• 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1


Recent Posts

  • Fresh Sausage Fresh Sausage 101 - What Is Fresh Sausage?

    Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Bratwurst Breakfast Sausage What is Fresh Sausage?

    Fresh Sausage is a traditionally a product that has been ground, seasoned and then most times stuffed into a casing for cooking. The size of the sausage can vary from as small as breakfast sausage link all the way up to 35mm Bratwurst style sausage. It can be made from beef, pork, poultry or wild game or other meats and even some non-meat items are being called sausage now.

    Initially, sausage was made to use as much of an animal as possible so organ meats, connective tissue, and other non-desirable cuts were ground, salted and then stuffed into the intestines of the animal to be either cooked or cured. Over time it proved to be so popular due to its taste that the practice of using lower quality cuts is no longer common.

    Today some common types of Fresh Sausage are Breakfast whether it is in links, patties or just made as a ground product, Italian, Bratwurst, Mexican Chorizo, and even some Boudin. Because a cure is not used for fresh products they need to be refrigerated or consumed right away. When cooking them you can add smoke if desired but it is less common.

    Meat Block

    Sausage can be made from almost any meat. Pork is the most common as it is readily available and relatively inexpensive but beef is also fairly common and chicken sausage is also becoming much more common and commercially available. Regardless of what meat block is being used at least 80/20 fat ratio is standard but we like 70/30 and some even go closer to 50/50. This means if a leaner wild game such as venison is being used the correct amount of pork fat will need to be added or the finished product will be less flavorful and overly dry. The best time to add this pork fat is during the second grind so it can mix in well with the lean meat. For most types of fresh sausage, the meat should be ground twice through a 3/16" plate to achieve the ideal particle size.

    Texture

    Fresh Sausage, especially Bratwurst and Breakfast Link Sausage does not have the same texture as a cured sausage. This is because we do not need to achieve protein extraction during the mixing process as we are not smoking this, meaning there is less of a danger of the fat rendering out of the meat during the cooking process. The end result is that when you cut one open it will have a more coarse appearance and mouthfeel.

    Casings

    Fresh Sausage can be stuffed into natural casings, like hog and sheep, or you can use fresh collagen casings. Since Fresh Sausage can cover everything from Breakfast Links to Bratwurst you might be using casings as small as 21mm collagen or as large as 35mm natural hog casings.

    Cooking

    Depending on the meat that you are using to make your sausage you will need to cook it to different internal temperatures. For example, beef and pork sausages need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160° F while chicken and other poultry need to be cooked to 165°F. The reason that sausage needs to be cooked higher than a whole muscle cut, like steak, is that very little harmful bacteria live inside the muscle, the majority of it is on the surface. Once you have ground that however you have exposed all of the meat to that bacteria and it must be properly cooked to be safe to eat.

    Storage

    Either cook your sausage right away or freeze and then vacuum pack it for future use. If you do not freeze the sausage first and try to vacuum pack it you will end up crushing your sausage and it will either have flat sides to it or it will be pushed out of the casing altogether.

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Vertical Smokers Shop waltonsinc.com for American BBQ Systems Smokers

    read more
  • Fresh Sausage Fresh Sausage 102 - Equipment Needed For Fresh Sausage

    Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Meat Grinder Meat Grinder What Is The Most Important Piece of Equipment?

    For fresh sausage, the most important piece of equipment will be a Meat Grinder. Most of the time we don’t like to use the stuffing functions of grinders. It is generally a lot slower to process this way and will be more difficult to stuff your sausage correctly. However, with Fresh Sausage, it is a little easier as you do not need to achieve protein extraction during the mixing process so the meat will flow through the grinder easier.

    To make sausage with just a grinder start with a whole muscle cut of meat, we like to use an untrimmed pork butt as it is large, inexpensive and has a lean to fat ratio of around 70/30. The first step will be to break this down into smaller chunks, to do this use a sharp knife on a sanitized cutting surface. The size it needs to be cut into will depend on the size of the grinder, a larger grinder like a 32 will accept larger chunks of meat than a smaller grinder like a #8. Make sure that you cut your meat into small enough pieces to easily fit down the whole from the hopper to the grinder throat.

