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Sausage tips?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 



I've started to make my own sausage recently and I'm not 100% satisfied!

I've used the following ingredients (roughly):


500gr fat

800-900gr of elk meat

1 onion




Smoked the sausages in my weber grill (70 degrees C) for about 3 hours (too short probably, but I had to get to bed :D )


The taste is ok, but I don't like the texture of the sausage.

Its to rough, I want it more smooth, but I dont know how to do it..


I've seen a few videos of sausage making, where they mix in som kind of flour before stuffing...

Is that the secret ingredience?


I'm grinding/stuffing with this:





post #2 of 43

If you're looking for smoother consistency like a hot dog, that is called an emulsification, which blends the meat and fat into a paste-like substance by "extruding" the mix through high pressures.  An emulsification machine can cost many thousands of $$.  However, you can emulate it with your grinder by regrinding it several times, breaking it down finer and finer, adding liquid as you regrind, and using some sort of binder (which is like a soy protein or oatmeal, something fine and has water retention capability), and/or using a food processor also.  You need to use cure too.

Here is a recipe from the SauaageMaker, Inc® site for hot dogs:



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Wieners (Frankfurters)

Find this recipe and more delicious ideas in our book,
Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing

Ingredients for 25 Lbs.:

• 5 cups ice water
• 5 tsp. InstaCure No. 1

• 2/3 cup paprika
• 1 cup ground mustard
• 2 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
• 2 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
• 2 1/2 tsp. ground celery seeds
• 2 1/2 Tb. mace
• 2 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 2/3 cup salt
• 5 cups non-fat dry milk or soy protein concentrate
• 2/3 cup powdered dextrose
• 15 lbs. lean beef (chuck)
• 10 lbs. lean pork trimmings (pork butts)

Ingredients for 10 Lbs.:

• 2 cups ice water
• 2 level tsp. InstaCure No. 1
• 4 Tb. paprika
• 6 Tb. ground mustard
• 1 tsp. ground black pepper
• 1 tsp. ground white pepper
• 1 tsp. ground celery seeds
• 1 Tb. mace
• 1 tsp. garlic powder
• 4 Tb. salt
• 2 cups non-fat dry milk or soy protein concentrate
• 4 Tb. powdered dextrose
• 6 lbs. lean beef (chuck)
• 4 lbs. lean pork trimmings (pork butts)

You may use 1 oz. coriander in place of the mace. If a wiener of lighter color is desired, omit the paprika.

Wieners can be made from many different meats, as well as any combination of meats. In some cases, people want to use the leftovers when they butcher their livestock, while others prefer a quality wiener.

Grinding & Mixing
For home use, grind the meat together using a plate with very fine holes (3/16"). After grinding, mix ll the meat with the above ingredients. Mix for 2-3 minutes or until all ingredients are evenly distributed with the meat. Emulsify the meat, following the emulsifying instructions provided. Pack into the stuffer and use a 24-26mm sheep casing to stuff wieners.

Smoking & Cooking
After stuffing, hang wieners on properly spaced smokehouse sticks. Be sure the wieners aren't touching each other. You may rinse the wieners off with cold water if necessary. Allow the wieners to hang at room temperature for about 1 hour when using natural casings. When using collagen or synthetic casings, hang at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Smoke wieners as follows: Place into a pre-heated smokehouse and dry for approximately 30 minutes. Apply heavy smudge for approximately 90 minutes. Gradually raise smokehouse temperature to 165° F and smoke until an internal temperature of 152-155° F is obtained. Spot-check various wieners to be sure that these temperatures are reached.

If you do not have a steam cabinet, you may leave the wieners in the smkehouse at 165° F until you obtain 152° internally.

After smoking or cooking, the wieners should be quickly showered with cool water for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature is reduced to 100-110° F. After showering with cold watter, allow wieners to chill and dry at room temperature until desired bloom is obtained.

Wieners should be placed in 45-50° F cooler and chilled until product has reached an internal temperature of 50° F.


