After getting back into deer hunting I wanted to find better ways to use all the meat I was harvesting. I don’t really like deer as a substitute for beef such as steak because its so lean. So after learning to make deer ham and bologna and the bologna batches got larger after learning what recipes we like, I needed a meat mixer.
My buddy Kevin was going to buy a Cabela’s style meat mixer and I’ve read a lot of reviews of these not being great and a huge pain in the butt to clean. I suggested a drywall mud mixer over the $150 expense on something I wasn’t sure would work properly. He had a drywall mixer and a paint mixer as shown above. The drywall mixer collected too much meat in it and didn’t stir as well. The paint mixer worked much better mixing the meat and was the preferred choice.
I too bought a paint mixer and the first thing I noticed was my 1/2″ hammer drill was getting very hot on a 10# mix. I told my wife we need to find a bigger drill or we are going to be out a $150 hammer drill shortly. She found this Dayton 1/2″ drill on a local auction for about $50. Sure you can buy new for $100 but this is and old school, metal housing, and works like a horse. Its a wrist breaker and the entire reason it has the upper handle!!
This setup worked, but the meat wanted to ball up and run away from the mixer. It wanted to run around the outside of the bucket and the meat would ball up in the middle and not mix well enough. So, I thought up a solution to make it wider.
So I asked on the smokeingmeat forums about making the mixer wider and what I got was “Give it a try”, so I did. The original paint mixer was 5″ wide and I added 1 1/2″ loops to each side on one flat blade. This made it a total of 8″ wide to fit inside of the 10″ width of a 5 gallon bucket. This gave it rooms to still move around and mix all the meat without letting the meat run away from it as it was doing before.
Above is the pieces of metal I bent and cut to make the expanded mixer. As I have said, I am a way better engineer, than I am a welder! It will stick together, its just not going to be purdy! Maybe now that it works and its getting warming I will fill the welds in and grind it down. Because I am a damn site better grinder than I am a welder. 😀 I might heat this all up in the fire pit and release some of the chrome and oil it with canola to blacken it to prevent rust now that its welded, since I don’t have a way to chrome it back up.
You would think I would be proud after fixing this. I have a strong enough motor (drill), I fixed the mixer, so it is all good now, wrong! The law of unintended consequences. The mixer did work better, but so much better it grabbed the meat better. Which then grabbed the bucket better and which made the bucket spin. I struggled for a while and my daughter came home from teaching and I got her to hold the bucket down while I mixed it. That worked, but there needed to be a one person fix.
So again, the brain storming started on the smokingmeat forums. A couple of us suggested a few overbuilt ideas and one guys said “put a bucket with foot holds on it and sit the meat bucket down in it. That way the meat bucket never gets any holes in it.” Genius!!
Above is the holder bucket with the meat bucket sitting in it.
Here is a pic of the angle bracket holding the 1×4 foot peddle to keep the bucket from moving.