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Newbie Sausage Question

Bud J

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I am considering dabbling into sausage making and am currently reading everything I can. A question I have regards mixing the ground meat.

Many people say they grind on a coarse grind and then on a smaller grind. If the final seasoned ground meat is going to get mixed either by hand or machine, what difference does it make how it is ground? Your “smashing “ the meat while mixing so why do some double grind?
 

tallbm

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I am considering dabbling into sausage making and am currently reading everything I can. A question I have regards mixing the ground meat.

Many people say they grind on a coarse grind and then on a smaller grind. If the final seasoned ground meat is going to get mixed either by hand or machine, what difference does it make how it is ground? Your “smashing “ the meat while mixing so why do some double grind?
I only grind once, my grinder can handle it without stressing out.
Once I mix the meat breaks down so much I have never needed to double grind.

Now I HAVE did a larger grind so that when I mixed the meat wouldnt break down as much and it helped.. some.

Some people may need to grind twice to be able to get the texture they want. I find I never need to and I mix with a big sheet rock mud mixer in a cooler or bucket and I get like near emulsified'ish texture so again I just grind once :)
 

SparkyLB

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Grind size affects two things. One is the chew, or consistency of the final product, and the other is flavor. One could make an argument that since a finer grind exposes more surface area, spice hits more of the meat. The deciding factor for me is the sausage I'm making. A breakfast sausage seems to just lend itself to a fine grind, where an italian sausage, for example, does well with a coarse grind. It's up to you. Bratwurst is fantastic either way. Try your recipe both ways and you will answer your question.
 

Bud J

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Sorry if I wasn’t clear in my initial post. I am referring to seeing videos where they grind a couple times and THEN mix it up by hand for about ten minutes to get the protein extraction.
What confuses me is that no matter which grind, you end up crushing it anyway when you mix all of it in the tub. So why be so concerned about which grind is used?

So that leads also to another question...after you grind and add your seasonings, should you mix hard or easily? I’ve seen both.

I was considering purchasing a meat grinder but I do have a food processor that grinds well. So what purpose does a grinder have in this example?

I guess once I actually do the process it will make more sense to me.
 
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smokerjim

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I grind mine once course then mix adding some water to make it easier, over mixing will cause it to be mushy , the more you mix the warmer the meat gets and starts to break down, just my opinion.
 

tallbm

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Sorry if I wasn’t clear in my initial post. I am referring to seeing videos where they grind a couple times and THEN mix it up by hand for about ten minutes to get the protein extraction.
What confuses me is that no matter which grind, you end up crushing it anyway when you mix all of it in the tub. So why be so concerned about which grind is used?

So that leads also to another question...after you grind and add your seasonings, should you mix hard or easily? I’ve seen both.

I was considering purchasing a meat grinder but I do have a food processor that grinds well. So what purpose does a grinder have in this example?

I guess once I actually do the process it will make more sense to me.
My #1 concern with mixing is to get season evenly and well distributed to the meat. The courseness does not make a difference if some of the sausage is over seasoned and some of it is bland because the mixing was not done well enough.

I do like having a courser grind in some sausages BUT I much prefer to have a well seasoned and tasting sausage if that means I sacrifice how course it will turn out.

Your food processor may not hold up to doing higher volumes of meat and/or over time.
A grinder is your only option if lets say you decide you wanna do 10 pounds of meat.

Normally I hunt every year and grind up about 120 pounds of game meat for pure burger grind or for sausage grind. There is no way in the world a food processor would be an option. Also a food processer may heat up a bit more than a grinder would which matters with keeping meat cool and not "cooking" it while grinding it.

I would imagine that if you are consistently doing 5+ pound batches you would enter the realm of needing a grinder.

I hope this info helps :)
 

alan123

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newbie here myself but I have made several varieties of sausages, how I was taught by my mentor was; cut the different meats ie; pork and back fat, into one inch squares add any seasoning including spices, herbs and cheese, etc. mix by hand and into freezer along with all metal grinder parts and if needed plastic tubes. Get near frozen and do a coarse grind. This will aid in mixing spices and herbs as well as the freezer time. Test fry a small sample and add spices and herbs as needed, back to the freezer this helps the grind and keeps the fat from breaking down. I give the meat mixture a quick mix by hand before the second trip to the freezer, the freezer is not to freeze the meat just near frozen so it cuts better and as I stated fat does not melt and brake down. I like a finer grind for the texture on the end product. during The process the spices and herbs and(?) are mixed four or five times; (1) when added at the one inch squares, hand mixed before freezer time, (2) mixed by grinder with the first grind, (3) slight hand mix after first grind, (4) mixed by grinder after second grind, (5) mixed again stuffing sausages. JMO. Great site!
 
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SFLsmkr1

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The fat is usually ground through a plate with very small holes and if it is not partially frozen a smeared paste will be produced. The locking ring on a grinder head should be tight and the knife must be sharp, otherwise the meat will smear. Otherwise we would have meat smearing and the sausage will look greasy even when lean meat was used. Ideally, meat should always be chilled between 32-35°F (0-2ºC) for a clean cut. Since refrigerator temperatures are roughly 38-40°F (3-4º C), we should place the meat in a freezer for about 30 min just before grinding. In domestic conditions, we could choose to cut the meat either during the early hours of the morning, or during late evenings when temperatures are not higher than 70°F (21°C).

After we are done cutting the meat, we should separate it into different groups: lean, semi - fat, and fat. The lean meat should be separated from the fat. As a rule, lean meat is ground coarsely while fatty cuts are ground very finely. This way our sausage is lean-looking and the fat is less visible. It is much easier to grind cold meat taken directly out of the refrigerator. Then they should be placed back into the refrigerator. It is possible to purchase minced meat in a supermarket, just make sure it has been minced the day of the purchase. Such minced meat should be processed not later than the following day.

The question may arise, why do we grind different grades of meat through different plates? It will be much easier to use 3/8” plate for everything.

You can mix by hand but keep in mind your hands are warm and can fat (smear) the meat. To much grinding/mixing will leave you with a product you may not like
 

JC in GB

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This is a great text for learning how to make sausage successfully.

JC :emoji_cat:
 

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