    Before you grind to make sure your plate and knife are sharp and that they have been lubricated with white oil to cut down on friction and to extend the life of your plate and knife. To achieve the proper consistency you should grind the meat through a 3/16" twice. Your second grind will take longer than your first grind, this is normal. Once you have reached the end of your second grind take a small amount of what has already been ground twice and put it through the process again, this will force any meat that was not pushed through the plates to be ground a second time.

    Then put on your stuffing attachments for your grinder, load your casings onto that and begin stuffing until the casings are filled to the desired level.

    Do You Still Need A Sausage Stuffer?

    A stuffer can, and in the long-term absolutely should be in the kit of anyone making homemade sausage. Stuffing off of a Sausage Stuffer going to give you a better product, will allow you to be more precise and give you the ability to stuff small diameter sausages that a grinder won’t do. You can also make Fresh Sausage at home with just a stuffer, it just requires that you buy pre-ground meat at your grocery store or local butcher shop.

    Do You Need A Meat Mixer

    The short answer is no. A meat mixer will help you keep your hands clean (and warm) but since you don’t need protein extraction mixing in your meat by hand or adding it between the first and second grind, will work just as well.

    Best Grinder For Beginners

    The Weston #8 Meat Grinder - Black or the Weston #12 750 Watt Grinder are both good entry level grinders that will allow you to stuff larger diameter casings as well. These grinders work best for smaller batches (5-10 lb) and need to be allowed to cool down and not run for more than 5 minutes. If you are looking for the next step up both the Butcher and Pro Series Grinders are capable of handling heavier duties.

    $500 Budget for Equipment

    If I have $500 to purchase my equipment to make Fresh Sausage I would buy an 11 lb Sausage Stuffer for $179.99 then I would spend the other $320 on the Weston #8 Butcher Series Grinder.

    Other Notes

    Ideally, these two would be used together as this allows for the process to be controlled from start to finish. A meat mixer could be helpful but since this is a fresh product and we do not have to worry about protein extraction it is not really necessary, mixing in a lug or large bowl with your hands will be sufficient.

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Vertical Smokers Shop waltonsinc.com for American BBQ Systems Smokers

    read more
  • Fresh Sausage Fresh Sausage 103 - Casings For Breakfast Sausage

    Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Hog Casings Hog Casings What Types Of Breakfast Sausage Are There?

    Breakfast Sausage comes in three varieties, Link, Ground, and Patty. Ground Sausage is simply stuffed into a Pork Sausage Bags and then cooked in a pan or griddle whenever desired. Patties can either be formed from Ground Sausage or stuffed into Poly Tubing, frozen and then cut to the desired width before cooking. The most common though will be stuffed into links.

    What Type Of Casing Should I Use For Links

    Since breakfast sausage is as fresh sausage that is generally stuffed into a small diameter sausage the 21mm Fresh Collagen is a perfect choice. The Fresh Collagen has the most tender bite of all of the collagen casings, it is a perfect size and they are available in small packages of just 3 strands at a time.

    The other option for Breakfast Links would be 22-24mm Sheep Casings. The slight increase in diameter from the 21mm Collagen will hardly be noticeable. Natural Sheep Casings have a very nice tender bite and as most Breakfast Sausage will be pan-fried these casings work well as they have some elasticity to them so they will not split easily when the meat expands.

    Advantages and Disadvantages To Collagen and Natural.

    The main advantage of Collagen over Natural Sheep Casings is that Collagen does not require any preparation, you simply remove it from the package, load it onto your stuffing tube and begin stuffing. Collagen casings are also stronger and less prone to blowouts when stuffing than Sheep Casings are. The main disadvantage to Collagen casings is that they will not hold a twist, once you cut them to separate them they will come unraveled.

    Sheep Casings main advantage is that it does hold a twist once cut, this gives it an advantage in appearance. Its major disadvantages are that they have to be rinsed and soaked (and sometimes flushed) and they are more susceptible to blowouts during the stuffing process.

    Other Notes

    Both Pork Sausage Bags and the Poly Tubing require no preparation.

