Small Batch Mixing

  • How do you mix small (say, 3-4 lb.) batches to get proper extraction? The smallest hand crank mixers don’t seem to be recommended for batches less than 5 lbs. I’ve tried using a stand mixer with dough hook, but that does more kneading than mixing. And hand mixing for any length of time is a pretty cold proposition. Does anyone know of a hand crank mixer that will properly mix batches smaller than 5 lbs.?

  • Power User

    @reprice You might have better luck using the paddle attachment when using a stand mixer rather than the dough hook.

  • @joe-hell Yes, I’ve tried that too. But as soon as the meat ball gets a little adhesive, all the paddle does is spin it around, with no mixing at all.

  • Power User

    Unfortunately hand mixing is the way to with small batches. We used to make 20# batches of sticks all mixed by hand. Seems like you spend a lot of time pulling it apart but when it gets tight and sticky you are there!

  • @reprice Hello. If using a stand mixer try it with the paddle not the dough hook. I have a commercial mixer and now mixing 15 to 30 pound batches with the paddle attachment. When I was making smaller batches as you are the stand mixer always did a great job with the paddle. Remember not to over mix.
    Hope this helps.

  • @reprice when the ball forms, increase the speed. That’s what I do and it works fine.

  • Walton's Employee

    @parksider I’ve never used a stand mixer, so when I am doing smaller batches it is hand mixing. For me, the biggest issue is how cold my hands get while doing this. I wonder what would happen if you used a hand powered mixer like people used to use before Kitchen Aids became so common? I am talking about the ones with the two rotating whisks that into your batter, anyone ever try using those ones a small batch?

  • Cold hands…For small batches I put on a pair of those brown (jersey)gloves, then the latex over those. Huge difference.

  • Walton's Employee

    @papasop I’ve tried our cotton gloves and that didn’t seem to help too much, maybe I will try some other gloves and see if that helps, thanks!

  • Been making sausage for 30 +yrs, my opinion is hand mixing over machine anytime. U can’t make a machine grab squeeze and twist. It doesn’t take that long to get the protein extraction your looking for by hand, maybe 5 minutes. When u run the meat the second time through the grinder you will achieve more protein extraction then mix a little more by hand you will notice how sticky the meat is. As far as helping with cold hands, use a tight fitting non powder nitrile gloves, and put u a bowl,of warm,water near u to dip hands in as needed. It will help, and won’t hurt if a little xtra water is mixed,in.

  • @jonathon I remember years ago I had a pair of elbow length rubber gloves that had a lining inside. You could even use a thin cotton glove inside that. Don’t know what happened to them or where I got them from. Might have to do some Googling to find out.

  • Power User

    Consensus…No pain, no gain! A few minutes of discomfort is worth the reward!

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