How to Make Sausage

Jason Webster
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What you will need

A meat grinder

It’s true that you can use commercially ground meat for sausage casings, but it won’t taste nearly as good, and the casings won’t be as fresh. If you want really good sausage, you’ve got to grind your own.

The most important piece of equipment for making sausage is an electric grinder. A few years ago, I wrote a complete guide on meat grinders that I recommend you read if you want to learn more about the options available.


The first part of making sausage is, of course, sourcing the meat. If you are using a meat grinder like the one featured in this guide, you will most likely require casings, which can be purchased online or from many speciality butchers. Sausage casings will vary in size, depending on the type of sausage. The casings come packed in salt and will need to be soaked in lukewarm water to get the salt out.

You will need to fill your casings to the point where they are swollen out and taut. Remove any air bubbles using a bike pump and seal with a sausage pricker.


The possibilities are endless, but the process is always the same. In my earlier days, I used to make five pounds on sausage or so per week. Eventually, I downsized my efforts to sausage on special occasions, but it didn't really matter, because I’d figured out some great recipe ideas for average every day. With sausage, you can have it all. The many variations of sausage you can shop for and make at home are nearly unlimited.


Seasoning, and Smoke.

Three things necessary for making sausage are curing, seasoning, and then smoking.

The curing is a process that involves mixing salt and sodium nitrite with meat to prevent it from spoiling. The amount of sodium nitrite is relatively low, and the nitrite combines with the myoglobin in the muscle tissue to create nitric oxide myoglobin, which is pink in color and is therefore a good indicator that nitrites were added.

Temperature and humidity also play an important role in curing. The temperature should be between 34°F and 40°F and the humidity should be 80% or higher.

A minimum of two weeks is needed for the curing period. If the curing temperature drops below 34°F, it may take longer to cure. Some sausages may also require cooking to prevent bacterial growth. During the curing period, the color of the meat will turn pink, indicating that nitrite has been added and the curing process has started.

Seasoning can be done in a couple of ways after the curing process is complete. Whether you choose to season after the sausage is cooked or before the sausage is cooked will have an impact on the flavor. The better the sausage is cooked, the greater the impact on the flavor.


The grinder is used to mince and mix the meat. You can opt for a simple manual model or an electric version. If you are efficient and ready to make a commitment to delicious homemade sausage, study your options carefully. For the best results, you should look for an electric grinder from a reputable manufacturer. There are basically two different types: vertical and horizontal.

The vertical models are manual and cheaper, but they are less durable. The horizontal models have the motor installed horizontally, with the blade facing upward. Consequently, this type produces a different texture than the vertical type.

The main difference between the two versions is that the horizontal grinders usually have three cutting blades that each grind a different sized pieces.


Many of the most popular sausage recipes require a smoker. If you have a smoker, the process is simple. If you don’t, the process is more complex.

In either case, you must ensure that your substrate of choice is fresh. Here are the steps to prepare the ingredients:

{1}. Purchase the meat you want to make sausages out of. This can be done by visiting a nearby butcher, buying it pre-cut from a grocery store, or – in the case of game meat – obtaining the animal from a local hunting group. In most cases, pork or beef are the meats used.
{2}. Season and trim the meat into the shape that you want. This can be done by hand or using industrial machinery. In any case, try to keep the meat in small pieces to preserve moisture.
{3}. Cook the meat. This can be done on a stove top or in an oven. One point to bear in mind, though: over-cooking meat makes it easier to spoil, as enzymes start to break down the proteins.
{4}. Cool down the meat to room temperature. This can be done quickly by using a commercial freezer, or slowly using a home refrigerator.
{5}. Grind up the meat. This can be done using a manual meat grinder or an industrial one. It is also possible to purchase pre-ground meat from a butcher.

Sausage making kits

Start with the right supplies.

A sausage stuffer, a medium-sized funnel, a meat grinder, and a tray for catching any drips while you are working. The sausage stuffer attachment usually comes with a kit. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you can buy a manual stuffer. It is not as fast, but it gets the job done.

A medium-sized funnel will help you avoid wasting any meat or grease. Once you finish making the sausages, you can use this funnel to save the grease and use it in cooking or to make some tasty treats for your pets.

Meat grinders are easy to use and clean. Look for a meat grinder that has a lot of work in it.

