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Meat grinders

Waltons might be worth a look as well.

I’m about ready to replace my older LEM and these look solid. Get yourself a sausage stuffer also. I’ve been much happier with the products since getting the stuffer. You’re not trying to feed the auger, control the casings and manage the foot pedal all at the same time. Get the grinding and mixing done, fill the stuffer and just focus on the one task.

Hank Shaw has a cookbook “Buck Buck Moose” that is really good on detail for making various levels of sausages. Beginning of the book will walk you through every process from the animal hitting the ground to hitting the plate. I think you’ll be happy with the level of detail provided.

I grind meat when it is damn near frozen. Better product that is cut and not mashed. Clean up is almost effortless without all the gunk that looks partially cooked onto the auger. A mixer isn’t a bad idea, but I tend to mix by hand more times than not.

The link below is a simple kielbasa recipe that’s really good. I do a 50/50 venison vs pork belly. I think the vid was 65/35. That’s just my preference.

That’s my .02
I've got the 1.5 hp LEM Big Bite and it works very well. They usually have some very good discounts this time of year and you may be able to find 30% or so off of retail.
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Have any of you run across a stuffer that has metal gears instead of plastic, that’s still manufactured today and is made for home use as apposed to a sausage factory?
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I think mine stuffer gear is plastic, but will have to look.

BUT, I can make another out of HDPE or copy and make it out of steel.
Not fast. Not easy, but 100% can do it.
Heck, make one out if dense maple pretty easy that would work well I bet.
Not a pile of pressure on the gears on mine anyways.

Im not sure where its all made, but have friends who use Weston stuff and they are very happy with all the gear.

Mine is mostly LEM with some old Gander Mtn and a couple Cabelas things that were gifts.
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Waltons have metal gears as far as I can tell. Been very happy with it.

Looked this up on their website.


  • Stainless steel construction, frame, stuffing tubes, and cylinder
  • Heavy-duty construction frame that will not bend or warp even when stuffing small diameter snack sticks
  • Aluminum gear box with zinc plated steel gears for years of use without the worry of stripping
  • Aluminum piston with a durable rubber gasket keeps meat from leaking around the canister
  • 11 lb meat capacity and 5 liter total capacity
  • Air release valve built into piston to help avoid air pockets in your casings
  • 2 speed gearbox - high speed for raising and lowering the piston and normal speed for stuffing
  • Tilting and removable canister for quick filling and easy cleaning
  • 4 Sizes of stuffing tubes: 12mm, 16mm, 22mm, 38mm
  • Compact size that is easy to use and store
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Have any of you run across a stuffer that has metal gears instead of plastic, that’s still manufactured today and is made for home use as apposed to a sausage factory?

LEM stuffers are spec’d as having metal gears. I’ll probably just go with the #8 Big Bite and one of their Mighty Bite stuffers and call it a day.
Lem #8 and a dedicated sausage stuffer here. 4-6 deer, 1-2 pigs and over half a cow (hate roasts) a year without missing a beat

Waltons for the win. Pretty sure it is an LEM model grinder, just branded for Waltons. Waltons has great customer service and darn good products. The 1 HP model will do anything you need and is compatible with a bunch of other stuff, like the meat mixer if you wanna do that down the road.

It does suck they are Chinesium now. I think I went down the Made in USA road last year for a new grinder (I have a 14 year old Cabelas model) and landed on Pro Cut which are made in "North America". Which probably means Mexico. They are crazy expensive though.
I’ve already changed my mind again. #8 Big Bite and the Walton’s 11lb stuffer. I’ve already got a vacuum sealer.
I’ve already changed my mind again. #8 Big Bite and the Walton’s 11lb stuffer. I’ve already got a vacuum sealer.
I have 3 vacuum packers. They get hot and need to rest if you’re packing a lot of meat. Or just grab a beverage and let it rest. I make up a lot of bags, fill them, then go through and vacuum. Just my process.
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Yep, zinc plated steel gears. I just bought a 7# one. Thanks for the recommendation!
Buy an extra piston and a couple extra piston seals.

Keep the piston out of the dishwasher. Ask me how I know.

I wore out a seal in the middle of a batch. Not the time to be looking for a replacement seal. A couple are good to have on hand in case of emergency.
I got the LEM #8 ordered. 20% off deal this week so that was perfect. I’ll probably go with the Walton’s stuffer but may wait a bit for that. I guess I need to kill another deer soon. Lol
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I finally bit the bullet and bought an LEM grinder and stuffer this year… I can’t believe I went all those years processing game without them. It’s not even the same experience. The grinder grinds faster than I can feed it, and the stuffer is amazing for filling burger bags and sausage.

I know you said you don’t want to spend the money, but it pays for itself quickly, and I’m confident it will last me many, many years.
I’ve got the LEM grinder and even got the foot pedal to go with it. I’ve only got about 7 days left this season to get out. Sadly all my deer seem to have gone nocturnal on me, but maybe we’ll get a cold snap and they will do some daytime moving. My parcel is a little small so it’s tough and I hate hunting public land. We’ll see what happens I guess. I’m sure I’ll end up with a stuffer as well at some point.
I have the #32 cabelas but have used all the sizes from #5-32. I think the sweet spot is the #22 and I definitely wouldn't buy smaller than a #12 unless you want to get annoyed. I stuff with the grinder which works fine though you need a little finesse and it takes a minute to get the right feed/speed with different casings. I may buy a stuffer this year; supposedly they really do stuff better/easier. I have had great luck with the Cabelas and haven't heard of anyone having issues. That said, if I had to buy a grinder right now and only needed to do a few deer a year I would look hard at the #12 from MEAT that has the double grinder blades on it. Only having to run it through once to get a double grind would be sweet, especially with the smaller head.
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Tonight I’m making sage and juniper berry sausage. Tomorrow I’m making venison chorizo. The grinder has gotten me through the last 14 or 15 years. More than paid for itself in time saved. I’ll pass it to my son and hope he takes interest. Otherwise it will get packed away in the garage as a backup after I get my replacement.
Spent today processing a deer — 31 pounds of meat ground with my meat your maker #8.
.5 horse single stage grinder never even struggled. The grinding isn’t the hard part of this process.
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The grinder I use has been in the family for decades. It’ll stuff just fine if you run a stuffing funnel on it, and that works great for pork sausage, but not for venison in my opinion.

For me, a venison/pork blend needs to be mixed with a small amount of cold water, either by hand or in a sausage mixer for a while before stuffing, otherwise I can’t get a good bind and the texture is terrible. So if I run it through once, straight into casings without mixing, the texture is too loose and crumbly. And if I run it through the grinder twice (once to grind, then hand mix, then through the grinder again to stuff) the texture is too fine and almost gritty.

Best results for me have been to grind my ice cold venison and pork (or pork fat), mix with seasonings and a little ice cold water, and keep mixing until it is sticky and you have a good bind, then stuff by hand or with a standalone stuffer, not the grinder. Venison just doesn’t have enough natural fat in it to stuff without mixing in my opinion.

So, i lend my little lem that has worked for 3 years flawlessly, albiet slow, to a friend who proceeded to break it. Seems the crsnkshaft is bushed on plastic, doesnt appreciate a lot of tendon that is 12" long fed into it.

Anyways he felt super bad and paid half on a mid tier 1/2hp stainless model. I paid the other half. He said it works way way better, i have yet to try it. Luckilly he bonused me with half of his elk backstraps!!!