Author Topic: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage  (Read 3316 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« on: March 26, 2023, 07:35:38 AM »
Welcome to Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage.

In this quite possibly long winded series of posts, im going to share EVERYTHING I have accumulated over approximately 20+ years of hobbyist sausage making. The info will be broken up into numerous bite size (see what I did there  :p) portions for easier digestion. If you dont see the info your looking for, just be patient as this is a pet project of mine, working on it in my free time.

I encourage you to ask as many questions, or comment as often as you like. When I first started out, resources were far and few between, leading to lots of dead ends, run-arounds, and frustration.

The Basics will cover (but not limited to, and no particular order.) How it all got started, "The Why", Equipment, Technique, Sanitation, Meat Selection, Sausage Math, and Basic Recipes.

Once again, ask questions if clarification is needed.



How it all got started.

All though I have made all sorts of sausages. Cured many meat products, including bacon, and hams, it all started because of a childhood memory of going to the Meat Market, and buying freshly made "Metts". Metts are short for Mettwurst. The American version are fully cooked, packed in casings. About the diameter of a 1/4 pound hotdog, but shorter in length. Heavily spiced, and with a casing that has a distinctive snap. The casing was a deep, deep red color. Looking at the meat, it was very finely ground, with bits of spices, including visible mustard seed. Usually they would come in two options, regular, and hot. Looking at the two varieties, you couldnt tell which was hot and which was regular.

The German version is served raw. End of that discussion.  :-)

So, we would go to the Meat Market to buy the sausages. The man behind the counter would always ask which ones, "regular or hot". Sometimes Mom would buy both, other times just regular. The sausages were still linked together, what seemed like a never ending continuous rope of tasty sausages. The meat man would put a big plastic bag on the scales, and would pile in the sausages, cutting off the links at whatever poundage you specified. Much like getting deli meat sliced, your order might be slightly under, or slightly over. The meat man would spin that bag around an around, then putting a knot in it. The sausages needed a safe and secure trip home. Little did he know, that knot didnt stop me..

We would drive home, me in the passenger seat, munching on a sausage, and sipping on a soda. Later that night after dinner, and until the sausages ran out, I would snack on those tasty meat sticks. Snatching them from the fridge. Snacking on them cold. Never heating the sausages. Then we would would go again. That particular meat market was a modest drive from our home, so it wasnt a weekly thing. But when we did go, it was paired with going to the grocery store, or other errands in the same part of town.

Eventually the Meat Market stopped making the Metts. Ill never forget that day. The meat man said, and I quote: "we cant get the casings no more.." It burned a hole in me. What do you mean, you cant get the casings no more? Cant you get something else? I had lots of questions, but we left. Disappointed. Broken. It was a sad day.

Fast forwarding a bit, about 2001, I stumbled across a local company that made "Metts", and they were at the grocery store that my now, brand new wife and I shopped at. When I saw that packaging, with the name on it, I had flashbacks, that were practically paralyzing. The sausages looked a little different, but the name said it all. Into the buggy they went, my wife not particularly understanding my excitement. I could barely contain my excitement, ripping into that package once we got home. The smell was similar, but a little different. The casing was a different color. No matter. Time for a bite! I all but spit it out. This was not the sausage of my childhood. While edible, it just wasnt right. I did end up eating those sausages. For us, especially back then, money was a little tight, so waste not, want not.

At that point, I took up Sausage Making as a hobby. I swore that come hell or high water, I would have my proper sausages once again. Little did I know it would be at least another 15 or so years before I would stumble across a recipe that gave me hope, and the taste of my childhood. Meanwhile, in those years I learned a lot, and im going to share all that knowledge. 

To be continued.




Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2023, 09:32:37 PM »
The Why

Welcome back.

So, besides my story up above about being mad at the Meat Man, why make our own sausage? Or, even cured meats of any kind? The answer is simple.

Quality and choices.

Lets be honest, you can go to any grocery store, anywhere and buy sausage. But, what are you really buying? Well, its usually the bottom of the barrel scraps and cutoffs. Lots of fillers. Lots of salt. Lots of fat. I have no issue with fat in meat, but store bought sausage ranks up there at about 50% fat by weight, and around 2% salt. We can do a lot better then that.

Our homemade, or home-processed sausage will average out at about 25% fat, and around 1.5% salt. Those are very reasonable numbers. Our patties will offer little shrinkage in the pan due to the reduced fat. Your getting more for your money. Like it spicy, or not at all? Its your choice. Smoked, or maybe you are a traditionalist. Its all good.

Quality and choices are why we want to make our own.

To be continued.



Offline Eupher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24894
  • Reputation: +2828/-1828
  • U.S. Army, Retired
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2023, 05:15:28 AM »
Welcome to Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage.

In this quite possibly long winded series of posts, im going to share EVERYTHING I have accumulated over approximately 20+ years of hobbyist sausage making. The info will be broken up into numerous bite size (see what I did there  :p) portions for easier digestion. If you dont see the info your looking for, just be patient as this is a pet project of mine, working on it in my free time.

I encourage you to ask as many questions, or comment as often as you like. When I first started out, resources were far and few between, leading to lots of dead ends, run-arounds, and frustration.

The Basics will cover (but not limited to, and no particular order.) How it all got started, "The Why", Equipment, Technique, Sanitation, Meat Selection, Sausage Math, and Basic Recipes.

Once again, ask questions if clarification is needed.



How it all got started.

