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Sausage Making — 2nd grind smear

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  • scottranda
    Charter Member
    • May 2015
    • 1841
    • Charlotte, NC

    Sausage Making — 2nd grind smear

    What am I doing wrong? I put all the components of the LEM .35 HP meat grinder in the freezer. I also put the meat in the freezer (all for almost an hour). I get the first coarse grind done quickly and it’s quite easy. Then I immediately put the coarse ground meat through a second (smaller grinding plate) but it barely gets through the smaller holes. If it does come out, it’s smeared pretty good, but it pretty much just clogs up in the Big Bite grinder.

    Any tips/hints?

    Do I need to refreeze the ground meat and components after the first grind? When I watch YouTube, nobody does that. So frustrating!
  • ComfortablyNumb
    Club Member
    • May 2017
    • 3457
    • Northeast Washington
    • KBQ C-60
      Thermoworks Smoke
      Thermoworks Thermopop
      Thermoworks Dot

    I've had that happen. Lesson learned was to use the same plate for both grinds. If you want a fine grind, start with a fine plate.


    • scottranda
      scottranda commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for this advice! i’m going to try the smaller plate first next time! (It’s these little tips/hints that pays for the AR membership!)
  • johnec00
    Charter Member
    • Aug 2014
    • 583
    • Orlando, Florida
    • Equipment:
      '88 Vintage Fire Magic gasser with over 3000 cooks to its credit
      18 Inch Weber Kettle (Rescued from neighbor's trash)
      Rotisserie for 18 inch kettle
      Master Forge propane smoker
      Pit Barrel Cooker
      Smokey Joe with mini WSM mod
      Garcima paella burner
      Anova Sous Vide
      Slaiya Sous Vide (gift)
      2X Thermoworks cooking thermometer
      DIY 4 channel bluetooth thermometer
      LEM grinder, sausage stuffer and meat slicer (all gifts)

      Favorite Beer:
      Key West Wheat

    Getting the second grind partially frozen may help, but more likely one of several things . . .
    • The spanner nut that holds the knife and the plate together needs to be very tight, I use a small strap wrench to tighten.
    • There was some foreign material between the knife and the plate as you set up for the second grind. The knife blade must be absolutely flush with the plate.
    • The plate with the smaller holes is distorted somehow.
    • Knife needs to be sharpened (actually both the knife and the plate should be sharpened). There are hand sharpening methods on the web. I use a glass plate with 320 grit wet paper followed by 600 grit and rub the knife and plate around in sort of a flower petal pattern.


    • scottranda
      scottranda commented
      Editing a comment
      My LEM is brand new (only my 3rd time using), but I’m going to have to remember getting my knife sharpened in the future. My fitting is very tight, but perhaps my other issue what I didn’t clean out the blade in between grinds.
  • Willy
    Charter Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 1868
    • High Desert of the Great Southwest

    I've found that cutting as much gristle/silverskin/"weird-looking stuff/etc. off before the first grind is a big help. I "think" that just meat and fat will not smear, especially if cold.
    Last edited by Willy; July 5, 2018, 08:40 AM.


    • scottranda
      scottranda commented
      Editing a comment
      I’m going to have to pay more attention to this. I had a piece of sausage and it was delicious, but I found a foreign tiny “piece” of bone in there. I was surprised, but I’ll pay even MORE close attention! Thanks!
  • Jerod Broussard
    • Jun 2014
    • 9938
    • East Texas
    • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
      Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
      Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
      Weber One Touch Premium Black 26" Kettle (gift)
      Slow 'n Sear XL for 26" Kettle (gift)
      Weber Smokey Joe Gold
      Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
      Maverick ET-732 White
      Maverick ET-732 Copper
      2- Auber SYL-1615 fan systems(Awesome!!!!!!!!)
      Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
      Thermoworks Timestick
      Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
      B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
      B & B Pellets

    I have a 1/2 horse and just start with the fine grind.

    I am able to observe a commercial grinder that does thousands of pounds of lean product. It has both the course plate and fine plate working at the same time. Occasionally the fine gets clogged, and as Willy mentioned, "extra curricular" matter other than meat is what does it in.


