Fresh Sausage 102 - Equipment Needed For 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!
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
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.
@newbe … Afternoon… Keep the meat BELOW 40 degrees F… Bacteria is growing while the meat is warming up… then again when cooling down… The LAST thing you want or need is a batch of meat that has been warm for an hour or longer… One good way to do that is double bowl the meat… Ice in the larger bowl and the smaller bowl, with the meat in it, on ice… You don’t want your family to get food poisoning… Dave
I do it all the time. Still remember my mom saying it’s not a good idea. I’m sure if you are buying a nice steak and intend it eat it as a grilled T-bone you might notice some flesh cell break down (texture change). If you are going to use it in sausage you will not notice any difference. Made brats last night. Once frozen pork and elk. Refroze the brats. I do it time and time again.
Here is a link to a website that has a handy Excel spreadsheet. It is, as it says a free non-commercial site.
As for Waltons dropping the ball, I vote they are doing a great job.
I think for all of us there are general guidelines, but unless you have a temperature and humidity controlled environment, both for the preparation, cooking (if you cook them) smoking, hanging etc, the results are bound to vary from batch to batch.
Personally, I am searching how to get my home made smoked and dry cured pepperoni to the exact texture and firmness of Margarita pepperoni from the store.
Through trial and error I have the flavor where I want it, but not the texture or firmness. I know time, temperature and humidity are all crucial, but the best I can do is in the basement and then subject to the environment that is there.
I figure as long as I am not killing anyone or making anyone sick I am making progress. Thanks Waltons for all of the great information so far.
Having said that, it would be nice to have your chart in an Excel spreadsheet.
Thanks Jonathon! One question tho! You eluded to 178 being high for a temp! Don’t you guys recommend setting the temp at 175 during the final stage to completion to internal temp? Three degrees shouldn’t make that much difference should it??
Sounds reasonable. Thanks for your input. Pulling the meat at 152 will make a big difference I bet! Thanks again.