How to Make Homemade Sausage
Homemade Sausage Making Machines Save Money and Ensure Quality
I love fresh, homemade sausage. There is nothing that compares to making your own. You can add spices to fit your own personal tastes, and you are much more likely to be assured of chemical-free cooking when you choose your own ingredients, including the meat and seasonings.
Another great benefit to homemade sausage is the cost savings. Although buying the equipment may set you back a little bit at first, once you have made a few batches, you will recoup your money.
You also do not have to go "hog wild" and invest in a lot of expensive equipment; you can start out with the basics, and once you see how much fun it is, you can scale up accordingly.
This article will go over what is involved in the sausage making process and recommend sausage making equipment and ingredients to get you on your way to making delicious homemade sausages in your own kitchen.
Basics of the Sausage Making Process
There are several stages to making sausages, as well as different equipment to be used, depending on your needs and level of knowledge.
As for equipment, you will at least need a grinder. If you are content with loose sausage to make patties and pizza toppings, the only thing else you will need is a clean working surface and the proper ingredients. However, if you are planning on taking it to the next level, you will need a stuffer, dehydrator, and casings. To reach the pinnacle of sausage making a smoker is also called for.
A dehydrator is recommended for removing excess water and drying the meat and other ingredients. This also serves to help preserve the meat and reduce the chances of pathogens and other nasty things from spoiling your sausage and giving you or your friends and family food poisoning. It is also advised to either wear food handler gloves or frequently wash your hands while making your sausage.
Meat grinders come in manual and electric versions, and you can also get machines that both grind the meat and then stuff it into the casings. You can quite easily get started with a manual grinder and add an inexpensive stuffer to your inventory to get up and running.
Another minor piece of equipment you may need is a deboning knife if you are working with meat that is still on the bone.
Options to Consider When Buying Sausage Making Equipment
If you love sausage and have decided that you want to take the leap and start making your own, there are several options available. In doing so you will be avoiding all the chemicals and preservatives that come with store bought meats. Add to that the ability to make sausages to suit your taste buds, you have a win-win situation.
For some, all that is needed is a meat grinder. This enables one to make loose sausage which is great for sprinkling on top of a pizza or frying up in patty form for your breakfast. This option is a great way to get your foot in the sausage making door, so to speak.
If you are okay with the meat that you can buy already ground at the market you can buy spices to add to the ground meat to create your own flavors. In this case, all you would need is a stuffer and some casings. A dehydrator may also be needed do help dry out the ingredients and help with preservation.
If you already have a food processor or mixer in your inventory there are several brands of attachments that will turn the equipment you already own into a sausage grinder. This may be a good way to get started and to determine if you really want to make your own sausage.
If you have already decided that you want to make your own sausages you can go big and get a stand alone grinder. Some of these have attachments to allow you to stuff your own sausages, and others will need a separate stuffer to do the job. You will also need to get a dehydrator to do the job correctly.
As you can see, there are several options available depending on your needs and budget. All that is needed is the willingness to buy the equipment and get started.
Tips on Cleaning Your Sausage Maker
There is nothing worse than a bad batch of sausages...
As with any food prep equipment, cleanliness is very important. A dirty sausage maker can result in poor tasting sausages, and you run the risk of making you or your family and friends sick from food poisoning.
There are some things that need close attention, while there are other parts of your sausage maker that don't have to be cleaned each and every time you use the machine.
The parts that come in contact with the meat during the sausage making process will need to be cleaned and sanitized after each use. This includes the canister tubes, push parts and anything else that may come in contact with food. It is best to take the canister tubes completely apart (down to the o-ring) and clean each part using a good dish soap and sanitizing agent. A light grade scouring pad with some bleach is a good way to clean the larger part effectively.
Try to avoid using dish rags several times to clean the parts, as they tend to get dirty and collect bacteria rather quickly. You can use a toothbrush to get into corners and small places if needed. Some people choose to boil the parts. This is okay to do, but not really necessary.
You want to make sure the parts are all dry and clean before putting the parts back together. If you want to keep the equipment disassembled, it is a good idea to store the parts in zip-lock bags to keep dust and dirt away.
As for the other parts of the gear that don't come in direct contact with the sausage, you can place some aluminum foil or Saran wrap around them while you are in the process of making sausage. This will help keep any food particles from inadvertently ending up on the outer parts of the machine.
Keep your sausage maker clean and in good repair and it will provide you many years of sausage making fun.
Sausage Making Videos on YouTube
Popular Books About Making Sausage
With over 175 recipes and tips, including how to make fish and poultry sausage in your own kitchen. I refer to this book quite often.
Sausage Making Polls
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Sausage Races at Miller Park in Milwaukee
My first exposure to having a sausage at a ballgame was outside Fenway Park back in the 1990's when I had a sweet Italian sausage with red and green peppers on a big roll. I have been hooked ever since!
© 2013 Hal Gall