Have you ever thought to yourself, I would love to start making my own homemade sausage, but you just didn’t know where to start? With all of the different sausage making items on the market it can get confusing to know what items you really need, and what items are more for convenience or a special purpose. To help make entering the home sausage making hobby a little easier, here at Homemade-Sausage.net, we have compiled a list of the most important items you need to have to make great homemade sausage. The items are listed from the least important and optional items to the most important and essential items needed for sausage making. Now let’s get started.
10) Meat Smoker
A good meat smoker is a great addition to your sausage making arsenal, but is not an essential item for sausage making. You will find most of your sausage recipes are for fresh sausage and not smoked. When you first start making sausage focus on fresh sausage before attempting smoked sausage. After you have been making sausage for awhile you might look into investing in a good quality smoker. It’s a good investment that you will use for not only sausage making.
9) Meat Cure
Meat curing is the process by which meat is preserved with a concentration of salt. Meat cure is used if you are going to make smoked sausage. After you become a more seasoned sausage maker, you can start curing sausage and making smoked sausage. For the beginner I recommend you become more familiar with making fresh sausage before diving into smoked sausage.
8 ) Vacuum Sealer
You don’t need a vacuum sealer, but it sure does come in handy. After spending the whole day making sausage, it’s nice to know you have a good way to preserve your homemade sausage for future use. A good vacuum sealer has many uses other than for sausage making. Once you have your essentials for sausage making, look into getting a vacuum sealer, you’ll love how handy they are.
7) Sharp Knives
How are you going to cut the meat and chop the fresh herbs for your homemade sausage without a good knife? You don’t know the importance of a sharp knife until you’re trying to cut meat for your sausage with a dull knife. Having a set of good knives in your kitchen is a great investment that you will enjoy for years to come.
6) Kitchen Scale
How are you going to know how much seasoning to add to your sausage mix if you don’t know how much it weighs? If you’re buying your meat already ground a kitchen scale is not as important, but if you are grinding your own meat for your homemade sausage a scale is invaluable. You don’t need anything fancy, just a basic kitchen scale will do the trick.
5) Sausage Casings
Now we’re getting into the essential items for sausage making. Although you don’t need to have casings to make great homemade sausage, it is required if you want your sausage to look and taste like traditional sausage. There are primarily two types of sausage casings, natural and artificial. The choice of casings is up to the user, but if you’re looking for the most traditional sausage we recommend natural casings.
4) Sausage Stuffer
Once you have your homemade sausage all mixed together and your casings are ready to go, your’re going to need a sausage stuffer to get your sausage into the casings. This can be a dedicated stand alone stuffer, a stuffing tube for your grinder, or an attachment for your stand mixer. No matter what you choose you need to have one to make your best homemade sausage.
3) Meat Grinder
Sure you can go to the grocery store and pick up some ground pork or beef and use that for your homemade sausage, or if you want to know the quality of the meat you are using for your sausage you’ll need to grind it yourself. When it comes to sausage making, the grinder is the single most important piece of equipment you can purchase. Without a grinder you are at the mercy of the grocery store. Once you purchase your own grinder your sausage making options are endless.
2) Spices and Seasonings
The next time you go to the grocery store look at the back of the package of sausage. I guarantee you can’t pronounce some of the words in the ingredients list. Wouldn’t you like to be able to know exactly what is in your sausage? Your homemade sausage will consist of just naturalspices and fresh ground meat, unless you purchase a premix sausage seasoning. Check the label, most premixes contain artificial ingredients. The best way is to pick a recipe or a natural sausage seasoning and get started making great homemade sausage.
1) And the number one most important item for making homemade sausage is: THE MEAT
Bar none the meat that you choose is the most important item on the list. You can get away without most of the other items on this list, but if you start with a low quality meat all of the the best high tech equipment won’t save your sausage. Choose fresh meat from a store you trust. Look at the meat and see if it has a good marbling of fat running through the meat. If the meat is too lean it will make for a dry and less flavorful sausage. If you don’t have your own grinder have the store grind it for you. Just remember one thing – Your sausage is only as good as the quality of the meat it’s made from.
So there it is the Top 10 Most Important Items for Making Homemade Sausage. I hope you found this list helpful, and it makes your journey into the world of sausage making a little easier.
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Getting the meat ready
I’m going to start with a very basic outline of how to make your own homemade sausage at home. Making your own homemade sausage does not need to be a difficult or scary task. The first step to making sausage is to pick the meat for your sausage. The easiest meat to start with is pork shoulder (sometimes labeled as pork butt). Any meat can be used for making sausage, you can use beef, chicken, lamb, or any meat you can think of. Most sausage recipe that you find will call for pork to be used so we will use pork in this example. You can purchase this at your local meat market or grocery store.
Start by removing the bone. After the bone is removed cut the piece of meat into small cubes. The size of the cubes is going to depend on how big your grinder is. The smaller your grinder, the smaller the cubes need to be.
Once you have finished cutting the meat you are going to need to weigh it. This is an important step. You need an accurate weight so you can calculate the amount of seasonings you will need for your homemade sausage. Your meat is now prepared and ready to grind. One final and critical step before you grind is to chill the meat. This step is very important. I find the best way to do this is to lay the meat out on a pan and put in your freezer for about 20 min. just to form a crust on the outside of the meat. With the meat slightly frozen it will be much easier to grind. Now it’s time to grind the meat. You can do this with a hand grinder or an electric grinder. If you have a kitchen aid stand mixer you can purchase a grinder attachment for it (great for making small batches of homemade sausage). The grinding process heats up the meat so after grinding place it in the fridge to cool it back down.
Mixing the homemade sausage
After the meat has cooled in the fridge it’s time to mix your spices into the meat. You can use a premix or a recipe, its up to you. Just a warning- If you use a premix it will most likely contain preservatives. Take your spices and mix them in a bowl before you add them to the meat. Add the mixed spices to the meat along with ice cold water, about 1/2 cup for every 10 pounds of homemade sausage. The water makes it easier to mix, and makes it easier to stuff into the casings. With your hands mix the meat and spices together.
Stuffing your homemade sausage
You’ve made it to the home stretch. It’s all downhill from here. Start by attaching the stuffing tube to the head of your grinder. You will need to decide the type of casing you will be using for your homemade sausage, natural or collagen. I use the natural casings, but it’s just a matter of personal preference. If you choose natural casings you will want to flush them in a little warm water before you use them. You can do this in your sink. Just run some water into the casings and place them in a bowl with a little water. Now it’s time to start stuffing. Slide the casing onto the stuffing tube and tie the end of the casing.Place the sausage meat into the hopper of your grinder. Using the pusher, start running the sausage thru the tube and into the casing. Work in small batches so the meat will stay cooler. Just take enough meat out of your fridge that you can stuff in a 10 min. time span. The warmer the meat gets the harder it is to stuff. After you finish running thru all of the meat into your casings you can link up your sausage and get it ready for the freezer.
Congratulations!! You just made your own homemade sausage.
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