I agree with Jonathan, 6 of one half dozen of another. We usually debone venison and store in muscle groups so when we are ready to make a batch we’ll grind venison, then the pork separately. I make a slurry of spice and ice water, 50/50 meat mix into the mixer and directly to the stuffer. I don’t like letting the mix sit long before stuffing, it really stiffens up. Over the years i’ve honed my process. My rule now is I make it the way my crew likes it, if someone wants us to make some-we make it our way. I will also add I’ve never stuffed off the grinder, always use a 3-step process: grind, mix, stuff.
I will admit that I have 3-6 people helping so I don’t have to run the manual mixer but I did take pity on them this year and added the large Weston mixer to the stable, we’ll see how it works.
Best meat grinder?
I am looking for a good quality meat grinder to process a few deer a year and maybe an antelope every so often. I also plan to make other meat products like my own sausage, brats etc. I have done a bunch of research and have settled on either the weston bucher series, weston professional or the LEM all #12 size. All are 3/4hp other than the weston pro which has 1hp. Best I can tell is all are similar and all have 5yr. warranty. The LEM claim to fame is the big bite auger, but I am not sure about its actual functionality. The weston seem to come with more attachments and high speed auger. I also like they are sold by Waltons a couple hours away from me and if I ever need parts or help they will be there to help. Any recommendations based on experience or ideas?
From those choices, I think your top end option would be the Weston #12 Pro Series. You would definitely not be disappointed with that option! It’s got the biggest motor in that group and would do a fine job and last through years of use.
However, I really do like the Weston Butcher Series. We use the Weston Butcher Series in the Walton’s video room when we are making test batches and making other videos. If you are looking at the $449 price point, my opinion would be for this…
Take a look at the Weston #22 Butcher Series. Through the rest of October 2017, it’s on sale for only $10 more at $459. Having the head size as a #22 makes things a lot easier and faster in grinding. A #22 will easily outperform any other #12 in capacity and grinding speed, and I think the extra $10 for the Weston #22 Butcher Series Grinder is pretty much a no brainer right now.
Let me know if you have any other specific questions I can help with!
I’ve owned two grinders. A LEM #8 big bite and my current one a Weston #32. What a difference!!! Grinding was stress with an small grinder, meat always overheated and became mushy at the slightest appearance of silver skin. The Weston is a workhorse. I ground 100 pounds of mixed meat four times in mere minutes to make a batch of hotdogs. Whatever size you think you need, get a size bigger., you wont’ regret it.
Bacon Acres Farm
How did you like the big bite grinder? I live in a rural area and went to the big city last week and was able to look at the bigbite and carnivore grinder at basspro/cabelas respectively. I like the idea of the bigbite auger, but not sure if it really works as stated? Seems both brands were well built. Overall seems like the solid box around the bigbite would be easier to wipe clean. I think I could get by with a #8, but am going with a 12 like you suggest. I am having a hard time justifying anything bigger than a 12. Still torn between bigbite or weston.
SierraPete The BB Grinder was fine for it’s size. We never had a problem as long as we cut the meat small enough. I think the big bite part is a little oversold. The philosophy is to enable a smaller grinder to take a bigger piece of meat and grind faster. You should cut your meat no more than half the width of your grinder throat squared and have it par-frozen. Both Weston and LEM are great products. The Lem #8 big bite grinder was still working fine. I traded it to my buddy for a couple semi-loads of gravel.
I want to say thanks to everyone for their comments and advice on grinders. I was travelling through Wichita yesterday for work and decided to stop by the store for a hands on look at grinders. When I saw the grinders in person it was a pretty easy decision. I went with the #12 butcher series and the guy working the store was really helpful. There wasn’t the typical salesman push at all!!! It was on sale and fit my budget. I even got to try a piece of an experimental brat a worker brought out from the test kitchen. Can’t wait to get grinding.
SierraPete I’m glad you enjoyed the Brat, that was me who was cooking the Brats and I always like to see if there are any customers in the retail store who might want to try them! I will be editing that video and I’ll have it up on our youtube channel in a few weeks. I will pass this along to the store manager as well.