First attempt making sausage

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
I used heavy whipping cream on my initial batch of links and felt like it created too much of a creamy taste. Maybe the dry milk and whipping cream was too much. I think I'll use water next time.
 
Those are good prices. My local sams club had 1 butt....ONE!!! lol
I forgot to mention.... One of my tenants is moving out and gave me her mini-chest freezer...probably can hold a 1/4 cow......plus I have a full size chest freezer (with a 1/4 cow and 8 racks of ribs), an upright freezer and of course the freezer on my fridge...so freezer space is not a problem...lol
Well that sucks on meat.
You're set for freezers! amybe need to pick up another fridge?
In MN I have 2 fridges (w freezer) and an upright freezer. I don't run out of space.
Here in FL, I have a crappy side by side fridge/freezer. I need to hit the scratch & dent stores for a dedicated freezer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kevinwi
1000002243.jpg
1000002244.jpg
1000002246.jpg

It's getting there....25lbs of sausage done. 1/2 regular Texas smoked sausage and other half added high temp cheddar and dried jalapeños for a kick.
In the fridge now overnight to cure and get pelical and will smoke tomorrow.
A couple hiccups today which I will post about later, so it took longer than expected...nothing huge, just learning moments...So far so good.

Now...to clean up that big mess...oof.
 
View attachment 694965View attachment 694966View attachment 694967
It's getting there....25lbs of sausage done. 1/2 regular Texas smoked sausage and other half added high temp cheddar and dried jalapeños for a kick.
In the fridge now overnight to cure and get pelical and will smoke tomorrow.
A couple hiccups today which I will post about later, so it took longer than expected...nothing huge, just learning moments...So far so good.

Now...to clean up that big mess...oof.
Looking good! And the clean up is the worst part.

Ryan
 
You don't need a pelical on sausage . You should have that covered or in a plastic bag . it dries it out to much and the casings can get tough .
Before cured foods are cold smoked, they can be allowed to air-dry to form a tacky outer layer, known as a pellicle. The pellicle plays a role in producing better smoked products as it acts as a protective barrier for the food and also plays a role in enhancing the flavor and color produced by the smoke.

1000002247.jpg
 
Last edited:
Hey Kev, I'm not trying to be a Richard here but Chopsaw has almost 18,000 posts on this site. He knows what he's talking about.

We like experiments on here! Maybe take half of your sausage and follow his advice?? Do a comparison! I personally would like to hear some first hand experience with the two different methods!
 
  • Like
Reactions: agcrock2005
Look'n good.
Did you do fry test sample before stuffing?
I did....it was real tasty....but to me it was a tad salty....didn't exactly know how to correct it...it was prepackaged seasoning for 25 lbs...and I used 25lbs of meat....2nd half the batch I added cheese and jalapeño, so hope the cheese will cut on saltiness.
 
Neighbor walked over while sausages were "blooming"....can I buy one from you?
He's a trucker, so we had been talking about Texas sausage which he enjoys from a select few stops when he's on the road.....He said "if it sucks, I'm going to tell you." I said..."cook it to 165 and let me know..."
He shouted to me when he pulled it off his grill and tasted it... "You nailed it. That's Texas sausage. Not too salty at all".
 
Neighbor walked over while sausages were "blooming"....can I buy one from you?
He's a trucker, so we had been talking about Texas sausage which he enjoys from a select few stops when he's on the road.....He said "if it sucks, I'm going to tell you." I said..."cook it to 165 and let me know..."
He shouted to me when he pulled it off his grill and tasted it... "You nailed it. That's Texas sausage. Not too salty at all".
First batch sold?
I don't use commercial seasoning mixes due to the the salt.
Takes a bit of trial and error to get the seasoning to your taste.
 
A couple hiccups today which I will post about later, so it took longer than expected...nothing huge, just learning moments...

Ok...so here's the learning moments.

I did everything outside under my cook shed on the new prep table....I mean...that's why I bought it right? It was 37°F when I started.

