Snack sticks-learned something today.

  • Team Blue

    Today was my 3rd batch of snack sticks but I’ve done a couple batches of breakfast sausage and some brats in the past couple of weeks. I’ve never been satisfied with the texture as it’s always come out kind of like a hot dog. I’ve been using a countertop cheapy grinder that grinds pretty well but I think my texture problem is due to the meat going through the auger again to get it in the casings. It looks like the auger is grinding it to mush trying to force it into the casings. I put 2 cups of high temp cheese in today’s batch but as the meat was going into the 16 mm casings there was no sign of any cheese-just meat mush. Time to upgrade to a sausage stuffer!

  • Team Orange

    Randyman I’ve been doing the same thing for a year or two. Finally asked for a stuffer for Christmas and have been making sausage every weekend since. You will not regret making the move.

  • Team Orange Power User Veteran

    In one paragraph you’ve asked, commented and answered. Well done. Stuffer time. 👍

  • Randyman which stuffer did you get. Im in need of a new one myself.

  • Many places sell them, on line and in stores (Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse, etc.). Something to consider, is how much you make at one time? 5 lbs., 10 lbs., or more? I had a 5 lb. stuffer, but usually made 10-20 lbs. of product. It was a pain in the posterior to keep having to load the hopper. My 5 lb. stuffer never held 5 lbs either - more like barely 4. After 4 years, I finally gave in and bought an electric stuffer, a 20 pounder for LEM. They have occasional sales, and I got mine for a greatly reduced price on a 24 hr sale. They are pricey otherwise, but worth it if you are making large batches, especially by yourself. The manual/hand crank stuffers aren’t the easiest to use by yourself, but it can be done. I think a lot of use have done it and still do. But a helper is definitely nice!

    The stuffer I started out with came with plastic stuffing tubes. If stainless steel tubes are an option, I’d get those instead, or buy the size you need as an accessory. The casings seem to work better on those than the plastic, in my opinion. Good luck, and I’m sure you’ll be happy with your stuffer! Makes a better product!

  • @Dean-Gustafson , yeah I have a old manual stuffer and the stainless tubes just needing a new one and I know some are way better than others. May end up with an electric.

  • Team Blue

    txbigly I haven’t taken the plunge yet on a stuffer. Just discovered that my auger driven meat grinder isn’t the right tool for stuffing sausages even though it came with the attachments. My latest snack sticks look more like hot dog sticks because of the texture.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Randyman Our 11 lb sausage stuffer just went on sale today, this is the stuffer I use all the time in our videos/experiments. The piston is smaller which makes turning the crank and stuffing a lot easier than on the larger models.

  • Someone mentioned in a previous post about keeping your meat cold, almost to the point of freezing if you are using the grinder to stuff. Good advice. Putting the grinder head in the freezer is a great idea too. I stated out using a Kitchen Aid mixer with the grinding attachment, and stuffing casings too. It never worked well, and the product…well it wasn’t very good. Too much friction/ heat. There are some really sharp people on here, and we can all learn from their advice. What started out as an “I’d like to try this” has turned into quite a little more than a hobby, with lots of toys. Of all the places I have purchased from in the past, Waltons is my “go to” now. I rarely buy anywhere else, with the exception of natural casings.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    @Dean-Gustafson Super cold meat is one of the best things you can do for grinding and stuffing and since stuffing on your grinder is sort of both I’d say it’s doubly important. The fact that a grinder CAN stuff is good but it really should only be used for large diameter sausages or bags and then only for small batches. Once you progress to doing sausage more than once or twice a year it is time for a vertical stuffer, makes life a lot simpler.

  • Team Orange Power User Veteran

    This post is deleted!

  • Jonathon if I had to buy only one stuffer, your 11 pounder would be the size I would get. For most, it would be all you would ever need. The smaller piston makes sense as well.

  • Team Blue

    This post is deleted!
  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning Sous Vide Community Moderator

    Randyman I would definitely invest in a Walton’s Grinder! Kitchen-Aid just won’t cut it. If I were buying one, I’d go no smaller than a #22. I’d get the 11# stuffer at a minimum as well. Buy from Walton’s they will take care of you after the sale with any issues or questions that may arise.

  • Regular Contributors

    If you plan on doing snack sticks make sure you buy one with a really good strong gear mechanism and the stuffer plate and gasket and that it has an air bleader as stuffing snack sticks requires lots of pressure and if the gasket is not good you will get lots of blow by around the gasket.

  • Team Blue

    akdave I use the Waltons 11 lb. stuffer at the butcher shop daily. I used it for approx. 1 year prior to working there and it held up fine. When I started my job they had a Hakka brand that quickly stripped out the gear where the handle attaches. I have produced 100-150 lbs of sausage and 25 lbs. of snack sticks weekly since late August without a single issue using the Walton’s stuffer. Bang for the buck it is a good buy and built to last.

  • Regular Contributors

    Making snack sticks is the true test of a stuffer and its quality. I now use a 1/2" ratchet as it is a lot easier to pull down than push up and that really makes it easier for the person doing the cranking. Just got my turntable and very large stainless steel bowl and can’t wait to see if that will save time on the sticks and eliminate one person in the operation. Going to place a Waltons order today for supplies for next week. Also my wife is in charge of Vac Sealing our smoked salmon and snack sticks and she has had great luck with VacMaster full mesh Pint size bags in our noncommercial home sealer. they come in package of 50 and only 1-2 non seals in a box. Cant wait till I can afford a commercial Sealer.

  • Regular Contributors

    A chamber vac is hands above anything else! You will be happy!

  • Team Orange Power User Veteran

    Is it on sale through the end of the month? Putting together a list.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    PapaSop Yup, it will be on sale through the end of the month. I don’t know the next time we are planning on putting them on sale so grabbing it now is best if you can. Last year the only times this size went on sale were ThanksBlackMonday and Christmas sales. We don’t necessarily do the exact same thing and it is possible they get place on a July 4th sale or something but…if you can, now is the time!

Suggested Topics

Community Statistics





About Meatgistics

Meatgistics is brought to you by Walton's ( Meatgistics is a community site, knowledgebase, forum, blog, learning center, and a sharing site. You can find help and ask questions about anything related to meat processing, smoking and grilling meats, plus a whole lot more. Join Austin & Jon from Walton's and sign up for our Meatgistics community today.