1. LEM Sausage Stuffer
LEM’s Mighty Bite is a top-tier 5-pound vertical sausage filler primarily designed to fit the needs of hunters and home processors. It features a reliable precision machined carbon steel single-gear mechanism that eliminates slippage, reduces natural wear, and prevents germ buildup.
Its plastic piston comes with a leak-proof rubber gasket and a built-in air-release valve that prevent any trapped air from reaching your sausages. The handle is easy to crank and it will not get loose even after prolonged use. The unit comes with 3 different plastic tubes, which allows you to make a wide variety of different sausages. Two steel clamps are also included, so you do not have to worry about the unit’s stability during operation.
Fully assembled, the stuffer measures 15 x 9 x 6 inches (HWD) and weighs approximately 12 pounds. LEM Sausage Stuffer is also available in a 15-pound version. It comes with a 2-year warranty.
|Dimensions||15" x 9.25" x 6"|
|Tube sizes||0.5", 0.75" and 1"|
|Air Release Valve|
Best Cast Iron Sausage Stuffer
2. CHARD Sausage Stuffer
Chard Sausage Stuffer is a reliable, high-quality tinned cast iron sausage stuffer. It features the recognizable “old water pump” design and guarantees smooth operation, great ease of use, and excellent mixture consistency. The stuffer has a tapered 5-pound meat cylinder. Included in the package are 3 stuffing funnels measuring 1.25, 0.75, and 0.5 inches in diameter, allowing you to make everything from lil’ smokies to rope sausage.
For more good news, Chard Sausage Stuffer features a rubber gasket around the plunger, which eliminates common leak-related issues. Trapped air is released manually due to the absence of an air-release valve.
Measuring 7.8 x 4.5 x 8 inches (HWD) and weighing about 13.5 pounds, this sausage stuffer can fit nicely in most kitchens. For optimal stability, the stuffer can be bolted down to a flat surface. Chard Sausage Stuffer comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
|Dimensions||7.8" x 4.5" x 8"|
|Tube sizes||0.5", 0.75", 1.25"|
Best For Game Meat Sausages
3. Weston Sausage Stuffer
Weston Sausage Stuffer is a heavy-duty 7-pound hand-crank unit designed to provide users with ultimate safety, stability, and performance. It yields excellent results, whether you are making snack sticks, pepperoni, summer sausage or luncheon meats.
The frame is made of stainless steel with a special coating that prevents rust and germ buildup. The 7-pound canister is also made of stainless steel and can be tilted for easier reloads. The unit’s solid steel gear mechanism ensures durability and prevents chips and slippage during use. The gearbox features two separate gears, which means the stuffer can operate at two speeds.
The piston comes with a leak-proof O-ring and a reliable air-release valve that allow any air trapped within the mixture to escape instead of ending up in the casings. The sausage stuffer features 4 different stainless steel funnels ideal for all types of sausages.
The entire unit measures 22.5 x 13.8 x 13.8 (HWD). The stuffer comes with a 1-year warranty.
|Dimensions||13.8" x 13.8" x 22.5"|
|Tube sizes||0.5", 0.75", 1.2", 1.6"|
|Air Release Valve|
Best starter model
4. Weston Sausage Stuffer
Weston Sausage Stuffer is a tinned cast iron sausage stuffer characterized by great stability, smooth performance, and amazing durability. Apart from the absence of an air-release valve, there is pretty much nothing not to love about this handy appliance. The stuffer features a 5-pound hopper and comes with 3 different stuffing nozzles measuring 0.4, 0.8, and 1.2 inches in diameter. The plunger is secured with a rubber gasket that prevents any unwanted leaks.
Weston Cast Iron Sausage Stuffer is not too small, but with its dimensions of 13.8 x 6.8 x 15 inches (HWD) and weight of about 14 pounds, it can fit most kitchen counters. To ensure maximum stability, the unit can be bolted down to a flat surface of your choice.
