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Do you have any recipes for cured sausage?
No, we only make fresh sausage and have no expertise in dried or cured sausage

What is the best cut of meat to use to make sausage?
Most sausage makers use either pork shoulder butt or NY style picnic shoulder. A blade roast is fine for smaller amounts of sausage.

What size blade is best used for grinding meat for sausage?
With a regular sausage like Italian, a coarse grind is recommended. The fine grind should only be uses for making sausages like wieners.

How many sausages will a pork shoulder yield?
A pork shoulder will weigh in the area of 16-20 lbs. By removing the bones and skin, you’re left with 14-18 lbs of meat. This should end up making 35-45 8” links

How much fat is needed?
Fat is needed to keep the sausage juicy. We use all the fat that is found on a shoulder, without adding any extra. It is a personal taste but it’s hard to measure a percentage. If you find your sausage a little too lean, you can always ask the butcher for some pork fat or add in some bacon. For a wild meat sausage like venison, fat needs to be added. It is recommended to mix the venison with pork to bring the fat content up. Wild meat is too lean and will make a dry sausage if the fat content isn’t increased.

I don't have a sausage stuffer. What recipes can I use loose sausage for?
Use Italian sausage, fry it up and then spread on for a pizza topping, tastes great!
All loose sausage can be made into patties, like breakfast sausage patties, or to replace the meat in a hamburger
Loose sausage goes great in a casserole. Fry it up first than mix it in a mac & cheese casserole, delicious!
Try using a loose Chorizo sausage for tacos.
Add some loose Italian sausage when making spaghetti sauce
Your imagination to what it can be used for is your only limit

Do you have any KitchenAid recipes for making sausage?
What is a KitchenAid other than a grinder and stuffer. Use any recipes here. We started out using the KitchenAid as both the grinder and stuffer too, but have handed the stuffing job to a dedicated stuffer. The grinding of the meat is still quite easy using the KitchenAid but we found the stuffer attachment a bit slow and labour intensive.

Can I use a salt substitute when making sausage?
This is an excerpt from a conversation I had with "Melinda" via email about what she uses.

"The salt substitute I use is called No Salt. It's the kind you can find in most supermarkets. And yes, I use a 1:1 ratio. There will be a very slight taste difference which some people will be more sensitive to than others, but I hardly noticed it myself. And when you've been craving sausage for so long and can't have it because of the salt ... heavenly. :)"


What is better, natural casings or man-made?
The answer is easy for me; I have never used anything other than natural casings because they always turns out good. Why mess with a good thing. I can easily obtain them, and heck, they’ve been used for generations. Something new isn’t always better.

How do I prepare hog casings?
Hog casing usually come packed in salt. The first thing to do is soak the casings in a bowl of cold water. After ½ hour, change the water and soak for another ½ hour. Hold one end of the casing up to a tap and add some cold water. Now pinch off that end and slosh the water around inside the casing, working your way to the other end. Empty the water completely from the casing and collect in bowl for use on stuffer.

What’s the difference between hog casings and sheep casings?
Size. Hog casing are used for your typical Italian sausage, while sheep casings will be used on breakfast sausage.

Where can I buy casings?
Natural sausage casings are available at some of the larger grocery stores, butcher shops, butcher supply shops and here online on our Sausage Making Supplies page. The first place to try is the place you buy your meat. Pork shoulders are the #1 cut to make sausage, so anybody who sells them knows that it will probably be ground for sausage. A lot of times they’ll have the casings right along side the pork shoulders.
Get friendly with your local butcher. If there are no commercially packed casings available in your area, try buying some from the butcher. Chances are he makes sausages and has some on hand he could sell you. If not, he will know where to send you.

