that I don't think I'll make more than maybe 5 - 6 lb.s every couple weeks as I'm just getting started - so I don't want overkill on equipment, but at the same time, like you said - it's an addiction!

    I'll keep reading...
  5. grothe

    grothe Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    And make sure you get rytek kutas''s kinda the sausage bible.
  6. smokeguy

    smokeguy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  7. blacklab

    blacklab Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

  8. One option you have is buy your meat already ground and only buy a stuffer mine ran around $100 its 5#
  9. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I started with a $99.00 grinder and hated it. I was always forcing the meat and it took forever. I thought about giving it up, but liked the sausage so much.

    Then caught the Cabela's grinder on sale. Love it! grinding is so much easier. I used it for stuffing originally. It does emulsify the meat some, and your sausage will have more of a hot dog texture.

    Once I knew I was going to continue, I invested in a stuffer from Northern Tool. Much easier and better texture.

    my 2 cents.
  10. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member all places to get supplies, seasoning and casings
    if you have a local butcher you can probably buy casing from him in smaller amounts , but casings keep a long time.
    I started out with a grinder stuffer attachement
    on my wifes kitchen aid mixer.
    didnt take me long to figuer out that it was going to make me hate to make sausage and I didnt want that to happen so I bought a used grinder and a used stuffer off of eBay. now whipping up a 50 or 60 # batch is a cakewalk. and its Fun!!
    and dont kid yourself, if you get good and word gets out, 5 or 6 # batches wont be happening it will be more like 50-60# batches.
    good luck and keep us posted
  11. rio_grande

    rio_grande Smoking Fanatic

    I was bottom of barrell low buck for 10 years pluss made it like my grandfather. With a #10 hand grinder,, It isin't that bad, you can stuff with it, Again it isin't that bad, and you can buy the book,,, I got you into it for $50.00 probably less.

    You don't even need a grinder as mentioned before. Heck you can make sausage in a bowl with internet recipees for free... That was where I started.

    The only reason I upgraded is because I wanted to go to the next level and got to the point of doing 60 and 90 lbs in a strech.
  12. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    HA! Good point :) Not only that, but I got to thinking - it would make great gifts. Can't always afford to give out slabs, ya know?

    Thanks for the website info - I'll check it out. I think I'll also look for a good heavy duty grinder on eBay, and a stuffer unit too....just to see what's out there.
  13. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I was pretty much in your shoes when I started about 17 years ago. This is the route I took. I knew I would be able to use a grinder for my wild game, no matter what happened with my sausage making, so 2 hunting buddies and I bought a #32 hand grinder from We hand ground a lot of deer and elk for a couple of years. Also made a pretty good pile of venison summer sausage, salami, and polish with just that hand grinder and its little stuffing horn. Smoked it all on an ECB (which has since been modded and is still used for many things). The other guys moved, but I kept the grinder, motorized it and use it still today. I have since gradually added to my arsenal a little at a time (more since joining here) and am now on my second refer conversion smoker, and have a 30# stuffer and 50# mixer. It is doable to start small and grow gradually. I have to admit many very frustrated grinding and stuffing sessions at first, especially snack sticks, with my limited equipment, but that is how I learned.

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