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Poly Bag Sealers Shop waltonsinc.com for Holly Regular Pork Sausage Seasoning

    read more
  • Fresh Sausage Fresh Sausage 104 - Casings For Bratwurst.

    Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Mixing in seasoning Mixing in seasoning What Is Bratwurst?

    Bratwurst is a fresh sausage product that can be made out of pork, beef, wild game or really any type of meat and stuffed into a wide variety of casings. Sizes can range from 28mm to 35mm with 30 or 32mm being the most common. The two most popular casings to choose from are natural hog casings and collagen casings. The same casings that are used for Brats can be used for Italian sausages as well.

    What Type Of Casing Are Used For Bratwurst?

    Natural Hog Casings
    Natural Hog Casings are processed and cleaned hog intestines. They are available in 30-32mm, 32-35mm and 35-38mm 100-yard “hanks” that can hold between 125 lb and 150 lb of product. The casings are kept fresh in a salt solution during storage and shipping. Before using these you must rinse and then soak them in warm water for 30 minutes. They can then be loaded onto the corresponding sized stuffing tube and be filled. 32-35mm hog casings are also available in Home Packs that are packed in salt to keep them fresh. Each home pack will process about 25 lb of meat and must be rinsed, and soaked in warm water for 30 minutes before they are ready for use but they must also be flushed first. Flushing is letting fresh water run through the casing, the easiest way to do this is to turn on a faucet at a slow trickle and then hold one end of the casing and allow the water to find its way into the opening. Trying to pull the casing open before the water opens that up is difficult. The home packs will often be in shorter strands than the casings in a hank as well. A strand of casings from a 32/35mm hog hank are generally much longer than what you will get in a homepack, so if you do go with a home pack you will be loading casings onto your stuffer more often.

    The 32/35mm hog casings also come in a Tubed Package. This means there is a plastic tube running down the center of the hog casing that you slide onto your stuffing tube and then pull it out, which leaves the casing on the tube. These casings still must be rinsed and soaked in warm water before use but they do not need to be flushed. This is also available for all sizes of the sheep casings.

    Natural casings, whether hog or sheep will have a slight curve to them once that have been fully stuffed. These casings will sometimes have an odor to them as well, this is generally not an indication of any spoilage, remember these are a natural product and even though they have been cleaned and processed they are still hog intestine.

    Collagen Casings
    Collagen casings are made from a restructured beef hide and are available in three different types, Smoke, Fresh and Clear. Fresh Collagen casings are more tender than smoked or clear which are both designed to stand up to being hung in a smokehouse. Fresh Collagen is semi-transparent and will become clear when they are cooked. In the end, they should give a similar look to a natural hog casing without a curve. The 32mm is closer to the size that you may find in many store brand sausages and bratwursts, but many people prefer the slightly smaller diameter 30mm casings when making sausage or brats as they fit into a bun a little better. We have 30mm Fresh Collagen available in packs with 2 50’ strands that will do about 40 lb of meat or full caddies which have 30 50’ strands that will hold about 530 lb of meat. These casings require no prep work, simply take them out of the package, load as much as you need onto a stuffing horn and you are ready to start stuffing.

    Advantages and Disadvantages To Collagen and Natural.

    The main advantage of Collagen over Natural Hog Casings is that Collagen does not require any preparation, you simply remove it from the package, load it onto your stuffing tube and begin stuffing. Collagen casings are also stronger and less prone to blowouts when stuffing than Hog Casings are. The main disadvantage to Collagen casings is that they will not hold a twist, once you cut them to separate them they will come unraveled.

    Hog Casings main advantage over collagen is that it will hold a twist once cut. Its major disadvantages are that they have to be rinsed and soaked (and sometimes flushed) and they are more susceptible to blowouts during the stuffing process.

    What We Prefer

    Because of the ease of use and the uniformity we tend to like to use collagen casings more than natural casings, this is especially true for beginners.

    Shop waltonsinc.com for 11 lb Sausage Stuffer Shop waltonsinc.com for Weston #22 Butcher Series Grinder

    read more
  • Fresh Sausage Fresh Sausage 106 - Basic Bratwurst Processing

    Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Grinding Meat Grinding Meat Grinding Meat What Is Bratwurst?