All though I have made all sorts of sausages. Cured many meat products, including bacon, and hams, it all started because of a childhood memory of going to the Meat Market, and buying freshly made "Metts". Metts are short for Mettwurst. The American version are fully cooked, packed in casings. About the diameter of a 1/4 pound hotdog, but shorter in length. Heavily spiced, and with a casing that has a distinctive snap. The casing was a deep, deep red color. Looking at the meat, it was very finely ground, with bits of spices, including visible mustard seed. Usually they would come in two options, regular, and hot. Looking at the two varieties, you couldnt tell which was hot and which was regular.

The German version is served raw. End of that discussion.  :-)

So, we would go to the Meat Market to buy the sausages. The man behind the counter would always ask which ones, "regular or hot". Sometimes Mom would buy both, other times just regular. The sausages were still linked together, what seemed like a never ending continuous rope of tasty sausages. The meat man would put a big plastic bag on the scales, and would pile in the sausages, cutting off the links at whatever poundage you specified. Much like getting deli meat sliced, your order might be slightly under, or slightly over. The meat man would spin that bag around an around, then putting a knot in it. The sausages needed a safe and secure trip home. Little did he know, that knot didnt stop me..

We would drive home, me in the passenger seat, munching on a sausage, and sipping on a soda. Later that night after dinner, and until the sausages ran out, I would snack on those tasty meat sticks. Snatching them from the fridge. Snacking on them cold. Never heating the sausages. Then we would would go again. That particular meat market was a modest drive from our home, so it wasnt a weekly thing. But when we did go, it was paired with going to the grocery store, or other errands in the same part of town.

Eventually the Meat Market stopped making the Metts. Ill never forget that day. The meat man said, and I quote: "we cant get the casings no more.." It burned a hole in me. What do you mean, you cant get the casings no more? Cant you get something else? I had lots of questions, but we left. Disappointed. Broken. It was a sad day.

Fast forwarding a bit, about 2001, I stumbled across a local company that made "Metts", and they were at the grocery store that my now, brand new wife and I shopped at. When I saw that packaging, with the name on it, I had flashbacks, that were practically paralyzing. The sausages looked a little different, but the name said it all. Into the buggy they went, my wife not particularly understanding my excitement. I could barely contain my excitement, ripping into that package once we got home. The smell was similar, but a little different. The casing was a different color. No matter. Time for a bite! I all but spit it out. This was not the sausage of my childhood. While edible, it just wasnt right. I did end up eating those sausages. For us, especially back then, money was a little tight, so waste not, want not.

At that point, I took up Sausage Making as a hobby. I swore that come hell or high water, I would have my proper sausages once again. Little did I know it would be at least another 15 or so years before I would stumble across a recipe that gave me hope, and the taste of my childhood. Meanwhile, in those years I learned a lot, and im going to share all that knowledge. 

To be continued.

Ah, yes. Hackpeter mit zwiebeln (with raw onions) spread on a Brötchen. Not for the faint-hearted, but it's a standard dish throughout Germany.

I spent almost 15 years in Germany and thus have seen my share of hackpeter. Have eaten some too, but not a lot. The Hackpeter I've seen is spread, like a chunky pate, rather than packed in a casing like a sausage, but obviously it's done both ways.

https://www.thespruceeats.com/german-mett-spiced-raw-ground-pork-1446918
Adams E2 Euphonium, built in 2017
Boosey & Co. Imperial Euphonium, built in 1941
Edwards B454 bass trombone, built 2012
Bach Stradivarius 42OG tenor trombone, built 1992
Kanstul 33-T BBb tuba, built 2011
Fender Precision Bass Guitar, built ?
Mouthpiece data provided on request.

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2023, 05:54:32 PM »
Ah, yes. Hackpeter mit zwiebeln (with raw onions) spread on a Brötchen. Not for the faint-hearted, but it's a standard dish throughout Germany.

I spent almost 15 years in Germany and thus have seen my share of hackpeter. Have eaten some too, but not a lot. The Hackpeter I've seen is spread, like a chunky pate, rather than packed in a casing like a sausage, but obviously it's done both ways.

https://www.thespruceeats.com/german-mett-spiced-raw-ground-pork-1446918

Thanks for the link, thats some informative reading.

Now, I will happily provide you with a recipe, if you like. Cause it sounds like you miss it..  :-)

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2023, 07:25:41 PM »
Equipment

Heres where it starts getting fun. All the goodies that you didnt know you needed.  :)

Sausage making can be about as simple as you want, or equally convoluted. Your choice. But, ill happily admit that increasing your inventory of kitchen gadgets does make life, and your new found hobby, far more enticing. The good thing, you can pick up extra goodies as time, need, and funds allow. The "funds" part is usually the issue.

I have broken up the discussion into three categories. "Required" ,"Helpful", and "Dedicated". Pretty self explanatory. Required is what I would say is the bare bones. The good news, most items you probably already have in the home kitchen, or have access to. Helpful is the optional stuff that just makes life easier, and/or allows you to take your sausage making to the next level. Dedicated is when you have gotten serious. Real serious.

This list is not exhaustive by any means. Your needs will vary based on what types of sausages, and cured meats you want to make. But, with that being said, after your first grind (so to speak), you might fall in love with the process and already have the next batch planned out. You might even already have your eyes on your next gadget upgrade. Be careful, it can certainly be addictive. 

Required

Nylon Cutting Board. You want nylon because it can be sanitized with either commercial sanitizer, or bleach solution. We will discuss Sanitation in detail later.

