About to start sausages advice appreciated

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by herkysprings, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    Hey guys,

    So I am planning on learning how to make my own sausages. Everything from Brats to Summer sausage, chorizo, the works!

    I have my Kutas book, and I'm reading, but I'm hoping you can chime in and give me a few tps / hints on starting:

    Techniques

    Equipment

    Things to avoid.

    Any info!

    I'd like to avoid any large purchases (grinders / stuffers) until I'm in the game and I know I want to stay. Also I live by myself right now with no family near by, so my batches will be smaller, and most likely I will freeze some them.

    Here is what I have:

    Kitchen Aid Pro 6 + attachments for

    - grinding

    - stuffing

    Klose BYC on the way (2 more weeks) with the upright that has sausage pole things. It also has gas burners in it that I'm hoping to use to control the low temps needed.

    A Mazing Smoker

    Food saver vaccum sealer, but only small bags work, I have a crimp in the sealer bar that wont seal full sized bags.

    A small appartment kitchen, but I have lots of pots and pans. Only one fridge tho.

    Spice grinder

    Thermapen and other digital thermometers (Mavericks)

    Any tips on kitchen / sausage tools that might help me out, like say a plastic tub to mix, or additional pans / sealing containers. My appartment sink is also fairly shallow, but I've been dealing with that for some time.

    Starter recipes or things I can do now before the smoker arrives would be great. I'll probably need to order curing salt and casings. Hopefully I can try some different recipes that use similar casing types, at least to start.

    Thanks all, still reading my book and pacing nervously waiting to try this all out!
     
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    How many lbs of sausage are you looking at making? The only reason I ask I stuffing with a grinder/stuffer attachment can be a huge pain in the butt if you are doing any large amount at a time. I see you said you were doing smaller batches so you might be able to get by for now but if you start doing it more often you will probably want to upgrade to a vertical stuffer.
     
  3. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fl
    You could start reading the posts in the sausage forums.

    There is a ton of info there, including recipes.

    Also try the search tool and the WIKIs, that's what I did when I started making sausage.

    You will need cure.I got all 3. TQ and pink and #2.

     Good luck and have fun!!!

      Craig
     
  4. I use a Kitchen Aid   to i grind mix and stuff with it most of the time I make 10# at a time with it. It takes awhile but it's worth it and I use a Hi Mountain summer sausage kit has every thing you need in it

    Good luck

    Brad
     
  5. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    5lb vertical stuffer. It will make your sausage experience a whole lot easier and a 7mm grind plate. sausage to me has a better texture than a 4mm plate
     
  6. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah I'll be doing smaller batches, 5-10 lbs.

    I was thinking that even tho I have the kitchen aid stuffer attachment, its quite high up off the counter. I might look into a 5lb stuffer.

    Thanks all!
     
  7. bakerboy7

    bakerboy7 Smoke Blower

    Keep the meat cold, (almost frozen).  That'll help with the texture and especially when you're ready to stuff it with the Kitchen Aid stuffer.  After 5 pounds with that thing, you'll be ready to invest in a vertical stuffer.
     
  8. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    While waiting on your smoker you might try some fresh sausages. Like Itailian or brats. Looks like you got a good start on you toys. I use my Kitchenaid mixer to grind meat all the time. Works fine, Though like stated above you may want to invest in a vertical stuffer. Makes life a whole lot easier. I think the northern tool or the grizzly is what most folks here use in the 5lb range.
     
  9. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    i have used my meat grinder for stuffing before,with bigger sized casings it works great no problems. On the other hand if you try small casings(smaller than 21mm) forget it no way your going to get it to push through the smaller tubes. I went and got a 5lb.vertical stuffer from gander mountain for that. Fastest thing to stuff with,i did 10lbs.in under a hour and most of the time i was tieing ends and filling the stuffer. Grinding and stuffing go alot better when the meat is very cold almost frozen. And when you grind meat the more fat and silverskin you can get rid of the better. That will help with your dies getting cloged. When i grind i put my whole head unit in the freezer too the blade,auger,die,tubes anything that is metal that you can put in the freezer i put in the night before i grind. And i put the meat in the freezer after i trim it for a few hours till it is just about frozen,so it has some ice crystals forming and the heat is semi froze. Couple of things i found i need is a scale that weighs on grams or ounces for the cure and seasonings. And a big plastic tub so i have room for mixing it all together.Then after the mix,put the meat in a few differant bowls so you can take one bowl out of the freezer and use it while the others are still in the freezer. Stuffing with the kitchen aid can be done but it will take some time,thats why i like to have several bowls ready so not all of the mixture has to sit and warm up while your trying to stuff. I think your going to be using bigger casings with your sasuage so you will be fine. Just make sure you use the right amount of cure to meat ratio and you'll be fine! Good luck with your new found addiction....i mean hobby!!!
     
