SAUSAGE STUFFERS

 

SAUSAGE FUNNELS 

Also known as hand stuffers, these funnels are used to push the meat into the casings. They come in a variety of sizes to make thin or thick sausages. They are plastic or metal, easy to buy and don’t cost much. The funnel sizes available for the models listed below is a main decider for us when purchasing a sausage filling machine - i.e. larger funnels for bigger salami - as some of the options below only use specific funnels. 
  

STUFFER ATTACHMENT
Most heavy duty stand mixers that have a mincing attachment also come with a sausage funnel or two. However, the sizes of these funnels might be only for regular sausages, so check what sausages and salami you might want to make and buy the stuffer and/or mincer that you can use to make them.

 PUSH SAUSAGE STUFFER
Quick to load and refill, but need muscles to do the repeated process of packing, pressing and refilling! Good quality push stuffers can last generations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MANUAL BENCHTOP SAUSAGE STUFFER

Solid mincer and filler that clips to your table or bench. Available from kitchenware stores, heavy but easy to use and one of the smallest in size (best for limited storage). Manually turn the handle to mince large, medium or fine then add the funnels and rotate handle to fill your casings, as you also load the seasoned filling into the hopper on top. This was one of the first models we used for making sausages, but it takes the longest time to fill casings compared to our other equipment. RRP approx AU$150. Very simple to use solo, and would easily last generations if cared for after each use.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELECTRIC SAUSAGE MACHINE

Our second sausage equipment purchase was an electric model that minced and filled sausage casings, similar to the one pictured that cost us around AU$250 with an extended warranty (this was a few years ago). Faster than our first model (the manual benchtop model above), this meant we could easily mince and fill thin, regular and thick sausages easily by one or two people (two is easiest). However, limited mincing plates and funnels in other sizes bought separately didn't fit this model, not an issue if you're making delicate to chorizo sized sausages in thickness, but may be trickier filling bungs for larger salami. This model also came with kofta attachments and was easy to disassemble and clean after use, although relied on power to operate and continued pushing the fillings out if the machine is turned on. Also, some models may be all metal parts or a combination of plastic and metal parts. Store in a box or crate to keep all parts together. This is still one of our favourites to use when testing recipes and/or making 1-3 kilograms (or less) of mince, burgers or sausages so we happily recommend this to our students.

 

VERTICAL CRANK SAUSAGE STUFFER
Crank stuffers have a very high capacity (i.e. 5L, 10L) so they don’t need to be refilled (or only once or twice, if you make lots of sausages at once) but they do cost more money The vertical model is easier to operate by one person due to working with gravity when you turn the handle, however this model wouldn't fit easily into our kitchen due to cabinetry overhead (and no clamping point due to our thick benchtop) so we chose a horizontal model instead (below). There are several brands available, usually 3, 5 or 8L volume (so only filling once vs continuously loading like the models above). A 5L model is approx AU$300 but is quite big to store, yet not too heavy to unpack as required in our opinion.

 

 
HORIZONTAL CRANK SAUSAGE STUFFER
These are a little bit trickier for beginners to use by themselves (compared to the vertical crank), much easier with someone to help you! This model also takes up more bench space when making sausages (and storing the stuffer afterwards), so is more suitable for benchtops or a solid table (and more stable than the vertical if clamping is not possible).  We use a 5L volume one of these as one strand of casings will fill 4.5-5kg, so only need to fill this once per batch, which ensures much less air pockets in the finished sausages. There are several brands available, usually 3, 5 or 8L volume (5L is approx AU$400). We also picked up some different sausage funnels separately that also fitted this model, and enjoy how quick it is to clean and use. No motor to worry about, but cannot mince meat - but it's easy to use by all of our family. . 
 

 

HEAVY DUTY ELECTRIC SAUSAGE MACHINE
After a few years of making sausages, we bought a cast iron/stainless steel electric sausage machine with a 0.4HP motor (approx AU$600). This is the quickest equipment we have for charcuterie, and is very simple to use by one or two people (easiest with two - one filling on the left and one loading the hopper on top) and has various mincing plates and sausage funnels with individual parts also available. However, this is also the heaviest by FAR! Not really mobile...but perfect for making big family batches of salami each year in the time it would take other types above to prepare much less.
Note:some brands also offer attachments for passata (tomato puree/sauce) or other cooking attachments, which we regret not researching when buying our model, so we had to buy a tomato press separately.

 
 
WATER-POWERED SAUSAGE STUFFER
Uses water pressure to fill the casings with meat, allowing the single sausage maker to use both hands when filling. For small business, you could get a hydraulic stuffer that has an even bigger capacity (and an even bigger cost).
Author: Megan Radaich         
Image credit: Megan Radaich         
Publication: Extract from Fresh Sausage-Making Guide, available HERE

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