Making sausage?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by cjordan, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter

    This may be in the wrong place, so I'm sorry in advance if it is. Also I want to go ahead and appologize for it being long winded.
    So I have always made my own deer and pork sausage. Just regular pan sausage, nothing smoked. " not yet anyways"
    The way I have always done it is
    Cut the meat off the bone
    Grind it up
    Spread it out on a table, sprinkle the seasoning on, then start mixing by hand
    Weigh it out in one pound balls
    Put in vacume seal bags
    Flaten em out then put them in the freezer.
    It's normally 50 lbs at a time, so it's a fairly long and drawn out process, which results in very cold hands.
    We have always used food savers, which are pretty expensive to operate. "The bags that is"
    So, I was looking into this 1lb poly meat bags on the net last night. It looks like those would cut the time way down.
    Since I have never used these I have a couple of questions. Which would be better for sealing the top off? tape, or the hog rings? I seen a video of taping them, and it looks like a very fast process. Just not for sure if one is better than the other.
    Also... mixing it up, I have a question about this. I have been looking at mixers online. I guess they work, because there are several companies making, and selling them.
    I guess you grind your meat, put it in the mixer, add season, then mix real well?
    Hear is my idea,which may or may not work, so hopefully someone on here can help?
    Cut meat off the bone
    Put the meat into a food grade tote " big enough to handle the amount"
    Sprinkle seasoning on, then mix by hand "rolling the cubes of meat"
    Put a stuffing horn on the grinder
    Slide a bag onto the horn
    Grind meat until the bag is full
    Tape or staple the top off
    I belive this would save me a whole lot of time, and be just as good. The meat I grind during hunting season usually last no more than a year, to a year and a half.
    So do yall think it will work by pre mixing the seasoning and meat prior to grinding? Or is this how it should be done anyhow, and I have just been bass ackwards all along?
    Thanks for any help or advice in advance.
  2. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The poly bags [I use the one pounders] work real well for this.  The metal hog rings you mention work well for sealing. I tie them up with butcher string same way I tie up my ring sausage.  Check out for bags for your food saver.  I get 100 gal. size for example for about 36 bucks.  I grind first and then mix in the seasonings and water if needed.  I have a large plastic luger to mix the meat in.  Stuffing the sausage in those poly bags is a handy way to stuff the bulk sausage and keep them frozen for use later.  Reinhard
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jordan, morning.....   That last method is what I have leaned toward.....    Dice up and season the meat......   grind straight into the bags....    I use bread bags that come in the dispenser box...  thin and cheap......   then vac-pack bag and all...    The vac bags stay clean and can be reused...   ground beef/pork last too long for me to let it freezer burn...   I will grind up many pounds at one time...

    The thin bags need to be put in the vac bags, open end toward the opening on the vac bags and left open or they won't get all the air sucked out... especially if they fold over....   they will seal and air won't escape.....

    I'm gonna look into the poly bags...  sounds easier/cheaper to me....  

    100 ea. gallon vac bags $26.95
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  4. I always mix before I grind. On the storage I bought a chamber vac and the bags are so cheap You can use all you want.

    Happy smoken.

  5. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter
    Here you go mr dave. $5-$7 for 100 bags plus $30-40 for the stapler or tape dispenser. Sounds to be cheap and fast. Well I forgot to add about $30-$40 for a stuffer that would attach to your grinder
  6. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter

    Well I just placed an order for everything I think I'll need. I have two more hogs to kill and cut up next weekend, so hopefully the order will get here this week. I'm sure this is probably not the best way to go about this, but I'll let you know how it works out.
  7. Good info on the bags

  8. mickey jay

    mickey jay Meat Mopper

    For my fresh bulk sausage or ground beef/pork, I just use good ol freezer paper (with the plastic coating on one side). I just wrap it tightly and have never had a problem with freezer burn. If you get the huge rolls, it's way cheaper than bags, and it's likely quicker once you get a system down.