A meat tray will help you catch any extra grease drips or any meat you might break off and save it for later as well as provide a bottom for your meat grinder so it doesn’t slip while you’re working.

Whatever your budget and needs, you can definitely find the right sausage making kit from a variety of manufacturers. To find one, I recommend that you do some online research. You will find many options for sausage making kits and many people who are happy with their choice.

How to make Sausage: Step-by-Step instructions

Although meat can be ground into sausage and eaten as a fresh sausage, sausage is usually further processed, either into emulsified meat patties (ground meat) or stuffed into casings to make links.

Fresh Sausage

Fresh sausage is not smoked, so it is different from dry-cured sausages. Its processing time is shorter, and it is not hung to dry.

Traditional fresh sausages are not cooked before eating, but modern recipes often specify that the meat is heated before serving.

Fresh sausages may be cooked by frying, grilling, or steaming.

Emulsified Sausages

Ground meat prepared in a mixture of fat and lean parts. This method is sometimes called “mechanical” sausage, and it is the most common for retail sale.

Stuffed Sausages

Traditional sausage that is transported by hanging in a casing, in order to allow the casing to dry and keep bacteria from spoiling the meat.

Its popularity has fallen due to the difficulty of finding casings and the growing popularity of emulsified sausages. Eventually, the links were returned to the butcher for slicing and sale after maturing.

Step 1: Gather your equipment and ingredients

You will need:

  • A cutting board (wood or plastic),
  • Knife for mincing meat (or a food processor,a mincer or a meat grinder),
  • A colander,
  • Fashion-sque metal funnel (to make filling the casings easier),
  • A pot for blanching the sausages,
  • Something to tie the sausage in various lengths (butcher twine or natural rope is ideal),

And the ingredients for sausage.

Step 2: Prepare the meat and grinder

The meat will need to be ground twice. Mix the fat and meat in a mixing bowl. Keep a 1:2 lean meat to fat ratio.

Prepare the meat by soaking with hot water in a bowl for a few minutes. Rinse well.

Prepare the grinder by cleaning it with warm soapy water. Add water to the grinder to make sure it is well lubricated. Check that all the moving parts are moving freely.

Place the meat inside the mixer, set the bowl attachment and rotate the handle at high RPM. This will heat up the meat.

Increase the RPM even more so that the meat grinds better. Remember that you want to achieve the right texture rather than hurry up with the process. Keep checking your grinder for proper heat. Be careful not to melt the plastic parts.

If possible, purchase a grinder with a reverse feature. Toward the end of your grinder, you will need to push down on the handle to get the meat to pass through the grinder properly.

Add spices to the sausage and mix it well. Add any other ingredients.

Check the mixer for heat again and cool the mixer before proceeding. Grind the meat again and cool the grinder.

Step 3: Grind the meat

The next step is grinding the meat.

You need to be sure that it is of the right consistency.

Meat for sausages must be very soft. It must have the texture of squished bread.

Using a food processor to grind the meat will also help you control the texture and consistency better.

If you want to use a hand grinder you can follow these tips:

{1}. Use a meat grinder, a food grinder attachment on a mixer, or even your hands if you have a lot of meat to grind, to get the meat chopped and flattened. Use a side grinder if you’re only making sausages out of thin cuts, like chicken breast or turkey breast.
{2}. If you don’t have a machine or are using your hands, stuff the meat into a large plastic zippered bag. Take a large pair of kitchen shears and snip the whole thing in half.
{3}. Put the bag into a bowl and begin flattening the meat with your hands. Do this by keeping the bag almost fully closed and using your hands to gently rub the meat.
{4}. You can also use a wooden rolling pin or a rolling pin to help you.

Step 4: Mix the ground meat

Now it’s time to mix everything together.

This can be hard work with your hands alone, but toss in a large wooden spoon from your kitchen and you’re set.

Knead the meat and spices together until it’s all evenly mixed and there are no more dry or unseasoned areas.

If you’re using a food processor, do this in two batches with the processor turned off in between. You should have the first batch mixed enough to get the second batch going by the time you’re done with the first.

