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How to Make Delicious Sausage at Home — Everything You Need to Know for Sure-Fire Success!
SausageMania.com is a free, non-commercial sausage website devoted to the art of gourmet sausage-making. SausageMania.com features tips on making mouth-watering homemade sausage, recipes, resources and sausage-related links. There are also instructions on Motorizing your Meat Grinder and a wonderful Brand New Photo Tutorial on Sausage Making. SausageMania is the Web's BEST sausage site, created to convince people that anyone can make excellent sausages (as well as kippered salmon, lox, caviar and pesto sauce) without a big investment in equipment.
Although SausageMania has been on the Web since 2001, making it one of the oldest Web Resources for Sausage Making, it was extensively revised, with new photos, new pages and new links, starting in December, 2011.
SausageMania will also give you step-by-step instructions on how to set yourself up for sausage-making, how to avoid common sausage-making pitfalls, where to order fine-quality sausage paraphernalia and supplies... and many other pointers that will help you make professional sausages from the get-go!
Sorry, no game recipes...... all SausageMania Sausage Recipes call for pure pork..... with 20 to 30% fat..... no preservatives other than good old NaCl... that is, sodium chloride, A.K.A. salt..... which is the Latin root of the word "sausage" itself! No veal, beef, fish, potatoes, tripe, mutton, venison, moose, caribou, antelope, kangaroo, jackrabbit, armadillo, opossum, rattlesnake, razor clams, wildebeest or elephant..... nothing but good, old PORK, "the other white meat."
A Few Wise Words About Grinders
If you can get unseasoned ground pork, you really don't need a grinder to turn out excellent sausages. Costco regularly carries unseasoned ground pork, about 20-25% fat. As of December, 2011 Costco ground pork is selling for $2.29/lb. here in Anchorage, where we have to pay the freight from Seattle. So "Outside" (which is how we Alaskans refer to "The Lower 48"), it should be somewhat less costly.
Store-bought sausages sell for $4.99-$8.99/lb, and sometimes even more. Even including the cost of seasonings and casing, and amortizing the cost of your stuffer (and/or grinder), you'll be getting custom-made sausage at bargain prices, plus you get all the excitement of actually making it yourself. And..... last but not least.... you will know exactly what goes into your sausages! Keep Otto von Bismarck's famous saying in mind: "One should never be present when laws or sausage are being made," unless you make it yourself, that is!
But if you insist on grinding your own meat, the grinder you need is really dictated by the amount of sausage you plan to make at each session. A Cusinart or even a small "Walmart special" grinder will suffice if all you are making is two or three pounds in a session. But for quantities over 10-15 lbs., you need something bigger and better.
Chop-Rite, of Harleysville, PA, has been making cast iron hand grinders from the same molds for more than 100 years (although the company changed hands twice in the last century). Their #22 bolt-down hand grinder, which takes standard #22 blades and plates, is a sturdy machine that will outlast you and your kids. Chop-Rite sells a flywheel, by special order only, to replace the hand crank, so that the machine can be motorized. We've used a motorized #22 Chop-Rite grinder for 35 years. It's over-powered, with a 3/4hp motor (the manufacturer recommends a 1/3hp motor), but it will grind five pounds a minute (that's 300 lbs/hour!) for hours at a time (we've used it for butchering moose and caribou).
There are various high-end home grinders, built like miniature commercial ones, but in the $350-500 price range. Commercial grinders make no sense at all for the home or hobbyist sausage maker. They cost thousands of dollars new and are extremely heavy: definitely not recommended for homemade sausage!
Are We Still Having Fun? This was a 100-lb. day!
SausageMania Sausage Recipes Include:
Special Feature! If you have Microsoft Excel on your computer, you can download an Excel version of the SausageMania sausage recipe automated ingredient calculator by clicking HERE. (The file should download to your machine and then automatically open in Excel.) Each recipe is set for one pound of ground pork; all you do is enter the actual weight of ground pork you have on hand, and all the other ingredients will be automatically calculated for you!
Here's a screenshot of SausageMania's free Excel spreadsheet Ingredient Calculator. Just enter the weight, in pounds, of your ground sausage mix (the orange number), and all the other ingredients will instantly be calculated. Columns I, II and III are all the same quantities, but in different units, for ease of use. For example, in Row25, "Salt," it shows 8 tablespoons, or 1/2 cup. Use the cup measurement for the larger-quantity ingredients. (Because the spreadsheet "rounds down," very small quantities, such as "Cayenne pepper" in Row 14, show up as "zero" cups.) Just use the most convenient column.
Happiness is 65 lbs of Sausage Meat in the Bin, Waiting to be Stuffed! (And a Sample Link, Cooked and Ready to Eat, on the Side. Not to Mention the Bottle of Corona Beer.)