Meat Knives. You only really need one good sharp meat knife. My personal goto is a Dexter 7 inch Narrow Fillet Knife. It is razor sharp, slicing thru meat with little effort. The blade is thin, with just a little flexibility to it. It also makes quick work of chicken, beef, pork, etc. The handle is a one piece poly material, which is good for the sanitizing process. On that topic, the handle is a meaty handle. Good for those of us with larger hands.

Winco Acero is another brand that I like as well. These knives are of a heavier construction, with a multi-part handle, but still NSF certified. So clearly, these can be properly sanitized as well. I have both a 3 inch pairing, and 8 inch bread knife.

Both brands have been used extensively in my home kitchen, and commercial kitchen space. They do not disappoint. They are very reasonably priced. You can order from Amazon for ease. These are just my personal recommendation.

Digital Scales. Gotta have a way to weigh your ingredients. Look for a set that works in both metric and standard, and can weigh up to 10 pounds. I have had excellent luck with both CDN brand, and Escali.

Meat Grinder. You need some way to grind your meat. There are lots of options, but almost everybody starts out with a KitchenAid mixer, and grinder attachment. I started that way, and it works fine. But, you will quickly learn its shortcomings. Mostly, you have to cut your meat into about 1 inch cubes, whereas a dedicated grinder can work with much larger pieces of meat. This will result in far faster production. Dedicated grinders have a wide range of grinder plates. The KitchenAid uses, I believe, #8 size, and those are rather limited.

Dont let that dissuade you from using the KA Grinder. Its fine for what it is, and assuming you already have the mixer, its a cheaper way to get to the end goal. Ground meat. Looking on Amazon, there are numerous knockoff brands, so do your homework. I DO like the fact that those knockoffs mostly appear to be made of metal. Thats a plus.

Bowls, Containers, Sheet Pans. Naturally you need some of these to contain your whole, chunked, and ground meat during the various stages.

I would consider the above list, the barebones to get started.

Helpful

Dedicated Grinder. I wont rehash the above. But your meat processing time will instantly be cut in about half. You will be able to work with larger pieces of meat. You can buy a wider range of meat grinding plates. The parts are usually larger, making cleaning far easier. Also, on most machines, the hopper, chute, screw, etc, are metal. Not plastic.

Mostly importantly, most dedicated machines can run in reverse. Perfect if you get a clog in the grinder plate. No KitchenAid can do that.

I personally have an LEM Big Bite grinder. It works wonderfully.

Dedicated Stuffer. Yes, the KA can stuff casings. I dont recall the sizes, but it does work. Dedicated stuffers simply do a better job. I have a Vertical stuffer (dont recall the brand) and its like night and day.

A dedicated stuffer will not potentially heat up the meat, unlike using a grinder. A stuffer uses a large plunger like mechanism to slowly push the meat into the casing. A grinder uses the screw mechanism to push the meat into the casing.

Vacuum Sealer. About the best way to avoid the dreaded freezer burn. Also, you will want one if you obtain a Sous Vide machine. More about that later. I also highly encourage you to vacuum seal hog casings. This will prevent your fridge from becoming stinky. Believe me, your significant other will appreciate that.

The above will definitely make your life and projects far simpler.

Dedicated

Smoker. This once could easily be any where on the list, and have become so common, it almost seems absurd to include it. But, not all sausages, nor cured meats, are smoked. But a lot are. You can also use a smoker as a drying chamber.

One of my long term projects has been an actual smoke house, here on my property. One of these days it will get built. Meanwhile, I stick with what I have. The average smoker can hold a decent size batch of meats, so theres that.

Sous Vide. This a water circulation heater. You vacuum seal the meat, and let it hang out in the swirling water. This will pasteurize the meat, or even fully cook meat if desired.

Ananova is the leader in these devices. I have a couple from a different brand, but they work just fine.

Extra Fridge/Freezer. When it gets to the point that you run out of space, you have decisions to make. An extra fridge/freezer helps with this. You will barely notice it on your electric bill, if thats a concern. Shamefully, ill admit that I have 4 full size fridges, 1 full size upright freezer, and a small upright freezer. We barely notice it on the electric bill.

To be continued.
 
« Last Edit: March 27, 2023, 08:13:19 PM by RuralNc »

Offline Eupher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24894
  • Reputation: +2828/-1828
  • U.S. Army, Retired
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2023, 05:45:24 AM »
Thanks for the link, thats some informative reading.

Now, I will happily provide you with a recipe, if you like. Cause it sounds like you miss it..  :-)

TBH, I had always thought that hackpeter (or mett as you call it) was made from cured, but otherwise raw, pork. The link told me otherwise.  :runaway:
Adams E2 Euphonium, built in 2017
Boosey & Co. Imperial Euphonium, built in 1941
Edwards B454 bass trombone, built 2012
Bach Stradivarius 42OG tenor trombone, built 1992
Kanstul 33-T BBb tuba, built 2011
Fender Precision Bass Guitar, built ?
Mouthpiece data provided on request.

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2023, 07:02:43 AM »
TBH, I had always thought that hackpeter (or mett as you call it) was made from cured, but otherwise raw, pork. The link told me otherwise.  :runaway:

Most likely, it would be toxic if cured, but served raw. Cure #1 and its compound sodium nitrite, would be toxic until they reach a temp. of 140*F.

Curing of meats will be discussed in due time.  :-)

Offline Eupher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24894
  • Reputation: +2828/-1828
  • U.S. Army, Retired
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2023, 08:53:39 AM »
Most likely, it would be toxic if cured, but served raw. Cure #1 and its compound sodium nitrite, would be toxic until they reach a temp. of 140*F.

