How To Make Homemade Sausage & Brats - Recipe
How To Make Homemade Sausage, Bratwursts, Italian Sausage or Breakfast Sausage
Learn how to make homemade sausage and bratwursts with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
What Is Fresh Sausage?
Fresh sausage can include sausages like bratwursts, Italian style sausage, chorizo, breakfast sausage, and other related sausages. They can be packaged into collagen casings, natural hog casings, natural sheep casings, or even in bulk by using meat bags.
25lb 70/30 pork trim (or 25lb untrimmed pork butt)
If using Venison or another lean wild game ad 18 lb of venison and 7 lb of pork or beef fat
1 package Excalibur Sausage Seasoning
2 to 3 lb High Temperature Cheese (optional)
30mm Fresh Collagen Casings or 32/35mm Natural Hog Casings
16oz (1 pint) Ice Cold Water (optional, to help make stuffing and seasoning dispersion easier)
Grind the meat twice using a 3/16in grinder plate. You may grind once, mix in your seasoning, and then grind a second time, or you can do all your grinding and then proceed to meat mixing.
You can choose to either hand mix or use an actual meat mixer. Either method will be completely fine as we are just mixing long enough to get a good dispersion of seasoning, and we don’t want to get a lot of protein extraction (where the meat is sticky) like when making a cured sausage.
Simply load your sausage stuffer, while avoiding creating any air pockets in the canister, and begin to stuff in the casings or meat bags of your choice, until the casings are full with a smooth exterior. Stuff into as long of ropes as you can, and then cut them to length or twist link once done.
If you are cooking these on a grill cook them over medium heat (around 350-375°F) until the internal temperature is 160°
If you are cooking in an oven bake at 350° until internal temperature is 160°
Fresh sausage is one of the quickest and easiest meat snacks to begin making at home. All you need is the seasoning, ground meat, and a sausage stuffer to get started. Over time you can add additional equipment, supplies, and products to make things easier, or expand your process by purchasing a meat grinder to grind your own meat.
Add 1 pint (16oz) of water per 25lb of meat to help make sausage stuffing easier, and to help make mixing easier and quicker for dispersing seasoning evenly throughout the meat mixture.
Watch WaltonsTV: How To Make Fresh Sausage
Minders last edited by
@Austin time for another sausage making class!
@Minders Unfortunately, at the moment I have no plans to do another in-person class. But, we are working on expanding our available materials on Meatgistics and YouTube! We have a lot planned to add and increase in online videos this year!
TODDG25 last edited by
@Austin Is it ok to grind, mix in the ingredients, let sit in fridge over night, the stuff?
@TODDG25 With an uncured product like a Bratwurst or a Sausage that would be okay. You would want to make sure you are careful when mixing to not get protein extraction, so just mix until the seasoning is mixed in. There will be some protein extraction from the salt content acting with the meat but it won’t be enough to cause you issues. If you were trying this with something that had cure in it then that would cause issues as we are looking for high levels of protein extraction and the meat would start to set up if you held it overnight and become very difficult to stuff. Hope that helped!
paddlingnomad last edited by
@austin Wow, you guys have a great website. I’ve been learning some tricks about snack sticks from Walton’s now I want to try changing my fresh sausage recipe from natural hog casing to 30 mm collagen casings. The reason for the change is to better control the finish size. Couple questions; will the change help with the “pop” that we all seek in a sausage DAWG, and will the collagen cased sausage freeze well. I usually make 50 lbs of venison dogs in the fall and enjoy them throughout the next year. Thanks in advance for your help.
Collagen and natural have very different and distinct “pops” to them. Natural has more of a snap and bite to it usually, while fresh collagen has a bit more tenderness to it. If you are wanting more pop/snap/bite to the casing, you can try using the 32mm Clear Collagen Casings or 32mm Smoke Collagen Casings. These will be a quite a bit more pop/snap/bite than the 30mm Fresh Collagen. The 32 Clear/Smoke are what we call a Fine-H variant, and specifically designed to be a replacement for hog casings. I usually use the fresh casings and prefer the more tender bite, but if you want more pop to the bite, go with the clear or smoke casings.
Freezing shouldn’t be an issue. The casings should all behave similarly there. Avoid condensation in the package before sealing and freezing, and it will be fine (that same rule applies to any casings, not just collagen).
paddlingnomad last edited by
@austin Am I going Crazy? A few days ago I read somewhere on your site about Fresh vs. Fine-T vs. Fine-H. Now I want to review that again and can not find it.
