Fresh Sausage 106 - Basic Bratwurst Processing


  • Walton's Employee

    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



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  • Cured Sausage Specialty Sausage 102: Making Lebanon Bologna

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

    Cutting Meat Grinding Meat Stuffing Lebanon What Is Lebanon Bologna?

    Lebanon Bologna was originally made by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1800’s. Traditionally it is a dark bologna, similar to salami in appearance and texture and it has a tangy flavor. It is often eaten as cold cuts and it can be slow cured and cold smoked or smoked using more modern methods. We are going to be making a version today that will not be slow cured or cold smoked as that makes it more difficult for the average home user.

    Meat Block

    7 lb of Untrimmed Pork Butts
    3 lb of Lean Beef
    1 Bag of Lebanon Bologna Seasoning
    1 10 lb Capacity Bologna Casing
    1 Bag of Sure Gel
    Sodium Erythorbate

    Equipment

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    Walton’s 11 lb Sausage Stuffer
    Weston 20 lb Meat Mixer

    Process

    If you can you should cut the fat off of your pork and grind your pork fat separately through a 3/16th plate twice. Then grind your beef and lean pork through a 3/8 plate and then through a 1/8 plate. Keep ground pork fat separate. Making sure EVERYTHING but especially your pork fat is cold before you grind it is very important here for particle definition.

    Meat Mixing

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    Sausage Stuffing

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    Note

    You can also use Fibrous or Non-Edible Collagen casings, we chose this as it had the capacity we wanted and it presented the product well.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    To smoke start them out with 125 for 1 hour, then 140 for 1 hour then 165 for an hour and finally at 180 until the internal temperature reaches 155°.

    Cooling

    Place it in an ice bath or shower for 20 minutes to bring the temperature back down and then hold at room temperature for 2 hours and then move to a cooler or freezer before vacuum packing. I let this sit in a refrigerator overnight before slicing to make sure the temperature was brought all the way down.

    Wrap up

    All in all, this is very similar to making a salami or even a summer sausage, the main differences are separating out the pork fat from your lean and using the correct ratio, seasoning, and casings. The fried Bologna sandwiches were very good!

    Additional Tips Removing the fat cap before you break down your pork butt is easier sometimes, it all depends on how it looks before you start cutting into it. I put very little smoke on this as I didn’t want that to dominate the taste so I filled my smoke tray about 1/4 of the way full. I am glad I did it this way as it allowed for the Lebanon taste to come through more. Other Notes

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

    What is Specialty Sausage?

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  • @TinCupTom I agree with both @bobing195-7 and @ed-jordan in regards to the H Summer, great tasting Summer Sausage without being too strong or having any real heat.

    Just so you know, in case you were looking for it and couldn’t find it, the ingredients are listed on the products web page. Just scroll down and click the “Additional Info” tab and it will show up.

    The W Summer (4550300082) might be the most mild of all the ones you listed. That doesn’t make it bad at all just a very mild flavor

    Summer 107 (4550300032) Similar to H, contains mustard seed but I don’t think it is whole.

    Summer Sausage Seasoning (4550300012) Very similar to the 107 in flavor, has whole mustard seed.

    H - Summer (G4550300070) is our best selling Summer Sausage Seasoning, contains whole mustard seed. If you are looking for a peppery seasoning this is the best one to use for a base and add some black pepper. This would be the basic summer seasoning favored by most employees and customer.

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  • E

    @tincuptom i can only speak to the H summer sausage seasoning, but it has a lot better taste than the backwoods. Not a lot of pepper (you could add more I am sure) but it is a good solid flavor profile. I did not use the ECA for the tang, but plan on doing it this week in a batch. You can’t go wrong with the H seasoning!

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  • B

    I have been in search for a summer sausage seasoning with black pepper but couldn’t find one. I’m new at this so the H Summer Sausage is the only one I have used so I can’t give you any comparisons with the other 3, but you mentioned black pepper so thought I would share my first experience.
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