Sausage Recipe Secrets

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Feb 22, 2006
Sausage Recipe Secrets

Basically sausage is meat, salt and pepper. I will never forget when I made my first Polish smoked sausage that turned out very well and I proudly gave it to my friend - professional sausage maker Waldemar to try. I have included salt, pepper, garlic, and added optional marjoram. I also added nutmeg and other spices that I liked. Well my friend’s judgement was as follows:

“Great sausage but why all those perfumes?”

For him it was supposed to be the classical Polish Smoked Sausage and all it needed was salt, pepper and garlic.
Combining meat with salt and pepper already makes a great product providing that you will follow the basic rules of sausage making. It's that simple. Like roasting a chicken, it needs only salt, pepper, rotisserie, and it always comes out perfect. If you don’t cure your meats properly or screw up your smoking and cooking temperatures, all the spices in the world (saffron included) will not save your sausage.

The rules (the secrets):

1. Fat. The meat needs about 25 - 30% fat in it. The fat is the glue that holds meat particles together and gives sausages their texture.

2. Salt. You need salt. The proper amount of salt in meat (tastes pleasant) is 2 – 3 %, though 1.5 –2% is a usual average acceptable level. About 3.5-5% will be the upper limit of acceptability, anything more and the product will be too salty. Almost all original sausage recipes contain 2 % of salt and if you use that figure your sausages will be great.

Get the calculator and punch in some numbers. Or if you use the metric system you don’t even need the calculator: You need 2 grams of salt per 100 grams of meat. If you buy ten times more meat (1 kg) you will also need ten times more salt (20 grams). Now for the rest of your life you don’t have to worry about salt in your recipes.
If you want a consistent product weigh out your salt. Estimating salt per cups or spoons can be deceiving as not all salts weigh the same per unit volume.

3. Ingredients. Pepper is less crucial. If you don’t put enough you can always use a shaker, if you put too much get a beer or give it to your Mexican neighbor and he will love you for that. Normally it is about 5 - 10 % of the salt in the recipe.
You have already done the major part that’s needed to produce a good quality sausage. The rest is fine-tuning your creation.
Sugar. Less crucial, normally used to offset the harshness of salt. Amount used is about 10 % of the salt used in the recipe. Sugar is normally used with salt when curing meat.
Spices. Use freshly ground spices. Spices are very volatile and lose their aroma rapidly.
Most sausages will include a dominant spice plus other spices and ingredients. There are some Polish blood sausages (kaszanka) that add buckwheat grouts or rice, there are English blood sausages (black pudding) that include barley, flour or oatmeal. Some great Cajun sausages like Boudain also include rice, pork, liver and a lot of onion. Most sausages are made of solid meat which is easier and faster to process, but a lot of sausages like headcheese contain different organs like tongue, heads with brains, liver, skins, and hearts. Liver of course always goes into liverwurst. There are some delicious hams where the only ingredient is salt and people say that even adding pepper distorts the natural flavor.

Let's see what goes besides salt and pepper into some well known sausages that have a recognized flavor:

This is only a part of the article, to see it all go to:
Don't forget to add a little love! If we are going to make a quality product we have to have a quality attitude!
Love to make sausage!
This is an excellent post, Seminole. Thanks for sharing it. Some folks have a general idea of what they would like in their sausage and haven't a clue about recipe development. I hope those that want to develop their own sausage blends will refer to your post as a primer. To this I would add a couple of items as input-

Keep notes on your recipe developments, list the meat and all ingredients used. Use accurate measurements whether by weight or volume (teaspoons, cups, etc). Keeping notes will allow you to go back and make adjustments to the listed ingredients, make additions or remove a spice altogether. Use your notes to list the comments of those who sample your test product.. Record your thoughts as well.

In developing a recipe MAKE SMALL BATCHES:!: A pound or two at the most will do. When you get the seasoning the way you like it you can adjust it for larger batches.
And if I may expand on my previous post....Do not be afraid to experiment! As Dutch pointed out start with small batches, a pound or less. You will be amazed at the flavors you can attain with with just a "pinch" of this or that!
Definition "pinch" My Scottish grandmother's idea of a measure less than a teaspoon!
Different types of salt and brands of kosher salt can be interchangable when cooking. However the amounts have to be modifed if using something other than what is called for in the recipe. Salt is most effectivly measured by weight but if your mesuring volume here is a handy guide.

Table Salt 1 cup
Morton Kosher Salt 1-1/2 cups
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt 2 cups

Just remember that table salt weighs about 10 ounces per cup, while kosher salt weighs 5-8 ounces per cup, depending on the brand. So when in doubt no matter what kind of salt or brand your using 10 ounces eguals 1 cup. Hope that helps.
Hey guys,
I know I am replying a few months "after the fact" but I have never made sausage and am intrigued by the idea. What kind of equipment does one use? I'm sure a meat grinder is required, but is it any ol' meat grinder? Does it require an attachment for the casing? Am I babbling on and on??? Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. :)
Hey prp, The meat grinder you will need. When I was young I use to watch my grandmother make them, She used an old wine bottle with a long neck and my grandfarther cut the top of the bottle off and polished the edges, she would put the casings on the neck of the bottle and fill the end with meat and push it into the casing with her thumbs .. OR .. you could try and find a hand sasuage stuffer.

Joe, my Bride got me a KitchenAid mixer one year for Father's Day and the kids got me the Grinder attachment to go with it. I picked up the stuffing horns and now I have everything I need to make my own sauage except for the casings and the time- :roll: I've got 50 pounds of pork butt in the freezer just wanting to be used. :D

BTW-using the KitchenAid with the dough hook or the paddle mixer sure makes "pulling" pork a snap. :P
Hi Dutch, I got one of those new fangled kitchen aid thinga ma gigs with da sasuage stuffer too boot too. I don't think someone is going to run out and buy one of those thangs to make sasuages.. not very cost productive, But if you get it as a gift from yer sweety all the bettah. But is yer on a budget you can try the way my grandmom use to do it back in the old country..

PS: Dutch, nice tip on the pulled pork with the dough hook.. But sometimes a man just get in there and shread that sucker by hand after putting all that time and effort into it.

Hmmmm Joe, I think you have given me a good idea. But instead of using a wine bottle (I don't think I'd want to fool with cutting glass), I may try using a plastic 16 oz. Coke bottle. It's the perfect shape (I guess). As for grinding and adding flavor to the meat, well I have a handy-dandy food processor. What do you guys think? So where can I buy casings from? The butcher?
yo 2003,
for about 50 bucks you can get a manual
#8 PORKERT brand.
porkert brand has stuffing attachments with unit.

# 10 grinder is easier to get parts for. has every thing you need.
call them if you need help.

if you want a electric grinder with attachments
look at the sausage maker company[for 119 bucks]
im away from my puter or i would give you
their correct addy.

each place gets a little of my money.

i have been well satisfied with their products and service.

i use #8 porkert myself.
the biggest batch i've made so for is 10 lbs.

it handles it easily.
Sam, FWIW-a food processor will emulsify the meat and give a mushier texture whereas a grinder will give you a more course texture.
Dutch is right, If ya grind it in food processer it will turn to mush.. But.. id ya put the chunk of meat on a wooden slab and use two cleavers and chop chop chop until yer arms falls off. I'd get the meat grinder.. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.