    • scottranda
      scottranda commented
      Editing a comment
      Starting with fine grind it is!! Yeah, and my comment above to Willy also confirms I may have had a foreign substance in there.
  • JimLinebarger
    Club Member
    • Jun 2017
    • 878
    • Spokane Valley, Wa.
    • Grills/Smokers
      Blaze 32" 4-Burner Gas Grill w/infrared rear rotisserie burner
      Weber Jumbo Joe
      Weber 22" Master-Touch Kettle
      Pit Barrel Cooker
      Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain Series 36" Vertical Gas Smoker
      Traeger Timberline 850

      Thermoworks Smoke
      Maverick ET-733
      Thermapen Mk4, Red

      Sous Vide
      Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker, Bluetooth, 800W
      Anova Precision Cooker Insulated Container
      Lipavi C15 container and lid
      Lipavi L15 Rack

      BBQ Guru DigiQ (for PBC and 22" Weber Kettle)
      BBQ Dragon
      BBQ Dragon Grill Table for 22" Weber Kettle
      Fire Butler (for Weber 22")
      Grill Grates for Jumbo Joe and Blaze grill

      About me
      Name: Jim
      Nick name: Bear
      Location: Spokane Valley, Wa.
      Born at a very young age at Egland AFB, Ft. Walton Beach, FL.

      USAF vet, ECM (F4 & B52)/B52 Crew Chief, Computer Systems NCO, disabled
      Former Computer Tech/Admin
      Campus Manager/Lead Tech/Tech (IT) for The Kemtah Group contracted to Intel, Rio Rancho, NM.
      Short Term Missionary to the Marshall Islands with MAPS of DFM of AOG

    Did you clean out the auger between grinds when you changed blades or did you just change the blades? I have the #8 Lem and I went from coarse to fine with no issues and cleaned out the auger. It was beef, though, and that may be the difference.


    • scottranda
      scottranda commented
      Editing a comment
      I didn’t clean it out, but next time I will. Or, I’ll just start with the fine grind like others have mentioned. But, yeah, I probably need to be more careful around cleaning in between grinds.
  • MattTheGR8
    Charter Member
    • Dec 2014
    • 189
    • Backwoods Party
      22" WSM
      Napoleon Apollo
      Weber Performer
      Weber Kettle
      Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal grill (the rectangular one)

      Rock's Stoker
      BBQ Guru DigiQ II

      Thermoworks TW8060 plus a variety of probes
      Thermoworks Combo Thermapen

      Weber rotisserie
      Pizza Grill Stone

    It could be that re-chilling the meat after the first grind would help. Also, it would help to keep it cool during the first grind by making sure that the bowl catching the ground meat is sitting in a larger bowl full of ice water.

    Also, johnec00 makes some great points about the fit between the knife and the plate. I've had smearing issues in the past if there is any gristle between the knife and the plate when I change plates. The two must be absolutely flush with one another and held tightly together in order for the meat and fat to be properly cut as they pass through. You might try cleaning off and re-installing the knife before you put on the new smaller plate.


    • scottranda
      scottranda commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, I think I’m going to have to clean in between grinds. The plate was for sure flush on the coarse grind, but since I didn’t clean on the finer grind, that’s probably my downfall. I need more practice I guess!
  • ComfortablyNumb
    Club Member
    • May 2017
    • 3457
    • Northeast Washington
    • KBQ C-60
      Thermoworks Smoke
      Thermoworks Thermopop
      Thermoworks Dot

    Here is another tip regarding your knife and plate. Get a knife for each plate you have and use the same side of the plate each time. The knife and the plate will wear together.

    Auger does not have to be cleaned between grinds, but if you find that the meat isn't coming out the plate during a grind it may be due to fat buildup. Check for fat on the auger, clean by removing and melting off with hot water. The knife should be 'cleaned' between grinds though. Pull it off and remove sinew wrapped around it.


    • scottranda
      scottranda commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks $1 million!!!!
  • HouseHomey
    Club Member
    • May 2016
    • 5505
    • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
    • Equipment
      Primo Oval xl

      Slow n Sear (two)
      Drip n Griddle
      22" Weber Kettle
      26" Weber Kettle one touch
      Blackstone 36” Pro Series
      Sous vide machine
      Kitchen Aid
      Meat grinder
      sausage stuffer
      5 Crock Pots
      Two chimneys (was 3 but rivets finally popped, down to 1)
      cast iron pans,
      Dutch ovens
      Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
      The help and preferences
      1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
      A 9 year old princess foster child
      Patience and old patio furniture
      "Baby Girl" The cat

      Erik S.

    I got nothing after All the great advice above. This thread alone is worth the annual fee for any that want to grind.




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