10 Best Sausage Stuffers | March 2017
- nonslip feet prevent movement
- pusher and kebbe attachment
- parts are not dishwasher safe
- three-year warranty
- elegant polished stainless steel
- too large and expensive for home use
- 4 different sized nozzles
- meat only touches stainless steel
- tends to leave some meat in the tube
- quick and easy to set up
- requires minimal cranking effort
- clogs easily if meat is not chilled
- protective rubber feet
- built-in handle operates smoothly
- disassembles for easy cleanup
- suction-cup on base for stability
- three funnel sizes
- perfect for 1 or 2 lbs at a time
- durable and solid construction
- enclosed gears for safety
- removable cylinder for easy cleaning
The Stuff You Need To Know
A sausage stuffer's function is to take ground meat and to convert it into encased sausages for consumption. The model designs may vary, but they are all capable of this simple task. Some may be stand-alone units, while others come as attachments to existing grinders and mixers. If you own a grinder or mixer, first check if a sausage stuffing attachment is available before purchasing a stand-alone unit. Not only will this save you money, but also counter space of the precious real estate in your kitchen.
The grinder will ensure that the meat is ground consistently and thoroughly with a fine or coarse setting. If you prefer to not grind your meat a local butcher will be able to do it for you, usually for a small fee. Of course, you can also purchase pre-ground meat, however, you will pay more and the meat will not be as fresh. If you wish to purchase a sausage stuffer that does not include a meat grinder, you must buy ground meat, though this does limit you in your abilities to customize your sausage.
When the meat is ground it is pushed through, either manually or by motor, a small opening through a funnel or tube. This will compact the meat and encase it in a thin edible casing to retain the cylindrical shape. While the sausage making process can be a fun hobby and benchmark for your culinary skills, there are a lot of steps and it's difficult to succeed on your first attempt.
The type of stuffer you will purchase depends largely on what you already have in your kitchen and your level of expertise. Are you a game hunter? A weekend warrior DIY'er? A newbie looking to experience a fun, exciting challenge?
The good news is that if a sausage stuffer is not an option for you, sausages can be stuffed by hand. Also, they can be formed into patties to make hamburgers. However, these options are both time consuming and will lack the quality associated with a good stuffer. If you are the type of person who has issues with cleanliness in the kitchen, perhaps the stuffer isn't for you. They are meant to be pristinely sanitized, and many will consist of removable parts that need to be hand washed for this purpose. When handling uncooked meats, food safety is a huge concern. Overlooking this step could result in foodborne diseases.
Warnings heeded, you decide a sausage stuffer is worth the effort. Congratulations. First, the size of the unit should be considered. For mass production sausage stuffing, buy a unit with a large vessel to stuff in a shorter time.
Stuffers can be electric or manually operated. Usually the electric models will have the grinder attached. Again it largely depends on the volume of sausage you predict you will make. Whenever presented the option, I would suggest the electric model, unless you are in a situation where power is scarce; such as camping. The manual stuffers are usually at a lower price point and they tend to take up less space in general.
More advanced and complex models include a variety of funnels or tubes which will determine the ultimate size of the sausage. Thinner sausages will cook faster on the grill, however, large thick sausages are juicier and whet the appetite. Not to mention the presentation associated with a plump sausage cannot be beat.
If you are a BBQ griller, or a game hunter and want to present your meat in a positive light, then the sausage stuffer is for you. Perhaps you want to add spices and cheese to your sausage; it's completely customizable to you and at a fraction of the cost of the pre-made sausages at the supermarket. The sausage will only be as good as the ingredients in contains, so have fun and make it quality and fresh!
You will also have to obtain encasing papers for your meat, which are not readily available everywhere. They will be made of salted pork intestines, but vegetarian options will include a synthetic casing made of cabbage leaves.
A Brief History of the Sausage Stuffer
The emergence of sausage making is pre-empted by the discovery of salt as a natural preservative. Ancient cultures in Greece, China, and Rome all mention sausage as early as 600 BCE. The procedure of stuffing sausages has not changed much since the dates of antiquity, however, the stigma of sausage making has; quality sausages are now seen as the benchmark of gourmet meats.
Sausages can be either cured or fresh. If a sausage is cured, it's treated with salt for preservation and it can be smoked as well. The reason being to instill flavor and reduce the risk of foodborne diseases such as botulism. Fresh sausage, on the other hand, is simply ground sausage that includes spices. The most common are salt, sugar, and vegetables like garlic and pepper. A fresh sausage may or may not be smoked.
Creating excellent sausages at home can be achieved, however, technical knowledge is needed and for your first attempt it may behoove you to purchase certified pork for sausage making. It's a difficult learning curve with a lot of steps that need to be followed precisely, and the margin of error is high. Luckily, most sausage stuffers are a small investment. Have fun and throw one on the grill for me!