mixing meat for sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by jam030303, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. jam030303

    jam030303 Newbie

    I have never made sausage before.  Is it possible to over work your meat when mixing like you can do with burgers?  I am going to stuff my sausage in hog casings so I would hope the casing would catch the fat that renders out of the meat when cooking.  I am curious what the best method is to get the best sausage consistency. 
  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The casing, when cooking, will split and the fat will leak out when cooked at a high temp.  To avoid this cook at lower temp.  Also, use something as a binder to retain moisture, like non-fat dry milk or phosphate.

    Yes, it is possible to overwork it.  Are you grinding it with the ingredients mixed into the chunks or do a 1st grind, then mix in the ingredients?  And, what size plate are you using?
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  4. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Louie, i put the seasonings into the proper amount of water and beer and then pour it over the 1st grind [course ground]. When using a cure i also mix that up in the liquid.  This will give you an even distribution of the  spices and cure.  I've been doing this for more than 40 years, learning this from the places i worked at as a butcher and still do it to this day although in smaller amounts.  Everything in the liquid except the binder [dry'd powdered milk].  Back in my working days i worked with large power mixers [100 pounds at a time]. Now its my hands with 25 pound batches and smaller. Here is a typical step by step:

    1.  grind meat through a course plate

    2.  sprinkle the binder on the mix

    3. mix all the seasonings [plus cure if needed] in proper amount of liquid per lb. of mix.

    4. pour the liquid with seasonings cure over the mix and mix everything well.

    5. grind everything once more through a medium plate.

    6. stuff into casings if making fresh or let the mix set overnight and stuff the next day if using a cure.

    In my opinion it's very important that the cure gets mixed in liquid before putting it into the mix if making smoked sausage. Same with the seasonings.  Reinhard
  5. jam030303

    jam030303 Newbie

    Thank you for the detailed info it was exactly what I was looking for.  I plan on making my first batch of sun dried tomato sausage this weekend.  Here is a copy of the recipe I found on the meatprocessingproducts.com.

    ~~ Sun Dried Tomatoes Sausage Recipe

    Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes Sausage Ingredients:

    •5-lbs ground pork

    •3/4-lbs whole milk mozzarella, cut into ¼” cubes

    •1-bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped

    •6 ½-oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil, coarsely chopped

    •1-tbsp dried basil

    •1-tbsp fennel seed

    •1-tbsp coarse black pepper

    •1-tbsp salt •1-tbsp ground coriander

    •¾-cup dry white wine

    Should I add dry milk powder to the recipe if I am going to grill the sausages or should I only add dry milk powder when I am going to smoke my sausage at a low temperature?
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  6. comment removed so i don't hijack OP's thread.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  7. jam030303

    jam030303 Newbie

    I am going to cut my meat into 1 inch chunks and grind it once through the 8mm plate, once through the 4.55mm plate, and once through the 3mm plate.  This is my first time grinding meat and making sausage please give me any advice on changes I could make to get the correct consistency and thank you for the other good info you gave me. 
  8. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    IMHO I don't see the need to grind more than once unless you are trying to emulsify the meat...... grind once, season, rest then stuff...... Its all a matter of preference..  I wouldn't go below your 4.5mm plate...That's just me
  9. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have never ground meat three times [perhapst others have].   If the end result you want is an emulsified  texture like a skinless hot dog then i would use a food processor as your third option rather than grind a third time.  As far as using dried milk in this batch, this is what i would do.  For me personaly if i was going to make it and use your recipe i would add a cup of it if it was fatty pork, say 60-40 for there is wine also and i would want to retain the moisture and maintain good form in the links.  If it was straight pork butt i would only add 1/2 cup. I realy like this recipe. Thanks for posting it.  Reinhard
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  10. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    NIce sounding recipe, I'm looking forward to what you think of it.
    When you mix up your spice mix and meat, keep mixing until the mince is sticking to your hands and fingers, this is when its properly mixed and will give you the best bind. You'll also notice that the aroma changes from a pork smell to a sausage smell, not sure why though.
  11. I would throw the Fennel seed into a non stick frying pan, moving it constantly and toast it up before adding it to the meat.  Adds great flavour.
  12. smokerjim

    smokerjim Meat Mopper

    I'm with some of the other guy's, Grinding the meat 1 time is good if your making sausge, just mix your seasonings into the meat good and let it sit for a couple of hours or even over night so the flavors will blend together then put into the casings.
  13. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I grind my meat once thru the coarsest plate along with the ingredients using the grinder as a meat mixer, or for a little finer texture twice through the same plate.  In meat shops, i would grind all my pork first through the coarse plate, then mix my ingredients for different sausages in different lugs then stuff in the stuffer.  But, if I didn't have a stuffer, I would mix my ingredients into the cubed pork and grind once or twice thru the coarse plate, then stuff.  Clean out the grinder and do the next sausage, mix, grind and stuff, and so on.
  14. shannon127

    shannon127 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


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