I started with a #22 Grinder 10 years ago (photo heavy)

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I finally broke a blade off of my mixer. I've always thought it was a little flimsy. So now I'm trying to decide if I'm going to TIG weld the blade back on and try and reinforce all of them with gussets or look for a replacement.

I would like to see pictures of your drill drive set up as well. Do you run into issues with the drill motor getting hot? At times that little mixer will see 150# of meat in short amount of time when we are processing.
I use a 1/2 inch Dewalt corded drill and usually only mix 25 pounds at a time. I haven't had any issues with the drill getting hot. Although, if you do not add any water to your mix the drill struggles. I add water because I mix and then stuff casings for sausage. This setup works much better.

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Roy68

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My LEM mixer also has some slop that allows the dasher to float a little. It is adjustable, but periodically the dasher well smack the stationary wings that are welded to the tub. That is another downfall to that mixer in my opinion.

Some of my mixes are pretty sticky, especially snack sticks. Honestly I have to hand mix when making snack sticks as it is just too dense.

I'm guessing the drill will work for a lot of guys. That's a good idea. I know that powered LEM or grinder attach style is pricey. Your solution is way more economical.
 

Clarktar

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I finally broke a blade off of my mixer. I've always thought it was a little flimsy. So now I'm trying to decide if I'm going to TIG weld the blade back on and try and reinforce all of them with gussets or look for a replacement.

I would like to see pictures of your drill drive set up as well. Do you run into issues with the drill motor getting hot? At times that little mixer will see 150# of meat in short amount of time when we are processing.
Is there any reason to not use one of the big kitchen aid mixers commonly used for dough etc. My wife has a bigger one and I thought about using that..

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Roy68

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Clarktar, I'm not sure as I've never tried it. My wife has the 6qt Kitchen Aid mixer that is now 15 years old. She uses that thing every week. I personally think it would work with small batches. I typically mix 25# of meat per batch, and could split that in half with the LEM tub mixer. As long as a guy got a good mix / distribution of his spices through the meat I would think it would work. I'm not sure what attachment you would use though. Those plastic squeegee type paddles will not hold up, and I'm not sure if the dough hook would mix it well.

I would say try it in a small batch, knowing that you would have to mix it by hand possibly. We use to mix it all by hand in the busboy tubs, until our quantities became large enough that I felt a dedicated mixer was required.
 
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So heres what I did. Cut the female end off of a 3/8" extension. Insert this end into a 1/2" drill. A 19mm socket fits on the LEM mixer inplace of the handle. Then spin the drill slowly to mix your meat. Works wonders and saves your wrists and forearms.

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Roy68

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Thanks for the pictures Minnesotamulisha. That is what I was envisioning after reading your description.
 

Clarktar

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Alright. Ordered seasoning, and a couple bus boy containers. Look forwared to getting some ground meat, and bulk italian put away.

After that, just need some pep-sticks and I should be done.
 

ChrisS

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Is there any reason to not use one of the big kitchen aid mixers commonly used for dough etc. My wife has a bigger one and I thought about using that.
Depends on the batch size and how much. But it works well. On our annual sausage day we make a lot (typically from two ~500lb sows and trim from 6-8 butcher hogs). The guy that runs the show picked up a commercial Hobart floor mixer from a restaurant auction and we use it to mix 25lb batches all day long. That does a great job with the paddle attachment, but that one is steel.

Won't hurt to try it with smaller batches and work your way up to a 5lb batch to test it out.
 

hunter4life

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Good post. I have been butchering game at home since I could safely use a knife (almost 30 years now). Lots of good information and tips in your post. I have never used a stuffer, but you almost have me convinced to buy one.
For you beginners, having a good grinder is key. If you have a wimpy one or use a Kitchen Aid with the attachment it is a whole lot slower and makes it feel like a lot more work. Biggest thing is don't get intimidated. Just dive in, cut it up and learn from your mistakes. You will get much quicker with practice.
 

TimeOnTarget

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How's that cabelas commercial dehydrator work? I'm currently in the market for a new dehydrator.
 

Clarktar

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Should be making first batch of Italian sausage tomorrow! Thanks for all the tips

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Roy68

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How's that cabelas commercial dehydrator work? I'm currently in the market for a new dehydrator.

It works well enough for us. I don't have a ton of experience with various brands. Mine had an issue with getting to temp, and it is due to a design flaw. It is vented to well. I took sheet magnet and blocked off approx 85% of the venting in the back. Solved my temp issue. I believe it is 8 years old now. Maybe the newer models don't have this issue?

Last month my wife harvested all of our winter grown kale from our cold frames. She filled the dehydrator, set it at 115 and dried it down. We use it for a lot more than just jerky.

The racks are a little flimsy IMO. I find my self flipping them over every other time when drying jerky as the rack will bow from the weight. If I flip them they seem to remain flatter. More of a nuisance than a big issue.

I'm sure there are better ones out there. I purchased mine from the cabelas bargain bin and had some gift cards so my out of pocket was significantly reduced and a driving factor. I think airflow evenness, temp control, time control, and easy loading are necessities.
 
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TimeOnTarget

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It works well enough for us. I don't have a ton of experience with various brands. Mine had an issue with getting to temp, and it is due to a design flaw. It is vented to well. I took sheet magnet and blocked off approx 85% of the venting in the back. Solved my temp issue. I believe it is 8 years old now. Maybe the newer models don't have this issue?

Last month my wife harvested all of our winter grown kale from our cold frames. She filled the dehydrator, set it at 115 and dried it down. We use it for a lot more than just jerky.

The racks are a little flimsy IMO. I find my self flipping them over every other time when drying jerky as the rack will bow from the weight. If I flip them they seem to remain flatter. More of a nuisance than a big issue.

I'm sure there are better ones out there. I purchased mine from the cabelas bargain bin and had some gift cards so my out of pocket was significantly reduced and a driving factor. I think airflow evenness, temp control, time control, and easy loading are necessities.

Thanks for the feedback, I've got a bunch of cabelas cards so thats why im looking that direction. I've read the reviews that they dont get up to temp but i've yet to determine if they have fixed the issue.
 
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Roy68

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Mine vents on the back, at the top. It has vertical slots about 3-4" long. The sheet magnet is an easy fix. Like I said my complaints are pretty trivial when I consider how much use it has seen in the last several years.
 

Clarktar

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What ratio of fat to be soon are you guys using for things like bulk suasage?

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Clarktar

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Well I went with a 30 percent fat for the bulk Italian. I'm not convinced the seasoning from Walton's is enough. It says for 25lbs but it just looks like not much when you dump it onto the meat. And does hand mixing really distribute the seasoning well? I'm worried it will be more seasoning on some meat and less other...

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Well I went with a 30 percent fat for the bulk Italian. I'm not convinced the seasoning from Walton's is enough. It says for 25lbs but it just looks like not much when you dump it onto the meat. And does hand mixing really distribute the seasoning well? I'm worried it will be more seasoning on some meat and less other...

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We hand mix everything with great results. As for fat? We shoot for 20-25% pork fat in sausage and Kielbasa. I have found you can always cook some of the fat out if you add too much, but if you don't add enough your stuck with a product that's dry and tough. It seems we like ours with a little extra seasoning in it.
 

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Cooking up some right now to go on our pizza

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Clarktar

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Not sure how the head of the sausage stuffer comes off. That thing will be a PIA to clean. I think next time I will put cling wrap or something on the face of the press, so it will be simple to clean, just clean the hopper and spout.
 
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