I took the meat from the freezer on Tuesday to cut up for grinding on Saturday Morning.
It actually worked perfectly. the butts and brisket were both about half frozen and cutting the meat went very easily.


I unboxed the grinder that had been in my garage for the last 2 weeks and set it up before starting.
I cut the meat into long strips which could be easily slid down the throat of the grinder.
I turned the grinder on, and it acted like it was jammed...just hummed...nothing moved.
I took it apart and turned it on and could see the gears barely moving....(I was upset)...what the hell?? did I buy a lemon..... I got my tools out ready to tear the thing apart and thought....maybe I should read the instruction booklet?? So I opened it up and started reading...skipped the first page of safety and was about to skip the 2nd page of safety instruction when something caught my eye...... "DO NOT OPERATE UNIT UNDER 45°F. Well that told me what I needed to know...the grease was too cold. Brought it in and warmed it up inside (with help from a heat gun for 30 seconds and all was good. Operated normally..... IDIOT! So that was mistake #1

I brought the grinder back outside and it operated just fine...I even bought a pedal so it wouldn't run all the time.
But I ran into issues right out of the gate....it jammed almost immediately. I tore the head apart and did it again....got a few pieces done and jam again.....I figured maybe the meat was too cold...
Anyway, after about 6 jams I finally figured out what the cause was...at first I thought it was the half frozen meat...but no...strips way too long.....so I had to recut all 25 lbs as I fed the grinder. The pieces were too long and got caught up in the auger. But all the jams and recutting all the meat took me an extra hour and a half I'll bet. After cutting the meat up again, things went pretty smooth.

I had sprinkled the seasonings onto the meat before grinding....I think it distributes the seasonings well.

After everything was ground (I used a one shot head (double grind), I added the NFDM, dissolved the cure in water and mixed by hand a bit before transferring into the LEM mixer.

The mixer was a PITA....probably the worst investment I've made.... it mixed well, but you have to hold it down like you're wrestling a calf while you crank. Then getting the meat out....doesn't have a tip feature...but didn't matter....picked the whole unit up, meat and all and attempted to dump it into the tub....nothing...didn't move....I put it down and dismantled the mixer blades and it still wouldn't come out....the meat stuck to everything on the mixer.....it's got some weird coating that attracts meat like a baby to a teat....and it won't let go....what a mess...finally got the mixing blade out full of meat and slowly had to scrape the mixer down to get the meat out.....I wanted to toss it in the trash right there....

The stuffing went okay...There is a "practice makes perfect" art to stuffing hog casings which I knew going it....had some blowouts....had to learn by feel how much to stuff...got better as it went....but all in all, that process went well.
I made half regular, then added jalepeno and cheddar (which I'm eating right now as I type this) yummm.

My final mistakes came while smoking the meat.
I had a probe in one sausage in the middle of cooker and a smoker thermometer at the center as well.
I started at around 125 and slowly brought it up to 150 over the hour and then the next at 150-160.
The next 2 hours were at 175-180.....my sausage was up around 138 at that time....
I then kicked it up to 205 and decided to probe other sausages with the thermapen....good thing too...some were at 148, some up to 155 on the right half of the smoker....so I panicked a bit to get them off and got that half off the pit and into an ice bath...mistake was that I didn't pay attention to which were which. Put them on the drying rack to bloom, took out the 2nd half and iced them as well.... the sausage got so dark I found it hard to distinguish regular from Jalepeno & cheddar....so some of my "gifts" to people with softer stomachs will be a mystery....some I could see cheese...but I just couldn't tell TBH..... I thought it would be easier to tell which is which....nope! ha.

Side note...the chamber vacuum sealer I bought absolutely rocks!

Anyway...those are my lessons learned. Cheers!
1000002256.jpg

1000002262.jpg
 
Nice write up and everything looks Amazing!! That cheddar jalapeño looks so damn good! I'm impressed with all the sausage makers here it looks like a big commitment for sure!
 
  • Like
Reactions: kevinwi
SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Clicky