What Are the Best Tips for Making Sausages?

Amanda R. Bell

Making sausages at home can be a good way to make this meat product healthier, uniquely flavored, or both. Some of the best tips for doing so include ensuring that all of the ingredients and the grinder are as cold as possible prior to making the sausages, and to keep the ratio of meat to fat at three to one. Mixing the spices and seasonings together prior to adding them to the meat mixture can help to ensure that they are evenly distributed throughout the sausages.

Kielbasa, a common type of sausage.
Kielbasa, a common type of sausage.

Meat of any type, when left at room temperature, can develop an unwanted texture when ground. Rather than a mixture of meat, fat, and spices, room temperature ingredients will typically develop a pasty texture, which can ruin the finished product. One of the best tips for making sausages at home is to make sure that all of the ingredients, including the spices, are cold prior to mixing or grinding them together. To do this, leave the meat and the mixed spices in the fridge for two to three hours prior to making sausages.

Raw sausages.
Raw sausages.

The blades of the grinder and the sausage attachment should also be cold. This can be accomplished by placing the pieces in the freezer for thirty minutes to an hour prior to using them. When working, keep all of the ingredients in the fridge until you need them; taking everything out and then slowly making the sausages can leave the last ingredients too warm.

If you’re making sausages at home to create a healthier product than you can buy at the store, you may be tempted to limit the amount of fat in the dish. Doing so, however, can be a recipe for disaster. The fat content in sausage is not only what adds flavor to the dish, but also what keeps the meat moist and helps it to hold its shape when cooked. In most cases, you should have three parts meat to one part fat. For healthier sausages, you can use heart-friendly fats in the dish, such as canola oil or olive oil, in combination with leaner meats. Otherwise, use a 70%-lean meat when making sausages.

Another good tip for making sausages is taken from a well-known baking tip: always mix your dry ingredients separately from the wet. The dry ingredients would be the spices and seasonings, and the wet would be the meat and other liquid seasonings. Mixing your spices separately will help to ensure that the resulting product will not be unevenly seasoned. In some cases, depending on the recipe, you may need to deviate from this tip by mixing the spices and then adding cold water to the mixture prior to blending it with the meat.

Sausage meat mixtures can be stuffed into natural or artificial casings to create the classic cylindrical sausage shape.
Sausage meat mixtures can be stuffed into natural or artificial casings to create the classic cylindrical sausage shape.

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