New To Sausage Making - Tips?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by mnrookie, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. mnrookie

    mnrookie Newbie

    I've been an avid spectator of these forums for a while but this is the first time posting anything. Anyways I'm new to smoking meat about a year ago. Haven't really smoked much except for some venison sticks until I came onto these forums and smoked a couple of meat loafs and some fatties. Anyways I have to use up some paid time off next week before I lose it and I'm going to spend the time in a tree stand bow hunting for some more meat to smoke, and making some sausage .[​IMG]

    Anyways I purchased the Rytek Kutas 3rd edition book for some info on how to make sausage. I'll mostly be going by that. I'm just looking for some tips any of you have come accross that might help me out. I'll be purchasing an LEM 5# capacity verticle stuffer to use. I also need to use up a bunch of beef roasts and a few pork roasts that I still have in the freezer from a cow & pig that we purchased so I'll be trying to use that meat up.

    I'm not particular on which sausage that I want to make...mostly want some brat/polish type sausage, maybe breakfast, and some summer sausage. Hopefully this all gives you guys an idea as to what I'm going to be attemting and you'll have some good advice. I'll work on the q-view so I can share the end product with all of you. Thanks in advance.
  2. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

  3. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome to SMF and ditto on the Roll Call fourm post.

    You have the the "bible" of sausage making there. After that... it's experience. AND a little luck sometimes! Enjoy!
  4. mnrookie

    mnrookie Newbie

    Thanks for the welcome. Quick question...probably a dumb one. A lot of recipies in the book aren't for just straight beef sausage...or even a beef/pork mixture. Is there any type of guideline when substituting with beef? Such as to make sure there is a 70% beef to 30% pork? Or does it really not matter too much?
  5. Thats a great site, thanks.

    Just bought a machine myself so stand by for questions..
  6. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    TH nailed it and with the book there plenty of recipies to keep you busy fo a while. i recomend some fresh breakfast sausage, some polish or country style for smoked, great starter sausages to get you going!!!

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  7. pops6927

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

    Have you already purchased your stuffer yet? If not, I'd recommend the 15lb. stuffer vs. the 5lb. Better gears and larger capacity. However, instead of buying it at LEM, look at Northern Tool - they have the same 15 lb. stuffer for $199.99 vs. Lem's at $370.99. I bought one myself and it's much better than the 5lb. stuffer - metal gears vs. resin, heavier construction, bigger capacity, much better reviews, etc.
  8. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmmm if I understand your question correctly, a few sausages are all beef, but you run the risk of dryness. That's why most sausages contain at least the 30% or so pork butt/shoulder type meat. Pork fat RULES! LOL...
  9. never seen an actual book on sausage making, but I've read a few traditional recipes and rejected pretty much all of them.

    You don't NEED lots of fat in a sausage to keep it succulent. In fact anything much over 10% fat is pointless as it'll just cook right on out when cooking and those big tasty looking sausages you twisted up will turn into scrawny little things not much better than the crap you buy in the shops.
    so that'd be
    tip 1) keep the fat percantage down to around the 10% or less mark. Somewhere between 5 and 10 % does the trick for me.

    Tip 2) Don't add cold water - the water is added to commercial sausage to plump up the rusk. Both add to the sold weight, the water - like excess fat cooks out, shrinking your sausage even more. By all means add some alcohol for flavour/sterility. But just adding water - pointless.

    Tip3) Do Not Use rusk. See above point, it's there to add bulk and soak up the water. Now you do need something. I use rolled breakfast oats. Nothing else, just oats. Approximately 1 cup of oats for every 6lb meat.
    Oats do the same job as rusk - but you need less of them and they both taste better and are better for you than simple rusk. Plus a smaller percentage of oats will do the same jobs as a higher percentage of rusk.

    Tip4) do not use sausage mixes - it's mostly salt, rusk and preservatives. Make your own spice mixes. It's cheaper and you have total control of what goes in your sausage.

    tip 5) use concentrated fruit pulps to add sweetness and succulence to your sausages. I cook down cooking apples to a thick paste (in the microwave do not try this on a stove it'll just burn) and use that in my sausages - works a treat. Approximately 1 large cooking apple to 1 pound meat.

    As for beef sausage, it depends on the cut of beef - there should be enough fat in most beef cuts to avoid adding pork. Personally I'd add 'cooking bacon' to any beef sausages. Over here the offcuts from gammon and bacon are lumped together into 1lb packs and sold of in supermarkets for very little money. It's usually very good meat with a lower fat content than the more expensive packs of bacon. I add about a pound of bacon to every 5-6 lbs of other meat. I then don't need to add any other salt to the sausages. Quite often the cooking bacon packs contain little fat, but a small amount of bacon fat isn't a bad idea.

