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What Equipment do i need ?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Since wife is a diabetic, and many of you have suggested we make our own sausage and such. We want to look into this further. I only have a very vague idea of what is needed. What I’m looking for is;
1. What equipment/ materials will I need to start making sausage,
2.Where do I get it,
3.What will this all cost me ball park is fine,
4.Is it difficult to do,
5. Is it time consuming.
IN the nut shell I need to gather as much info as possible to determine if this is a feasible venture for us. And any other advice you may fell is important.

Here is a list of our favorite sausages we eat, Brats, kielbasa, hard salami, hotdogs, breakfast sausage link and patty, little smokes, summer sausage, hot links.

Any info you all can provide would be greatly appreciated

forgot to include we would not be making huge amounts at a time probily no more then 10- 15 pounds at a time
post #2 of 15
First would be rytek's book "GREAT SAUSAGE RECIPES AND MEAT CURING" from there you would have all the knowledge needed. What ever anyone says you do NOT need a grinder first. Your butcher can take the butt you are going to buy and grind it for you while you shop. I would get a stuffer first, nothing fancy. then casings and the like, that is what the book will let you decide what kind of casing and also what kind of sausage you want to make. it's fun and rewarding so enjoy it !
link to book > http://www.amazon.com/Great-Sausage-...4559105&sr=1-1
post #3 of 15
I agree. Start easy since you are not sure if you want to continue doing this.

You can get ground pork at the store or from a butcher.
Find a couple recipes you like either from Ryteks book, or the one I got started with Bruce Iadells Complete Sausage Making.

I got started here because I have pretty bad insulin resistance, and I also wanted to control the sugar.

Good luck
post #4 of 15
How many lbs of sausage are you looking to make? The very bare essentials you will need are a grinder, stuffer (several grinders come with a stuffer attachment but for large volume I wouldn't suggest this method), casings to stuff your meat into, smoker, seasonings, containers to hold and mix your meat in and probably something like freezer paper or a vacuum sealer. Its kind of hard to give you a over all price since it all depends on how many lbs and how frequently you are going to be making sausage. If you are going to be making a couple hundred lbs at a time you are going to want some bigger heavy duty equipment but if you are going to just make 15-25 lbs at at time you can get by with a smaller smoker and grinder etc.
post #5 of 15
I make smaller batches (5# - 10#) more frequent & bought a Northern Tool Grinder & 5# stuffer & paid about $220 delivered, but they frequently go on sale, so you might watch them. Another reasonable priced stuffer is Grizzly, which I think is made by the same manufacturer as Northern. As mentioned casings, seasoning, cures, smoker, etc. I make probably 50/50 fresh & cured smoked. YOU DO NOT have to purchase a grinder, you can either purchase it ground or ask the butcher to do it, as previously mentioned. When I was experimenting, wondering if it was something I wanted to get into more, I used a jerky shooter loaded with seasoned meat to fill casings.... Kinda crude, but the results were great. It is great fun & rewarding. Go for it!
post #6 of 15
I'm with fishawn with this one I got my stuff at Gander Mountian (99.00) and it is a good unit but if I were you I would ge the one from Northern Tools ( 129.99)I think it's built alittle better. Then I would just stuff with your grinder and if you like it go to either Gander or Northern (both 99.00)and get the 5lb stuffer. I also only do about 10-12 lbs of sausage at a time and that a good amount for personal use I think.
post #7 of 15
Guess I agree and disagree,

Were I in your shoes I would concentrate on recipes and purchase fresh ground pork to begin with. Then determine if you like what you are making. If the answer is yes then go for a grinder, stuffer, vacum sealer as needed.

I made vairous sausages for over 10 years with recipes handed down from faimly using a #10 hand grinder. It was not always a plesant experience but that was what prompted me to spend the dough for a pro grinder, stuffer stainless table mixer,,, Bout 1000.00 invested in sausage making but I can produce 60 pound batches by my self at a liesurly pace and enjoy it,,,,

I am not o huge fan of the Rytecks book but it is a good refrence. I find his recipes to be bland and include things that are just not necessary in my opinion to make great sausage. But I bought it and read the bulk of it and do agree it is good to have. I use recipes I have made up myself from recipes of old and recipes I find here and other locations on th internet.

This definately takes time, there will be waste, I had a 60 lb chrizo failure last year, That is what I get for trusting a kit and not using my own recipe. But like anything with experience comes effiency. Better equiptment aids effiency and it all reflects in the finnished product.
post #8 of 15
A stuffer is a must for making sausage, go with a 5 pound unit like mentioned above. a grinder is also nice to have, I still use a #10 hand grinder which works fine for 5-10 pound batches.

Sausage making isn't hard, once you've done a few batches. I think many of us that make it consider it a hobby and an art, so the time consumption is not an issue either. I sometimes spread the work out, doing the spice mix one night, then trim, grind and mix the next, and stuff the next.

For starters maybe you could find a sausage recipe you might like and make up some sausage patties with ground pork from the butcher. then play around with the spices on the next batch. If you find yourself enjoying it move on the the equipment purchase and start stuffing you own.
post #9 of 15
First you need Rytek Kutas book "GREAT SAUSAGE RECIPES AND MEAT CURING".