Emulsifying Instructions:
Grind the meat and mix in the required seasonings. Then place the meat into a food processor, adding ice water to help the emulsifying process. This will reduce the strain on the motor of your food processor. Run the food processor until the meat has reached its smooth, emulsified consistency.







post #3 of 43

Hey design....... looks like your making a fresh sausage (no cure). Make sure you hot smoke them. 40 degrees to 140 degrees in 4 hrs. May I suggest the ryteck kutas sausage making book since you are just starting out. Its the bible of sausage making and would help you understand more about the sausage making processes......




The elk sausage looks great....................icon14.gif


Good luck and happy smoking





post #4 of 43

You can use your fine plate and regrind 3 or more times and get a pretty smooth consistency with it; in a food processor it really puts a strain on it and many have found out it will tear one up pretty quickly and it is a tedious process.  I've reground 3 times (total of 4) with good results and you're doing what a grinder does best.

Keep posting your results and let us know your findings.  That is the most fun, testing and eating your mistakes until you get it just right!  Make sure, however, you keep detailed logs to refer back to; there are tools available on here to to that.

And, before you go further, please jump to Roll Call and introduce yourself and allow us to welcome you properly!  

post #5 of 43

Nice looking sausage! You should consider using cure if you want to smoke them, it's much safer.

As far as texture goes a binder might help, but I'm wondering how much salt you used and did you mix it long enough to get a good bind? After mixing long enough the meat/spice mix  should be very sticky. The salt and mixing are needed to extract the proteins that causes  the moisture to bind, it will also coat the fat with protein which in the end gives you a nice mouth feel. Not enough of either will give you a dry crumbly texture.

post #6 of 43
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your answers!
Yes the first test that I made was a fresh sausage, and I smoked it ( a bit too much, it was hard to keep the temperature down... ) in our Weber Grill.

After that I put them in the freezer.


I don't want the Hot Dog style, thats why I started to do my own sausages in the first place :)
I just want it to be a little bit more smooth than the first attempt, and I think that I should try grind/mix it more, and perhaps add some binder.

I will also smoke it for abit more time than before, got to figure out how to hang them in the grill...


About the cure... one of the reasons why I started to look at making my own sausages, is to get rid of all the "addons" in modern sausages, Exxx, Exxx, Exxx, Exxx and so on...

The cure contains of salt and Nitrate if I understand it correct?
Is there any way to create a cure without adding those chemicals?


Regards Patrik

Edited by pwrdesign - 12/28/11 at 3:48am
post #7 of 43

It's the Nitrite in low temp smoked sausages that keeps you from making you or your family seriously sick or Dead!...Seriously you are eating more Nitrite in Celery and Salad Greens then there are in Sausages...It's not worth the Risk!...Here is a good read if you don't believe me...JJ



post #8 of 43

pwrdesign, you don't mention what size grinder plate you're using on that grinder.  Plates for most grinders are available with different sized holes which can change the consistency of your sausage.  I personally like a rough grind on most of my sausage so I use a grinding plate with larger holes.  A plate with smaller holes might give you the consistency you're looking for.  Just a thought.


As a reference:




Regarding you question about a cure.  Instacure #1 or Prague Powder #1 is probably the most widely used cure for smoked sausage.  It's comprised of 6.25% Sodium Nitrite and 93.7% Salt.  Some companies add anti caking/clogging and processing agents as well such as propylene glycol and sodium bicarbonate.  If the cure is pink in color it usually contains red #3..  Instacure #2 or Prague Powder #2 is used for dry cured products such as salami and pepperoni.  It's comprised of 6.25% Sodium Nitrite, 1% Sodium Nitrate and the balance being salt.


As for a substitute for a cure such as Instacure #1 ... I've been making my own smoked sausage for about 20 years and honestly wouldn't think of making it without a cure.  There are others that smoke fresh store bought sausage - which I would assume has zero cure in it - but I just won't risk it.  I'll defer to others that might have more experience with a substitute for a cure in smoked sausage.