The sausage stuffer comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
|Dimensions||6.8" x 13.8" x 15"|
|Tube sizes||0.4", 0.8" and 1.2"|
Best For General Use
5. Kitchener Sausage Stuffer
Kitchener is a vertical 5-pound sausage stuffer designed as a beginner-friendly yet very powerful appliance. It produces sausages that look uniform, boast great texture, and have zero air pockets. Its heavy-duty construction comes with a solid stainless steel base, aluminum gearbox, and steel support bars for optimal stability. The powerful piston features a stainless steel release valve that reliably removes any leftover air from the meat mixture.
The cylinder is also made of stainless steel and can be removed from the frame for easier reloads and cleaning. The material chosen for the gears is hard plastic and the unit comes with 3 different stuffing nozzles that are also made of plastic and measure 0.75, 0.8, and 1 inch in diameter.
The stuffer measures 19 x 12.5 x 8.7 inches (HWD). It weighs 11.6 pounds. Kitchener Sausage Stuffer comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
|Dimensions||19" x 12.5" x 8.7"|
|Tube sizes||0.75", 0.8" and 1"|
|Air Release Valve|
Benefits Of Getting A Sausage Stuffer
As much as we enjoy store-bought sausages, the truth is that we have very little control or even knowledge of the exact ingredients used in any particular brand. Therefore, the biggest advantage of sausage stuffers intended for home use is the fact that they give you full control over the contents and overall quality of the mixture used for making sausages. You can make sure your sausages do not contain any antibiotics, steroids, and other harmful additives that can endanger the health of your entire family. You can also choose the meat that goes into the mixture to ensure your sausages are of the highest quality.
The principal benefit of home sausage stuffers extends into the gastronomic area as well. Namely, you can control the flavor of your sausages as well as the meat-to-spice ratio. You can choose to make them as meaty or as tender as you like, keep them a bit moister or compact, and limit yourself to just salt and pepper or go crazy with the spices. Additionally, you can also pick the casings to match your personal style, whether you prefer organic or artificial. Home sausage makers greatly optimize and facilitate the entire process of sausage crafting. Apart from making it much easier to stuff ground meat into the casings, they remove any leftover air, which saves a lot of time on sausage pricking while preserving the structural integrity of the casings. Even if you opt for a manual stuffer, the procedure is significantly easier, even with larger batches of meat.
Finally, most of the renowned manufacturers make sure that everything that comes into direct contact with your food has all the relevant certifications and complies with the adopted food hygiene standards. In other words, the materials used in the production of sausage stuffers include (stainless) steel, cast iron, and aluminum, which are not a favorable breeding ground for bacteria and other dangerous microorganisms.
Types Of Sausage Stuffers
The most basic division of sausage stuffers includes electric and manual or hand-crank sausage stuffers. Electricity does have its advantages, but it also incorporates sensitive circuitry that makes the units much more demanding when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. The general rule of thumb is, if you are making sausages for your own consumption, you most likely do not need a motorized stuffer. If you own a butcher shop, however, or produce sausages commercially, these units are definitely the right choice for your needs. With that basic segmentation out of the way, let’s take a look at the three main types of sausage stuffers:
Vertical Sausage Stuffers
Vertical units are the most popular type of sausage stuffers since they are great for beginners but can also meet the needs of seasoned veterans. They come in both manual and motorized variants, with electric models usually being commercial-grade units with much larger capacities. They feature large piston-shaped cylinders that hold the seasoned ground meat and their stuffing cylinders are mounted vertically. When you turn the hand-crank, the stuffer (also called the plunger) extrudes the mixture from the stuffing funnel at the bottom of the cylinder into the attached casings. The capacities of vertical models range from 5 to 15 pounds.
