Vertical vs Horizontal Sausage Stuffer: Which Is Better?

You’ve selected your meat for sausage, ground it with the right plate for the perfect texture, seasoned it, and now it’s time to stuff it. You’ve opted for a sausage stuffer instead of a stuffer attachment on your meat grinder, but what kind of stuffer do you use?

In this article, I’m going to dive into the vertical vs horizontal sausage stuffer debate. I’ll explain what both are, highlight their pros and cons, and cover the question of what size a sausage stuffer should be (knowing what size sausage stuffer you need means you can narrow down your search very quickly).

two men operating horizontal sausage stuffer to stuff sausage into casings

What is a Vertical Sausage Stuffer?

When comparing vertical and horizontal sausage stuffers, the vertical ones are more popular than the horizontal versions. There are a few reasons, but as they tend to be smaller, they usually take up less space than horizontal stuffers and are more suitable for a greater range of kitchen spaces. They can be freestanding or have to be clamped to the edge of a kitchen counter or table.

They can come in both manual and electric versions, and the principle of how they work is based partly on gravity. Sausage meat is placed in the container at the top, and the casing is slid over the outlet pipe. As you turn the handle, the inside gears drive the sausage meat down and out into the casing. Vertical sausage stuffers can usually be operated by one person and are suitable for beginners or experts.

What is a Horizontal Sausage Stuffer?

Horizontal sausage stuffers tend to be larger than vertical sausage stuffers, and more room is required to operate them. They’re not free-standing and usually need to be clamped to the edge of a table or counter. Due to how they work, many horizontal sausage stuffers require two people to operate them.

The process is that you fill the cylinder with sausage meat and feed on the casing at one end of the sausage stuffer. One person will operate the handle, and the other will collect the sausage as it comes out. There are electrical and manual versions of the horizontal stuffer, and it’s more suitable for large-scale use, such as in commercial kitchens.

Vertical vs. Horizontal Sausage Stuffer: Pros and Cons

The function of a sausage stuffer, whether it’s sitting vertically or horizontally, is essentially the same. They’re all used to transfer sausage meat into the casing, which produces individual links.

However, they’re different in design and operation, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each, depending on your needs. See my tables below, where I’ve outlined the pros and cons of each.

I recommend that when choosing one to buy, you weigh your own requirements. First assess your needs as far as how much meat you plan to work with and the number of sausages you’d like to make in one go. Then select the sausage stuffer that meets your highest need.

It’s unlikely that any single sausage stuffer will tick every single box, but there will be several that come close, so focus on them and their advantages rather than their downsides.

Vertical Sausage Stuffer Pros and Cons

Suitable for beginners and expertsSmaller capacity
Available in manual and electric versionsMay require greater force applied when turning the handle
Small in size so should suit most kitchensMay not suit commercial use
Easy to operateOutput is less
Only requires one person 
Plenty of choices 

Horizontal Sausage Stuffer Pros and Cons

Has a greater capacityNeeds a table or worktop edge
Available in manual or electric versionsIt can cost more than vertical
Ideal for professional and commercial useMay require two people to operate it
Remains secure and steady during use 
Output is greater 

What Size Should A Sausage Stuffer Be?

This is a very important question when selecting a sausage stuffer. Both vertical and horizontal sausage stuffers come in various sizes, and you want to choose the size that meets your needs.

By size, I’m not talking about the output sizes of the sausages, which will differ based on the type of sausage you’re making. These can be varied by altering the casing output tube and the size and type of casing you use. For example, for breakfast sausage, casing tubes of between 21- and 26-mm diameter are used. Whereas, for hotdogs, the size can be as large as 30-mm.

The actual sausage stuffer size will be based mainly on the capacity it offers you, given that the cylinder that holds the sausage meat is the largest component.  For those who see sausage making as a personal hobby, and the sausages you make will be cooked for just you and your family, capacity won’t be a huge issue.

In this case, you might choose a sausage stuffer with a capacity of up to 10 lbs. Assuming you’re happy with its features, this means a vertical sausage stuffer would be best. However, if you prefer a horizontal stuffer, smaller versions will have capacities as low as 5 lbs.

For those making sausages on a professional or commercial basis or making mass amounts of sausage, greater capacities are needed, and only a horizontal stuffer will provide that. They range in capacity from 5 lbs. to around 20 lbs., given that their cylinders tend to be much larger than those of vertical sausage stuffers.

In Summary

Hopefully this article helped you to better understand the two main types of sausage stuffers used in sausage making.

If you just like to make sausage for fun at home for you and your family to enjoy, a vertical sausage stuffer is the way to go. However, if you prefer the design of a horizontal stuffer, they come in small sizes that are suitable for home kitchen use.

It’s ultimately up to you to decide which one is best for you!

Here are my favorite vertical sausage stuffers:

Here are my favorite horizontal sausage stuffers:

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