Monday, November 12, 2012

KitchenAid SSA Sausage Stuffer Kit Attachment for Food Grinder Review

KitchenAid SSA Sausage Stuffer Kit Attachment for Food Grinder
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(More customer reviews)
I started learning about sausage stuffing in order to make a good andouille for jambalaya, gumbo, etc. Most decent equipment out there will run anywhere from $[...]-$[...] for a decent stuffer. Double that total and you can get a grinder as well. If you're going to make consistently large batches (25 lbs or more at a time) then you're probably going to want to invest in those.
However, if you're just learning and starting out and already have a KitchenAid and the associated grinder, then the stuffing attachment for less than $10 is a no-brainer. I've used it a couple of times now and I can say that it makes high-quality sausage without a problem.
I have noted a couple of negative reviews for this product. Not knowing the specifics of how those people used the product, I can note some things I learned on my own, and from a site. That is an excellent site about andouille and sausage stuffing in general (especially with a KitchenAid).
1. When grinding, make sure the blade is in. I forgot to do this on my first batch and it turned the meat into paste and was impossible to get the grinder to work properly (which is why they include it).
2. Make sure you keep the meat very cold. I haven't had to cool the attachments, although that might help, especially when the meat isn't the coldest.
3. Use the coarse grind plate for sausage. You can the fine grind plate (for hot dogs for example), but I would recommend just using the coarse plate and running the meat through multiple times for a finer grind on your sausage. The grinder can get some tissue wrapped around the feeder and it could require some disassembly and cleaning (might take 3-5 minutes), especially with the fine grind plate. After the first grind, the mixture moves through the grinder pretty quickly anyway.
4. Make sure the screw cap is tight. Meat can escape through the cap if you're not careful. It shouldn't in most cases though. If it is, this is a sign something else is probably wrong.
5. I bought the KitchenAid FT Food Tray Attachment for Stand Mixers as well. It's fairly handy for larger batches and I recommend it, but it's not necessary. I ground 15 lbs the other night and it was helpful in holding the larger amounts.
6. You'll see this other places, but I'll reiterate that natural casings are worth the extra (minimal) effort. There's not much to it once you've used them. Collagen is ok and are less likely to break, but natural aren't as fragile as you might think and they look and taste way better. I was a little leery of natural and bought collagen initially, but haven't used them since my first batch. I don't think I'll go back if I don't have to.
I've stuffed andouille and Italian sausage both with the larger of the two stuffer attachments. If I make some breakfast sausage, I imagine the smaller one will come in handy. If you're like me and you've gotten to this point, next on your list will probably be a smoker. I haven't taken that plunge yet, but it's coming soon.
Good luck and happy stuffing!

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Many people prefer to make their own sausages because this allows them to monitor the ingredients for quality and to use more exotic flavorings such as sun-dried tomatoes or roasted peppers.

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