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What do I need to get started?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So after spending too much time in this forum, I'd like to get into sausage making. I have a few days off next week and want to run down the list of requirements to make sure I've covered everything. I already have the following:
  • Smoker - ECB and Brinkman All-in-One propane
  • Wood - hickory chunks
  • Thermometers - Maverick remote and Polder dual-probe
  • Stuffer - Gander Mountain 15 Lb vertical on it's way
  • Grinder - my buddy has a nice one I can use
  • Vacuum Sealer - FoodSaver 2440(?) with plenty o'bags
  • Instructions - Rytek's 4th edition and this forum biggrin.gif
I'm putting together a Butcher/Packer order and have the following in my cart so far:
  • 32/25 mm natural hog casings (basic italian/other sausage)
  • 22/24 mm natural sheep casings (breakfast sausage/snack sticks)
  • 1 LB Morton Tender Quick
Should I get some regular cure too? I have a cabinet full of spices and would prefer to mix my own rather than buy pre-mixed. Anything else I'm missing?

post #2 of 11
Personally I like using the DQ cure with sausage. Maybe some high temp cheese if you want to add it to any recipes. Maybe go ahead and order some bacon hooks cause you know bacon is on the list biggrin.gif
post #3 of 11
I agree with Piney, DQ or Insta Cure #1 for sausage instead of Tender Quick...
post #4 of 11
A good scale that measures small amounts comes in handy when the ingredients are measured in ounces and grams rather than cups and teaspoons.
post #5 of 11
20 Pounds of pork butts! (and a good knife to bone them out with)

BTW, what do you hope to make?
post #6 of 11
I started with tender quick, but changed to instacure #1. I can decrease the sodium and still get great flavors.
post #7 of 11
Rubber gloves for keeping things clean-large tupperware container for mixing.seems like with the others suggestions and what u already have your set-good luck-I will be making sausage next weekend also.
post #8 of 11
Soy protein concentrate. That'll help keep your sausage plump and juicy. I have noticed that some of Rytek's recipes are a bit bland, so don't be afraid to add in garlic, jalapenos or cayenne.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the feedback so far... I will go with the DQ instead of the TQ. I already have a scale from baking as well as some rubber gloves so I should be good there.

I plan on starting with a small pork butt and doing some basic Italian sausage just to get the hang of things. It's deer season here in NJ so once I have the process down I plan to crank out a couple deers' worth of breakfast sausage, summer sausage, maybe some chorizo... who knows!
post #10 of 11
Dowel rods closely matching the output end of each stuffing tube, so when finished cranking you can take the tube off and physically push what's left in the tube into the remaining casing, or at least push out the sausage to patty up and fry instead of wasting it down the sink cleaning the tube out. Lots of lbs. of good sausage left in there over the course of a year's time of sausage-making! You'll see mine in the picture below, they're under the base of the grinder.
Also, a 3/8" stuffing tube for the sheep casing for little links, normally not included with standard stuffers. I got mine from Butcher Packer, wrote to them and asked them which one most closely fit my type of stuffer for 19mm sheep casings.
Food grade meat lugs are a must.
Encapsulated citric acid adds that 'tang' to summer sausages and others too.
A natural casing pricker for the inevitable air pockets. I tend to lose pins and needles and don't relish getting them mixed up into my sausages, lol!
Brush cleaning kit for sausage tubes and a baby bottle brush for the neck of the grinder makes cleaning much simpler.
Some kind of meatcutting gloves, from professional Kevlar cut-resistant to even cheap PVC coated work gloves, something to cut instead of your fingers, lol!
Food grade oil spray for parts for lubrication/coating protection.
post #11 of 11
Large containers are essential. I have 4 of these Rubbermaid bus tubs from Sams Club. They work great for all phases of sausage making.
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