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More Free About Making Sausage Info

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Product Description


The origin of meat processing is lost in antiquity but probably began when mankind learned that salt is an effective preservative. Sausage making evolved as an effort to economize and preserve meat that could not be consumed fresh at slaughter. In sausage making, quality standards are maintained while using most parts of the animal carcass.

Good sausage makers are as discriminating about what goes into sausage as winemakers are about selecting grapes. Early sausage makers found that a wide range of raw ingredients could be used. The primary ingredients of sausage were the parts of the animal carcasses that could not be used in other ways. Today many primal parts are used in the production of sausage; however, the less tender cuts, organ meats and even blood can be made delicious when ground, spiced and cased.

The procedure of stuffing meat into casings remains basically the same today, but sausage recipes have been greatly refined and sausage making has become a highly respected culinary art. Any product can be made from a wide range of raw materials exposed to rather extreme conditions of temperature and time schedules and be consumer acceptable.

Sausage grew in popularity and brought fame and fortune to many sausage makers and to various cities. Today more than 250 varieties are sold, and many of these can be traced back to the town and country of origin.

The contemporary role of sausage fits conveniently into our modern lifestyles as an elegant appetizer for entertaining as well as the main course in "quick-and-easy" meals. Furthermore, sausages are a relatively safe product to consume because of the added effects of salt, pH, cure, drying and cooking to preserve the product and eliminate harmful bacteria.

Sausage is a convenient food available in a great number of varieties and flavors. Sausages are an excellent source of high quality protein, containing all the essential amino acids in appropriate amounts necessary for growth, maintenance and repair of body tissue. Sausage also provides significant amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Types of Sausage

Sausages are made from beef, veal, pork, lamb, poultry and wild game, or from any combination of these meats. Sausage making has become a unique blend of old procedures and new scientific, highly-mechanized processes. Traditionally, sausage was formed into a symmetrical shape, but it now can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet consumers' needs. Many sausage products are vacuum packed, freshness dated and 100% edible.

Sausages can be classified in a variety of ways, but probably the most useful is by how they are processed (Table 1). Processing methods give sausages easily recognizable characteristics.

Table 1. Sausage Classifications

Classification Examples Storage and Handling  
Fresh sausage   Fresh pork sausage,  Keep refrigerated. Cook bratwurst, 
                                     bockwurst thoroughly before         
                                     eating. Consume within 3 days or         
Uncooked        Smoked, country      Keep refrigerated. Cook thoroughly   smoked sausage  style, mettwurst,   
before eating. Consume within 7  days or freeze.  
keilbasa pork        .  
 Cooked smoked   Frankfurter,         Keep refrigerated. Consume within   sausage bologna     
 7 days after opening vacuum package. 
Dry sausage Genoa salami, pepperoni
  Do not require refrigeration.    
Lebanon bologna,     For best quality, keep  sausage under refrigeration   
cervelot, summer    
sausage, thuringer     
Cooked meat Loaves, head   Keep refrigerated. Consume within
   3 days after  opening vacuum  package.
specialties     cheese, scrapple     3 days after  opening vacuum  package.  


It only requires a grinder, a good meat thermometer and some general household items to make excellent sausage. If you do not have a grinder, you can purchase ground meat from the store. Many products do not need to be smoked, but liquid smoke can be added to give the smoky flavor desired, or you may add a small portion of a cooked, smoked product like bacon to produce the smoky flavor.




Sausage making is a continuous sequence of events. Each step in the proper sequence is important to a successful operation.

It is not practical to consider each step separately or to assign more importance to one phase or operation, but for convenience and illustration, we can break sausage production down into four basic processes: selecting ingredients, grinding and mixing, stuffing, and thermal processing.

Selecting Ingredients

The finished product is only as good as the ingredients it contains. Meat should be fresh, high quality, have the proper lean-to-fat ratio and have good binding qualities. The meat should be clean and not contaminated with bacteria or other microorganisms. In other words, meat used in sausage production should be as safe as any meat you would prepare in your kitchen. Selecting spices and seasonings and combining them in proper amounts is important. AC Legg Old Plantation seasonings complement each other to create a satisfying product.

Cure, an essential part of some formulations, is sodium nitrite (usually 6 percent) on a salt base.  Sodium nitrite is very necessary to inhibit production and growth of the deadly toxin produced by the microorganism Clostridiumbotulinum. It also gives the characteristic cured color to a sausage product and improves flavor. Commercial products such as AC Legg Cure is sold on this site 

Grinding and mixing

For safety, keep the temperature of the meat as cold as possible during grinding and mixing. The usual procedure is to grind the various meats coarsely and then add the rest of the ingredients, mixing thoroughly.

A slurry is made of the spices and salt using two cups of water. (Water is added to dissolve the curing ingredients, to facilitate the mixing and to give the products their characteristic texture and taste.)

The product is then ground again to the desired consistency. Mixing should be done before the final grind. Grinding improves the uniformity of the product by distributing the ingredients and making the particles the same size. Unless you have special equipment, it is desirable to work with small batches (up to 25 pounds) so the cure and seasoning can be more evenly distributed. If you don't have a grinder, buy ground meats, add the seasonings and mix thoroughly by hand.


It is not necessary to stuff fresh sausage meat. It can be left in bulk form or made into patties. Most sausage, however, is made by placing the ground ingredients in some type of forming device to give them shape and hold them together for thermal processing. The casing materials may be natural or manufactured. Natural casings are the gastrointestinal tracts of cattle, sheep and hogs. Generally, hog casings are the most suitable for home use and work quite well for Polish and breakfast-type sausages. They are digestible and are very permeable to moisture and smoke.

