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Sausage Making Retrospective

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    Sausage Making Retrospective

    So, I made cevapi and Texas hot links in the last few days, and they turned out very well. However, I have questions for next time.

    SheilaAnn for recipes

    Cevapi:

    https://www.meatsandsausages.com/sau...bian/cevapcici

    Hot Guts:

    https://wpstage.amazingribs.com/test...moked-sausage/

    Results:

    https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...20#post1053920


    Questions:

    1) Casing. I bought this casing ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FFAGFWW/ ) assuming it would be similar to commercial sausage, but it was too chewy for my taste. It was also over a year old, but I think that's probably fine. Would these ( https://www.amazon.com/LEM-Products-...dp/B00FFAGFGI/ ) be closer to what I'd eat in a restaurant/buy in a store?

    2) I made about 5 pounds of sausage. Grinding the sausage took about 1 hour using the KitchenAid attachment, and stuffing it took another hour and required my wife's assistance. She was happy to help, but it's not her thing.

    If I bought a dedicated sausage grinder/stuffer, what kind of savings can I expect in terms of time, physical effort, and can I do it all without my wife's help?

    3) The Texas sausage was dryer than I was expecting (still good, just dryer). I understand that this could be not adding enough water, not keeping the meat cold enough, and potentially pricking it. I followed MH's steps here ( https://wpstage.amazingribs.com/test...king-pictures/ ), and I'm wondering if the pricking was the cause, as I read this is not recommended on other sites. Do y'all prick before smoking or not?

    4) My wife loved the cevapi so much she ran out and bought some 80/20 ground lamb for next time. This time I bought beef chuck and lamb shoulder, and ground the meat myself with a 70/30 meat/fat split. I am planning to buy some fat to boost the ratios to 70/30, but what else would you recommend I do to ensure that I can deliver the more or less same result next time, since I'd be starting with ground lamb? I can probably buy beef chuck and grind it to 70/30, but I'm expecting a difference in terms of using pre-ground lamb versus freshly grinding it myself.

    5) Common question, I'm sure, but what is the general recommendation for a good sausage grinder that won't break the bank?

    I understand the hand cranked ones (e.g. https://www.amazon.com/LEM-Products-...dp/B01LWZ6AEI/ and https://www.amazon.com/LEM-Products-...dp/B002L84GJU/ ) require substantial physical effort, clamping to something (a non-starter), and are simply massive, so maybe something like this ( https://www.lemproducts.com/product/...-meat-grinders and it's $50 cheaper at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/LEM-Products-.../dp/B01IUWHAA2 for some reason) would be better? Any better recommendations?

    I'm expecting if I use a thinner casing, the stuffing part will be even more challenging next time.

    I fully expect the wife will sign off on a grinder purchase if it means she does not have to do any more work.









    Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; July 3, 2021, 07:30 AM.

    #2
    Yes, a bigger grinder will go a lot faster. My vintage Hobart can grind 70 lbs of meat in 15 minutes or less. You probably don't need one that big. LEM grinders are good. Also, check out Walton's website for good equipment and sales. They have good seasonings too.

    https://www.waltonsinc.com/

    I ended up buying a separate stuffer - an LEM 5 lb to be exact. My grinder is rather powerful and fast so you have to pay attention when stuffing so that you don't burst a case. Plus for some applications the grinder didn't work out - boudain: even with no grinder plate the auger pureed the rice and made boudain mush so a manual stuffer works better for this. I may buy an electric foot pedal operated stuffer next: I made 20 lbs of venison Slim Jim-style snack stix and it took 6 hours to stuff those skinny casings manually.

    Texas Hotguts: Add more fat to moisten the sausage but beef sausage is typically a little drier. Maybe some more water too. I usually use beer instead of water.
    Last edited by 58limited; July 3, 2021, 07:33 AM.

    Comment


    • 58limited
      58limited commented
      Editing a comment
      Also, I did end up buying a grinder for my KitchenAid to use for small 1-2 meal grinds - easier and quicker to clean than the big Hobart.

    • TxF
      TxF commented
      Editing a comment
      Chuck’s BBQ on YouTube has a cool vid on brisket Boudin. After watching him make a few kinds of sausages and some brisket hot dogs I’m ready to give it a shot once I acquire the appropriate equipment.

    #3
    Thanks for the post. Sausage making may be in my future.
    But a local butcher makes great summer sausage from dead deer I harvest.
    Last edited by bbqLuv; July 3, 2021, 07:44 AM.

    Comment


      #4
      If you’re looking for a grinder and not in a hurry, you might also keep your eyes peeled on FB Marketplace and Craigslist. I got a good commercial slicer and grinder for WAY less than trying to buy the smaller household equivalent. That being said I also have the cabinet space to accommodate these things without SWMBO noticing.

      Comment


        #5
        We purchase our hog casings locally at a supermarket and use a Stuffer. With a Stuffer your wife is just turning a crank.

        Holding more pressure to allow the casing to stretch a little will get you bite through casing, if not grill that bastard till it gives up the ghost.

        I've used a 1/2 horse grinder with #8 throat for years. The Stuffer is 10 or 15 pounds, can never remember.

