We have been making sausage for a while now. We used the stuffing adaptor that came with our grinder. With two people working the stuffing part it is okay. With one person, me anyway, the process is frustrating and the results less than adequate. We don't make a lot of sausage at a time since there are only three of us to eat it and limited friends and relatives to pawn the excess off on. We decided a manual stuffer would be more practical for one person to manage. We looked around and decided that a five pound vertical stuffer would be right for our needs. Prices varied from a low of about $75.00 to a high of over $200.00. We opted to order the cheapest one from Grizzly. We knew Grizzly as an importer of low-priced competition to other tool brands. This seemed to be in the same vein.
Recommend this product?
Grizzly 5 Pound Vertical Sausage Stuffer H6252
Maybe a brief description of the purpose of a sausage stuffer is a good place to start. Sausage is made from seasoned ground up meat, usually pork or beef. One way to package sausage is in links. This requires getting the ground up meat into a casing. The casings are frequently hog or sheep intestines. There are other artificial and natural, but inedible, casings as well. Getting the sausage into its casing is called sausage stuffing. Various ways to do this task are available, some as old as sausage itself. We had been using an adaptor that came as part of our motorized grinder. You will find few professional or even hobbyist sausage makers that employ this method for long. Count us among the newly enlightened.
The sausage maker from Grizzly has lots of competitors around. The vertical stuffers are, however, very similar across the price range. Ours is a 5 pound stuffer with a single gear speed. It came with a grease of unknown origin smeared over it which we removed. There is a metal frame which is attached to a stainless steel base. The base is 9 1/2" by 6" and has four holes in the corners for mounting. This should be attached to a wooden or plastic board that can then be clamped to the work surface. The metal for the frame is cold rolled nickel plated steel. A round cylinder of stainless steel, 4 7/8" diameter and 8" high fits within the frame. This is what holds the up to five pounds of meat to be stuffed. The top of the frame holds two plastic gears and a long threaded shaft. A handle is attached to the other gear rod and a piston that fits into the stainless steel cylinder attaches to the bottom of the threaded rod. The piston has a rubber gasket and an air release valve, At the side of the cylinder near the bottom is a threaded spout with a nut. To this is attached one of the three different sized (5/8", 7/8" and 1") plastic stuffing tubes provided. A one page manual is also included.
In use the handle is attached to the drive gear using a wing nut. The piston is screwed to the bottom end of the long threaded rod. The handle is turned counter-clockwise until the piston clears the cylinder and the cylinder is removed to be filled with the sausage filling. The cylinder is placed back in the frame, one of the plastic tubes attached to the spout and a hank of casing slid onto the tube, accordion style. The free end of the casing should be tightly closed by tying it or using string. The handle is turned clockwise , pushing the filling out of the bottom spout and into the casing. One hand turns the crank while the other handles the casing to get a smooth fill. With the grinder attachment this is where we had problems since the meat had to be added a little at a time and the speed of stuffing was controlled by the motor, not the speed of the hand on the crank. When the filling has been stuffed into the casing, the casing is removed and the free end tied. Then it is a matter of smoothing the stuffed sausage, pricking to release the air bubbles that invariably get in, smoothing again, then twisting the long stuffed sausage into suitable lengths. This operation is much faster and more satisfactory than our old method.
Cleanup is extremely important and a chore. The handle has to be turned counter-clockwise to lift the piston out of the cylinder. Some higher end stuffers have two speeds to make this job faster, Then the cylinder has to be removed and thoroughly washed, including the spout, after the tube is removed and washed separately. We found a small bottle brush to be helpful for the spout and tube. The piston needs to be removed from the screw and cleaned carefully. The gasket should be removed and the area under it cleaned thoroughly. One of the harder parts to get thoroughly clean is the valve in the piston. It will have blood and sausage in it. Our most successful method has been to use the sprayer on our kitchen sink with really hot water, then soaking the piston in warm soapy water while moving the valve up and down, and repeating the spray. A pick of some softer material, we use a wooden toothpick, can help to get the last stubborn pieces of foreign matter out.. The gasket should be lubricated with a food safe grease and reinstalled.
This is not a fancy machine, but it appears to be well built with quality welds and heavy gauge metal. The plastic gears are a concern. So far we have had no problems with them and they are replaceable. After use and then comparing the quality and price to the competition we think this is a best buy.
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Amount Paid (US$): 75