Italian Sausage -Alton Browns Version

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by woodcutter, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I picked up a case of pork butts at Sam's Club yesterday. I made 30 lbs of Alton Brown's Italian sausage. I made it many times before and we keep it on hand in the freezer for pizzas and Italian dishes my wife makes. The remaining 40 lbs will be made into snack sticks the next few days.

    For 2 lbs

    2 lbs coarsely ground pork butt

    1 1/2 tsp toasted and freshly ground fennel seed

    2 tsp kosher salt

    1 1/2 tsp black pepper

    1 Tbs chopped parsley leaves

    The butt case price was $1.29 lb or $1.68 for the 2 pack.

    I purchased a new LEM Grinder on Cyber Monday and used it for the first time today. It is 1hp #22 with the new Big Bite auger. I was really impressed with that auger. The Big Bite auger has a wider space on the rear auger threads so the meat falls right to the stem of the auger and starts to move forward instead of bouncing up and down on the tips of the threads. I had the meat cubed 1 1/2" and did not need the pusher (not even once). I can't wait to double grind with the small plate and may try stuffing with it sometime.

    My grandsons were over because it was New Years Eve and my wife and I are old dinosaurs that stay home. Unlike my children who were unable to stay home on New Years Eve. My grandsons like to be around when I'm making sausage and I like having them.

    We bulked it up in 1 lb bags and put it in the freezer.
  2. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks great, Todd! I have the LEM #5 grinder with Big Bite auger, and even with this smaller grinder the meat just falls in and gets ground without hardly needing to use the stomper. A really good grinder design!

    Sounds like some great quality time with the grandkids! I can't think of a better way to spend New Year's Eve.

    Happy 2014!
  3. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice looking new looks like you had a good helper too....... You can't beat the case price at Sam's ..... ShoneyBoy
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  4. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great job on the sausage. I got one out of the 4 grandkids who is interested in sausage making also. great to carry on the tradition. Reinhard
  5. thats a good price on pork butts 
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice on the new machine!

    But on the young helper? 

    Passing skills and the love of the work on to another generation?


    Great job!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  7. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks everyone! Not a very exciting thread but it was a busy and fun day.
  8. sodak

    sodak Newbie


    I may be over thinking this, but when you get done grinding the pork you just mix the ingredients at the top of your post with it and then separate and freeze?  I don't know why but my thinking about making sausage is there are like 30 steps and if they're not done in the right order and at the right times the whole batch is ruined.

    It is good to see young people getting interested in what you are doing.  The only thing my 20 yr old son is interested in is that what I made tastes good.  lol

  9. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

     Thanks, after your son starts figuring how  really good the fresh sausage is he will start watching how you do things. After grinding I mixed all the ingredients at once. Then I test fried a few patties in the frying pan and packaged in 1 lb bags. This is sweet Italian sausage which is a fresh sausage and needs to cooked. It will be browned in the pan for pizzas or different recipes and will not be going in the smoker.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  10. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great sausage. Great pics. Great time with the grand kids. Great post.

  11. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi All My last try at making Italian sausage, came out on the dry side. 5 lbs ground pork- 3 TBS fennel-2Tbs salt- 11/2 TBs ground pepper. The taste was a little on the peppery side. The fat content looked like it was right on.

    The texture was OK but the sauasge was dry?And idea's why the sausage came out dry?. The sausage was hot cook in a frying pan.

    Thanks Dan
  12. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not sure Dan. This was ground pork butt, about 20% fat. Either it cooked too long or not enough fat would be my guess.
  13. stoverr2

    stoverr2 Fire Starter

    I picked up the #8 big bite a few weeks ago and can't believe the difference. I processed 130 pounds of beef and pork over the weekend, with 100 pounds of that going through in about an hour. It took almost as much time to change out the meat lugs as it did to grind. Everything was put through the fine plate the first time through.

    One thing I noticed though is that the auger got extremely hot back by the bushing. I'm assuming there was a warning about running the grinder for x number of minutes then cooling down, but I must have glossed over that.
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I can see that there is no need me even starting into sausage, you guys are in a league of your own.  You guys wipe out the whole feed lot per grinding!

    Add on that stainless steel room to the garage with a heavy duty A/C and a trolley system to move the meat! Next it the 50# water stuffer?

    Here I was thinking I was crossing the line buying a #5 pound stuffer. I have an old hand crank grinder if yours wears out.

    Its wild one post does 100 hotdogs at a time, then Woodcutter is buying pork by the railcar.


    Where do you store all these projects? Walk-ins?

    You guys are so far over my even my imagination it scares me.

    BTW nice looking grinder and its awesome to develop the interest of another generation. Great pictures Woodcutter, I bet the grandson made a big difference in the workload. And now enjoys the sausage even more. I can hear him now at the pizza place saying how their sausage is not as good as Grandpa's.
  15. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I didn't have any heating on the auger. Does yours have the nylon bushing that slides on?
  16. stoverr2

    stoverr2 Fire Starter

    Yes, it has the bushing. Only the last 1/2" of the auger in front of the bushing, as well as the sprocket were hot. To the point that I was not able to touch it without pulling my hand away.
  17. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Remember all that ham I made in November? I'm working on the last package as I type.[​IMG] I started to have a sausage making day at my house last year. My brother and sister and nephew and grand kids and some friends were all over helping and learning. My brother sells cheese at a large company and had a sausage day in his garage 4 years ago. The company chef was there and very experienced making sausage. Chef Kevin planted the seed. After that I built my smoker and joined SMF. So I'm having like a mini sausage making class again this year to keep everyone interested.
  18. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You might want to call LEM about that problem. My whole auger was frosty cold from cold meat passing through it.
  19. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    Running your meat through the fine plate on the first grind may be why your auger heated up. Most folks grind twice, first with the course plate, then through the fine plate. This may help your heat problem.
  20. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nice tools woodcutter.......What a great way to spend time with your grandchildren an experience they wont forget.......

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