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First time trying to make my own sausage.

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    First time trying to make my own sausage.

    I bought an Italian sausage kit from Cabelas for the seasoning and casings. I had a chuck roast and some brisket trimmings to add some extra fat. I weighted out the chuck and trimmings so I had 70% meat to 30% fat.

    Using my KitchenAid stand mixer with the grinder attached I ground it once through the 8mm plate, and then a second time through the 4.5mm plate. I covered it and put it in the fridge overnight. Today, I added the seasoning and let rest back in the fridge while I washed the casings. I set up the grinder with the sausage stuffer and put a cassing on.

    Not realizing putting the sausage down would push air into the cassing, I put a hole in the casing. Reset the cassing with the sausage all the way to the end of the stuffer with better success. Finished stuffing the sausage and had a little leftover meat so I made a little patty. Threw it in a skillet and cooked it up so we could try it.

    First bite and it was so salty that we couldn't even finish the small patty. Complete EPIC failure. Only positive thing was the lessons learned.

    Huh - how was the salt amount determined? What I'm wondering is if if it's by volume, using Morton's if the recipe was developed using Diamond Crystal would mean that you'd add 2x the amount of salt.
    Last edited by rickgregory; August 23, 2021, 10:05 PM.


      Been there. I now fry up small bites while I’m seasoning to make sure I’m not overdoing it with salt or other seasoning ingredients.


        Did that with my last batch. Took it all out of the casings and added more meat until I got it right. Wasted some casings but salvaged the innards...


          Those sausage kits are usually for a certain amount of meat, so if say they're for 5 lbs of meat and you have 3.5 you're gonna ned to do some math. What you're shooting for on salt is 1.2-2% by weight. Anywhere in there is good for a fresh sausage, as far as taste and setting the bind. I usually start at the low end of that and see how the bind sets up, then nuke a tiny patty for 15 seconds to see how the salt and texture is shaping up. Frying a patty is going to change the taste due to Maillard, caramelization, etc. Did the seasoning kit have salt in it, or did you need to add salt? Measure everything in grams, baking and sausage making are the two times in cooking that that really matters.

          Another thing, you don't mention setting the primary bind, you need to mix the farce until you can grab a handful and it will stick to your hand, Otherwise all the fat will just leak out as soon as you try to cook it.

          As far as using the KitchenAid stuffer? It sucks. Hard. But... Don't tie off the casing until you have sausage in the horn. Have someone help feed the sausage into the grinder if you can, and try to get your landing surface closer to the stuffer, if your sausage is falling 12 inches wile you're trying to control how much you're filling your casing you're going to risk more blowouts and just generally have a bad time.

          Beef is an odd choice for an Italian sausage if you're trying to make something like you get in the grocery store, it's just going to have a more dry & crumbly texture than pork. I'd really suggest a basic pork sausage for your first time. A basic pork breakfast sausage is a good place to start, since it doesn't need to be cased. Mexican chorizo is another good one, or a basic red wine garlic sausage. Just keep it simple and do it yourself, I kinda feel like the kits are for people who know what they're doing.


          • jerrybell
            jerrybell commented
            Editing a comment
            There's a lot of great how-to and advice packed into these few short paragraphs. Thanks for posting.

          I use mostly pork for an Italian sausage with maybe a little beef if I have it laying around. But, I will say, that I have to do some high school math to get the ratios correct. Sounds like the ratios were off.


            Agree on using pork for Italian sausage. I can't speak to the kits as I've always used recipes, but if you are planning on doing this more than once I would strongly encourage you to invest in a real meat grinder/stuffer. You can get a cheapy, but using the attachment on a KitchenAid to make sausage from scratch is akin to painting with paper towels instead of paintbrushes. I've made a lot of different sausages, but the ones most requested are Andouille and Chorizo. Since those are mostly ingredients in recipes (versus, say, a stand alone bratwurst), I rarely use casings on them. They're better crumbled. I do brats and garlic brats often, though, and those I stuff about 75% into casings and make the rest into patties.

            I guess what I'm trying to say is that I agree with mnavarre both about the KitchenAid and starting with something that doesn't require a casing. Watch out, though...once you hit a good batch you'll be addicted and wondering where you can get even more back fat...


              I made sausage recently and it turned out very well but I just followed a recipe versus using a kit.

              I also immediately bought a new grinder as I hated the KA attachment so much.

              LEM Products 1224 #8 Countertop Grinder https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01IUWHAA2

              Amazing Ribs has good recipes for the classic BBQ sausages but this site is good for international ones.


              A weighing station is critical to get the meat/fat ratios consistent as well as the seasoning.

              I also used this too:


              Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; August 24, 2021, 08:07 AM.


                Thank you everyone for your support and suggestions. I honestly did zero research into making the sausage beforehand. I've learned a lot in this one experience and all the helpful advice on here. I'll try another type of sausage and use a recipe instead of a kit. Breakfast sausage is a great idea. The KitchenAid grinder was a pain, but for the time being it will have to work. Once I can convince the other half that we NEED new equipment I'll do more research.
                Thank you all again!


                  Tmorrison80 Out of curiosity, did you find the KA grinder to be a pain as a grinder or as a stuffer? Personally, I find it to be fine as a grinder, but it sucks as a stuffer. I'd never want to really use it for more than 5 pounds either way, it's doable, but using it as a stuffer has caused me to produce some really innovative new profanity.


                  • Tmorrison80
                    Tmorrison80 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Using it as a stuffer was a pain. Mostly because of the height. I had to have my wife hold the sausage as I shoved more down so it didn't break.

                  • Joey877
                    Joey877 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That seems to be my recollection as well, though it has been at least 8 years since I did it with the KA. I also remember struggling some (but not as much) with the grinding because the process was so slow it was difficult to keep the meat even semi-frozen while trying to grind it all.

                  • Rancherstriker
                    Rancherstriker commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I don't have a lot of issues with the grinder as long as the meat is chilled and firm. If the meat is not almost frozen, yep, new profanities get invented. As a stuffer is mediocre. It works, that's it.


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