Step 5: Stuff the casings

To fill the middles, start by cranking the open end of the stuffer all the way to the top and knotting off the casing end. Now take a small handful of sausage mix and pack it into the header, the part of the stuffer just below the knot. Continue packing the mixture into the header until it begins coming out the other end in a thin stream. Just before it gets to that point, stuff the mixture into the casing, leaving about five inches of casing empty at the end. Now crank the stuffer all the way down to the bottom and tie off the end with a small knot, as you did with the header end. This prevents the mixture from leaking out the bottom of the stuffer. Once you have filled both casings, trim the casing ends with a pair of scissors.

Step 6: Dry the sausage

You will need to dry the franks after casing them for a short period. I recommend leaving them in the refrigerator overnight for this. I think this helps them to hold the flavor added earlier.

They need about a day out of the refrigerator to warm up completely, which means that they are ready for the smoker.

You can add smoke flavoring at this point if you prefer. It is not essential by any means.

Step 7: Cook the sausage

Cook the sausage uncovered over medium heat until it reaches 165 degrees, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Do this step in the oven as well if you like. It’s nice to cook the sausage outside on the grill because it’s a very hands-off process.

You can also return the sausage to the smoker for another 5-10 minutes to give it a more smokey flavor. Be sure the smoker is still at about 250 degrees. Others swear by sautéing the links in a skillet and then cooking them under the broiler.

Once the sausage reaches 165 degrees, transfer the links to a platter and slice them while they’re still hot. Allow the sausage to rest for 10 minutes.

Step 8: Eat and enjoy!

Ground sausage is good by itself, but here are some better ways to use it.

Sausage Egg Bake

Heat a little bit of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage patties and cook until they are warmed through, then drain off any excess fat.

Melt some butter in another skillet over medium heat, then add the shredded potatoes and cook the potatoes until they start to brown. Stir in the shredded cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat to low to keep the potatoes warm.

Lightly grease a large baking dish, and spread a layer of hash brown potatoes in the bottom. Top that with a layer of breakfast sausage patties. Pour your beaten eggs over all of this, then top with shredded cheese.

Bake the casserole for 20-30 minutes, until the eggs are set. Serve hot, with the remaining sausage patties sprinkled over the top.

Sausage and White Bean Soup

Saute the sausage patties in the olive oil until they are browned all over. Remove the patties and set aside.

Add the diced onion and carrot, and cook for about five minutes to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Best sausage making recipes

There are thousands of sausage recipes out there. Some cooks make sausage out of pretty much anything you can think of. I have seen recipes for apple sausage, pumpkin sausage, and various commercially made flavours too.

But we know how to make sausage, you say. Well, what if I told you there is a secret to sausage making that is often overlooked?

A few basic packing and cooking techniques can make or break your sausage. For example, the first rule of sausage making is the meat should never be warm when packing the sausage. Let the meat come to room temperature before grinding it.

The ground meat should always be chilled during the packing and stuffing stage of sausage making. It should also be ground when it is cold. Chilling the meat and grinding it cold will help to produce a smoother sausage with a finer texture.

Use a grinder that can grind meat at a low temperature. Most people who grind their own meat use a butcher’s grinder. If you don’t have a grinder, a food processor is the next best thing.

And finally, you must always refrigerate the stuffing. You can stuff the sausage a day in advance of cooking it, but do place it in the refrigerator immediately to prevent any unwanted bacteria from forming.

To wrap it up

Sausage making is one of the most popular meat preservation methods in the world.

Sausages can be enjoyed cooked, sauteed, in an open sandwich, or even raw on any meal. The different fillings can also serve as main ingredients in different dishes, making them easily adaptable to your cooking style.

Italian sausage is just one of the many types of sausages you can make at home!

Top Round Steak: What You Need to Know

Top round steak is cut with a bone in it. It is the round muscle from the upper part of the rear legs.

It is very similar to top sirloin but is slightly more tender. And also, top round is taken from a younger animal than top sirloin. When cooked, top round steak becomes quite tender and is similar to the texture of flank steak.

In the following recipe, you’ll learn how to make sausage out of the raw top round steak.

A top round steak can be quite large, so cutting it into small pieces can be a challenge. You can break it down further by cutting the steak in half, then halving each piece and cutting the halves into thirds. You can consider those pieces as steaks.

You can also cut the steak into bite-sized pieces and roll them into smaller, bite-sized meatballs. To spice up the taste a little more, you can cook them in a crock pot.

Cooking the meatballs in the crock pot is also a great way to prepare the dish for guests, who can come over to a pre-cooked meal.

Don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.