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First Time Making Sausage, Got Some Questions

kevin james

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As the title suggests, I'm going to make my first attempt at making sausage in the next couple weeks during some time off from work, and I'm a little intimidated, so looking for some help. For equipment, I have a LEM Big Bite #12 grinder and a LEM 5 LB stuffer that I ordered about a year ago and I've never even opened them yet (I know, shame on me, it's been a crazy year but I'm ready to give this sausage making thing a try finally!)

First of all, I want to make sure I'm doing it safely due to the cold smoke requirement, and I understand I need to use a curing salt. I was going to order this pink curing salt, but want to make sure this is the right thing. amazon" style="width:120px">


I'm planning to start off small since it's my first time and I have no idea what I'm doing. I want to do 5 pounds of Texas style all beef sausage, and 5 pounds of a jalapeno and cheddar type sausage. I'm wondering if anyone has any good recipees to follow.

For casings, I want to go natural hog and was just going to order these but wondering if there is a better place I should be looking. They're actually slightly cheaper on Amazon than directly through LEM plus free shipping. amazon" style="width:120px">


For the Jalapeno and Cheese sausage, I know they make a high temp cheddar cheese for sausage specifically, but I seem to remember seeing a Youtube video with Texas sausage guru Bill Dumas that said he does NOT use that, he uses regular cheddar cheese and feels it makes a better end product. Wondering peoples thoughts on that.

Last, equipment wise, aside from the grinder and stuffer, is there anything else I need? Trying to get all my stuff together now, so that I'm ready to go when the time comes in a couple weeks.

Any help, or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
 

Coreymacc

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You mention cold smoking. If you could elaborate on your plans, were these going to be made as fresh sausage(uncooked) or cooked? I assume you are going to make them as fresh. .

Corey
 

kevin james

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You mention cold smoking. If you could elaborate on your plans, were these going to be made as fresh sausage(uncooked) or cooked? I assume you are going to make them as fresh. .

Corey

Yes, that is the plan. I've watched a few Youtube videos on sausage making from Chud's BBQ and Smokin Joe's Pit BBQ and all of their videos show them cold smoking the sausage first at somewhere around 150, then cooled in an ice bath, vac sealed and stored until ready to eat, at which point they are "hot smoked" at 275 or so.

That is the style I'm planning to try.
 

SmokinEdge

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That is the correct cure #1 to be used at 1.1g per pound or 1 level teaspoon per 5# meat.
Those casings will work, just remember to soak them in water for a few hours and rinse them inside and out before stuffing.
The Sausage Maker, or Craft Butchers Pantry, and butcher & packer, the companies I buy supplies from. You can get 5# of cure #1 for the price of what you are looking at, casings are cheaper too, but you do pay shipping. Might check them out.

I use extra sharp cheddar because it is dryer and work good in sausage. Just try not to take IT beyond 150*. Velveeta works well also, but likes to stick together when mixing. It delicious though.

Jalapeño Cheddar sausage (Basic)
cheese) 130g per kg meat
Pickled jalapeño) 70g per Kg
Garlic) 3.5g per Kg
salt) 2.0%
Cure #1) 0.25%
Black pepper) 2.0g per Kg
Sugar) 1.5g per Kg
Marjoram) 1.0g per Kg
Ground mace) 1.0g per Kg.
Ice water) 100ml per Kg
 

jimmyinsd

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just my 2 cents here,

avoid casing from amazon or other retail outlets. buy from somebody like syracuse casing, a sausage making supplier, or go to your local sausage makers like a butcher shop or other and buy from them. even if you pay a little more, IMO you will get much better quality. I started out with those lem casings from amazon and they were junk, short pieces, holes, just not good quality.

read up on proper casing prep, this will help you immensely on avoiding blow outs when stuffing.

another thing I might suggest is to start with brats or some sausage that will be be good just cooked fresh, that way if you have blow outs or other when you are learning the ropes on stuffing, twisting links, etc... you can just tie off around them, squeeze out the excess and then make patties that will taste just as good fried as they would smoked. once you got those techniques down you can move onto the more time consuming processes.

also look at adjusting your smoker temps up as you go, putting sausage into a cooker and jacking the temp to quickly will lead to tougher casings, at least that is what I have always been told and I have had a few batches over the years that have a tougher casing that when I look back I rushed the temps a bit.
 

