I've wanted to buy a sausage stuffer for some years now. I have tried using the sausage tube that attaches to my electric meat grinder -- that's a joke. I also bought the handy-dandy sausage-making attachment for my heavy-duty KitchenAid -- fine for a pound or two. But if you have a whole deer or a wild hog to process, you need a machine that can push the meat into the casings.
There are several models available online, and I have heard that Bass Pro sells sausage stuffers for deer hunters. The prices range between $79 for a simple pusher up to $3,500 for the German-made F. Dick electric sausage stuffer. I figured I needed something in between the two, but I never met anybody who knew the pluses and minuses of all the different models -- until yesterday.
Cody at Allied Kenco is a guru for home butchers. "Everything but the Meat" is his store's slogan. I spent over an hour talking to him about making sausage yesterday. Cody told me that the inexpensive pusher was perfect for boudin, but that was about it. For my needs (15 to 20 pound batches of wild game sausage), he recommended several choices.
I was trying to decide between a crank model that sold for $160 and a water-powered sausage stuffer that went for around the same price. Cody hooked the water-powered model up to a sink in the back of the store and demonstrated how it works. (I got the crank model.) He also had a tiny home smoker that works on compressed wood disks.
He had a great selection of sausage, charcuterie and home-butchery books too, as well as a library of how-to videos. And he knew all about the advanced topics. If you've ever wondered where you can buy meat-industry supplies like curing salts, encapsulated citric acid, specialized knives or a good meat saw, this is the place.
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"They sell sausage stuffers at Bass Pro, but they're not sausage makers," Cody observed. "When you're ready to start making fermented sausages, summer sausage and cured meats, I'm the guy you need to talk to."