  10. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey HerkySprings. If you  have Mr. Kutas's  book then study up on the fresh sausage section for starters. they're simple recipes that you grind, stuff, cook and eat. You don't need to worry about cures and smoker temps and the likes. And keep the batches small, 5 pounds is alot of sausage if you live alone.

    If you got the grinder and it can stuff sausage you're good to go. Get the spices you need and some 32mm casings which work good for most any fresh sausage and give it a try. you don' t really need any fancy equipment till you get elbows deep into making the stuff.

    Good luck and let us know how it's going.
     
  11. down lowe

    down lowe Fire Starter

    When i decided I was going to try making my own sausage, I started with pretty much the same stuff that you have.

    I had never ground meat before, worked with casings, etc.  So I decided that my first batch was going to be 5lb of fresh brats and I bought a seasoning kit.  I planned on mixing my own seasoning down the road. In fact, that's part of reason we do this is so that we can get exactly what we want.  However,  I just wanted to focus on the process on the first go round.  I agald that i went this route.

    While it is possible, i did not enjoy stuffing with my kitchen aid.  Works OK to grind, but I struggled using it as a stuffer.  Try it and see how it goes for you.  I ended up with a 7lb vertical stuffer.

    A tip I picked up was to fry test your product prior to stuffing.  This will give you an indication of how your product tastes and allows you to tweak seasoning prior to stuffing.
     
  12. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    So Im still learning about fresh vs smoked sausage. These ones I could grind / stuff with no curing agents, then just cook that day? Can they be frozen / stored?
     
     
  13. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    Yes to all. Fresh sausage can be ground, stuffed and cooked the same day. Though you might give it some time in the fridge for flavors to marry. not more than overnight. Then you'll need to freeze them up. Fresh sausages like Itailian, brats and breakfast sausage have no cure. Cured sausages, Summer sausages,snack sticks and other cured sausages have curing salts in them that will have to "Cure" before being smoked. You have your Ryteks bible, So read away. and check out the sausages section and wikis. Lots of good info here for the reading.
     
     
  14. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks! I havent gone through the recipes yet but that was the first point of confusion. I may try grinding up some sausage soon, maybe make some meat balls or something. 
     
  15. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome to the world of sausage making..............been making sausage approx 20 yrs and I'm still humble to the process.....
     
  16. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You have received very good advice here.  Fortunately, you already have "the bible".  Read it and then read it again.  There is a wealth of information in there.  Keep everything as cold as possible.  I freeze the working parts of my grinder except the ring nut (on my stuffer it doesn't thread well chilled).  Cool the pan or bowl that will receive the ground meat.  If you are getting a plastic tub, be sure it is food grade.  For small batches I use the bottom of my broiler pan which works well for no mess rubs, too.  Be sure to mix your ground meat and spices until an emulsion is formed.  By hand, mix until it is done.  Then mix it that much longer.  If I stop before I am sore, I will get crumbly sausage.  LOL

    Good luck and good smoking!
     
  17. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I too am still on fresh sausage , but I read ALOT of princess's post on sausage! Very good tutorials
     
  18. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Here are some good prices on 5# SS Vertical Stuffers, I have the Grizzly and am very happy with it...

    Most of these 5# Stuffers are made by the same manufacturer just a different sticker for a name.

    Grizzly $75.75 Regular Price
    http://grizzly.com/products/5-lb-Ver...uffer-SS/H6252

    Midwestern Regular Price $99.99 On Sale for $20.00 off now$79.99
    http://www.midwesternresearch.com/INDEX.htm

    LEM $139.99 (Over Priced In My Opinion)
    http://www.lemproducts.com/product/496/lem-stuffers

    Before anyone says, "Yes but the LEM has metal gears", the gears are the same in all machines and can be replaced with the metal LEM gears if the Nylon gears ever break which if properly used shouldn't...

    You can buy the metal gears here for $29.70 and still be cheaper than buying a LEM...
    http://www.lemproducts.com/product/1..._Stuffer_Parts
     
  19. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    SO much great info from everyone!

    Thanks Beer on the note about the gears. I was going to get a LEM and metal gears, but now I may go for the grizzle and metal gears. I probably need metal gears, I have a tendancy to over torque things.... LOL.

    Can you also use the same LEM snack stick tube on the Grizzly?

    My computer died on me (at work now) so I ahve to buy a few replacement part. Might delay a stuffer a month, so I might try with my kitchenaid. I cant wait!
     
  20. down lowe

    down lowe Fire Starter

    try it with your kitchenaid so that you can appreciate the stuffer . . . 
     

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