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Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did not know where to post this so I put it here. I recently bought a meat grinder with sausage stuffing tubes. I also bought a book on homemade sausage. Also I have looked online and found tons of recipes for the different kinds that I like such as Brats and Italian sausage. What I am wondering is, has anyone here had any experience with this? And if so can you give any tips or hints?
 

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Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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I bought a Weston #10 meat grinder with the plastic sausage stuffing tubes (Manual Grinder). What do you use for the fat? The book says pork belly, does this mean Bacon or what?:confused:
I've used bacon for certain sausages, like breakfast sausage, and even some ground beef for burgers once, but pork belly is NOT bacon. Pork belly doesn't have the smoke or salt bacon has.

And...I like making my breakfast sausage kind of lean...I mean, I almost have to add grease to the pan to get them fried right; but...it's not as greasy, and probably healthier in some ways.

You can use any fat you want, including beef, but flavor is going to be affected, so choose wisely. Go to an actual butcher, or the meat cutter at a market that still has that, and ask them about getting whatever your recipe calls for.

And as Pitbull said....RINSE the casings, beyond anything you though made any sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've used bacon for certain sausages, like breakfast sausage, and even some ground beef for burgers once, but pork belly is NOT bacon. Pork belly doesn't have the smoke or salt bacon has.

You can use any fat you want, including beef, but flavor is going to be affected, so choose wisely. Go to an actual butcher, or the meat cutter at a market that still has that, and ask them about getting whatever your recipe calls for.

And as Pitbull said....RINSE the casings, beyond anything you though made any sense.
Thank you for this info and to Pitbull as well, any help I can get I do appreciate.:)
 
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I bought a Weston #10 meat grinder with the plastic sausage stuffing tubes (Manual Grinder). What do you use for the fat? The book says pork belly, does this mean Bacon or what?:confused:
Ok, you got a hand cranker. Makes me think of my grandmother in the kitchen making pork sausage after a pig slaughter. You're best sticking to small batches because as you will find, it becomes work. :)

One other tip I can give you is to freeze all your grinder parts, less the handle. A supper cold grinder works much better and keeps the fat from melting (and making a mess out of things) when you grind. When I'm making sausage in the winter I'll actually open the kitchen widows to make the kitchen as cold as possible. Summer time, I crank the AC down.

Oh, no problem with a hand powered grind. I've still got mine stored away..

Do more web searching. There are many very good instructional sites and videos on sausage making. And of course there's this website..

https://www.sausagemaker.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Use a pork butt. Trim some of the hard surface fat, remove the Y-shaped bone and gland in it.

You may want to grind the meat more than once too. Rinse and soak the casing in cold water.
The book said to soak it in salt water overnight and then rinse thoroughly the next day. So I bought some Kosher salt to soak it in. I don't know if this was the right move or not. I can only do what others tell me because I have never done this. But I am extremely willing to learn.:)
 

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The book said to soak it in salt water overnight and then rinse thoroughly the next day. So I bought some Kosher salt to soak it in. I don't know if this was the right move or not. I can only do what others tell me because I have never done this. But I am extremely willing to learn.:)
What kind of casings did you get? They should already be packed in salt. For what you're wanting to do, you want 32-35MM hog casings..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I haven't bought the casings yet, could you recommend a brand? I have been buying up my other supplies first such as my spices and the tools like measuring spoons and a sausage pricker. After I get all of my spices then the casings were next on the list, with the meat being the last thing I buy. While I buy my supplies I am reading everything I can about it so that I can learn. But nothing beats good old fashioned experience which is why I started this thread. So that maybe I could learn from those of you with the experience.
 
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I typically mix lean mean (venison) with pork because it has plenty of fat. The only exception to this, is when I make smaller sausage links and cold smoke them. Smaller link sausages are easy to make and honestly, more convenient since they will store for much longer (less fat to go bad)

Pork Shoulder is the cheapest, "fatty" pork.

It's best to mix a lean mean with a fatty. Lean - white chicken meat (skinless), venison, turkey, some beef. Fatty - pork, some beefs, lamb, dark chicken meat.

You can mix other products like cheese, oils, lard, liquid smoke, etc.

Seasoning makes all the difference in the world. Salt is a good sausages best friend. I find that fresh herbs from the garden that are dried, will flavor your sausage much better than store bought. I grind my herbs with my M&P and then add them. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Don't run the meat through the grinder too much, or the meat will be way too dense. Once or twice with a larger die is fine. Be careful with chicken or it will get pasty.

If your meat (especially lean) is hard to mix, mix a little lard or oil to the meat. Or add more fatty product.

Not all casings are the same, do some research on the grades. For beginning, go with a 36(ish).

Use the right size horn for the size casing you have.

Don't worry about a loose sausage. You can make up for it later when you twist the links. You'll get better over time and learn what's best for you.

Poke small holes up and down the sausage. This will allow air to escape when you twist the links. Also, you don't want air because when you cook it, the sausage will burst (like most store bought sausages do).

I typically separate my links after a few hours in the fridge. This allows the flavors to move throughout the meat, but also allows the twist to dry a little. The last thing you want is for the meat to push out the end.

I haven't made sausage in quite a while... now I want to do it... thanks alot. LOL
 

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I haven't bought the casings yet, could you recommend a brand? I have been buying up my other supplies first such as my spices and the tools like measuring spoons and a sausage pricker. After I get all of my spices then the casings were next on the list, with the meat being the last thing I buy. While I buy my supplies I am reading everything I can about it so that I can learn. But nothing beats good old fashioned experience which is why I started this thread. So that maybe I could learn from those of you with the experience.
Go to that sausage maker link I posted. They've got everthing. You may also be Able to find casings at Academy in the camping/hunting section. They usually have some..

My sausage pricker is a boiled corn scure..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Once again Pitbull, I really appreciate you taking the time to help me learn this hobby, So thank you very much and to all the others that help me to learn about this,
 

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Here's you another website to get lost in. Like I said there are many. When I got into this I spent hours surfing the web looking for recipes and instruction. Eventually you'll be able to sort out the bs ones. Some people make videos and really don't have a clue what they're doing.

My recommendation to you is to start out with a simple pork or beef recipe to learn the mechanics of sausage making. Pork has the most recipes available. Beef, not so much..

http://web.archive.org/web/20010214020112/http:/home.att.net/~g.m.fowler/frame/Sausage1.htm

And a warning. Sausage making is addictive..:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey pitbull, Thanks for the links you sent me. and to everyone else for their information, like I said I am new to this and I think I am going to enjoy this quite a bit.
 

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Following, I have made sausage several times in the past but only once put it in casings. I buy my casings from a local meat locker, usually sheep casings because that is the size sausage I usually like.

The last batch of casings and meat burned up before I got to use them. I have been using a Kitchenaid mixer with attachment but I am thinking about buying a dedicated grinder/stuffer when we replace things after the house is rebuilt.
 

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I've had more dry sausage from too little fat than greasy from too much. Too much and it cooks out.

Are you using bought meat or wild?

Maybe start with bulk sausage no casings first to remove a variable. That also makes fresh sausage not smoked. You have freezer space because i dont think you want to make just a pound or two.

You can get pork belly from a restaurant supply or warehouse store for under $3/ lb but a grocery likely has to special order and it wont be cheap. And you have to deal with the skin in any case. Pork shoulder has a good amount of fat.

Local grocery just had a sale on bulk sausage. They grind the pork then add different spices for sweet italian, hot italian, country (breakfast), and mexican chorizo.
 
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