        Comment


        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          Stuffer....your wife....turning the crank. Getting a little racy here?

        #6
        What do you guys think of this stuffer? Can it be operated by one person? Do I need sucker feet to use it or will it mount easily to a countertop for temporary use?

        https://www.lemproducts.com/product/...usage-stuffers

        Comment


          #7
          I steered clear of those. In any case, I use rubber clamps to hold mine down.

          Comment


          • IFindZeroBadCooks
            IFindZeroBadCooks commented
            Editing a comment
            So this one instead?

            ROVSUN 5LBS/3L Stainless Steel Sausage Stuffer Maker Machine, Vertical Meat Filler Kit, 3 Food-Grade Sausage Tubes, Home Restaurant Commercial Use https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07X3GC9...ing=UTF8&psc=1

            I would have thought the LEM would be a better product?

          • Jerod Broussard
            Jerod Broussard commented
            Editing a comment
            IFindZeroBadCooks those push handle styles are hit and miss. Not familiar with the model you posted. Looks like a lot of purchases and a pretty good review rating.

          #8
          Well I bought the LEM grinder I mentioned in my original post because I noticed an Amazon Warehouse special for $63. I’ll keep thinking on the stuffer.

          Comment


          • Jerod Broussard
            Jerod Broussard commented
            Editing a comment
            I'd save and get the $179 stuffer. I got the 15 pounder since it was the smallest with metal gears. It's a Kitchener brand.

          #9
          Beef sausages can get dry from lack of fat I won't make beef weiners or sausages for people I'd they won't let me add 25 percent pork. Also did you add milk powder? I know alot of people omit it but it is a moisture retainer. I never prick my sausages. Aa far as the casings the 31-34 mm are bratwurst size,. The 19-21 are breakfast link/ hotdog size. The casings need smoke to get that snap from the natural casing. Any other questions on technique feel free to ask. But for equipment I don't think you are in the market for a stuffer for about 10k... But if you are I can store it for you!!

          Comment


          • Skip
            Skip commented
            Editing a comment
            I only make batches of 5-10# since there's usually only 2 of us here. I've had trouble with tough casings on the brat/sausage size casings. Any suggestions? Also how much milk powder? Thanks in advance Backroadmeats.

          • Backroadmeats
            Backroadmeats commented
            Editing a comment
            Skip I add two cups of milk powder to a 25 lb batch. Now as far as getting the casing to pop when I smoke sausage I always have cure in it "always" but my smoking temps are substantially lower than 225. I also have a expensive commercial smoker that will hold with 2 degrees of where I set it. I technically cold smoke my sausage so I can get alot of smoke on it at a low temp. I know Meathead does not recommend cold smoking and I don't want to get anyone sick.

          • Skip
            Skip commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks again Backroadmeats!
            Last edited by Skip; July 4, 2021, 09:11 AM.

          #10
          I have a 5 pound stuffer. It’s almost too small, but workable. I probably wish I had a 10 or 15 pounder. I have an LEM stuffer (grinder too).

          I hold my stuffer down with duct tape. Works great. Don’t ever try to do it by yourself if it’s not secure to your countertop.

          Comment


          #11
          It probably takes as much time to make it, then to clean up. It’s a lot of washing by hand. But the process with LEM grinder and stuffer works great.

          Comment


            #12
            Apparently, SWMBO doesn’t like casing at all which kind of puts the kibosh on a dedicated stuffer but opens up a new world of skinless sausage opportunities. Maybe a Swedish potato sausage next…

            Comment


            • scottranda
              scottranda commented
              Editing a comment
              We grind and season and vacuum seal. On Monday, I’m making Italian sausage spaghetti.

            #13
            Have you guys seen the fat calculator on this page developed with the help of Chief1232 https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...king-pictures/

            Comment


            • IFindZeroBadCooks
              IFindZeroBadCooks commented
              Editing a comment
              I did! It was quite useful to check my numbers and ensure I had the right ratios.

            #14
            Wow. This is a nice upgrade from an mostly plastic attachment to the KA. Nice to see all of the stainless steel heavy duty parts. It looks and feels very heavy duty and substantial. Thanks for the help guys.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; July 10, 2021, 03:27 PM.

            Comment


            • 58limited
              58limited commented
              Editing a comment
              Have fun! Your friends who hunt will now want you to process for them - get them to pay you in meat, that's what I do.

            • IFindZeroBadCooks
              IFindZeroBadCooks commented
              Editing a comment
              As I just said elsewhere, the KA attachment makes you never want to grind your own meat again…but this baby…

            • IFindZeroBadCooks
              IFindZeroBadCooks commented
              Editing a comment
              I guess I should find some friends who hunt…

            #15
            Not sure if anyone mentioned but the MEAT product line makes affordable quality grinders, stuffers and vacuum sealers that are lifetime warranty.
            https://www.meatyourmaker.com
            I have the 500 watt and it’s a beast

            Comment


            • 58limited
              58limited commented
              Editing a comment
              I missed this link when you originally posted it. I ordered the 20lb mixer and the 15lb stuffer today.

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