Curing of meats will be discussed in due time.  :-)

Interesting. Never knew that.

I looked at your LEM Big Bite grinder. Whoa. This one at $280 is the cheapest I saw. I didn't even look at stuffers. Probably for what I'm likely to do (brats and breakfast sausage), I'll just stick with the KA.

https://www.meatyourmaker.com/process/grinders/.5-hp-grinder-8/1117073.html#start=1
Adams E2 Euphonium, built in 2017
Boosey & Co. Imperial Euphonium, built in 1941
Edwards B454 bass trombone, built 2012
Bach Stradivarius 42OG tenor trombone, built 1992
Kanstul 33-T BBb tuba, built 2011
Fender Precision Bass Guitar, built ?
Mouthpiece data provided on request.

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2023, 07:01:01 PM »
Interesting. Never knew that.

I looked at your LEM Big Bite grinder. Whoa. This one at $280 is the cheapest I saw. I didn't even look at stuffers. Probably for what I'm likely to do (brats and breakfast sausage), I'll just stick with the KA.

https://www.meatyourmaker.com/process/grinders/.5-hp-grinder-8/1117073.html#start=1

I wanted to double check, because that price didnt jive with my recollection. Heavens knows, im not perfect. I checked the model number on my grinder, and I have made a mistake. Its a Mighty Bite. Not a Big Bite.

https://www.lemproducts.com/product/mighty-bite-8-grinder/butcher-meat-grinders

The current price though, is still up there. When I bought mine, a few years back, it was right around Christmas. We stopped in an Outdoors Store for something completely unrelated. I stumbled across the grinders, and couldn't turn it down. I dont think I paid even a hundred bucks for it. If that.

I did some digging on Amazon, and found the stuffer that I bought. Its a Hakka brand. Its an 11Lb/5L stuffer. Current price is $180. I definitely didnt pay that much.

Stuff is going up, up, up...

It comes down to efficiency. Nothing more. Just depends on how much your processing, and how often.

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2023, 07:20:16 PM »
Sanitation

Welcome back. Im going to make this section short and sweet. I think everybody understands sanitation. I hope at least.

We will talk about Meat Selection soon, but lets go on the assumption that you have sourced the meat from a reliable source. Its generally accepted that the hunk of meat is clean, and fit for consumption. In the packaging it is a nearly sterile environment. When you open it, all bets are off. As soon as you plunge your knife in it, everything changes. When you run it thru the meat grinder, you are now potentially spreading little beasties from one corner to another. I think its clear why sanitation is paramount.

Anytime I get started, the first step is to sanitize my cutting board, knifes, and meat grinder components. Along with an pans or bowls that will hold the meat.

You can purchase sanitizer or just make your own. 1 TBSP bleach to 1 gallon of clean water. I double checked and thats the current guideline from the CDC. You want to to submerge for 1 minute or so, and your good to go. Assuming that you have already washed all the parts to be sanitized. Sanitization should be the last step.

Ill admit that my cutting board is too big to fit in my sink, so I mop the top of it with the bleach solution, as I balance it over the center divider in my sink.

That covers Sanitation.

To be continued.

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2023, 10:17:54 PM »
Meat Selection

Meat selection is just as important to our sausage making efforts as is any other ingredient. In sausage, no ingredient should play second fiddle. We are not industrial meat companies. We are home hobbyist who are making sausage for the art, and flavor of it.

Historically sausage has been made from just about every species of animal on Earth. For the sake of conversation, and because of my own experience, I will stick to primarily pork. Beef is another option, with some caveats. Beef needs pork fat, and additional Pork itself wouldnt hurt, otherwise its like eating meatloaf. A meatloaf does not a sausage make. I have had very limited success with Beef Sausage. So little, that I dont often even think about it. Nor do I even want to make it.

Pork is king in the sausage making world. Its flavorful on its own, yet is an excellent carrier for spices, stays moist, and very reasonably priced. For sausage making, in general, 2 cuts come to mind. Boston Butt, and Picnic Shoulder.  The Boston Butt comes from the upper, front shoulder. The Picnic Shoulder/Pork Shoulder comes from the lower front shoulder. Typically the Boston has a slightly higher fat ratio then the Picnic. In my opinion, the Picnic has a slightly more robust taste. I personally prefer the Boston Butt cut, whether its sausage making or pulled pork. But, the Picnic does have its uses. They can be cured for a tasty ham. More about curing at a later date.

The Boston comes in at about 20% to 30% fat to meat ratio. This is perfect for basic sausage production. While some recipes do specify certain ratios of fat to meat, the Boston is an excellent place to start. The first time you fry a patty of your homemade sausage, you will be shocked. Little shrinkage, and virtually no fat in your pan. Kiss heartburn goodbye! When you begin to process the Boston, you will appreciate that for the most part, the meat chunk is a square or rectangle. Its far easier to establish your bearings. There will be one simple bone (shoulder blade) tucked into the meat. Some modest knife work will quickly remove that bone. From there, you process into strips or cubes for the grinder.

The Picnic comes in at about 20% fat to meat ratio. The picnic has a sorta triangle shape that is at best, difficult to break down into cubes or strips. The shape doesnt allow for convenient cuts. Not to mention, more bones to deal with. Also, the trend lately for Picnics to be sold with skin on. That layer is useless for our purposes. More work, on top of work.