Under the Walton’s Learning Center > Meat Hacks > Sausage Stuffing… there is a topic called Collagen Casings 101
That also correlates to a video covering the same information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be1dK0BFo8c
Then, on the product pages for collagen casings on waltonsinc.com, each casing will specifically say which type it is, and have a shortened bit of info from the collagen casings help page I linked above.
Let me know if you need anything else!
Jeff Allen last edited by
I’d like to make 10lbs of brats, make about 2lbs right away and then freeze the remainder. Do I need to add something like the pink sure cure to the meat prior to stuffing since I plan on freezing some?
Also, is there an ideal ratio of fat to meat that you should have when making your own brats?
@Jeff-Allen No, you dont need to add any sure cure, you only need to do that if are planning on slowly smoking the sausage, if you freeze it for future use it will be perfectly fine! As for fat ratio with brats I like to stay in the 80-20 to 70-30 ratio any less than 80-20 and you start to get a dry product. Hope this helps!
I smoked up 25 lbs of brats 30 pork and 70 deer. I used the natural hog casings 32-35mm. I smoked them for an 1.5 hours at 140 degrees and then at 185 until I reached an internal temp of 160. The casings were really rubbery when i was done and made them really chewy. Any ideas what im doing wrong
@kking Did you follow the bratwurst process where you grind through 3/16 plate and then mix in the seasoning without getting protein extraction? The reason I ask is that you wouldn’t normally cook bratwurst like that. Bratwurst is a fresh product so that means that no cure has been added and by keeping it at that lower temp for that length of time you might have grown some bacteria and microorganisms in there that could throw off the taste and texture of the meat. I’m not sure if this would have affected the casing but it is a natural product.
So if you did make a bratwurst and then smoked it like you would a smoked sausage, then what MIGHT have happened is that the fat rendered out of the product and started “cooking” the casing basically in the fat. This doesn’t happen when you are making smoked sausage because the protein extraction will keep the meat, fat, water and other additives all bound up together.
I will say I prefer using collagen casings because I think the natural casings do get a little bit rubbery when they are smoked, so that could be what it is. Have you smoked other sausages with natural casings in the past and been okay with them?
Other things it could possibly have been:
Not soaking the casings long enough
Poor Casings or Old Casings (Unlikely but I am running out of thoughts here!)
Im hoping someone else has a better idea because other than the fat rendering out I don’t think any of my suggestions were the likely cause. Does anyone have some possibility that I missed?
@jonathon what temp do you recommend smoking them at and how long?
@kking If you are making a bratwurst I wouldn’t recommend smoking it. If you want to add some smoke flavor to it I would either add Hickory Smoke Powder during the mixing process or get something like an Amaz-en Tube or the Flip Professional Smoke Box to add smoke as you grill them at medium heat.
When I am cooking brats on my pellet grill at home I set the temp to 315° and cook until it is 160° for pork and 165 for chicken.
If you are wanting to make a smoked product out of any bratwurst seasoning just buy some sure cure and then use the bratwurst seasoning and follow the grinding and mixing instructions from Cured Sausage 108 - Basics For Making Smoked Sausage.
That’s my advice at least!
@jonathon thanks for the help. However I did add sure cure to it when I mixed it and stuffed it. Is the issue I’m using the wrong casing? Do the natural casing not hold up to that slow cooking process. I guess I called them brats because I used brat seasoning.
@kking Gotcha! Okay, that changes things a little, if you added sure cure then the only other difference is the grinding and mixing. All of that is contained in the article I posted in my previous one, so if you ground and mixed as I did in that video that . I’m glad people are starting to try adding cure to traditionally fresh products, it’s a great way to experience new flavors!
Since there was nothing bad growing in your meat (since you used sure cure) then I think the most likely thing would be either be some fat rendering out and essentially basting the casing in fat(which would have happened if you did not get enough protein extraction), or it might just have been a less than perfect batch of casings. They are natural casings and even though they are processed there is going to be some variability. You certainly can use natural hog casings to smoke sausage, people do it often, I just prefer collagen because I find it so much easier to work with and I like the snap of it better.
The major downside to collagen is that it will not accept a twist as natural casings will.
@jonathon will it hurt anything to cook them at a higher temp to get them done quicker or should I stay low and slow?
@kking It wouldn’t necessarily hurt anything, the only real danger you would run into is getting some case hardening. That is where the outside cooks too quickly and will not pass heat into the center. So you get an overcooked outside and an undercooked inside. If you stick to your previous smoke schedule and get good protein extraction when mixing (should be sticky and stretch if you grab a handful) then you should be good!
