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Newby !!! Help

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hey all!   Just purchased a new grinder ...         STX INTERNATIONAL STX-3000-MF Megaforce Patented Air Cooled Electric Meat Grinder with 3 Cutting Blades, 3 Grinding Plates, Kubbe and 3 Sausage Stuffi     


Interested in making mostly chicken and turkey sausage. Have many questions so hopefully someone can help..


I see a few recipes that add sun dried tomatoes ( which I hate) and skin from the chicken and /or bacon ... I was planning on using skinless chicken breasts for a healthier alternative then thighs with skin.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can add to the chicken so they aren't totally dry? Spices ideas etc?

Also once they are made I read that they should air dry in the fridge, uncovered? I planned on vacuum sealing them and freezing them. Will this work?


Help! Thanks

post #2 of 4

Welcome to the site from frosty Sennett, NY




Originally Posted by rhsimages View Post


Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can add to the chicken so they aren't totally dry?

Umm...the skins?  If you grind them fine (preferably 2x) and then emulsify them in a food processor with some of the water called for in the recipe (very cold water or, preferably, flaked ice) you'll release a lot of protein that will bind a lot of water to help keep you sausage moister.  There's not much fat in thighs and your body needs some for good health so unless you have an overriding issue with the small amount of fat I'd use the skins.


A big part of the expected texture and mouth feel of sausage is achieved though the fat content.  For my taste, low fat poultry sausage is not anywhere near as enjoyable as sausage with a reasonable amount of fat.


Adding some non-fat dry milk (AKA NFDM) will help bind water and firm the texture without a as dry a mouth feel, too.


Without knowing your whole recipe, especially if you plan to smoke them it's hard to answer your question about air drying them.


I suspect that the reference to air drying them is to allow cure to work its magic and for the surface to dry prior to something like applying 150-160 degrees smoke to them for a while to flavor them and then finishing them by poaching to an IT of 160.


If you are freezing them without smoking and cooking them you can go right to bagging them.





post #3 of 4

I'm new to sausage making, but I have made a couple of batches of chicken sausages.     I used 60% boneless, skinless chicken thighs and 40% boneless, skinless chicken breast and it made made a good sausage but i had to be really careful not to overcook or it would be very dry.  The next chicken sausage I make will be 80% thighs and 20% breasts.     I did use non fat dried milk as a binder, which I think helps with moisture retention.    I may try what LanceR suggested and grind the skin through a fine plate a couple of times and add to the next sausage.    One thing is for sure, almost any sausage you make at home is going to have less fat, be healthier, and taste so much better than anything you buy in a store.     Good luck in your new adventures.

post #4 of 4

I have found that using thighs will give you the best fat content for making chicken sausage. I buy skin on bone in thighs. I cut the skin and fat from the chicken, then I remove the meat from the bones. I then grind and weigh my chicken. I grind the skin and fat separately and add back in 10%. It's usually not very much. We prefer a course grind and you need the fat to help hold together the meat. Adding NDFM as mentioned will help retain moisture, but it will also add a tang to the meat.


There is no need to air dry fresh sausages. Once linked and cut we freeze them in the freezer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Once frozen we vac pack them. If you vac pack prior to freezing the sausages will deform.


There is no waste here either. The bones get boiled down for stock and the skin and fat is rendered int o schmaltz for baking.

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