    Fresh sausage can be made from pork, beef, wild game, poultry or really any type of meat. One of the best things about making fresh sausage is how easy it is to make, of all the sausage you can make at home fresh sausage is the easiest and requires the least amount of equipment. Another great thing about Bratwurst is the wide variety of flavors of seasoning that are available. This article will focus on how to make Bratwurst, but this same process will also cover Italian Sausage and Mexican Chorizo.

    Meat Block

    10 lb of Untrimmed Pork Butts
    1 Bag of Apple Bratwurst Seasoning
    1 lb of Hi-Temp Cheddar Cheese

    Equipment

    Weston #12 Butcher Series Grinder
    Walton’s 11 lb Sausage Stuffer

    Process

    The first thing we need to do is break this down into pieces that our grinder can handle, we are using the Weston #12 Butcher series grinder so we need to make the pieces small enough to fit down the throat, the larger your grinder is, the larger pieces it can handle. Grind the meat through a 3/16" plate twice, the second grind will be slower than the first one. If you want to grind once, then mix in your seasoning and grind again that is fine as well. We prefer to do the mixing and the grinding separately though. If you are making this out of venison and you want to add some pork or even beef fat grinding it in at this point is a good idea.

    Meat Mixing

    Since this is a fresh product we are not concerned with protein extraction which means you can mix this with your hands if you choose, a meat mixer might still make it easier for you. To make stuffing easier you can add 1 pint of cold water per 25 lb batch (or if you are making chorizo add 1/2 pint of cold water and 1/2 pint of 50 grain white distilled vinegar), your seasoning and hi-temp cheese (if you are using any) We are using 6 oz of Excalibur’s Apple bratwurst seasoning and 1 lb of cheddar cheese since we are making a 10 lb batch. Mix until all the seasoning and additives have evenly dispersed into the meat.

    Sausage Stuffing

    We are using a 30mm collagen casing for this as it works well for both Italian Sausage and Bratwursts and the 22mm stuffing tube that comes with Walton’s stuffers. If you want to use a 32mm collagen or hog casing that is perfectly fine, just make sure that if you are using hog casings that they have been rinsed and soaked. For beginners, I recommend using collagen as it is one less thing to worry about. Next, slide your casings onto the stuffing tube.

    Now, load your stuffing canister making sure to pack it down between loads to eliminate air pockets. Once your stuffer is loaded begin cranking it down using the bottom gear. Try to keep an even and steady pressure throughout. While one person cranks, another person should be down at the tube end holding the casing lightly enough that the casing flows off of the tube with the meat but with enough force that the casing is filled. Or it can be done by yourself, it might help you to clamp your stuffer down to the table if you are doing it without anyone else. Collagen casings will do better if they are just slightly under-stuffed.

    Note

    To twist these we are going to pinch down about 5" and twist in one direction, then pinch down 5" from that and twist in the same direction, or you can skip a link and twist in the opposite direction.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    Grill at medium heat until the internal temperature is 160°. If you try to cook them at too high of a heat you run the risk of your casing splitting.

    Cooling

    If you want to vacuum pack your bratwurst make sure you put it in the freezer for a while first. If you try to vacuum pack fresh sausage without it being frozen the pressure from the chamber will crush your sausage and it will lose the classic shape.

    Wrap up

    Making Homemade Bratwurst is a great way to get into making your own sausage. It requires very few pieces of equipment, has a wide variety of flavors available and you don’t need a complicated cooking schedule if you can grill a Hot Dog you can grill a Bratwurst!

    Additional Tips You could make this with either just a grinder or just a stuffer. If you buy already ground meat you can mix in seasoning by hand and then stuff it into casings, if you are starting with whole muscle you can break it down with a grinder and then stuff it with the grinder as well. Always make sure the grinder plates and knives are well oiled and in good condition. Other Notes

    This same will also cover Italian Sausage and Mexican Chorizo, just add some 50-grain white vinegar (if desired) with Mexican Chorizo.