If you get protein extraction my recommendation is low and slow!
Tdonley last edited by
How do you know how much sure cure to put on your mix if it’s less than 25 lb ?
@Tdonley There are 6 tspns of cure to a 1 oz package so you can use that to figure it out. We also made a Cure Conversion Char which has Sure Cure, and other cures, broken down into weight and volume by 1 lb and 5 lb batches.
cruise.dw last edited by
I ground my deer meat threw 1/8 in plateis that to small for brats i see everyone using 3/16
@cruise-dw I think it is a little small for Brats yes. A 1/8 plate is better as a second grind plate for snack sticks, summer sausages or other cured products. For Bratwursts a 3/8 plate it going to give you a better consistency for a fresh product. If you are using a 1/8 plate for your first grind that is going to take a long time and it will cause a little too much stress on your meat. Switching will, at the very least, help speed up your process!
Brian Schillinger last edited by
I am making 25# of south of the boarder cheddarwurst sausages. The spice bag says to add 1oz of sure cure. What is the dif between sure cure and sure gel? And what are the proper times to use each product?
@Brian-Schillinger Sure Cure should be made when making a smoked or cured sausage, if you are making a brat just leave it out, there is no need for it, it is sodium nitrite and salt and is designed to keep the meat safe through the smoking process and preserve the smoked flavor.
Sure Gel is a binder and also doesn’t need to be used if you are making a fresh sausage like a bratwurst. It won’t hurt anything to use sure gel in a bratwurst and it will increase your yield but you dont really need it! You would have better luck adding Carrot Fiber as this won’t cause protein extraction during the mixing process
leafthebeef last edited by
I’m going to make a batch of fresh brats using the cheddarwurst seasoning and some high temp cheddar. My meat block will be about 60 venison / 40 pork butt (it just happens to be what I have on hand). My question is in regards to adding some carrot fiber. I’m a big fan of using it in basically any smoked snack stick or summer sausage - for moisture retention during smoking. Is there any benefit to adding it to a fresh sausage - again for moisture? I definitely prefer moist over dry in a fresh sausage link. Is there any down side to adding it?
@leafthebeef Yes, there is some argument for still adding it. If it was 100 pork butt I would say that the only real benefit you will notice is a yield enhancement of around 5% but since you are using more venison I would recommend that you do add it. This will help make up for the lack of fat in the venison by holding more moisture in the meat.
I cannot, off the top of my head, think of any product or meat block where I would strongly suggest not using carrot fiber, in fresh sausage I wouldnt recommend you add Sure Gel, Soy Protein as they are going to make it easier to get protein extraction (which you do not want in fresh sausage) but Carrot Fiber doesn’t really do that so you are free to use it!
Lunkerchaser last edited by
@Jonathon I see in your response post on the 4th, that you state sure gel can be used in fresh sausage but is not needed. can you explain why it isn’t needed? thanks
@Lunkerchaser Yeah, sure gel isn’t recommended in a bratwurst because of its ability in speeding up the protein extraction process, which is something we don’t want in fresh sausage. I realise now that the 4th comment could be misleading so I am going to change it, it isn’t really going to cause any problems but if you are looking for a binder to add to fresh sausage carrot fiber would be better. Thanks!
Lunkerchaser last edited by
@Jonathon that makes sense, thank you !
Last night I went through the cleaning procedure and I couldn’t be happier with the ease of the process. Remove grates, scrape the heat shield with a metal spatula and vacuum the ashes and debris underneath. It only took a few minutes and there was an astonishingly small amount of ash. After two weeks of almost daily grilling and going through 20 lbs or more of pellets the total accumulation was around one cup of ash. The pellets burn so efficiently that there is little to no residual.
@Jonathon I have used them many times and I’ve always noticed a distinct cedar character although that depends on the temps you are cooking at. To get the most of it I will soak in water for a bit and cook over pretty high temps…the wood should scorch and smolder a little bit. I’ve had a few catch on fire. lol.
When it came to cooking on the Pit Boss I wanted as low and slow as I could get away with. Due to the the size of the fish I figured the cedar would shield against any hot spots I might have and slow down the cooking process as much as possible. I doubt there was much if any of the cedar that was picked up by the salmon although I didn’t eat much of the side that was resting on the plank. The pellets I was using were apple.
@Joe-Hell Do you often cook on planks? I have tried it a time or two and never noticed a difference. Is it only supposed to be used for heat shielding?