All casings preserved in salt must be soaked in lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes before use. Flush each casing under cold water, running cold water through the casing. This removes excess salt from the casing. Unused casings can be drained, covered with salt and frozen.

Fibrous casings are more suitable for summer sausage and similar products because of their greater strength and the variety of sizes available. They are permeable to smoke and moisture and can easily be removed from the finished product. These casings should be soaked before use in 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit water for at least 30 minutes, but not more than four hours before use. If the casings are not pre-stuck they should be punctured with a knife point or pin to eliminate air and fat pockets in the finished sausage.

Collagen casings contain the attributes of both natural and fibrous casings. They have been developed primarily for use in products such as fresh pork sausage and pepperoni sticks. They are uniform in size, relatively strong and easy to handle. These casings also are used for the manufacture of dry sausages, because they are permeable and will shrink.

For cooked products that are generally water-cooked (like braunschweiger), plastic casings impermeable to water are used.

Thermal processing

Sausage is smoked and heated in order to pasteurize it and extend its shelf life, as well as to impart a smoky flavor and improve its appearance. Smoking and heating also fixes the color and causes protein to move to the surface of the sausage so it will hold its shape when the casing is removed.

A few products, such as mettwurst, are smoked with a minimum of heating and are designed to be cooked at the time of consumption. Others, such as liver sausage, are cooked but not smoked.

Procedure for smoking polish sausage: After stuffing in hog casings (pre-flushed), let hang and dry. Smoke at 120 F for one hour, 150 F for one more hour, then at 170 F for two hours or until an internal temperature of 141 F is reached. Remove from smokehouse and spray with hot water for 15 to 30 seconds. Follow with cold shower or dip in a slush tank until internal temperature reaches 100 F. Let dry for one to two hours. Place in a cooler.

Procedure for smoking summer sausage: After stuffing in casing, smoke at 140 F for one hour, 160 F for one more hour, then at 180 F for two hours or until the internal temperatures reach 155 F. Remove from the smokehouse and follow the same procedure as for polish sausage.

Procedure for making cooked sausage: After stuffing the ground ingredients into an impermeable casing, put the sausage into a pan of water. Heat water to 170 F and hold it there until the sausage reaches 155 F. A thermometer is essential for obtaining proper temperature. The water should not boil, as this will ruin the product. If you are making a sausage product using cooked meat, be sure the meat was cooked with low heat.

Food Safety Guidelines

Bacteria can spread throughout a work area and contaminate equipment and work surfaces. To reduce your risk of foodborne illness:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before beginning to work and after changing tasks or after doing anything that could contaminate your hands such as sneezing or using the bathroom.
  • Start with clean equipment and clean thoroughly after using. Be sure all surfaces that come into contact with meat are clean.
  • Sanitize surfaces with a solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Allow to air dry.
  • If using frozen meat in sausage formulations, thaw it in a cooler on the lowest shelf to avoid dripping of juices on ready-to-eat foods. Keep raw meat separate from other foods.
  • Marinate raw meat in the refrigerator.
  • Keep meat as cold as possible (40 F or lower) during processing.
  • If dehydrating meat, don't rely on the dial settings. Measure the temperature of the dehydrator with a calibrated thermometer.



Emulsified Products

30 pounds bull meat
25 pounds 50/50 beef trim
20 pounds 60/40 pork trim
10 quarts water
Old Plantation Seasonings of your choice

  • wieners -- stuff in sheep casing; smoke and cook to 155 F internal temperature.
  • dinner franks -- stuff in hog casings; smoke and cook to 155 F internal temperature.
  • ring bologna -- stuff in beef casing; form into a ring; smoke and cook to 155 F internal temperature.
  • bologna -- stuff in 6-inch diameter fibrous casings; smoke and cook to 155 F internal temperature.
  • Leona -- add 20 pounds cooked, diced and skinned hog jowls plus 1/3 cup garlic powder to the emulsion; stuff into 2-inch diameter fibrous casings; smoke and cook to 155 F internal temperature.
  • pickle and pimento loaf -- add 5 pounds sweet pickles and 5 pounds pimentos. Stuff into parchment-lined metal molds or waterproof fibrous casing. Can be water-cooked or baked to internal temperature 155 F.
  • macaroni and cheese loaf -- add 5 pounds cheese and 5 pounds cooked macaroni. Proceed as with pickle and pimento loaf.

NOTE: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) intensifies and enhances flavor but does not contribute a flavor of its own. It is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, an amino acid. One to two percent of the population may be sensitive to MSG and have mild to transitory reactions in some circumstances when they consume significant amounts, such as would be found in heavily enhanced foods. FDA believes that MSG is a safe food ingredient for the general population.

Weights & Measures Table


4 cups = 1 quart = 950 ml
2 pints = 1 quart = 950 ml
16 ounces = 1 pint = 500 ml
2 cups = 1 pint = 500 ml
2 cups = 16 fluid ounces = 500 ml
16 tablespoons = 1 cup = 240 ml
8 liquid ounces = 1 cup = 240 ml
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup = 60 ml
1/4 cup = 2 liquid ounces = 60 ml
1 liquid ounce = 2 tablespoons = 30 ml
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 cc = 1 ml
1 ounce = 28 g

Weight Conversions of Common Ingredients

1 pound salt = 1 1/2 cups
1 pound sugar = 2 1/4 cups
1 ounce cure = 1 1/2 tablespoons
1 ounce MSG = 2.2 tablespoon

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