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Paid a few hundred bucks for my deer to be processed last year and not looking to spend 4x that much for an Elk. How much you guys fork out to have an Elk done. My deer I just had some sausage, chorizo and Kielbasa (son loved this so guess I will pay for this one again) made.

Thinking heck for that price I can just buy a meat grinder and have some fun learning. Anyone have a meat grinder and care to share any tips or recommendations?
 

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I believe Azslim is pretty knowledgeable in this area.
 

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If I remember right my last elk was processed for around $330 bucks cash, Didnt have any special stuff done with grind other then had some sausage made, I think it added like $1.00 per pound to order, for like 10 lbs. The processors up here dont do anything to the meat but cut and wrap other then sausage and chorizo making. Dont do any grinding myself, as I really got not place sanitary enough to do it, not going to do it in wife's kitchen. LOL.. Happy Wife- Happy Life, you know.
 

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I've been cutting my own meat for years. I started with a grinder that attached to a food mixer then moved to a LEM #8 and finally last year to a LEM #22 Big Bite Grinder. I carefully trim all silver skin and fat from all game meat before packaging. It usually takes me 2-3 days to process an elk. That is cut meat and hamburger. All of our elk are boned out in the field then packed in ice for 3-4 days to wash out as much capillary blood as possible.
When grinding meat or sausage the correct tools/methods are important otherwise you end up with mush. Fresh sausages like chorizo and Italian are pretty easy. Smoked sausages like summer or snack stick have a much higher learning curve. Took me a while to perfect them plus its not cheap to do it right.
Best thing is I know its done right and its my meat down to the burger. It can be hard to find quality fat to mix with the meat. I prefer loin or chuck fat vs. other parts of the cow due to its flavor. We don't eat much of anything else now it tastes toooooooo gooood!
My advice would be to start with good equipment, I tried the lower end stuff first and it didn't cut it, pun intended. For jerky save the larger roasts and slice while mostly frozen. I pre-slice jerky and freeze then pull out during the year to smoke more as needed.
 

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i've never had any experience with an Elk, but long ago, in a land far away, called Illinois, when i was a kid, we would get a white tail and would just have it cut into steaks/roasts/etc. then mom would take the scrap parts that she told the butcher to just throw in a bag and grind herself with a hand grinder that clamped to the counter, i still have it down in my kitchen and still works great. it had a sausage attachment that she would hook on the little condoms and it was my job to hold them while she ground the seasoned meat, usually some kind of blend and then some ground pork for some fat. tie the end off and you either have a kielbasa, or do it consistently with a twist and you have links. i don't think it is rocket science as long as the grinder has been taken apart fully and sanitized in a 10% bleach solution, like we did everything in the Army.
None of us ever got sick. I have made some round steak that was tough as shoe leather mixed with a packet of seasoning and some pork and made some malformed tube steaks here a few years back. we are all still alive.
 

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butchering isn't hard, separate the muscle groups and cut at a 90 degree angle to the grain. A 1/2 hp grinder is more than sufficient for home processing.

A flexible bladed boning knife, stiff bladed boning knife and 10" butcher knife is what I use.
 

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I butcher my own meat. However I have never made my own sausage. I do make some burner. For that I have a grinder from Cabela's that works great. Not sure of the model or name but it is the middle of the line grinder. A few years ago I took some meat from a mule deer to Miller's Southwest Meat Processing in Queen Creek. I had some breakfast sausage and snack sticks made. The price was reasonable and they did a fantastic job. They even stayed late for me to pick it up when they were finished.

I would like to start making my own sausage but until the last couple of years I was teaching and would not have had the time.
 

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I've done three elk now following u-tube. Cut, wrap, vacuum sealed. What I've ground has been getting better but the first made mush. Grinding par frozen has helped. My brother has made smoked meat sticks several times this year.
 

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buy Bruce Aidell's Complete Sausage book, runs about $25, probably 60 recipes in it, you'll never buy sausage again.
 

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I've been cutting my own meat for years. I started with a grinder that attached to a food mixer then moved to a LEM #8 and finally last year to a LEM #22 Big Bite Grinder. I carefully trim all silver skin and fat from all game meat before packaging. It usually takes me 2-3 days to process an elk. That is cut meat and hamburger. All of our elk are boned out in the field then packed in ice for 3-4 days to wash out as much capillary blood as possible.
When grinding meat or sausage the correct tools/methods are important otherwise you end up with mush. Fresh sausages like chorizo and Italian are pretty easy. Smoked sausages like summer or snack stick have a much higher learning curve. Took me a while to perfect them plus its not cheap to do it right.
Best thing is I know its done right and its my meat down to the burger. It can be hard to find quality fat to mix with the meat. I prefer loin or chuck fat vs. other parts of the cow due to its flavor. We don't eat much of anything else now it tastes toooooooo gooood!
My advice would be to start with good equipment, I tried the lower end stuff first and it didn't cut it, pun intended. For jerky save the larger roasts and slice while mostly frozen. I pre-slice jerky and freeze then pull out during the year to smoke more as needed.
How did the mixer attachment work? Before I drop some coin on a stand alone grinder I was thinking about trying the attachment for a Kitchenaid stand mixer.
 

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I have an old hand grinder as well.
 
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