BGKYSmoker

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150 is too high too fast.
 

smokeymose

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A heavy crock for mixing is nice. Nitrile gloves, also for mixing. A decent scale is a must!!!
Kitchen twine. A sausage pricker for popping bubbles (a hatpin or something works).
Some way to fasten your stuffer to the counter because it WILL want to move around.
Sounds kooky but an apron is handy for wiping your hands :-)
What you're talking about is better called "warm smoking" (cold smoking doesn't involve any heat).
Most folks start at about 120 and bump it up every hour or so to about 160. Just watch your IT.
I like the pre-tubed casings from Syracuse Casing (makincasin.com) but there are several good ones. Waltons, SausageMaker, etc.
Good luck and welcome to sausagemaking! I haven't had a store bought sausage in 5 years.....
(I can't help with recipes for those sausages)
 

boykjo

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Your equipment is fine. I suggest you stay away from casings packed in salt and find casings in a salt solution. If you get them packed in salt you'll need to spend some time (days to weeks) prepping your casings. You could cut corners with prep time but you wont have a good experience and results the first time processing sausages.



Boykjo
 

SmokinEdge

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I actually bought some cases from LEM (lamb) a few months ago and they were in solution. They were nice to work with.
 

Coreymacc

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My 2 cents, ive never heard of a fresh sausage being smoked in any kind of heat until its going to be cooked and consumed. If its a 150 deg smoke that to me is almost a semi cooked? The cure will keep the nasties away, just a different method than I'm used to. Not looking for a debate or anything just my stubborn old black and white brain talking. Never really heard of a semi cooked / warm smoked fresh sausage.

Corey
 

kevin james

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Thanks for the input guys! I'll skip Amazon and look at the companies you guys mentioned. Much appreciated!
 

Steve H

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If you get them packed in salt you'll need to spend some time (days to weeks) prepping your casings.

Really? I get them packed in salt and never had to take days or weeks to prep them. A few hours soaking in cold water with changing the water a few times and rinsing well always worked for me. What brand/type are you referring to?
 

indaswamp

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Really? I get them packed in salt and never had to take days or weeks to prep them. A few hours soaking in cold water with changing the water a few times and rinsing well always worked for me. What brand/type are you referring to?
From my experience....
there are two kinds of packed in salt casings...those that are bone dry, and those that are still a little wet. The bone dry ones are what boykjo is referring to. If the casings still have some moisture, then it is easier for them to relax and stretch out when soaked in water.
 

Steve H

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From my experience....
there are two kinds of packed in salt casings...those that are bone dry, and those that are still a little wet. The bone dry ones are what boykjo is referring to. If the casings still have some moisture, then it is easier for them to relax and stretch out when soaked in water.

Thank you Inda. I wasn't aware of that.
 

smokeymose

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Really? I get them packed in salt and never had to take days or weeks to prep them. A few hours soaking in cold water with changing the water a few times and rinsing well always worked for me. What brand/type are you referring to?
Same here.
 

smokeymose

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I use pre tubed from Syracuse and have no idea if they have any moisture. They don't seem to but I guess they aren't bone dry.
A thorough rinse, an overnight soak in the fridge and another rinse and soak on the counter next day has always been fine.
 

boykjo

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Really? I get them packed in salt and never had to take days or weeks to prep them. A few hours soaking in cold water with changing the water a few times and rinsing well always worked for me. What brand/type are you referring to?

I'm referring to casings packed in salt only and have no liquid like the LEM casings the op was wanting to try .

Boykjo
 

Steve H

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I'm referring to casings packed in salt only and have no liquid like the LEM casings the op was wanting to try .

Boykjo

Thanks. That was explained to me. I didn't know this. I've always used Syracuse casings that aren't like this.
 

SmokinEdge

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FC1C5C66-9799-4355-BB02-321B4DBB8A10.jpeg

This is a home pack I bought from them a couple months ago from my Sportsmans Warehouse. They are in a solution with no visible salt at all. These turn silky pretty fast soaked in water.
 

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