I've been reading about sausage making off and on for months now, whatever google might show me for whichever keywords sprang to mind for 20 minutes when work was slow or our baby was quiet. I've seen some recipes for both of these, but really don't go into any of the finer details. Are these possible to make without expensive commercial machinery? (I know, I probably need to start buying and reading some real books, and not half-assed blog articles.) When I look at hot dogs, it's kind of obvious that they had some sort of casing on them (probably plastic), that was then removed. The meat is apparently ground really fine (if "grind" is even the right word anymore). Whatever it is or however it is prepared, it seems like some of the sausage stuffers that you guys have linked to could do the rest once you got that far. But what are the tricks here? Can you just puree it all in a blender until it's a paste? If you do that, how/why does it set up and become firmer? Most other sausages I'm really starting to get some idea what's involved in making them... the grinding, stuffing, smoking and so forth, but for these hot dogs and bologna it's just not making complete sense. Any insight is appreciated.