For the home processor, stick with the Boston Butt. Save the Picnic for a Picnic Ham.

To be continued..

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2023, 07:51:36 AM »
Sausage Math

Welcome back. This is going to be another short and sweet explanation.

Sausage Math works like Bakers Math. Instead of talking about flour, were talking about meat. Meat should always be 100%. All other ingredients are expressed as a percentage. In order for us to do this, we will be working in Metric. For an example, lets use salt. For a basic fresh sausage the salt should range from 1% to 2%. This is mostly based on personal taste. But I will add, when we get around to cured meats, a certain range is required. That will be addressed at that time. Back to our example....

Lets say you bring home your butt, get it processed, and you now have 7lbs 3oz of raw pork setting in front of you. How many teaspoons and tablespoons of salt do you need?

Do you see the problem? Working in Volumetric Measurements is a pain. Not to mention highly inaccurate. This is why we want to work in Metric. Plus, every chunk of meat you process is going to have a different weight. All recipes that I will ever provide will be in Metric. With one possible exception, and that exception will be covered if that time ever comes. So back to the example...

Instead of 7lbs 3oz, we have 3260.2 grams of meat. We can round that up or down. So lets just say 3261 grams. Now, we know based on experience we like around 1.75% salt. From here just multiply.

3261(meat weight)*0.0175(salt percentage)=57.0675 grams of salt.

We now know that we need 57 grams of salt. Just do the math for each ingredient, and your done. Dont forget to always double check your math. We all make mistakes.

The beauty of Metric is that it allows us to increase or reduce our recipes easily. It allows us to also easily modify our recipes to fit our needs. Like the above example, maybe 1.75% Salt is too salty. Maybe you want to decrease it a little. Maybe 1.65% is more to your taste. With Metric, its all up to you.

To be continued.


Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2023, 10:26:58 AM »
Technique and addendum to previous verbiage.

Alrighty, were getting closer to the goal. This post is the the general flow for a fresh sausage. Let me define what that is. I used the term previously without explaining. I want to make sure its crystal clear, as I sometime use terms interchanagble without even thinking about it. Until after the fact. Thats my fault.

Fresh Sausage. This is sausage that is either in a patty or in casing, cooked, fried, or hot smoked*. It must be refrigerated or frozen in its raw/uncooked state. Examples include Italian Sausage, Bratwurst, Breakfast Sausage, etc.

Cured Sausage. This is sausage that contains Cure #1 or #2. It can be (rarely) in patty, but most likely in a casing. It can be cooked, fried, or cold smoked**. It may, or may not be refrigerated or frozen in its raw/uncooked state. Examples include Metts, Kielbasa, Bockwurst, Knockwurst, Various Salami. Even Hotdogs/Wieners. Etc.

*Hot Smoked.All though there is not an exact definition of temperature range, hot smoking is considered running your smoker between 180-220 degrees F.

**Cold Smoked. Cold smoking is running your smoker at 90 degrees or less. Only Sausages and Meats that have been properly cured may be cold smoked.

On a side note, Cold Smoked Cheese is divine and super easy. I HIGHLY recommend it. Especially Pepper Jack smoked with Apple. If you're already going thru the trouble anyways, put the cheese on the upper shelf, and meat BELOW it. Hard Cheeses such as Cheddar, Mont. Jack, Pepper Jack, etc requires no special prep. Just put it in the smoker and let it go for a couple hours. Then rest it in the fridge for a day or so. Just say'n.

Technique/Work Flow

So this covers the basic workflow.

1. Wash and Sanitize all utensils that will come in contact with the meat you plan to grind.

2. Process your cut of meat into cubes or strips that will fit your grinder.

3. Put your cubed/stripped meat into the fridge for a good chilly rest. About an hour. We want the meat cold when it goes thru the grinder.

4. First grind. Run the meat thru the appropriate grinder plate. The first grind is usually ran thru a larger plate, something like 3/8 of an inch or 10 MM. Sometimes called a chili grind. Immediately refrigerate the ground meat. Also, put your grinder hardware in the fridge as well. We want to keep everything cold.

5. Second Grind. After about another hour retrieve the cold meat from the fridge, and run thru either the same plate, or smaller plate, based on your recipe.

6. Immediately refrigerate your ground meat.

7. Allow the meat to rest overnight in the fridge.

8. Fry test. Make a small patty, and cook it up in a pan. Your tasting for salt and flavor content. If your not happy, you can adjust.

9. Pack up your sausage into meat bags, casings, etc. Store in the freezer for long term storage.

When to add salt and spices. You will notice I didnt mention this up above. Thats because there is no set standard. Some folks like to add the spices before the first grind. Some folks like to add after the first grind. Some folks like to add after the second grind. Its really up to you.

I personally like to add the salt and spices after the second grind. No particular reason.

That covers the basic work flow for your average sausage.

To be continued..

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2023, 06:25:56 AM »
Small Batch Testing/No Grinder Situation

Welcome Back. This post was not part of the original idea, but came to mind just recently. Its a solution thats looking for a problem.

Lets assume for the moment that maybe, you dont have a grinder. Or maybe, you dont want to drag it out, and go thru all the hassle of sanitizing its parts. You just want to get on with the recipe, perhaps testing a small batch. IS there a reasonable solution that will at a minimum give you some results to think about. Yes. Yes there is.

