Sausage Stuffer




Introduction: Sausage Stuffer

About: I have a compulsion to make stuff, all kinds of stuff. I'm glad to be here...


Homemade sausage...Double Yum!

Expensive annoying sausage stuffer....Boo!

Homemade inexpensive easy to use stuffer....Yea!!

This stuffer was born from my frustration using the Kitchenaid sausage stuffer attachment.  It's awkward to use and would be a lot easier if one were to grow an extra arm.  I had no luck growing an extra arm and commercial stuffers cost almost as much as having one sewn on so I decided on the next best thing.  The total cost for a homemade sausage stuffer was around $30.

This design is basically a big syringe.  My measurements are based off of the size of the stainless steel container I found.  It was originally intended to be a utensil holder.  I like this size because it holds a full batch of sausage ~ 5lbs.  If you find a different container adjust your dimensions accordingly.  Just make sure your container is made of stainless steel and has smooth sides that don't taper much.

Step 1: Stuff You're Gonna Need


1 Stainless steel utensil holder 5" dia x 6" tall (try Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond)

HDPE (High density polyethelyene aka plastic cutting board)
2 @ 5" x 7.5" x 1/2"
1 @ 2" x 2" x 1/2"

1 piece hardwood 2" x 7" x 3/4" 

1 piece wood 6" x 6" x 1"

2  3/8" bolts- 8" long & wingnuts

1 3/8" carriage bolt 8" long must be threaded most if not all the way (stainless if possible)

Kitchenaid sausage stuffer nozzles

1 casement window crank (try the re-store)

8 3/4" screws (brass or stainless)

A little bit of mineral oil  (a food grade oil that you can get at pharmacies)

A smallish clamp


Table saw
Asstd. drill bits
1 1/2" bi-metal holesaw 
3/4" paddle or Forstner bit
3/8" tap

Step 2: Make the Base

I made my base out of a salvaged cutting board from a deli.  
You could use wood but the plastic is really easy to work with and clean.
  1. Cut two pieces of the HDPE to size- 5" x7 1/2"
  2. Clamp the base parts together and drill two holes in them. Each hole should be 5/8" in from the end and centered in the width. The holes need to be big enough to let the 3/8" bolts slide easily through. 
  3. Find the center of each of the pieces.  
  4. On the first one (base) drill a 1/8" pilot hole in the center.
  5. On the other (guide) mark a line down the center and trace the bottom of the stainless container.
  6. Cut the circle you traced out carefully with a jigsaw.  The circle is going to be the plunger and the outsides are guides for the container.
  7. Set the circle aside and attach the guides to the base with some of the 3/4" screws.  The guides should hold the container snugly.

Step 3: Top Bar

My top bar is made from a piece of Ipe (super dense tropical hardwood) salvaged from a piece of decking.  You can use anything that is available.  The wood is threaded for the plunger so the stronger the better.
  1. Cut the wood to 2" x 7 1/2".
  2. Drill two holes in the ends just like the ones in the base.   Place them 5/8" in from the end and centered on the width.  Same dia. as the holes in the base.
  3. Drill and tap a 3/8" hole in the center.
  4. Sand the wood and lightly round the edges and corners so it feels good in your hand.
  5. Apply a coating of mineral oil. 

Step 4: Drill the Big Hole

This method for drilling the big hole at the bottom of the base and the container is certainly not the only way to go about it but it worked well for me as it kept the holes aligned and also prevented the stainless container from spinning while drilling.
  1. Take the container and sandwich it between the base and the top bar.  
  2. Use the 8" bolts to hold everything together.
  3. Place two pieces of wood on the ground and put the top bar between them.  The edge of the container will be resting on the wood pieces. 
  4. Stand on the wood and use the pilot hole in the base to guide you as you drill the 1 1/2" hole.  Make sure that your hole saw is for cutting metal or you will trash it on the stainless steel.  Use plenty of oil to keep things cool.
  5. File the hole in the container to smooth the edges.
  6. Use the shoulder of the file to scrape the plastic on the inside of the base.  The hole needs to be tapered to fit the nozzle. The nozzle will be squeezed between the base and the container so it needs to fit well.

Step 5: Take the Plunge

The plunger is where all the action is.  The better it fits in the container the better it will force the meat out through the nozzle.  Fitting the plastic disk to the container can be a little fiddly.  If it is too tight it won't go all the way to the bottom.  If it is too loose sausage will squeeze past the plunger rather than into the casing.  Most of the stainless containers I've seen have some sort of taper to the walls.  A little bit is ok.  A big variation in the diameter at the top to the diameter at the bottom will give you trouble.
  1. Take the plastic disk that you set aside and sand it down until it just fits all the way down to the bottom of the container.
  2. Grind or file the top of the carriage bolt so that it is flattened.
  3. Grind or file the corners off the square part under the carriage bolt head.
  4. Grind or file a flat spot on the end of the carriage bolt to have a spot for the set screw in the casement window crank.
  5. Cut a square of plastic 2" x 2".
  6. Drill a hole in the center with the paddle/Forstner bit just deep enough that the carriage bolt head fits in it without protruding.
  7. Widen the center of the hole to fit the shaft of the carriage bolt.
  8. Drill and countersink four holes for the 3/4" screws.
  9. Attach the square of plastic to the disk with the screws.  The carriage bolt should be held securely but spin freely.