    Just an idea, if you're not already locked into the bags.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  9. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    CJ, I see you have bought the bags, you will need to watch for freezer burn. Freezer paper as Mickey Jay said is another very good alternative for ground meat and fairly cheap. I chamber seal all steaks and stew meat and double wrap all burger and sausage with paper.I still have a few packs of 2013 deer burger and there is no freezer burn.
  10. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter

    Thanks guys I will keep an eye out for freezer burn. I was buying the rolls of vacume seal bags I think they are 11" wide x 16' long for about $20.00 for two rolls. Just cut how ever much you need. If your not careful, you cut them to short or too long.
  11. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    CJ, I buy my freezer paper in 1,000 ft rolls and purchased a roll holder/cutter .If your bags don't work out this could be an option for you? Good luck and tell us how they hold up for you in 6 months  in the freezer.
  12. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter

    10-4 sir I'll give an up date. I sure hope those bags hold up, because it would be a shame to let a bunch of meat go to waste. I'm still looking around on the net to see if I can find some info on how long those bags are good for.
  13. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter

    Well... I've been trying to find some information on how long meat will keep in these bags. So far I have not been able to find anything. I hope to get at least a year to year and a half out of em. I will continue searching, and post it if I'm able to find anything. If anyone reading this thread is interested enough to look into it as well, any information you can find would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  14. I ordered this from Amazon

    11" x 50' Roll of Vacuum Sealer Commercial Grade Vacuum Bags

    Vacuum Sealers

    List Price:$24.99
    Price:$16.75  FREE Shipping  on orders over $35. Details
    You Save:$8.24 (33%)
  15. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    As far as the mixing goes, I've done it either way. It depends on what type of sausage I'm making and how big a batch. Things like brats, etc., I usually grind after mixing. Summer sausage on the other hand, I mix after grinding as I usually make a 10lb or bigger batch and use my mixer. I also like to see a lot of whole mustard seed in it so I don't want it to get ground up.
  16. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The best method of preventing freezer burn is an air tight package.  Vacume sealing would be the best.  The poly bags should at least be 2 mil.  They should be packed tightly and sealed well.  One thing folks do at times is put packages on top of other packages creating leaks and possibly small holes in packs.  That can create problems both for the vacume packs or poly bags.  While vac packs can provide a longer storage time, the poly bags should be just fine for a year or a little longer if packed right.  Go into any grocery store and you will see things packed in these poly bags, and they have long code dates [Jimmy Dean sausage for example].  I have used freezer paper for many years and still do at times.  As posted before, Freezer paper should have that shiny side on one side.  You can get freezer paper in different sizes.  I have the 18 inch.  Meat can last a year packed in freezer paper if wrapped right.  It's not what you use sometimes that's the problem, it's the user and how properly things get packed or wrapped.  I now use vac packs,  poly chub bags, and freezer paper with vac packs being used more.  Poly chub bags for bulk sausage, and freezer paper for my deer cuts.  

    Another thing about freezing.  I know folks that think you can freeze things forever.  You cant if you want to maintain quality, because the longer you freeze something, the better the chances of loosing the quality of what you froze.  Also, make sure your freezer is at a temp as close to 0 as possible.  I could go on and on but that's a short version.  Seen many things in the meat buisness over the many years I was working, and wrapping and meat storage were among  some of the issues many folks have had bad experiences in,  Doing it right can save you headaches and money.  Reinhard
  17. cjordan

    cjordan Fire Starter

    Thanks guys. The bags are 2 mil, and I will make sure to twist them up as tight as I can with out causing any issues before taping them. Pan sausage and burger is what will go into them, I will still vacume seal fry meat and steaks. I'm gonna give this a try and see how it works out. Another thing I thought about earlier is, if this doesn't work out, I will try the 8" vacume seal bags by sliding them over the stuffer to see how that works out. I want the best quality meat I can get, but I'm trying to cut my time down as much as possible.

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