Packaging fresh sausage.



  • I am new to the forum and also new to sausage making and am looking for some advice. I processes about 20# of Italian sausage this past weekend and am trying to figure our how to package it. I have a chamber vacuum sealer and tried a few sausages in it…and the vacuum squished them almost flat. I turned down the vacuum pump time and never got anything I am happy with. There was air left in the pouches when the sausages were not severely distorted.

    I bought some foam meat trays, and they helped, but the sausages were still squished when there was a good vacuum seal. I tried freezing a few sausages, and then sealed them in the tray and this worked the best, but even then when thawed in the package, they flatten out a bit. I could cut the bag open before the sausage thaws and this would work I think but was hoping to give some friends and family some beautifully presented homemade sausage.

    I am thinking butcher paper wrapping is not suitable for freezing sausages, and would expect freezer burn. I would appreciate any suggestions anyone can offer. I definitely have more sausage than I will use while fresh and need to figure out how to package it.

    Thank you in advance.


  • Power User

    You should at least partially freeze your sausages prior to packaging. This will greatly reduce the chances of them flattening while vacuum sealing. That seems to work well for me.



  • Thank you for the advice Joe. Am I correct in thinking butcher paper is not a good solution for something to be stored for a month or so?


  • Power User

    @Cali-sausage-guy You could probably get away with a plastic bag and/or butcher paper for a short time. I have bought sausages at the butcher when on sale and put them straight into the freezer and they seem just fine after a few weeks.



  • Thank you again! Ii should be good until my next endeavor.


  • Power User

    @Cali-sausage-guy It’s also a good excuse to eat sausage more often!



  • @Cali-sausage-guy like Joe said stick them in the freezer & partially freeze any fresh sausage before sealing it. Cured sausages are more forgiving.



  • @Cali-sausage-guy I place my sausage on foam trays that just fit into the vac bags. Not sure on the size tray but I am using 8 x 12 vac bags. I run it for about 25 to 30 seconds. I have sausage from about a year ago and while it isn’t totally free of air it still tastes as good as when I made it. Possibly try a tray that is a bit deeper and it won’t mash the sausage. I guess it’s a visual and being No_Eyes_processor would explain it all. Probably not a great visual but it does work.


  • Walton's Employee

    @Cali-sausage-guy like Joe said, at least partially freezing them will fix your issue and then you don’t have to deal with buying foam trays. Also, you can wrap them in freezer paper (type of butcher paper with wax lining) but you won’t get as good long term protection as you would from a vacuum sealed bag.

    Welcome to the board!



  • I would what our custom butcher does with our Vinson, he places the bulk grind in a thin plastic bag the wraps it in butcher paper.
    If you partial freeze your links then vacuum pack that always works here, we will pierce the package when we thaw them. This will help with the slight flattening when completely thawed.
    Hope this helps.



  • I also made a batch of 25# of beef sticks. I smoked them to an internal temp of 140F and held for 30 minutes. then cooled. They vacuum packed very well. I have now sealed all the Italian sausages after freezing and that did work well. Thank you all for the tips and advice. I think next time I will try to wrap some in some thin plastic bags and then in the lined butcher paper and see how they hold up in the freezer. The rest I will freeze and vacuum seal again. I would give the butcher paper ones away or eat first since they may not hold up as well, but their presentation should be better. Piercing the package prior to thawing is a good idea, thanks for the tip.

    The trays I used at 1-1/4" deep and the casings were 32mm…so close to the same height and that does help.



  • I am going to assume you used natural hog casings, which gives you several feet of sausage per casing. I typically make brats or a polish dogs, and instead of linking or cutting the dogs to length prior to packaging I cut a length of sausage that is 48” long, which is equivalent to a standard package of 8-6” long buns. Coil the meat rope up nice and tight wrap with Saran Wrap then freezer/ butcher paper. This is much easier than wrapping individual dogs. I also cook on the grill or sous vide the rope and cut when ready to serve. Another benefit it is they lay flat and store easily in the freezer. I have had a package or two get lost in the back of the freezer, and 2 years later they were not freezer burned. This coil method may help them keep their shape while vacuum sealing as well.


  • Walton's Employee

    @Lmick1979 When you sous vide sausage do you finish them up in a grill or in a pan? I have done this a few times and I haven’t loved the results unless I finish it up on a grill or a cast iron pan.



  • @Jonathon I do both grill and a cast iron skillet. I would say grill is better, but a hot skillet with some dark beer for sautéing is not bad either. Anything cooked in a sous vide in my opinion needs finished whether it is grilled or pan seared. I think we all agree there needs to be a “crust”. Nothin better than some grill marks!



  • @Cali-sausage-guy
    I am older than dirt but I am a newbie at making sausage. This is what my first attempt at packaging bulk sausage looks like. I used three pork butts in the batch and I had 23 pounds net product to go into the freezer. Most of that will be gifted to my Daughter and Grandson + great grandkiddos.![0_1557229025646_sausage.jpg](Uploading 100%)![0_1557229615142_sausage.jpg](Uploading 99%) sausage.jpg


  • Walton's Employee

    @Cali-sausage-guy Those are quality gifts!


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