What is the best on the budget meat grinder?

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magpies
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What is the best on the budget meat grinder?

Post by magpies » Thu Oct 09, 2014 17:37

Hi I'm a newbie from Vancouver BC and am very glad to find this forum. I'm getting ready to make my first sausage. Here is what I have on hand

- Kitchener 5 lbs stuffer
- Seasoning & binder with cure for Polish kielbasa from Stuffers Supply
- Seasoning & binder package for Hot Italian from Stuffers Supply
- 30 mm x 50 ft coria 2 strands casing

I'm looking to find a good meat grinder for around $100 or less. If anyone can recommend any good model of grinder, I'd greatly appreciate. I plan to make 5 - 10 lbs batches every time. Sausages I'd like to make are bratwurst, polish kielbasa, breakfast, European wieners, and Beef sausage. Thank you in advance for your tips and advise.

Mike
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Post by rgauthier20420 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 17:52

Here's a link to the grinder I use. I picked it up on Craigslist for $50 which is a steal. Comes with lots of different plate sizes and it's only $106. It's served my quite well for my 5-10 lb batches.

http://www.amazon.com/Weston-Products-L ... B004Y38B8M
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Post by Shuswap » Thu Oct 09, 2014 19:48

Mike welcome to the forum. There are a few of us from BC including Redzed who is one of our moderators and very well informed about all aspects of this tasty hobby.

If you have a Kitchenaid there is an attachment available for grinding meat. Otherwise with your budget you may be looking for a used grinder. If you are not going to be doing large batches a #5 grinder will work for you. Like anything else most of us guys expect the bigger the better when the budget is open.

Good luck with your journey. I started by attending Stuffer's course last Fall.
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Post by ssorllih » Thu Oct 09, 2014 20:12

I use a hand cranked Chop-rite II. It isn't very fast but I am never in a hurry.
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magpies
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Post by magpies » Fri Oct 10, 2014 05:33

Hi guys, thanks for the input. That amazon link looks like a good one. For now, my friend is going to lent me his manual grinder. Hi Phil, yes I was gonna take a sausage making course at save on meat but wonder if it's worth it. It's $75 on groupon right now but I may just save the money and learn from youtube.
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Post by magpies » Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:28

Oh by the way can you use a food processor to grind your meat? I've seen a video of the guy making hotdogs in a food processor and a stuffer. Thanks for your input
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Post by rgauthier20420 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 14:10

magpies, personally I don't think a class is needed. As long as you're ok with some trial and error and have a bit of culinary sense, I think you'll survive. Before beginning my adventure into sausage making, I read...and read...and read some more. I've been doing it now for maybe half a year and making some amazing sausages. Something I think is the most important in this hobby is learning the techniques and grind sizes for the sausage you're making. I'm sure you get to take home some sausage from the groupon thing, so to be honest I might do it just because I think I'd have fun and not really to learn all that much :razz:

So look around here and ask lots of questions. There's endless information and some of the most knowledgeable people in the hobby that I've seen.

BTW, you typically don't want to use a food processor for sausage making because it doesn't produce a consistent cut. Also, depending on if the blades are sharp, you're likely tearing the meat in pieces and not cutting it. The processor can be used to be emulsified sausages which would be the class that the hotdog falls in to.

Good luck and keep the questions coming!
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Post by Baconologist » Fri Oct 10, 2014 22:00

A powerful food processor does an okay job of emulsifying meat batters from pre-ground meat, but it's not a good replacement for a grinder.
Godspeed!

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Post by magpies » Sat Oct 11, 2014 04:22

Rgauthier and Baconologist thanks for your advise. I may just buy a new meat grinder. I'm afraid to borrow someone else gear, not knowing what they've done to it. Our family loves $1.50 Costco hot dog and wonder if we can make them at home. Someone told me they are not hotdogs but sausage instead. My first try will be italian sausage. I've seen them at Costco and I think it's easier to make than kielbasa. Guys thank you for all your support and I know I need it. I'm just hoping that my first one will at least taste good.
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Post by magpies » Sat Oct 11, 2014 04:46

rgauthier20420 wrote:Here's a link to the grinder I use. I picked it up on Craigslist for $50 which is a steal. Comes with lots of different plate sizes and it's only $106. It's served my quite well for my 5-10 lb batches.

http://www.amazon.com/Weston-Products-L ... B004Y38B8M
Rgauthier, how do you like your grinder? Do you have to replace your blade to speed up your grind (like one reviewer said on Amazon). Is it easy to clean? thanks
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Post by redzed » Sat Oct 11, 2014 07:24

Hey Mike! Welcome to the forum! Sausage making is the best hobby you can have. It sure beats building birdhouses and collecting baseball caps! And your choice of making a fresh Italian sausage as your first kick at the can is an excellent one. A nice coarse grind, basic ingredients and tasty results. Take the time to read the very informative pages prepared by Stan Marianski here: http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-making

And if I had an opportunity to take a class to get some hands on experience, I would go for it. It's probably the best way to learn and retain that knowledge. You mentioned youtube as a resource. There is a lot of great stuff on there, but be careful, there are also many videoes with strange and even dangerous recipes. And don't cheap out on the grinder! It's probably the most important tool in the whole process. You want it to grind the meat into neat little balls of meat and fat and not mash everything together. There have been a number of discussions about grinders here, and you can probably find them using the search functions.

BTW, I live in BC but cheer for the Riders and hope the Redlacks will vanquish the Lions tomorrow. (Had to get that off my chest :lol:)
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