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Where Should I Start?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've been reading all the threads on making sausage and I am becoming curious/interested/intrigued. I'm wondering what the best way is to get started.

I have a MES and a hand crank meat grinder. No sausage stuffer. I've only been smoking meat a little over a year and have never cured a piece of meat.

Do I need to spend more time learning about smoking before getting into sausage making? Should I try bacon or canadian bacon first? Is there a "simple" sausage that is good for getting my feet wet without jumping in over my head?

I know we've got some pretty accomplished sausage makers around here. I'd appreciate any of your thoughts. Thanks. icon_smile.gif
post #2 of 13
Hey Terry, there are many great sausage makers here, try Debi's site, and Mossy, and Salmonclubber, and Dacdots, etc. It is fun. You can make your own stuffin tubes, and jerky tube, PM me if you want to know how. I got it all off the great people on this forum, I've made two sets so far, cheap and fairly easy. smile.gif
post #3 of 13
Also, who says ya need to stuff the sausage? Start with a simple breakfast patty mix! Or like me, I custom my own fatty mixes!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Richtee, that's sorta what I was thinking. Since I joined SMF a couple of months ago, the smoke-aholism has been growing in leaps and bounds. I think it's going to keep things happier around the house if I can avoid adding anymore equipment, gadgets, etc. for a while. icon_redface.gifbiggrin.gif

So any suggestions for sausage recipes that will win the family over to sausage making? The wife and daughter aren't real big on heat so something pretty mild and tasty would be great.
post #5 of 13
Pork breakfast sausage- I just posted this in another thread, but seems I forgot 2-3 Tbsp whole mustard seed and 1 Tbsp onion powder

10 lbs pork butt- don't trim
6 Tbsp Kosher salt
2 Tbsp CBP
2 Tbsp ground sage
1 Tsp. ground ginger
1 Tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. ground thyme
1 Tbsp hot pepper for spicy
A cup of ice water

Grind meat and add ingredients, pouring water over top to help mixing.

make a small patty and fry it up, check for salt and spice levels. Sometimes I tweak the recipe, but this is where I start! May need more salt, I try to keep that down a bit. Also try rosemary, savory, allspice...
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the recipe.

I assume this stuff works to fry up for breakfast or to through in the smoker for a homemade fatty.
post #7 of 13
Yep..but usually I'll split pork and beef for my "Semi-Fatties". A SMALL consession to less fat consumption. <As I munch home made baconbits>
post #8 of 13
Rich is right. Start simple. His breakfast sausage recipe would be a great place to start and sounds yummy. You can probably get a stuffing attachment (cone) for your hand grinder. Get some dry packed medium hog casings and try making some bratwurst. Chorizo is another one of my favorites. It's good in the morning with eggs. Make tacos with it and you will never use beef again. I've made semi-dry salami before. It requires a lot of reading, research, 12 hours of smoking (8 of which are cold smoke), rinsing, and an empty fridge to hang it in so it can dry. It's good, but you should work your way up to it. I recommend that you get "The Sausage making Cookbook." It has tons of recipes and will help you with the easy stuff as well as the advanced.
Good luck and good smoke,
post #9 of 13
So far all the advice is right on! Start small and start simple. One thing I like to do is after mixing meat and spices store in the fridge for about 12 to 24 hours and then check flavor. It takes about that amount of time for the various spices and such to come together.

By making breakfast patties and chubs to smoke you will easily win over your family. And the patties can be used to make breakfast sandwiches. You know, like the thingy you get at the "Golden Arches" and just about every other place that serves food.

The sausage book mentioned is by Rytek Kutas titled, "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing". Make sure you get the Third Edition, which is the latest print and most up to date.

Folks have paid up to $35 for the book and one of our members, Moltenone, got one for about $20. Shop around, but get the book. It is the "bible" of sausage!

Hope all this helps!

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help/advice. I plan on starting small and simple and working my way up, but if I keep hanging around this place, the learning curve is pretty steep! icon_smile.gif

Actually, spring is my target for doing anything that might actually involve new equipment or gadgets, since I've reached the point where my wife's reaction to any mention of a new purchase is, "Maybe someone could get you that for Christmas." (sigh)

But she has been pretty supportive and patience (and even helps out) as I have gone from a handful of smokes last year to nearly every weekend recently.

Thanks again for the help and the encouragement. It's like having coaches right at my elbow. icon_smile.gif
post #11 of 13
Had an enjoyable day at the new Cabelas store in East Hartford today with a good friend... picked up that very same book.. 24.99...haven't checked to see if it is in the catalog yet...
post #12 of 13
Terry -

I made nothing but patties for years. Just got my first real stuffer about a year ago. Funny thing is I don't even eat sausage casings but they look nicer to give away.

You could even get started buying the meat already ground from the store just to get the feel for it. Just for the heck of grab a pound of hamburger and a pound of ground pork from the store about 30% fat. Do the pork and beef sepatately so you can see what each tastes like with the same spices. It makes it easier to figure out what you like. Write everything down!

In a bowl separate bowl throw in about 1/4 teaspoon each of some of your favorite spices and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix the spices in just enough water to make it liquid not a paste (about 2 - 3 teaspoons), add it to the meat, mix it up good, put it in a zip lock bag, squeeze the air out and let it rest in the fridge over night. Next day take out a piece of the mixture about the size of a meat ball and fried it up. You've got sausage! Now just take that recipe and change the amounts to suit your tastes. It's that easy!

Common spices for sausages are garlic, onion, paprika, pepper, coriander, sage. parsley .... start small and enjoy the learning process. The hardest part is learning what you like and what spices or combinations give you that flavor.

Once you get a basic blend started that you like mix a batch and change one thing at a time until you refine the recipe to your likeing. I like to do this in 1 pound batches then split that in half to tweek it - it does hurt that way. Once you are truely pleased you can make bigger batches.

Another great book is 'Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing' by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.

post #13 of 13
Don't forget to feed us is all! Sausage making is a great time for all, and if the wife gets involved, all the better. Mine just tells me to be sure to clean up on the way out to work, munching on a pork sausage patty/scrambled egg bagel. Sigh...but I love it!
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