You will also need a grinder and a stuffer, I bought my stuffer from Grizzly and it is a well built stuffer, it is the exact same stuffer as the LEM except it has nylon gears instead of metal. This should not be a problem but if you ever want or need to replacr them the metal LEM gears fit and are only $30.00. This woold still make it cheapeer than buying the LEM unit.

Here is the link to Grizzly: http://grizzly.com/products/5-lb-Ver...uffer-SS/H6252

Grinders come in all sizes and styles, I have both manual and electric. My manual is a #32 Porkert and I have a small Oster Electric which does very well. I would suggest buying the best you can afford on the grinder.

Spices and Casings can be obtained at several locations online;

Sausage Maker

Butcher and Packer

Alied Kenco

The Sausage Source

Meat Processing Products.com
post #10 of 15
I got the Kitchen-Aid grider attachment which also serves as my stuffer. I think we got it for $20 with a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon when we first got married. It works great for the 10#s of sausage that I make at a time. I aspire to get a stuffer and grinder some day, but my KA attachment does the job. Of course this only works if you have a KA to begin with.
post #11 of 15
I agree that Rytek's book is the first purchase. And I agree that for us, most of his recipies are too bland. But the info in it is priceless.

After that, my next step would be to try some of the recipies as fresh sausage. You can have your butcher or meat counter grind what you want. Take it home and mix it up with your spices. Then try using it as patties in a pan, in spaghetti, as meatballs. Whatever you want to try to just see if you like what you are making. If you like it, and think you want to continue, then comes the equipment.

First for me would be an inexpensive stuffer. We have the Grizzly 5# model everyone talk about and it works well for us. If you have any stand mixer at home, Kitchenaid, Cuisinart, Oster, etc, all most all of them have a grinder attachment you can get. We still use our KA and it work fine for us.

If you use the new equipment and like what is coming out of it, then later you can upgrade to bigger, better, faster, easier. But I would go in with the minimalist approach to test the waters.

Take good notes of exactly what you did and what you used in each batch and label the batches. After you use it, go back and add notes about what you would do different the next time. That way each times gets better, hopefully. With enough experience, you may not need the notes anymore, but it sure helps in the beginning.

Good luck and have fun!
post #12 of 15
What others have said. Walk before your run. To go ALL IN?


Scales (small and large)
Mixing bowls/tubs


Packaging (paper/plastic/vacuum)

Place to store all the above
post #13 of 15
My suggestions is just get manual equipment. Get a #12 or #22 hand crank grinder, most of those also have sausage stuffing tubes that will suffice for 10 pounds of brats or such. A good manual grinder (old enterprise is the best) can be had for not alot of money, and get you started. The reason I like a grinder, is when I can I like to grind once, mix spices, and then grind through a smaller plate the 2nd time. Helps evenly distribute the spices.

The first big purchase, especially if you are going to do smaller sausages like hot dogs and snack sticks, is a vertical stuffer. They are worth their weight in gold. Like I said a grinder will do for stuffing 10 or 15 pounds of sausages, but if you are going to do larger batches at a time (which if you are making all your sausage, I think at some point you are going to want to) a good stuffer makes the process alot less difficult and more fun, ESPECIALLY for smaller stuff.

Alot of people here mix their own, and thats great. As I get more experienced I am going to try some things. But being relatively new (been doing this for about a year) I do most of my stuff from premade mixes. I order all my supplies from www.midwesternresearch.com, and you can also talk to them by phone they are great guys and will answer your questions. I use excaliber brand and can vouch for their breakfast sausage, snack stick, pepper stick, frank,, brat, and summer sausage recipes . They have pretty good prices. Most of the seasonings come in 25 pound batches, but with some mixing, careful math and measuring, you can break them down into 5 pound batches pretty easily. But this may not appeal to you at all because of the diabetic thing, in that case mix your own!

Ryteks book as mentioned by others is a good read and reference, highly recommmend it.

Another thing I would mention is your smoker, make sure your smoker can get low enough. Alot of sausages start smoking at 120 and slowly increase to highest temps of about 180 in the smoking stages, and alot of commercial smokers are built to always run about 200-225 and don't have the light control necessary to do sausages.

My advice is get the book, read it, get some simple equipment and jump in and try. The best thing about the equipment is at the end of the day most if not all of it has great resale value if you decide sausage making isn't for you.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies and help you all have given me so far. I am going to get the recommended book either from library or Amazon and start reading. I love the idea of using local butcher to grind the meat and then add my spices, and use it in patties, this way I have minimum investment and can determine if we like this. What a great way to check out new recipes as well. IM sure I’ll have many more questions as I go along, so please bear with me. I’m sure the book will answer some of my questions, and ill probably want recommendations on recipes. Hope I will not be too big of a pain in the hinny, as this is entirely new to me. Again THANKS for all your help so far.
post #15 of 15
this is a great place for any questions you have. None are to minut either. We all had to learn
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