Theres no shame in wanting to take a shortcut. I have done this plenty of times. I thought this was obvious, but maybe not. The simplest solution is to head to the Grocery Store/Meat Market and get yourself a 1 LB pack of Ground Pork. Problem solved. But, watch out! Not all "ground pork" is just "ground pork". Check the ingredient label. You would be surprised to learn that often times, other stuff is added. Lots of other stuff. Check the label! For a tester, you want pure ground meat.

So, you got your 1 LB (or whatever size) pre-ground pork. You just saved yourself a bunch of hassle. From here on out, its pretty simple. You only need to add spices to it, and let it set overnight in the fridge. Thats it! At a minimum, this will give you the idea of what the flavor profile is going to be. The only downside will be the texture may be off. For instance, Breakfast Sasusage, I prefer in a larger "Chili Grind", but with store bought ground pork, your at the mercy of whoever packed the meat. None the less, its a simple solution.

For any future recipes I will include the 1 pound test recipe with the math already included. This will get you started.

Moving right along..

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2023, 08:15:44 AM »
Basic Recipes

Yay! We finally made. From here on out, in this section, recipes. Unless something else comes up. So get everything sanitized, clean out a shelf in the fridge. Its time to make a basic Breakfast Sausage.

The recipe im going to share is the culmination of a lot of work. It has only a few simple ingredients, but good ol' fashioned flavor. Nothing less. Nothing more. I spent a lot of time in my early days on this. At the time I was way overthinking the whole thing. Adding lots of this, and lots of that. Then starting over. I wasted a lot of time, pork, and money on what turned out to be a ridiculously simple recipe/formula. Then I lost the recipe. So, I had to start over. Which turned out even better. Funny how that works.

Below is my Basic Breakfast Sausage along with a couple alternatives. I have included both volumetric and metric. Although I dont like volumetric measurements, its impractical to weigh small quantities. Unless you just happen to have a set of balance beams or Jewelers Scales handy.

Think of this as a starting point. Feel free to adjust to suit your tastes.

Basic Breakfast Sausage (1 pound/454 gram + metric & volumetric)

Ground Pork -  1 pound/454 grams - 100%
Salt - 1 1/4 tsp. - 6.80 grams - .015
Black Pepper - 1 tsp. - 2.5 grams - .0055
Sage - 1 3/4 tsp. - 1.27 grams - .0028
Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp. - .64 grams - .0014


Hot Breakfast Sausage (1 pound/454 gram + metric & volumetric)

Ground Pork -  1 pound/454 grams - 100%
Salt - 1 1/4 tsp. - 6.80 grams - .015
Black Pepper - 1 tsp. - 2.5 grams - .0055
Cayenne Pepper - 1/2 tsp. - 1 gram - .0022
Red Pepper Flake - 1/2 tsp. - 1 gram - .0022
Sage - 1 3/4 tsp. - 1.27 grams - .0028
Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp. - .64 grams - .0014


Sweet & Smoky Breakfast Sausage (1 pound/454 gram + metric & volumetric)

Ground Pork -  1 pound/454 grams - 100%
Brown Sugar - 2 tbsp. - 26 grams - .057
Salt - 1 1/4 tsp. - 6.80 grams - .015
Black Pepper - 1 tsp. - 2.5 grams - .0055
Smoked Paprika - 2 tsp. - 4 grams  - .008
Sage - 1 3/4 tsp. - 1.27 grams - .0028
Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp. - .64 grams - .0014


Grind COLD Pork Butt with 3/8 grind plate. Chill for 1 hour. Re-grind thru same 3/8 grind plate. Add spices. Chill for 24 hours. Fry Test a sample. Pack in casings or meat bags and freeze.

*All Spices are ground fine. Salt is regular table salt. Not kosher. Not Sea Salt.*

Offline Dblhaul

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1094
  • Reputation: +262/-11
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2023, 08:53:10 PM »
High Fives my friend.
Your posts have been helpful and informative.

Offline Eupher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24894
  • Reputation: +2828/-1828
  • U.S. Army, Retired
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2023, 08:40:00 AM »
High Fives my friend.
Your posts have been helpful and informative.

Echo Dblhaul. Rock solid, and thanks. I've received my KA all-metal grinder package and am otherwise ready to go, but I kinda needed a recipe -- though I most definitely could've found something on the interwebz. Both of you guys get a h5.
Adams E2 Euphonium, built in 2017
Boosey & Co. Imperial Euphonium, built in 1941
Edwards B454 bass trombone, built 2012
Bach Stradivarius 42OG tenor trombone, built 1992
Kanstul 33-T BBb tuba, built 2011
Fender Precision Bass Guitar, built ?
Mouthpiece data provided on request.

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2023, 01:59:13 PM »
High Fives my friend.
Your posts have been helpful and informative.

Thank you and happy to share!

Echo Dblhaul. Rock solid, and thanks. I've received my KA all-metal grinder package and am otherwise ready to go, but I kinda needed a recipe -- though I most definitely could've found something on the interwebz. Both of you guys get a h5.

Glad to hear you got a grinder. My only advice for storage, and I didnt think about this up above, store your grind plates in a baggy of rice. It will prevent them from getting rust in the little holes. Would be a pain to have to clean rust outta them. I do that, then that baggy, and all other grinder parts just go back in the bag they all came in.

Your both very welcome. And from the number of views, im guessing there is interest in Meat Curing and Sausage making. And were just getting started. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The fundamentals if you will. Once you understand the basics, it goes much smoother then jumping in head first. Trust me. I have made that mistake..

Offline Eupher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24894
  • Reputation: +2828/-1828
  • U.S. Army, Retired
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2023, 03:47:31 PM »
OK, here's my report on a batch of breakfast sausage.

