Sausage Making FAQ
Do you have any recipes for cured sausage?
No, we only make fresh sausage and have no expertise in dried or cured
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
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”
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
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
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
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
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
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
& FOOD SAFETY QUESTIONS:
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
Bear, beef, lamb, pork, sausage, veal,
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.
Canner Gauge Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Recommended process time for ground or
chopped meat in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Gauge Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
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!
Back to the home of TheSpicySausage.com
Making Recipes: Here's what you came here for. Sausage making
recipes for Italian, Andouille, Chorizo, Polish and more!
Sausage Making Instructions:
Instructions & video on making fresh sausage
Sausage Making FAQ:
A place to find out about casings, cooking meat temperatures, stuffing
problems and more
Sausage Making Supplies:
Stuffers, Grinders, Casings, Books and more
Sausage Making Discussion Boards:
Sausage making chat
Check out our very inexpensive ad packages
Links to other great sausage making