What's the best stuffer for snack sticks??

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by stayhot, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    I currently have a 5 pound Northern Equipment stuffer originally purchased with plastic gears that have been replaced twice and now I have installed a metal set of gears. I was looking to see what everyone else is using PRIMARILY if you make allot of snack sticks. I have no issues with brat sized sausage just the smaller snack stick sized. After making 100 plus pounds of snack sticks with the new metal gears they are really starting to show signs of wear and I would like to get a unit capable of making the sticks.
  2. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have the LEM with the metal gears, I believe that is almost the same as the Northern, (if not the same) and have had no problems, maybe add more water to your mix so it is not so hard to stuff, then it will be easier on the gears at the same time?? I have no problems doing the 21mm casings but 19 can be a little harder, you just have to go slower, with more elbow grease. When that cure starts to work it can be a pain to stuff the 19mm.   What ones are you having trouble with stuffing?? Are you putting food grade grease on the gears?? that may be a option for you also?? Just throwing some thoughts out there for ya. [​IMG]

    Good luck on your search if you find something that works better let us know.

  3. bkleinsmid

    bkleinsmid Smoking Fanatic


    I too have the 5 lb Lem with the metal gears. When I first started making snack sticks, I would mix everything together and let it sit in the refer overnight. The mix would set up so hard I thought I was going to break something. My buddy at the butcher shop told me that for one........mix and stuff right away (I could let it set overnight after stuffing) and for two........add more water to the mix for sticks as it will be easier to stuff through the smaller tube size. Works so much easier now.....

  4. X2 and as an afterthought, you might consider a larger capacity stuffer.  Another thought is maybe the 5 lb just isn't up to handling 100 lbs or more at one time. It seems like it's a lot of stress at one time, even though you are only doing it 5 lbs at a time. 
  5. stayhot

    stayhot Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the input!! I was always told to mix and let sit overnight to cure but to be honest what's the difference if the meat sits in the casings or a ziplock bag?? I will be making more next weekend and I will mix and stuff right away, then let sit in the fridge overnight before they go into the smoker. Do you have to do anything special with the sticks after stuffing while they sit in the fridge overnight? Thanks again!
  6. bkleinsmid

    bkleinsmid Smoking Fanatic

    I found that when I let it sit overnight in the refer, the meat got very stiff. If I mixed (with a little extra water) and stuffed right away, it was much easier. Then I would let it sit overnight in the refer before I smoke it the next day. And, I don't do anything special while they rest.

    As for 100 lb's, since I usually build these by myself, my mixer will do 25lb batches with ease......up to about 40 lb's. So for me I find it easy to do 25lb batches and stuff and then another 25lb batch. It breaks up the routine and the meat doesn't have time to stiffen up.

  7. I have a 5LB Lem. I mix in a little water as needed. I let it sit over night. If I need to add more water I do.  I use the small 3/8" tube. I have never had a problem.

    Happy smoken.

  8. bryceb

    bryceb Smoke Blower

    We use a 5lbs LEM 606SS. The 606ss coes with the stainless stuffer tubes instead of the plastic and includes the 3/8 tube where the ones with plastic tubes, you have to get the 3/8 tube separately.
  9. I use a 7 lb. Weston with metal gears & a tube that came with my Cabelas grinder - works great for sticks!

  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    There is a video on the LEM site where they recommend their 5Lb Stuffer for sticks and show there 15LB Stuffer with a bent shaft from the pressure. So short of a larger stuffer with a very heavy duty shaft, the 5Lb stuffer with lots of refills may be the only option...JJ
    bryceb likes this.
  11. nepas

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

    15 lb stuffer with a bent shaft?

    What they stuffing thru a 1/8" tube [​IMG]
  12. bryceb

    bryceb Smoke Blower

    I talked to the folks at LEM when we purchased ours and they recommended the 5lbs stuffer and discouraged us from the 15lbs stuffer when we told them we'd be making a lot of sticks.
  13. Morning Stayhot,

    I use the Dakohta water stuffer and a 3/8" stuffing tube with 21 mm collagen casings and I do it both ways, some times I mix stuff and then refrigerate over night, other times I mix and fridge overnight and then stuff the next day. Either way I suggest that you hang your sticks or lay on a rack, but keep heat quite low until all moisture is dried off the outside of your casings before you turn the smoke on.

    When needed, I just add a small amount of water to my mix and I have never had a problem.

  14. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Where did you get the gears.. I have the northern stuffer and bought the metal gears from LEM and they didn't fit

  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One additional thought.....  Grease the o-ring with food grade silicone, crisco or some other grease....  spray silicone (food grade) on gears, screw shaft, sides of the meat chamber etc. and more water in the meat mix....  I have used beef consomme to add to sticks..  you can add beef broth or stock also.... or beer...  

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013

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