    Tip 6) Use the largest hole plate on your mincer and mince (grind) the meat twice. Passing through a coarse grate twice gives you a much better texture mince than passing through a smaller diameter once.
    For beef sausage I'd be inclined to try adding some raisin pulp. Start small and increase till it's obvious it's there then cut back a little. Also grate some high cocoa content chocolate into the mix as well. Adds a real interesting flavour.

    Attached is a picture of a mate of mine who came round last sunday for an intensive sausage making tutorial. I started him by taking him round the supermarket and buying the raw ingredients. And then we went through the entire process in the afternoon: - trimming, chopping, seasoning, mincing, stuffing and vac packing (see second picture). Ended up with 7 lbs of ginger and garlic sausage and 7 lbs of apple and mustard which I'd somehow managed to twist into perfect numbers to split half and half.
    He's holding the apple and mustard.

    recipe for the pictured sausage
    6 lbs lean (trimmed) pork shoulder, 1 lb smoked bacon offcuts
    1 jar grainy mustard. 7 cooking apples cooked down to a stiff paste, cup of oats. Lots of fresh ground black pepper, maybe some other minor seasonings (can't actually remember) a good glug of vanilla vodka and that's essentially it.
    They taste great, don't change size when cooked and are texture wise pretty much perfect.

    Simon phoned me later that evening after he and the family had cooked a couple of the sausages for tasters. He was amazed that they'd come out of the oven the same size they'd gone in - and dismayed that the rest of his family liked them as much as he did - he was hoping the kids wouldn't like them so there'd be more for him and his partner :) lol

    And as for the caption - well it's just one of those pictures that it's impossible not to put a caption on ;-)
  10. meat-man

    meat-man Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Ken you said it best bud !
  11. mnrookie

    mnrookie Newbie

    Thanks to all for the input. I'm getting excited to try it out. One more question on the casings to use. What is everyone's thoughts on using callagen casing instead of the natural hog casings that you stuff when they're wet? I've only used callagen in the past when making venison sticks. I just wanted to get opinions because I don't want to use the callagen (which I already have some) if it's going to make me swear the whole time because they're hard to work with or don't make a quality final product. Any input helps. Thanks again.
  12. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Curiously enough... a .25 inch fat cap on a butt is about 15% fat or so. Added to the beef it would be 3/7* 15% = 6.5% fat. Roughly. But under 10% total added fat. And pork fat has MUCH better cooking characteristics than beef, or any other animal fat I am aware of.
  13. jerrykr

    jerrykr Meat Mopper

    Buy a couple of these plastic tugs.


    They will make your life much easier.

    I think I paid about $8 each at Cabela's. I thought I was being extravagant when I bought mine. Now I can't do without them.

    -=- Jerry -=-
  14. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You've already done two of the best things you can do to aid you on your way to better sausage making; 1) joined this forum and 2) got Ryteks book. When I was younger and Al Gore was still thinking up the internet, I had to rely on an occasional article in an outdoor magazine, or pick a few oldtimers brains for help. This forum has taken the place of the local oldtimer, (I'd still seek one out if you have one in the area), and there is a wealth of good info on here. The search function is your friend. Many great tips have been posted already. Sometimes the info is contradictory and you will just have to see what works for you and your situation. There are many ways, and we all have what works for us. A few things I would add off the top of my head regarding casings is to use whatever you are comfortable with. Try them both. I use both for different things and you just have to get familiar with the characteristics of both. With natural you can't over soak them, keep them very wet always. Don't wet collagen at all. I also spray my stuffing horn with a little Pam or similar between each sleeve of casing, helps them slide off much better. And has been stated keep your meat as cold as possible at all times. I would even consider placing ice filled bags around the cylinder of your stuffer or body of your grinder. Nearly frozen is best. I get Rubbermaid lugs like Jerry's from Sams club and they are essential.
  15. agmeyer

    agmeyer Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG] I liked making the Polish sausages and smoking them in a refridgerator converted to a smoker.(Propane) I put a rack at the top of the inside so I could hang a continuous loop of sausage and didn't have to tie every so many inches. I think besides the totes, clean plastic buckets, remote thermometers, and books. I would reccommend buying a couple of digital scales. I have 3. (up to 3 lbs or so by .0000) ( up to 15 lbs by .00) and up to 400 for heavy stuff. I like using them to measure the meat, seasonings, and the amount of cure. I was told to be real careful measuring the "cure agent". I bought a manual mixer and add some water to help get the cure to mix well with everything else. I was using vension burger and boneless picnic shoulders half and half for my sausages. We added about 10 % beef fat to the vension burger when making it. I probably got lazy; but it seems to work out that measuring out 5 lbs of meat (vension, pork, etc) fills a gallon ziplock freezer bag just about right and they stack well in the freezer. Especially handy when doing 8 deer between the two of us in a cold snap in South Dakota. Remember the remote thermometer; it can keep you inside while smoking outside??? Wish you lots of luck. I have a 5 lb stuffer vertical also; but they were cheaper 3 years ago. Rich
  16. pops6927

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

    Don't Forget the GOLDEN RULE of sausage making:



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