I bought a bone-in Tyson pork shoulder from Wal-mart. Brought it home and parked it in the fridge for about 3 days.

Finally got around to processing it and cut away the meat from the bone using my filet knife. I wound up with 90 ounces of meat. (Gave the bone to my yellow lab, Zoey.) Broke the meat down into two batches of 32+ ounces x 2 and a batch of about 20 ounces. I made no effort to cut away fat or gristle, but my next time around, I think I'll try to isolate gristle and cut it away. Froze the two 32+ ounce batches and ground the 20 ounce batch using your method.

My attachment (Kitoart) for my KitchenAid mixer wasn't very explicit about where/how to affix the 4-blade knife and after the first attempt to grind half of the 20-ounce batch, I took the whole thing apart and reversed the blade. Worked a lot better after that, but make no mistake -- the knife needs to "feed" the meat through the plate, not the other way around. The knife blade (4-prong) needs to ride up against the plate.

The first grinding was the most problematic - a lot of that was learning curve stuff, but some had to do with gristle. Bottom line -- if you can cut away gristle, the grinding will go better. The second grinding went much smoother. I took apart the Kitoart gear, cleaned it, and the first-grind meat and parked it in the fridge before doing the second grind about 3 hours after the first grind. Seemed to work well. The colder the meat is, the better (up to being frozen, of course).

Added the spices per your directions, though I definitely had some questions about the use of nutmeg. I have some fresh-ground nutmeg from an online store because the store-bought stuff is usually about 45 years old, but I would never think to use nutmeg in a recipe like this. Thyme, sage, even rosemary yes, but never nutmeg.

I just got done frying off a test patty and I am impressed. The nutmeg doesn't appear to be overwhelming (though I used a bit too much salt -- probably because I am used to using kosher salt). The sage balance seems OK and I like a lot of black pepper so I used what I thought "looked right." Definitely more than your recipe calls for.

The upshot is, I like what I got. Even with the nutmeg, though my next batch is going to include some thyme and a touch of rosemary. It can't be too savory, IMHO.

Thanks for your recipe and your directions. Yes, using the Kitoart with the KitchenAid mixer is a PITA, but in small batches it's probably the most cost-effective way to run. No way am I going to pony up $300 for a meat grinder.

And there ain't no way I'm going to deal with stuffing sausages though the Kitoart attachment comes with two sausage-stuffing tubes. That's an entirely new level of pain that I don't need.  I'm probably going to take the rest of this breakfast sausage and turn it into gravy with biscuits.

 :hi5:
« Last Edit: April 10, 2023, 03:49:42 PM by Eupher »
Adams E2 Euphonium, built in 2017
Boosey & Co. Imperial Euphonium, built in 1941
Edwards B454 bass trombone, built 2012
Bach Stradivarius 42OG tenor trombone, built 1992
Kanstul 33-T BBb tuba, built 2011
Fender Precision Bass Guitar, built ?
Mouthpiece data provided on request.

Offline Eupher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24894
  • Reputation: +2828/-1828
  • U.S. Army, Retired
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2023, 04:39:14 PM »
I forgot to add - grinder plates. The Kitoart attachment comes with four plates. Obviously, I used the "coarse" plate for the breakfast sausage I ground.

After washing the plate and the 4-prong knife, I put them on the stovetop (gas) and put a small fire on it to drive off the water. Then, after cooling a bit, I sprayed them with Pam cooking spray. Then put the plate and the 4-prong knife in a small baggie and put that with the other parts for next time. No rice.
Adams E2 Euphonium, built in 2017
Boosey & Co. Imperial Euphonium, built in 1941
Edwards B454 bass trombone, built 2012
Bach Stradivarius 42OG tenor trombone, built 1992
Kanstul 33-T BBb tuba, built 2011
Fender Precision Bass Guitar, built ?
Mouthpiece data provided on request.

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2023, 08:56:37 PM »
Eupher, you did well. Heres my comments..

OK, here's my report on a batch of breakfast sausage.

I bought a bone-in Tyson pork shoulder from Wal-mart. Brought it home and parked it in the fridge for about 3 days.

Finally got around to processing it and cut away the meat from the bone using my filet knife. I wound up with 90 ounces of meat. (Gave the bone to my yellow lab, Zoey.) Broke the meat down into two batches of 32+ ounces x 2 and a batch of about 20 ounces. I made no effort to cut away fat or gristle, but my next time around, I think I'll try to isolate gristle and cut it away. Froze the two 32+ ounce batches and ground the 20 ounce batch using your method.

Im spoiled, my grinder will pretty much handle anything you put in there. But your cutting away the tougher stuff is certainly not out of the question. You dont want to ask TOO much of your grinder. That never has good results. Trust me.

Quote
My attachment (Kitoart) for my KitchenAid mixer wasn't very explicit about where/how to affix the 4-blade knife and after the first attempt to grind half of the 20-ounce batch, I took the whole thing apart and reversed the blade. Worked a lot better after that, but make no mistake -- the knife needs to "feed" the meat through the plate, not the other way around. The knife blade (4-prong) needs to ride up against the plate.

I promise you, everybody makes that mistake, at least once or twice. Some of the cutter knives have a curve on the backside. That curve is highly misleading. You nailed it. The blade must go up against the plate to work properly. Been there and done that.

