Over the years I’ve amassed a huge collection of kitchen appliances. Some sit gathering dust. They seemed like a good idea at the time but for some reason, they simply don’t get used. However, there are other products that I use relentlessly – living without them would be unthinkable. My sausage stuffer fits into this group.
This review will focus on sausage stuffers; however, you may also want to check out my review of meat grinders as some of these models include a sausage making attachment. So you get two appliances for the price of one!
The Hakka 7lb sausage stuffer is a solidly built unit that has all the bells and whistles. All stainless steel, 2 speeds, tilting cylinder make this an excellent choice.
Benefits of a sausage stuffing machine
⇒ Produce sausages that taste incredible. Much better than store bought ones
⇒ Avoid the nasty fillers, extra fat and other junk that goes into supermarket sausage meat
⇒ Making sausage is both art and science. Every batch of sausage gives a sense of accomplishment.
⇒ Making sausages without this this tool is possible, but not practical.
⇒ Save heaps of cash by making your own sausages in big batches.
When you produce that first batch of sausages your friends and family will be impressed. Sausages are great. Freshly made sausages are out of this world great.
If you’ve decided to join the sausage making community, you’re going to need to get yourself a sausage stuffer. As with all appliances, not all machines are made equally. I found this out the hard way.
This review will arm you with everything you need to know to make an informed buying decision.
There are dozens of sausage stuffers on the market. To make your life a little easier, I’ve pulled together, what I think are the best sausage stuffers currently available.
Quick Comparison of Sausage Stuffers
New VIVO 7lb
LEM Products 5lb
|Stuffer Tubes||0.62", 0.86", 1.25", and 1.5"||3/4", 7/8" and 1-1/4"||0.4", 0.79", 1.18", and 1.57"||½”, ¾” or 1|
|View on Amazon|
Domestic Vs Commercial Stuffers
There are drastic differences between the two. Commercial models are large units with huge capacity; they also cost a lot of money. The domestic version is obviously designed for much smaller runs.
This review will focus on domestic models only.
How does a sausage stuffer work?
Okay, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. These appliances are really simple.
- Place ground meat into a holding canister.
- Turn the handle to force the meat out a small tube into sausage casings.
- Tie up the end of the sausage casing.
- Cook, smoke or cure the sausages.
All the sausage stuffers in this review use the same basic concept. Simple. But don’t be confused into thinking that makes choosing the right model simple. There is actually a bit more to it and we’ll look at all this now.
Features to Consider When Buying
1. Commercial Vs Domestic
As I mentioned above, this article looks at domestic machines only. If you have a large budget, plenty of space and you’re going to be making a lot of sausage, you may want to consider a commercial unit.
2. Build Quality
You want your stuffer to happily pump out the meat for many years to come. A solid stainless steel unit with metal gears is the preferred option. Put simply, they last longer.
It is tempting to save a few dollars and opt for a lesser model. You may save some dollars in the short term, but when you have to buy a new model a couple of years later because of breakage you’ll be kicking yourself.
Stainless steel is the preferred option when considering food safety as it is easier to clean and doesn’t harbor bacteria like other materials can do.
3. Tube size
They say size counts: in reality, some like big and some small. Thankfully, a quality sausage stuffer will offer the user a range of sizes. From small to extra large.
Common sizes are ½”, ¾” and 1”. These will allow you to make small breakfast sausages through to a chunky chorizo.
4. Vertical vs Horizontal
Should you choose a model that has a horizontal or vertical cylinder? It really comes down to personal preference but here are a few key points:
- Horizontal models sit nicely on the kitchen counter whereas the vertical option requires a clamp to secure the unit. The clamp will be included in the box when you receive your stuffer; however, it’s an extra step that you may want to avoid?
- Vertical stuffers tend to stay in place better when feeding in the meat. Some horizontal stuffers are a little awkward as they move around when you press the sausage into the machine.
There’s a lot to be said for the look of your unit. Whether it’s a bread maker, mixer or any other appliance. This feature won’t be the top of the list for everyone. For me, I love a nice stainless steel appliance that’s calling out to be used.
6. Size of Cylinder
A bigger cylinder is all about convenience and speed. If you are processing bigger batches of meat, you won’t have to fill up the cylinder as often if it’s bigger.
If you’re only making small batches then a 5lb model should be fine. If you produce large amounts of sausage then choose something bigger. Some models can scale up to 30lb or more.
7. Release Valve
Some sausage stuffers have a handy feature: an air-release valve. You’ll find the meat will frequently contain small pockets of air which is something you want to avoid. A valve will allow the air to escape without causing the sausage casing to break.
8. Speed options
A slow and fast setting is worth its weight in gold. For beginners, a machine with only one speed may be too fast resulting in some messed up looking sausages. For those seasoned experts, it is nice to have a faster speed, especially when there’s large amounts of meat to process.
Peace of mind is a good thing and that’s what a warranty gives you. The well known brands will generally offer at least a 1 year warranty. If you have the option to extend this, I’d recommend doing it.
It can be tempting to choose a cheap model to save a few dollars. If you can get a good deal then that’s great! But remember that often the cheaper models will lead to headaches further down the track. Production capacity, build quality, speed options: they’re all features you may trade off by choosing the low-cost option.
When choosing a sausage stuffer, I strongly recommend spending a little more to get yourself a higher quality appliance that’s made to get the job done.