    Watch WaltonsTV: Basic Bratwurst Processing Shop waltonsinc.com for Bratwurst Seasoning Shop waltonsinc.com for Meat Grinders Shop waltonsinc.com for High-Temp Cheese Shop waltonsinc.com for Boning Knives

    read more
  • Fresh Sausage Fresh Sausage 107 - Basic Breakfast Sausage Processing

    Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Butcher Series Grinding Meat Stuffing Meat Stuffing Meat What Is Breakfast Sausage?

    Breakfast Sausage, or as it is sometimes called Pork Sausage, can be stuffed into casings to make link sausages, formed into patties to be added to breakfast sandwiches or you can use it as a ground product and add it to other dishes. Most Breakfast Sausage Seasonings will contain Sage as an ingredient if you do not like the taste of sage Locker PSS Special No Sage is one of the few Pork Sausage Seasonings that does not have any sage.

    Meat Block

    25 lb of Untrimmed Pork Butts (Fat % between 20-30%)
    1 Bag of Holly regular Pork Sausage Seasoning

    Equipment

    Weston #12 Butcher Series Grinder
    Walton’s 11 lb Sausage Stuffer

    Process

    We need to break this down into pieces that our grinder can handle, we are using the Weston #12 Butcher series grinder so we need to make the pieces small enough to fit down the throat, the larger grinder you have the larger pieces it can handle. For this grinder, our throat size is about 2.5 inches and while pieces that size could be stuffed down there for the ease of the grinder we will try to keep them in about 2-inch pieces. Grind all meat twice through a 3/16th plate twice to get the desired consistency. If you want you can mix in your seasoning between grinding but we prefer to do it after.

    Casings

    Now, if we are using the 22-24mm sheep casings you will need to rinse and soak them before they are being used. To do this the easiest way is to turn on a faucet at a slow stream and hold the casing underneath it, let the water find the opening and it will fill it for you, much easier than trying to find and separate the opening with your fingers. Now once they have been rinse soak them for in warm water for 30-60 minutes prior to stuffing. Or you can just use collagen casings and all you have to do is take them out of the plastic package and load them on your stuffing tube.

    If you are making a ground product use a meat bag and the 38mm stuffing tube that comes with the Walton’s Sausage Stuffer.

    Meat Mixing

    Because this is a fresh product, meaning we did not add any cure, we do not need to achieve noticeable levels of protein extraction, all we need to do is make sure our seasoning is fully mixed into the meat. You can do this with your hands or use a meat mixer if you prefer.

    Sausage Stuffing

    Since we are using smaller casings we will be using the 16mm stuffing tube so we will load our casings onto the tube and then pack the stuffer canister. Once your stuffer is loaded begin cranking it down using the top gear. Try to keep an even and steady pressure throughout. While one person cranks another person should be down at the tube end holding the casing with lightly enough that the casing flows off of the tube with the meat but with enough force that the casing is filled.

    Note

    A great, and inexpensive way, to seal your meat bags is with the Meat Bag Tape Machine.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    Simply cook at medium heat until the internal temperature is 160° in a pan or griddle.

    Cooling

    If you want to vacuum pack your bratwurst make sure you put it in the freezer for a while first. If you try to vacuum pack fresh sausage without it being frozen the pressure from the chamber will crush your sausage and it will lose the classic shape.

    Wrap up

    Making Breakfast Sausage is a very simple process, with just a Grinder and a Stuffer you can take a whole muscle cut, like a pork butt, and have high-quality breakfast sausage in under an hour.

    Additional Tips Make sure your Grinder Plates & Knives are sharp, in good condition and lubricated with White Oil before you start your grinder. You can make Breakfast Sausage with just a Grinder by using the stuffing attachment on your grinder or just a stuffer by buying ground pork from the grocery store. Other Notes

    If you like making breakfast patties you can stuff them into Ground Pork Bags and then cut them into patties as thick as you want. The form won’t be perfectly round but it is a very easy way to form a patty.

    Watch WaltonsTV: Basic Breakfast Processing Shop waltonsinc.com for Breakfast Sausage Seasoing Shop waltonsinc.com for Meat Grinders Shop waltonsinc.com for High-Temp Cheese Shop waltonsinc.com for Boning Knives

    read more

Recent Topics

Popular Topics

30
Online

2.3k
Users

690
Topics

2.2k
Posts


Looks like your connection to Waltons Community was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.