How much casings should I buy?
60' of casings will do approximately 30lbs of sausage or about 2 shoulders

Why do my sausages have tough casings?
The casing may not have been soaked properly. The natural casing must be thoroughly soaked and rinsed to remove the salt that it is packed in. Preparing the casings the night before will most often cure this problem.
If boiling is the way you cook sausage, bringing the temperature up gradually by using cold water will help with tough casings. Putting sausage directly into heat will toughen the casings.

Can I save my leftover sausage casings?
Yes.  Just squeeze out as much water as you can and re-coat with salt. Cover the entire amount of casings with salt and refrigerate in an airtight container. These will give them an indefinite shelf life.

Are sausage casings edible?
Yes. When making fresh sausage, the meat must remain in the casings for cooking to maintain the shape. After cooking, there is no need to remove the casing. The sausage meat can be removed from the casing prior to cooking if you want the meat loose for recipes that require ground beef or such.


In a KitchenAid sausage-stuffing set-up, what is that little white bar for?
I started out using a KitchenAid and have heard this question many times. When going from grinding to stuffing, this piece takes the place of the grinding plate. The bar slides in the grooves on the side and is used to hold the auger in place. One problem with this set-up is the meat gets wrapped around this bar when stuffing. It makes it very difficult to push the meat through. To best utilize the KitchenAid as a stuffer, only use the hard fat from the pork shoulder and throw out any of the stringy fat. This is what clogs up the machine. It is always helpful to quickly remove the horn (funnel) and clean out this area after each casing. This is an excellent machine for grinding, but the stuffing attachment should only be used for stuffing small amounts of sausage.

Why is my sausage loose?
Loose sausage links are caused by not filling the casing with not enough meat, and not pricking the casing to remove the air

Is there a way to make the casing come off the horn easier when stuffing?
Yes, either coat the horn with vegetable oil or rub some cold fat on it. This will make the casing easier to put on, as well as take off.

My sausage seems to be a fine mush, what happened?
Your meat may be too warm. It should be kept in the fridge at all times when not being processed.
The speed of the grinder may be set too fast. Check with the grinder instructions to set proper speed


How long can I keep sausage in the fridge?
Fresh homemade sausage, uncooked, should only be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days before cooking or freezing. If it was bought at the store, 1-2 days
Cooked sausage could last 6-7 days in the refrigerator

Aaron asked the following question on our discussion board: What is the internal temperature of sausage when fully cooked?
Pork, lamb, venison, moose, rabbit and beef sausage should be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 160F. Chicken, duck, goose and turkey sausage should be cooked until it reaches 165F

Can fresh pork sausage be canned?
Canning sausage should only be done with a pressure canner. This method is explained below with credit to Michigan State University


Canning Ground or Chopped Meat

Bear, beef, lamb, pork, sausage, veal, venison

PROCEDURE: Choose fresh, chilled meat. With venison, add one part high-quality pork fat to three or four parts venison before grinding. Use freshly made sausage, seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper (sage may cause a bitter off-flavor). Shape chopped meat into patties or balls or cut cased sausage into 3- to 4-inch links. Cook until lightly browned. Ground meat may be sauteed without shaping. Remove excess fat. Fill jars with pieces. Add boiling meat broth, tomato juice, or water, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired. Adjust lids and process.

 Recommended process time for ground or chopped meat in a dial-gauge pressure canner.

Hot Pack
Canner Gauge Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Jar Size
Process Time
0-2000 ft
2001-4000 ft
4001-6000 ft
6001-8000 ft
75 min
11 lb
12 lb
13 lb
14 lb
90 min
11 lb
12 lb
13 lb
14 lb

Recommended process time for ground or chopped meat in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.

Hot Pack
Canner Gauge Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Jar Size
Process Time
0-1000 ft
1001 ft- above
75 min
10 lb
15 lb
90 min
10 lb
15 lb

Is sausage making as tough as it seems? Do you have to add extra fat to sausage? Where do I get casings? Discuss these any any other sausage making topics on our new Sausage Making Discussion Board. Please feel free to ask OR answer and questions, it's open to all!


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