Sausage - How I make it.. Part 1

Bacon, Sausage, Ham, Pastrami, Prosciutto, Chorizo, etc.
Discuss your method of preparing them.
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RiskDude
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Sausage - How I make it.. Part 1

Post by RiskDude »

The last time I made sausage, I took pictures to show my process. I did lots of research and reading before I started, and finally got to a point where I can do a pretty OK job at it!

Found these two books to be really helpful:
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Next, gather the tools:
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The pork:
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I cut it into strips which makes it easier to feed into the grinder:
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After this first cut, I place the strips into the freezer to harden up. This makes it much easier to feed and the grinder has no trouble with almost frozen pork. Only takes a few minutes to go through it all. If it were room temp, the fat really mucks up the grinding plate and I usually have to stop, disassemble and clean it out. When frozen, it just powers through:
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After the first grind, back into the freezer for a second grind:
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Now is time for mixing in Part 2 :)
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Sausage - How I make it.. Part 2

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After the second grind, I can start mixing. First, gather the spices. This batch is Zesty Italian and Breakfast. No pics of the final breakfast sausage as the process is the same. I used The Sausage Maker mixes. They are really good, but I find myself adding about 20% more than the recipe calls for to punch up the flavor.
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Next step is mixing. I just do it by hand until it is "sticky". usually about 5 minutes. Since the pork is cold, and you add cold liquid, your hand gets really cold too. One of these days I need to get some cotton gloves to fit under the nitrile gloves.
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After mixing the spices and cure (I use Cure#1 since I like to smoke some of the Italian), I usually let it set in the fridge overnight before stuffing.

I didn't stuff it all though.... makes great lasagna!!
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But for smoking, I stuffed, using natural casings:
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Then, to the smoker... Part 3
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Sausage - How I make it.. Part 3 Smoking

Post by RiskDude »

For this batch, I used my WSM. Because sausage tends to smoke at a lower temp, I make a snake ring of charcoal with wood chips or pellets to keep the temp lower. There is a whole science and discussion on ways to smoke sausage for tenderness and consistency. I tend to try an maintain a consistent temp of about 165 - 170 ish. I realize this is not the ideal temp, but it works for me ;)

The snake method in a WSM:
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Sausage On:
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Done:
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Decided to grill some up:
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Good Times.......
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Re: Sausage - How I make it.. Part 1

Post by Smokin Mike »

Awesome!!! I see you have some top of the line equipment for grinding and stuffing. I keep telling myself that some day I would like to make my own breakfast sausage. I looked at some of the LEM products. They're a bit on the pricey side but from what I understand you're definitely getting what you paid for. Nice Job Riskdude!
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Re: Sausage - How I make it.. Part 1

Post by RiskDude »

Thx! It can take time, especially to freeze the meat. The rest of the process moves along.

I actually started out with an old hand grinder but it became cumbersome. I like the build quality of LEM. Got the stuffer on Amazon fairly cheap but I ordered the grinder on the LEM website. They periodically run a 20% off the highest cost item. Sign up for their e-mails and they will send notices. I do spend too much time on the internet just looking for deals.
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