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sausage help

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My first attempt at sausage and need some help

I was able to find some hog and sheep casing today so decided to move forward into my first attempt at sausage making.

I boned 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters, cut it up into pieces and stuck it in the freezer to firm up. I diced up some sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives and feta cheese. Once the chicken was ground I worked it in a bowl to get it a little pasty and mixed in the other ingredients, along with some marjoram, oregano and white wine.

Now when using the stuffing tube on my grinder, I used a coarse grinding plate in front of the blade with the tube secured in front of it. Is this the correct technique? I wasn't sure if I needed the blade in place or just the die. I'm assuming the die is needed as there would be little to keep the screw drive from moving forward as I stuffed. FWIW, I used the hog casing

The sausage came up fine as I filled the casing. I twisted them off into links and browned them in a pan then added a little liquid to the pan and covered to steam them to make sure they were done. Thought this would be a gentle way to cook them. My big problem was that the sausage busted open during cooking. They tasted really good and had a fine texture. Some were tighter than others but they all busted.

Where did I go wrong? Pointers from fellow sausage makers would be appreciated. I've got 6 links left to cook in the next day or two.

post #2 of 10

it sounds like you are going to need a stuffing plate or blade if your gonna stuff sausages with your grinder i think the screw will stay in place without the plate but not sure on that as for your casing busting you must be stuffing them to tight
post #3 of 10
salmonclubber is right, you need something like this:


Though, it might not be strictly necessary. Just take the plate and knife off, but leave the screw and ring on (along with the stuffing tube, of course). The problem with that is on mine the screw tends to drag quite a bit, makes it more difficult to turn the handle.

I don't really know enough about this to say what causes them to bust. I was going to stuff some for the first time myself today, but didn't get around to it. Good luck though, and sounds like your efforts weren't completely wasted...
post #4 of 10
When you say busted, do you mean they busted in the middle somewhere, or busted on the ends? I have packed mine too tight once in a while but never had one bust open on me, but I have had the stuffing come out the ends. One thing you may want to try if you feel they were not stuffed too tight, and that is to let them sit in the fridge overnight once you have them all linked up. Gives them a chance to dry a bit and conform to their new shape BEFORE cutting the links, wait to do that the following day.
post #5 of 10
Are you talking about the sausages splitting open during cooking? This is pretty much inevitable as the steam buildup inside the sausage from moisture cooking out causes them to burst. However after saying that, a lower/slower cooking method helps control the splitting open.
I made several batches of bratwursts last year for my boys and they both complained how they'd split wide open while cooking, to the point you couldn't get them to fit into a hotdog bun. I went over and cooked some on the top rack, cooking them slower and rolling around more often. Of course it took longer but they got fully cooked with a minimal split. They were just impatient and put them on the lower racks w/full boar flames licking them, causing them to split wide open.
post #6 of 10
Sun dried tomatoes might be the culprit, re-hydrating during cooking. Just my 2 cents.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses so far. The mix was pretty well blended since I used the cutter and plate during stuffing but the sausages split in the middle but not like a little split of a sausage at the end of cooking. These looked like cauliflower. I'll let the remaining sausages rest in the fridge for a couple of days before cooking.

Okay it seems the stuffing plate is the way to go. You would think that they would include one with the grinder since they include the grinding tube. I have an electric grinder. A Tasin, like the one at Northern Tools
post #8 of 10
You need the plate, but not the blade in place for stuffing.I just ordered a plate for my grinder too. Found one on ebay...a bit cheaper than the link above.

post #9 of 10
Buy a verticle stuffer for a 100 bucks instead of using the grinder. I have the same brand grinder. If you plan on doing lot's of sausage then you will be very happy using the stuffer instead. Likely you just have a lot of fat or fluid in the meat that is building pressure until the case splits. You can cook slower like what has been mentioned, or reduce fluid levels until you find the balance of moist sausage versus bursting problems.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
I did you a fair amount of skin in the mix so it's not dry. Thanks for the tips guys
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