Horizontal Sausage Stuffers
Horizontal units also feature manual and motorized models. The main difference between horizontal and vertical units lies in the mounting of the cylinder designed to hold the sausage mixture before stuffing. However, manual horizontal stuffers are at a slight disadvantage since you have to put them near the edge of a counter or table in order to allow the crank to hang over the side of the surface with enough clearance to run. The capacity of horizontal models goes from 5 to 20 pounds.
Horn Sausage Stuffers
These sausage stuffers only feature manual models usually made of cast iron with chrome or tin plating. However, manufacturers have recently started making them of stainless steel as well. They are generally designed for beginners or home processors who make smaller batches at a time. Their capacities range from 3 to 5 pounds.
How Sausage Stuffers Work
Whether you choose to get a manual or electric sausage stuffer, the sausage-making process is pretty much the same. The first thing you should do is lube the stuffing funnel with some vegetable oil to be able to slide the casings on and off with ease. Once the casing is on, you should pick one of the available binding methods for the other end. You can use a hog ring or butcher twine or you can simply tie a knot in the casing itself. You should then fill the cylinder with your preferred mixture of ground meat and spices and give it a good press to release as much trapped air as possible. You can coat the inside of the cylinder with some vegetable oil for better results.
Whether you are using a manual or electric unit, you will be able to control the “flow of sausages” either by calibrating the hand-cranking or switch accordingly. All sausage stuffers come with a couple of stuffing funnels (pipes, nozzles…), which allow you to create everything from smaller breakfast links and snack sticks to large sausages like bologna or summer sausages. When using the smallest of funnels, you should add some water or oil to your mixture for easier and smoother stuffing. As the plunger pushes the mixture out, the sausage will get longer. Once it reaches your preferred length, you can stop and pinch it at that point, twirl it a few times, and create a link. From this point on, simply repeat the process. Note that you should twirl every adjacent sausage link in opposite directions to prevent them from unraveling. You can also form a longer coil instead of creating links.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing The Best Sausage Stuffer
The type of sausage maker you will get hinges on your personal needs and preferences but also some objective quality factors. While it is up to you to define what kind of unit works best for you, there are some main characteristics that separate the best sausage makers from average or even below-average units. These are some of the features you should pay special attention to when purchasing a sausage stuffer.
As we already mentioned, sausage stuffers can be made of stainless steel or cast iron with some sort of protective plating. Only quality materials should come into direct contact with your food, preventing germ buildup and ensuring optimal hygiene. Also, renowned manufacturers have relevant certifications for the materials they use and make sure they comply with the SGS food hygiene standard. Some models feature a protective coating, which prevents rust, stains, and other unwanted health hazards. However, keep in mind that no material can compensate for the lack of proper maintenance.
A good sausage maker should feature a clever heavy-duty design that not only facilitates the stuffing process but also makes the unit much safer and easier to handle. The frame and the base need to feel solid and provide ample support for the rest of the components. The gears should ideally be made of steel to prevent slippage, chipping, and clogging up the mechanism. The gearbox should be covered to prevent potential accidents and germ buildup.
An unstable sausage stuffer is a very dangerous unit. With that in mind, you should look for a unit with a solid base for optimal stability. It can come in the form of rubber legs or holes for screws that attach it to your countertop or table – the particular type is not that important as long as it keeps the whole construction firmly in place.
Sausage stuffing is a pretty slow process if you want to do it right. Depending on the mechanism inside the gearbox (single or double-gear), a sausage stuffer may feature one or two speeds. With motorized models, changing the speeds is pretty straightforward. With manual stuffers, you have to switch the crank between the two shafts on the side of the frame.
The best sausage stuffers are built to last. This criterion is closely connected with the materials used to make any given unit. If the frame, base, and relevant components are all stainless steel, aluminum, and high-carbon steel, your sausage stuffer is likely to serve you well for years.
Finally, there are some nice-to-haves that are not strictly necessary for a successful operation but definitely come in handy, reducing the overall time and effort needed for making your own sausages. These include air-release valves, two-gear mechanisms, reliable O-rings, and other extras.