Step 6: Clamp Down

The clamping board helps to hold the stuffer securely to the counter.  You still need a clamp of some sort to hold everything in place.  This piece distributes the clamping action along the length of the lower bolt.
  1. Cut the 1" thick wood into a 6" square.  
  2. Use a table saw to cut a dado along one edge of the board.  It should be about 3/8" wide and 1/4" deep.  Leave 1/2" from the edge of the dado to the end of the board. 
  3. Sand it and lightly round the edges and corners.
  4. Apply a coat of mineral oil.

Step 7: Putting It All Together

First a test run to make sure everything fits...
  1. Clean everything well and dry it.
  2. Grab a pan that is deeper than the nozzle is long.
  3. Insert the bolts into the base.
  4. Place the base on the top edge of the pan.  The bolts will slide down into the pan.
  5. Stick the nozzle into the base.
  6. Place the container on the base.  
  7. Thread the top bar onto the carriage bolt in the plunger.
  8. Slip the plunger into the container.
  9. Feed the bolts up and through the holes in the top bar.  Secure them with the wing nuts.
  10. Put the window crank on the plunger shaft and tighten the set screw.
  11. Take the whole deal and lay it on its side on the counter.
  12. Slide the clamping block over the lower bolt.
  13. Clamp the stuffer to the counter.
  14. Turn the handle and make sure the plunger goes smoothly all the way to the bottom of the container.
  15. Fine tune anything that needs tweaking.
  16. Congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Step 8: Makin' Sausage

The hard part is over.  Let's use this puppy!
  1. Make a batch of your favorite sausage.  I'm partial to hot Italian sausage myself.
  2. Rinse out some sausage casings.  Leave them sitting in a bowl of water.
  3. Set up the stuffer over a pan and open the top.
  4. Fill the stuffer with your sausage.
  5. Attach the top and set up the stuffer on its side.
  6. Clamp it down.
  7. Tie a knot in the end of the casing and thread it onto the nozzle.  A little grease or spray oil helps this process.
  8. Turn the crank with one hand and guide the sausage with the other.
  9. Look at it go!  Just like the fuzzy pumper barbershop!
  10. When the casing is full tie off the end and twist into links.  Remember to twist every other link in the opposite direction (You'll see what I mean when you get there).
  11. Enjoy some awesome homemade sausage.
If you like projects (I'm guessing you do) you'll find plenty more at our site Mike and Molly's House where we chronicle our Mighty Projects on our Mini Farm (aka our backyard).

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    3 years ago on Step 1

    Just a suggestion - when you say "5-inch diameter utensil holder" - good habit to say INSIDE diameter, or "I.D.".

    YES, I know, you meant anything in the rough range, as you're *then* having us craft a custom-fit disc as a plunger for that 5" diameter, and it might be from any store, or even in a metric country - just saying it's a good habit. (You might've gone on to specify an Ikea "Bruksvarkk" kitchen plunger that does specifically fit a 5" ID for all we know.) SO: it's a good idea to say either "about 5 inches", or "5 inches ID".

    (LOVE the idea - and I'm seriously thinking about building it.)


    Reply 2 months ago

    Did you think about using 5 inch pvc pipe instead of the utensil container? The reason I ask is it would eliminate the taper issue. Am thinking about making one but trying it with the pvc pipe.


    Reply 2 months ago

    I know that there are concerns about PVC not being food safe. If you do the research and decide to go with it then I think it will be easier to work with and no taper to contend with. Post a picture if you do the build.


    Reply 2 months ago

    I don't see any issues if you don't use acidic ingredients it is rated for drinking water and should not pose a problem as long as you don't store things inside it.


    Reply 2 months ago

    Makes sense to me


    7 years ago on Step 7

    can the nozzel go on the side? i would like to build this but i want one that can stand upright on the counter,, you think its possibe?


    Reply 7 years ago on Step 7

    I think that's a great idea. It would be a much more convenient setup. It may be a bit tricky to drill the hole and you will probably need some sort of gasket to seal the nozzle to the curved wall, but those are easy issues to deal with. I say try it & post a picture of it here so we can all learn from your project.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This really is an excellent idea. I had one of those why didn't I think of that moments when I saw it.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Oooh, This will be a great additional to my (as yet unused) electric meat grinder. I wanted to start making sausage, but need to find a cheap supplier of meat in the UK.
    I might tweak this idea as I have access to a large number of empty 2kg CO2 fire extinguishers. The cylinders for these are probably perfect and being rigid I could drill and tap some fittings/bolt holes.
    Thanks for the inspiration.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    If you are going to make a bunch of sausage look for someone who raises pigs and buy directly from the producer. Best way to know your quality and get a fair price.
    Love the CO2 extinguisher idea!
    Post pics&or an instructable if you get one built.
    Let me know if you have an questions along the way.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work! This is awesome.

    I've basically stopped using casings on my homemade sausage because of frustration with the Kitchenaid stuffer attachment; this seems much better.