By selecting meat to your preference and blending your own seasoning, stuffing sausages at home can allow you to customize a blend specific to your taste.
You can also avoid concerns about meat "scraps" and other unsavory ingredients in commercially prepared sausage.
What is the best sausage stuffer?
In this guide we will explore some of the best sausage stuffers through our model comparison and sausage stuffer reviews.
Top 5: Best Sausage Stuffers
Brand & Model
Sausage Stuffer Reviews
LEM Products Vertical Sausage Stuffer
The LEM vertical sausage stuffer is a hand-crank sausage stuffer that comes with 3 plastic output tubes in 1/2", 3/4", and 1" sizes. It's made of metal parts, meaning it's durable and easy to clean.
LEM ships two C clamps with each unit to help you hold it down while you work.
When this unit is fully clamped down, it's easy to operate with one hand. There's an automatic air release valve to make operation extra simple.
The cylinder on this unit makes it particularly unique. Most competing models have cylinders that rotate for filling and can be removed as an option.
On this unit, the cylinder pops out easily as your default filling option. This means you can set it up farther away from where you store your meat with a bit less hassle on each refill.
There's a notable lack of waste here. Nearly all of the meat will be pushed out of the machine when the piston finally reaches the bottom. The amount left over is hardly worth commenting on.
The LEM Products Sausage stuffer is smaller than our other picks, and the plastic output tube will be a deal breaker for some.
Still, it's easy to operate with one hand and the ease of detaching the cylinder makes filling and cleaning less complicated than with other models.
If you don't process huge batches of meat at a time, this may be an excellent sausage stuffer for your household.
New VIVO Sausage Stuffer
VIVO offers a 7 pound crank-driven vertical sausage stuffer with four plastic output tubes in 0.4", 0.79", 1.18", and 1.57".
All of the internals are constructed of metal for durability and ease of cleaning.
It's a bit larger than the LEM Products model. The base is stable enough for one handed operation without clamps.
An automatic air release valve helps keep internal pressures manageable.
While this is a fair bit larger than the LEM, it leaves noticeably more food in the bottom of the cylinder when it's "done." You have a choice between loading in more meat to keep pushing things through or scraping out the meat and using it for something else.
The cylinder on this unit tilts back for filling. You can lift it out completely if you desire with a minimum of hassle. The entire unit can be disassembled for cleaning after you're done with each job.
The New VIVO sausage stuffer is an attractive size upgrade over the LEM.
While there's a bit more meat left in the tank than the LEM after each job, if you're handling slightly higher volumes of meat the extra cylinder size and piston pressure will make a noticeable difference.
HAKKA Sausage Stuffer
The HAKKA sausage stuffer is a 7 pound crank-driven vertical sausage stuffer with four stainless output nozzles in 0.62", 0.86", 1.25" and 1.5".
It has two speeds, one of which is primarily used for slow feeding while the other is used to quickly reverse the plunger.
Like our other picks, there's an air release valve built in so you don't have to worry about pressure build up.
The build quality on this machine is excellent. It's solid, durable and well machined. The whole thing disassembles easily. Like the VIVO, the cylinder tips for feeding and can be removed entirely if you so desire.
While the metal nozzle tips are a pretty big plus, there's no reverse-lock on the crank. As you crank and compress the meat in the machine, pressure will build up. If you take your hand off the crank, it'll spin backward as the pressure in the chamber pushes the piston back up.
It's pretty easy to operate this machine with one hand while your other hand manages the sausage casing, but you do have to actually keep one hand on the crank the whole time.
The amount of meat left in the HAKKA sausage stuffer when the piston is fully compressed is about the same as the VIVO.
The size and pressure output are identical. If you prefer metal nozzles over plastic, this may be a great choice. Even if you're ambivalent, the extra speed and excellent build quality make it worth considering.
Dakotah Sausage Stuffer
The Dakotah is a horizontal water pressure driven sausage stuffer with two plastic output tubes in 3/8" and 3/4".
To operate it, you attach a hose to the unit and control a valve that modulates the flow of water into the unit to control the pressure on an internal plunger.
There's no cranking required. All you have to do is operate a valve and keep a hold of your sausage casing.
Without an internal engine, this machine may be more budget friendly than mechanized sausage stuffers. It's a great option if you don't need to process industrial quantities of meat and want to avoid cranking which makes it a great option for home use.
Operating this machine can be a bit tricky at first, but once you get used to controlling the water pressure with one hand while managing your casing with the other you'll be making sausages quite quickly.
While the machine boasts a 9 lb. capacity, filling it up all the way is minor pain. You'll need to really work with your hands to get meat all the way down to the bottom of the cylinder.
You also need to work somewhere with a hose to power the unit, which means you'll probably be stuffing outside or running a hose through your house.
Both options are slightly awkward compared to just sticking a crank-driven model on your kitchen counter.
If you don't think you'll use your sausage stuffer a whole lot but still don't want to crank your machine, the Dakotah sausage stuffer is an excellent budget option.
If you're handling larger amounts of meat and budget isn't an issue, we think the Weston commercial option below is a much better pick.
Weston Commercial Meat Grinder and Sausage Stuffer
The Weston Commercial #22 is a vertical meat grinder and sausage stuffer with an electric motor. It comes with three plastic sausage output tubes in 20mm, 30mm, and 40mm.
The machine is terrifyingly capable when it comes to both grinding and stuffing. It can output over 700 pounds of sausage per hour, should you have a place to store it.
