Sausage making attachment for the Kitchen Aid?

Where to buy, how to use. Stuffers, casings, spices, grinders, etc.

Sausage making attachment for the Kitchen Aid?

Postby Yorkshirepudd » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:10 pm

I've recently purchased a Kitchen Aid and really would like to start making my own Sausages. With everything that’s been in the media recently regarding hours meet and such, I want to know every ingredient I'm putting in my food.

Can anyone tell me if the sausage making attachment for the Kitchen Aid is a good purchase to make??
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Re: Sausage making attachment for the Kitchen Aid?

Postby NCPaul » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:58 pm

It is fine as a grinder with some limitations. It works poorly as a stuffer by all reports. For grinding meat, the meat should be well trimmed and almost frozen. The meat should be cut into 0.5 inch cubes. It will work best with 4-5 pound (2 Kg) batches. Welcome to the forum. :D
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Re: Sausage making attachment for the Kitchen Aid?

Postby vagreys » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:20 pm

Having had the same Kitchenaid mixer for 37 years, I'd have to say it depends on which model you purchased and the strength of the motor. The grinder is adequate for small batches, but if you attempt to grind more than a few kilos at a time, it will strain the motor. It wasn't made for grinding more than a few pounds at a time. The grinder is small - somewhere around a #8 - but is a custom size and you can only get plates and knives for it from Kitchenaid. Because it is a small grinder, the throughput is constrained. This is a good thing, because it helps keep you from grinding too much at a time. I know several people who have had to replace the motor on their Kitchenaid because they tried to grind too much, too fast.

As a stuffer, it will stuff ok, depending on the consistency of the sausage meat. You have to run it at the lowest setting, which is really slow, or it starts to mush up the meat in the auger and the texture of the finished product suffers. This is a problem with any combination grinder/stuffer - it ends up being a better grinder than it is a stuffer. That said, I just did a workshop showing folks how to make and stuff sausage using their Kitchenaid, and for small batches, it will be ok, but just ok. I think stuffing with the Kitchenaid is awkward, because the stuffer is nearly a foot above the work surface - the height is great for grinding, because there is plenty of room to put a nice, large bowl under the grinder, but it is awkward for stuffing because you have to run the stuffer at so slow a speed to maintain quality and the there is no support for the finished sausage hanging off the end of the stuffer. If you could stuff at a higher speed without sacrificing quality, then the height wouldn't really be an issue.

If you only intend to grind and stuff a few pounds of sausage at a time, you can get by with the Kitchenaid, as long as you are careful of the motor, and not overstraining it. The PTO for accessories isn't geared for it to work as a full-time grinder. There are people, here, who are perfectly satisfied with their Kitchenaid mixers as grinder/stuffers, and you can be, too. The Kitchenaid grinder/stuffer used to be made of metal, and if you can find one on the used market, it will hold up better than the current plastic model.

If you intend to start processing all of your own meat, grinding a significant amount of it, or you hunt and want to grind up significant batches of venison at a time, then you want a dedicated grinder in a standard size for which additional knives and a variety of grinder plates are readily available. Manual grinders are a great and relatively inexpensive way to start; and, as long as you have the arms and shoulders for it, you can grind a significant amount of meat in a relatively short amount of time. You would want at least a #10 (clamps to the table) or #12 (same size but has feet and sits on the work surface), or for more throughput (kg/minute), the next size up is a #22, and for the most throughput a #32. You can motorize a #22 or #32 manual grinder and never want for more. I started with a #10, and when I became ill and no longer had the muscle to grind larger batches, I moved to an electric grinder of the same size (#12), so I could reuse all the grinder plates and knives I already had accumulated. My electric makes short work of 10-15 kg batches, and could easily handle batches of 50-75 kg without a problem. A new manual grinder will run you anywhere from $60-$100+, depending on size, quality and material. Stainless is best, but quality tinned metal will also serve you well. Porkert (Polish), ACME (US), and Chop-Rite (US) are common and good quality brands with a range of offerings. You can find them for less on the used market, and there are plenty of replacement parts. Be warned that, while antiques are cool, relying on one that has no available replacement parts or plates/knives that fit it, is not.

An electric grinder will run you anywhere from $100-$300, depending on size, quality and material. If you go with a discount Chinese electric grinder, then consider the Tasin TS-108 (a #12 size grinder), which turns out to be the internals for a lot of more expensive grinders on the market. Beware of knock-offs, though. It has to be the Tasin, and the model has to be the TS-108. Otherwise, invest in a known brand.

While you can use a grinder as a stuffer, most folks here will agree with me when I tell you that, if you intend to make all your own sausages, you will want a dedicated vertical or horizontal stuffer. A dedicated stuffer will always give you a better product, easier and faster. You will want a stuffer with sufficient capacity to handle your average batch size. Stuffer prices increase significantly with increased capacity. I use a 5-lb "hobby" stuffer, which was great when I started out, and is still adequate, though I now routinely make batches of 15-30 lbs. All it means is a number of reloads to stuff an entire batch. If I could afford to buy a 15- or 20-lb stuffer, now, I would, but that would have been overkill when I started out. You can get a 5-lb stuffer for as little as $80, new, and sometimes for less on sale. Prices range from about $80-$400+ depending on capacity and brand.

Bottom line - if all you are going to do is a few pounds at a time, the Kitchenaid grinder/stuffer is your least cost approach and not a bad deal. Even if you decided to go with dedicated equipment for sausage making, you might want to have the Kitchenaid grinder for doing those one or few pound batches of ground meat. If you know for a fact that you are going to grind all your own meat, then go ahead and invest in a quality, dedicated grinder. If you know for a fact that you are going to make your own sausage, then go ahead and invest in a dedicated stuffer.

Just my opinion. Hope it helps.
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Re: Sausage making attachment for the Kitchen Aid?

Postby bwalt822 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:36 pm

The Kitchenaid grinder is a fine starting off point, especially if you use it to make salsa or grind fruit for jams with the strainer attachment. I have the 575 watt mixer and it gets worryingly hot and starts emitting a smell when nearing the 10lb mark. It also takes ~30 min to process that much meat. Get a dedicated stuffer, you wont regret it. Soon though you will find yourself wanting a dedicated grinder and then a mixer...

My 3/4 horse cabela's grinder cuts production time to a quarter (or better) of what it was with the kitchenaid because the meat can be cut in bigger chunks and its ground much faster.
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Re: Sausage making attachment for the Kitchen Aid?

Postby frankdean » Sat May 25, 2013 5:34 am

Hey thanx for sharing such informative post.
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Re: Sausage making attachment for the Kitchen Aid?

Postby Wunderdave » Tue May 28, 2013 7:57 pm

vagreys, that is a fantastic post. Love this site where the admin will weigh in with such a large amount of knowledge on what is largely a settled question.
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