Top Sausage Stuffers for 2020
Here’s my list of favourites. There’s something in here for everyone.
1. Hakka 7lb Vertical Sausage Stuffer (TOP CHOICE)
- Unit size: 13″ L x 9 W x 22 D
- Cylinder Dimensions: 5 1/2″ Diameter: 7 3/4″
- Capacity: 7 Lb or 3 Litre
- Weight 20.6lb
Hakka Brothers have built up a strong reputation for quality sausage stuffers. They’ve been producing their products since 2004 and are a leading manufacturer in this product category.
The Hakka 7lb sausage stuffer is made entirely from stainless steel and it’s a solid looking unit that is built for purpose. This was the first model I ever purchased and it’s still going strong years later. I highly recommend it.
I find a 7lb cylinder offers plenty of capacity – that’s quite a lot of meat that can be processed without needing to refill.
Like a bit of size variety when making sausage? The Hakka offers great flexibility with four different stuffing tube sizes: 0.62, 0.86, 1.25, and 1.5 inches.
- Solidly build stainless steel
- Good range of stuffing tube sizes
- Pressure release valve
- Reputable brand
- Two speed options
- Cylinder can be tilted for easy use
- Light and easy to move
- A little wobbly when operating
- No reverse lock on crank
2. Kitchener Heavy Duty 15lb Vertical Sausage Stuffer (Great capacity)
- Unit size: 21” x15” x12”
- Capacity: 15lb or 6.8kg
- Weight 27.4 lb
The Kitchener Heavy Duty Sausage Stuffer is another solidly built unit made from quality components. The gear box is made of metal, the two side bars are made from steel and a stainless steel base. Thanks to its large capacity, this is a heavy appliance and you’d want a decent space to house this.
The unit comes with four holes that allow you to easily screw it onto your bench for stability.
You get sausage size flexibility with these three stuffing tube: 3/4″, 7/8″ and 1-1/4″ diameter.
- Good range of stuffing tube sizes
- Pressure release valve
- Cylinder can be easily removed for cleaning
- Large 15lb cylinder
- Plastic stuffing tubes
- Not as solidly built as some competing models
- Heavy to lift
#3 New VIVO Sausage Stuffer 7lb
- Unit size: 20.6″ x 12.5″ x 9.9″
- Capacity: 7lb
- Weight: 14.5lb
The New VIVO Sausage Stuffer is another solidly built unit that, put simply, gets the job done.
The manufacturer, VIVO, is a US based company that commenced operating in 2002. They have built up a commendable reputation for quality goods.
What I love about this product is the stuffing tubes that come in 4 convenient diameters: 0.4, 0.79, 1.18, and 1.57 inches. In this review, VIVO gets the thumbs up for the best selection of tubes. You can pump out some seriously big bangers with a 1.57” nozzle.
If I could change one thing about this sausage stuffer it would be the plastic stuffing tubes. They’d be much better if made from stainless steel and hopefully future models will incorporate this change.
The 7lb cylinder is a good size. It’s not as big as the 15lb Kitchener model, but it is still a good size for most home sausage makers.
• Great choice of stuffing tube sizes
• Solid build
• Air release valve
• Easy to disassemble and clean
• Plastic stuffing tubes
#4 LEM Products Vertical Sausage Stuffer 5lb
• Unit size: 17” x9” x10”
• Capacity: 5lb
• Weight: 9.85lb
LEM is a US based provider of meat processing and jerky making equipment. They’ve been in the game since 1991 so they know a thing or two about sausage stuffers. They produced their range to help game hunters process their meat into ground meat, sausages and other end products. As you can imaging, processing an entire deer requires some serious equipment, and the LEM range delivers.
The LEM Products vertical sausage stuffer is a stylish looking unit with a stainless steel base and cylinder. The gears are metal and built to last.
With a 5lb cylinder, this unit is the smallest product we reviewed. This won’t be a problem if you don’t think you’ll process large quantities of sausage. Of course, the benefit of a smaller machine is that it’s lighter and doesn’t take up as much space.
The LEM has an air valve which allows the air to escape without causing the sausage casing to break. Most seasoned sausage makers will advise that this feature is really helpful and a major advantage over those that don’t have them.
You have the option of using a ½”, ¾” or 1” stuffing tube. It’s great to have three options; however, the sizes aren’t as varied as some of the other models reviewed here.
- Three different stuffing tubes
- Easy to clean
- Air release valve
- Plastic stuffing tubes
- Small cylinder
And the Weiner Is (sorry, that’s a bad pun)
Best Sausage Stuffer (Overall)
For my money, the overall winner has to be awarded to the Hakka 7lb vertical sausage stuffer. Unlike the competition, this unit is all stainless steel so it’s hygienic and built to last. With a great range of stuffing tubes, air pressure release valve and tilting cylinder for ease of use, this sausage stuffer has it all.
If you need to process a lot of sausage then you should seriously consider the Kitchener Heavy Duty 15lb Vertical Sausage Stuffer. With a 15lb capacity it can handle big quantities with ease. Just make sure you have the space for it and keep in mind, it’s heavy.
Don’t think you’ll be making a lot of sausage? I’d recommend the LEM Products Vertical Sausage Stuffer 5lb because it’s great from small processing requirement. It’s also lighter and uses up less space.