Despite the industrial performance, this machine is still easy to disassemble and clean. You can easily pop off all of the parts that make contact with food and clean them in the sink after each use.
Extra-thorough clean up should take less than ten minutes. If you're content with hot water and soap, you can be far faster than that.
Unlike the other sausage stuffers we’ve looked at, this machine will grind meat, bones and all. If you're processing game or think you want to make your own dog food at home, this is a welcome feature that can save you many trips to the butcher.
100 lbs. of deer meat can be ground in something like 6 minutes, provided it's all trimmed and ready to be fed. The grinding mechanism in this machine has no problem handling bones, cartilage, or skin.
If you're ready to take the step up from a crank-driven model, this machine offers a colossal increase in speed. Whether or not it's worth the price probably depends on how serious you are about sausage and how much mileage you'll get out of the meat-grinding capabilities.
If you hunt, want to make food for your pets, or think you'll enjoy grinding up steaks for homemade sirloin burgers, give the Weston Commercial Meat Grinder and Sausage Stuffer a close look.
Who Needs A Sausage Stuffer?
There are plenty of justifications for buying a sausage stuffer. You may have access to bulk meats; for example, if you buy a half a cow or hog at any point in the year instead of purchasing meat at grocery store prices, you may have some cuts of meat that are best ground and spiced or smoked.
People with extreme food sensitivities to spices or preservatives might want to make their own sausage to guarantee what they're eating.
Household chefs and fans of blending their own seasoning blends are great candidates for a sausage maker.
For those with the skill to hunt and access to wild game meat, sausage-making is an excellent way to use up less than ideal cuts of meat.
Because game meat is often extremely lean, making your own sausage gives you the chance to amend with fats from other animals and customize the spice blend to your preference.
Separate The Stuffing From The Grinding
Grinding the sausage meat may not be possible for every household. If need be, you can get the meat ground at a local butcher, then season and stuff at home.
No matter where you grind your meat, purchasing a reliable sausage stuffer is critical.
You don't want to be waiting for a part while a batch of seasoned meat spoils because your stuffer broke down. Purchasing a unit that offers a good warranty and easy access to spare parts would be wise.
Types Of Sausage Stuffers
Sausage Grinder And Stuffer
If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, you can make your own sausage and stuff it into casings with two simple grinder attachments, the food grinder and the sausage stuffer.
Per food authority Claire Saffitz with Bon Appetite, these tools attach to the front of your mixer; simply feed the meat down the chute and it flows directly into the sausage casing.
If you prefer to season the ground meat before stuffing, grind it into a bowl, stir in seasonings, and re-grind into the casing.
Free-standing sausage grinders are available from many manufacturers. Carefully review the make-up of the grinding components to confirm the grinding blades are made of stainless steel to avoid rust, and that the grinder is easy to clear should it become jammed.
Manual Sausage Stuffer
For small batches, a manual sausage stuffer can be handy.
- To use, load ground and seasoned meat into the hopper, attach the casing to the tube on the front, and crank.
- The sausage is pressed out of the hopper by a large plate on the top and forced into the casing through the tube.
This unit is easiest to use with two people. However, a handheld vertical sausage stuffer can be used by just 1 person easily as seen below.
Kitchener and LEM are both brands that specialize in sausage making equipment and offer excellent warranties and quick access to replacement parts.
Electric Sausage Stuffer
If you're going to be stuffing sausage alone, a motorized sausage stuffer is a great option.
Part of the challenge of making sausage is handling the casings, which can get slippery and require some monitoring. If you need to be cranking, you can't be watching the casing.
Weston offers a heavy duty electric sausage stuffer with grinding capabilities for large batches. Depending on your batch size, this machine may be more power than you need. Smaller horsepower machines are also available from this manufacturer, as are manual versions.
Safe Handling Of Homemade Sausage
Contaminated food kills people. Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 6 Americans will get sick each year from bad food. There are 250 foodborne illnesses currently tracked by the CDC.
Because foodborne illnesses enter through the mouth, most affect the intestinal tract. However, some types of food poisoning such as E. coli can cause kidney damage, failure and death.
Safe handling of meats is critical. Per home-meat processing experts with Back Country Chronicles, the risks in making sausage at home include:
- Repeated exposure to handling. Sausage meat will likely be cut, trimmed, ground, seasoned, and stuffed. Each of these stages of handling can expose the meat to contaminants and may make the handlers sick. If you raise and butcher your own meat or dress your own game, you can limit this risk with careful handling.
- Oxygenation. Grinding meat in your sausage machine introduces oxygen into the flesh, which can activate bacterial overgrowth. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling any raw meat and disassemble and wash your grinders and stuffers after each use.
- Cross contamination. Raw meat may come into contact with surfaces that will later hold cooked meat. When handling raw meat for grinding, make sure that all the surfaces designated for processing raw meat are clean. Keep plenty of paper towels available for quick wipe-ups, and keep a close eye out so you don't contaminate spaces outside the processing area.
- Letting meat get to room temperature. Low temperatures inhibit bacterial growth; high temperatures kill bacteria. If meat gets to room temperature, the bacteria will celebrate by spreading. Work your sausage grinding and stuffing in small batches. Some meats grind easier if partly frozen. Chill all bowls and utensils before using and refrigerate any ground meat you can't get to.
When you're ready:
- Designate a "raw" space, provide plenty of options for clean-up and share the work.
- Switch off between grinding and stuffing.
- Swap recipes for seasoning combinations and try a new one with each sausage making party.
Did you enjoy this guide? Let us know in the comments with your favorite sausage stuffer and sausage-making experiences.