Fresh Sausage Equipment - Fresh Sausage 102
Fresh Sausage Equipment
What Is The Most Important Piece of Equipment?
The most important piece of equipment for fresh sausage will be a Meat Grinder. Most of the time we don’t like to use the stuffing functions of grinders. It is generally a lot slower to process this way and will be more difficult to stuff your sausage correctly. However, with Fresh Sausage, it is a little easier as you do not need to achieve protein extraction during the mixing process so the meat will flow through the grinder easier.
To make sausage with just a grinder start with a whole muscle cut of meat; we like to use an untrimmed pork butt as it is large, inexpensive, and has a lean-to-fat ratio of around 70/30. The first step will be to break this down into smaller chunks, using a sharp knife on a sanitized cutting surface. The size it needs to be cut into will depend on the size of the grinder; a larger grinder like a 32 will accept larger chunks of meat than a smaller grinder like a #8. Make sure you cut your meat into small enough pieces to easily fit down the hole from the hopper to the grinder throat.
Before you grind, ensure your plate and knife are sharp and that they have been lubricated with white oil to cut down on friction and extend the life of your plate and knife. To achieve the proper consistency, you should grind the meat through a 3/16" twice. Your second grind will take longer than your first grind; this is normal. Once you have reached the end of your second grind take a small amount of what has already been ground twice and put it through the process again, this will force any meat that was not pushed through the plates to be ground a second time.
Then put on your stuffing attachments for your grinder, load your casings onto that, and begin stuffing until the casings are filled to the desired level.
Do You Still Need A Sausage Stuffer?
A stuffer can, and in the long-term absolutely should be in the kit of anyone making homemade sausage. Stuffing off of a Sausage Stuffer will give you a better product, allow you to be more precise, and give you the ability to stuff small-diameter sausages that a grinder won’t do. You can also make Fresh Sausage at home with just a stuffer; it just requires that you buy pre-ground meat at your grocery store or local butcher shop.
Do You Need A Meat Mixer
The short answer is no. A meat mixer will help you keep your hands clean (and warm), but since you don’t need protein extraction mixing in your meat by hand or adding it between the first and second grind will work just as well.
Best Grinder For Beginners
The Walton’s #8 Kitchen Grinder, the Walton’s #8 Grinder, or the Walton’s #12 Grinder are all good entry-level grinders that will allow you to stuff larger diameter casings as well. These grinders work best for smaller batches (5-10 lb) and need to be allowed to cool down and not run for more than 5 minutes.
$500 Budget for Equipment
Ideally, these two would be used together as this allows the process to be controlled from start to finish. A meat mixer could be helpful, but since this is a fresh product and we do not have to worry about protein extraction it is not really necessary; mixing in a lug or large bowl with your hands will be sufficient.
Jonathon I have typically made fresh sausage to date. The dried smoked sausages I have made were good, but nothing following the techniques on your site. I’m on a big learning curve. While I have never done a protein extraction, why is it not necessary on fresh sausages? Would a protein extraction for a fresh sausage lend to a more moist meat? Even the Andouille sausage I learned to make was a fresh sausage, only lightly smoked for flavor but not near cooked., more like a cold smoked.
Chef A fresh sausage like breakfast or bratwurst has a certain texture that getting protein extraction would interfere with. It isn;t going to do anything to effect the flavor but think of the difference between a snack stick and a bratwurst. You expect to have some of the larger particle size in the bratwurst and having a homogenous piece that bits like a snack stick would throw some people off. No, I don’t the ink it would necessarily be moister, when you are cooking sausage at grilling temps the fat is going to melt to a certain degree no matter what you do.