Quote
The first grinding was the most problematic - a lot of that was learning curve stuff, but some had to do with gristle. Bottom line -- if you can cut away gristle, the grinding will go better. The second grinding went much smoother. I took apart the Kitoart gear, cleaned it, and the first-grind meat and parked it in the fridge before doing the second grind about 3 hours after the first grind. Seemed to work well. The colder the meat is, the better (up to being frozen, of course).

This brings up a good point that I didnt address up above. Do not put your Grinder in the freezer. Dont. DO NOT. NO MAS...  I did. It froze up solid with bits of ice and meat in it. I didnt realize it. I attached it to the motor, flipped the switch. Heard a hum then a crunch crunch sorta sound.

I had to buy a new Grinder. That was an expensive mistake. Now days, I dont even recommend putting the meat in the freezer in-between grind 1 and 2. The fridge will do just fine.

Quote
Added the spices per your directions, though I definitely had some questions about the use of nutmeg. I have some fresh-ground nutmeg from an online store because the store-bought stuff is usually about 45 years old, but I would never think to use nutmeg in a recipe like this. Thyme, sage, even rosemary yes, but never nutmeg.

I just got done frying off a test patty and I am impressed. The nutmeg doesn't appear to be overwhelming (though I used a bit too much salt -- probably because I am used to using kosher salt). The sage balance seems OK and I like a lot of black pepper so I used what I thought "looked right." Definitely more than your recipe calls for.

The upshot is, I like what I got. Even with the nutmeg, though my next batch is going to include some thyme and a touch of rosemary. It can't be too savory, IMHO.

Glad you enjoyed it. The nutmeg is subtle but gives it a little something. My mother who grew up on a farm, which raised a few piggly-wigglys told me about Nutmeg in sausage. When she told me that, I had the exact same thoughts.

As I have pointed out previously, adjust the spices to your taste. These recipes are a starting point. Feel free to adjust. Nothing is set in stone. At least not with these recipes.

Quote
Thanks for your recipe and your directions. Yes, using the Kitoart with the KitchenAid mixer is a PITA, but in small batches it's probably the most cost-effective way to run. No way am I going to pony up $300 for a meat grinder.

And there ain't no way I'm going to deal with stuffing sausages though the Kitoart attachment comes with two sausage-stuffing tubes. That's an entirely new level of pain that I don't need.  I'm probably going to take the rest of this breakfast sausage and turn it into gravy with biscuits.

 :hi5:

And you now know why I recommend a stuffer.  :-)

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2023, 09:01:54 PM »
I forgot to add - grinder plates. The Kitoart attachment comes with four plates. Obviously, I used the "coarse" plate for the breakfast sausage I ground.

After washing the plate and the 4-prong knife, I put them on the stovetop (gas) and put a small fire on it to drive off the water. Then, after cooling a bit, I sprayed them with Pam cooking spray. Then put the plate and the 4-prong knife in a small baggie and put that with the other parts for next time. No rice.

Sounds like you have a solid storage plan.

Im guessing one plate, has 2 or 3 very large holes? Thats a "kidney plate" that is used with the stuffing tubes. Then probably one plate that has very very tiny holes. Thats more for emulsified sausages. Like Hotdogs and the such. The other 2 plates are probably 3/8 and 3/16. Those two will serve you the most.

Offline Eupher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24894
  • Reputation: +2828/-1828
  • U.S. Army, Retired
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2023, 05:42:10 AM »
Sounds like you have a solid storage plan.

Im guessing one plate, has 2 or 3 very large holes? Thats a "kidney plate" that is used with the stuffing tubes. Then probably one plate that has very very tiny holes. Thats more for emulsified sausages. Like Hotdogs and the such. The other 2 plates are probably 3/8 and 3/16. Those two will serve you the most.

Yes, one plate is as you described - a kidney plate. The medium and fine plates I assumed were for hot dogs and such.

As reported above, I turned the 1 lb. of breakfast sausage into sausage gravy. I even had to add a bit of bacon grease to the meat after browning it to combine with the flour - the taste was fantastic and definitely better than the store-bought stuff, though I am OK with JC Potter. I am not OK with Williams. Jimmy Dean (regular, not the hot) will do in a pinch.
Adams E2 Euphonium, built in 2017
Boosey & Co. Imperial Euphonium, built in 1941
Edwards B454 bass trombone, built 2012
Bach Stradivarius 42OG tenor trombone, built 1992
Kanstul 33-T BBb tuba, built 2011
Fender Precision Bass Guitar, built ?
Mouthpiece data provided on request.

Offline RuralNc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1279
  • Reputation: +479/-4
Re: Sausage Making 101 - The Basics & Breakfast Sausage
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2023, 05:39:51 PM »
Yes, one plate is as you described - a kidney plate. The medium and fine plates I assumed were for hot dogs and such.

As reported above, I turned the 1 lb. of breakfast sausage into sausage gravy. I even had to add a bit of bacon grease to the meat after browning it to combine with the flour - the taste was fantastic and definitely better than the store-bought stuff, though I am OK with JC Potter. I am not OK with Williams. Jimmy Dean (regular, not the hot) will do in a pinch.

Yes sir. As I have told many people, when making gravy, there wont be many drippings. Got to add something. Bacon Grease is a fine choice. I always have a quart jar in the fridge for such an occasion. That, and for seasoning Green Beans.  :-)

I had to Google the two companies you mentioned as I wasnt familiar with those. On the other hand, Jimmy Dean.... cant stomach the stuff. And truth be told, I have no doubts that its the spice blend they use. I have seen plenty of Copy Cat recipes. Its just not something I want to personally make.