Shout out if I can be of any other assistance.



post #9 of 43
post #10 of 43
Thread Starter 

Hm.. ok I guess I have to give up about the cure then :)

I have tryed both 4,5 mm grinder plates, and 2,5 mm, I can't say that I noticed any huge difference.

I'm grinding the meat first + fat first, and then I add the rest of the ingredients, mix by hand, and then I grind it another time when stuffing the sausage.



post #11 of 43

Your process sounds OK although I would think you'd notice some difference by using those 2 different grinder plates.  Is there any reason you're regrinding while stuffing?


I'm starting to wonder if it might have something to do with the Elk meat itself (I've never made Elk sausage but I have made sausage out of wild game).  I would assume Elk is very lean, like deer or moose.  You don't mention which type of fat your adding (the additional 500 gr's in your recipe).  Is it pork fat or elk fat?


As for going with the cure, I think you're making the right decision.  By the way, cure also lends to the flavor of your sausage, it's not only an anti-bacterial addition.

post #12 of 43

PS: I also wanted to agree with boykjo's suggestion about Rytek's book listed above.  I've had a copy for - well seems like forever.  Great reference book and contains a ton of great recipes and processes.

post #13 of 43
Thread Starter 

Well, my meat grinder is also my stuffer, but I remove the grinder plate, and attach the "sausage horn" ??? instead. So the meat goes trough the meat grinder when I do the stuffing.

The Elk is very lean, almost no fat at all... I'm adding pork fat!

post #14 of 43


You can see that there's a fair amount of us here that like to make our own sausages. I would also recommend that you get Rytek's book it has alot of good recipes for some sausages and techniques too. Now for your texture problem I would recommend that you re-grind you meat thur a smaller plate and then you could also add a binder such as non-fat dry milk to help smooth out your meat and make the texture more to your liking.

post #15 of 43

Lot's of good info here

post #16 of 43
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

It's the Nitrite in low temp smoked sausages that keeps you from making you or your family seriously sick or Dead!...Seriously you are eating more Nitrite in Celery and Salad Greens then there are in Sausages...It's not worth the Risk!...Here is a good read if you don't believe me...JJ



I read it and I'm still going to cook my bacon well done. Just living on the edge I guess.


Thanks for posting that chef!

post #17 of 43
Thread Starter 

Read the page about curing at: http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/

So much info, my head is about to explode :D


Interesting to see that the Cure #1 (USA) contains 6,25% of Nitrite in salt, and in Sweden (im from sweden yes) only 0,6%.



post #18 of 43

What mballi3011 said ... I've been using powdered milk instead of soy protein concentrate in my kielbasa for many a year.  It does help with binding.  Perhaps that's the consistency you're missing?  I see that Pops6927 also mentions soy.

post #19 of 43

I like using soy protein in fresh sausage, keeps it juicy and adds protein to your sausage, but I agree with Boykjo fresh sausages have no cure and should be smoked/cooked at higher temps, to get them to 140 IT quickly, get them to an IT of 140-145 and  keep them there  if you want to have more smoke flavor


post #20 of 43

Just as a reference point... and by no means am I trying to stir anything up here regarding powdered skim milk, powdered milk and soy protein


According to USAID, the typical average amounts of major nutrients in the dry nonfat dry milk are (by weight) 36% protein, 52% carbohydrates (predominantly lactose), calcium 1.3%, potassium 1.8%.


Whole milk powder, contains on average 25-27% protein, 36-38% carbohydrates, 26-40% fat, and 5-7% ash (minerals).  So powdered nonfat milk actually has more protein than whole dry milk.


Soy protein concentrate is about 70% soy protein and is basically defatted soy flour without the water soluble carbohydrates.


With that said, soy protein gives your sausage the most protein boost out of the three for sure.


And I agree with Big Casino, protein does help bind sausage and help it retain it's juices.  Either in fresh or smoked in my humble opinion.



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