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So I'm Thinking of Making Sausages...

Who's got hints? Tips? Recipes?

I don't even own a grinder yet, but I have a Kitchenaid and am thinking of getting the grinder attachment - but is that the way to go, or is there a better grinder out there for a similar price? The goal of this is to control the ingredients for the most part (I'm highly sensitive to nitrites/nitrates and other chemicals for example), but also, in the long run, to cut costs, so I don't want to go crazy with *acoutrements*. Where do I even find sausage casings?

I can't handle spiciness (cayenne and the like are out) but can handle "root spices" like garlic and horseradish, and would like both regular recipes like sweet italian sausage and odd recipes like apple chicken or the like...

Whattaya got, 'hounds?

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  1. Well actually, there's a chow article on the main site about making sausages. It says to call your butcher and they usually have them. It also mentions asking them for some cuts of pork fat.

    A TV show I watched of a master German sausage maker told me that you need a few fatty cuts to moisten and cook the sausage from the inside. To that end, the guy would use some lean pork, and some lardons mixed together, although I'm not sure of the cuts.

    The other thing he did, was to pause to ensure the end of the filling was packed.

    Another ingredient I've seen in a lot of sausages is mace. You could also use some fresh herbs; I'd imagine thyme would go well.

    Let us know how you get on, I've been wanting to do this for years!

    1. the kitchen aid with attachment will get the job done but there are better tools for making sausages. it really depends on the quantity you intend to make and how often as a dedicated sausage making set is a substantial investment.

      a good butcher can supply sausage casings. you can also try the nearest abattoir and they'll be able to help you with finding supplies.

      1. I would also buy the book "Charcuterie" by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. I've been using it for a while now and it will give you excellent instruction on making and drying sausages.

        As far as making sausages that you're not drying, you could also make patties which you don't need to fool around with casings.

        1. If you aren't making huge amounts of sausage, the Kitchenaid grinder attachment will be fine. If you are processing game, for example, then you would be better off getting a stronger, dedicated grinder.

          This company:

          http://www.sausagemaker.com/

          has casings and much more. Their e-mails have good informational articles too.

          I second the suggestion of "Charcuterie"

          1. Making your own sausages is a fun craft, and it is more of a joy with the right hardwear. After many years of use in sausage making, the KA grinder attachment is overpriced but works well. I grind 10 pounds of meat,-- with the meat cut into long trips -- in little more than 5 minutes. I do have the KA suasage stuffer attachment and I can't recommend it. I use a relatively cheap, non-commercial stuffer of the vertical - crank type. It's a pleasure to work with.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Craterellus

              Just wondering what you don't like the KA stuffer attachment? Can you elaborate?

              I've been using my KA with the grinder/stuffer attachments for close to 20 years and for making 5-10 lbs of sausage at a time it is ideal...gets the job done fast and is easy to disassenble and clean...much easier than my grandma's old vertical crank stuffer.

              I would unhesitatingly recommend the KA to anyone getting into sausage making.

              1. re: The Professor

                I checked out the user reviews of the KA attachment on Amazon. From what I can tell, the newer attachments have a plastic plunger that is slightly smaller that the diameter of the tube. When you press down the meat comes up around the end of the plunger and when you pull back to add more meat it creates a vacuum that sucks the filling backwards.

                1. re: JohnE O

                  Mine is about two years old and I've had no problems at all.

                  1. re: JohnE O

                    My old one has a wooden plunger that is slightly smaller that the diameter of the tube. When you press down **too hard** the meat comes up around the end of the plunger and when you pull back **too hard** it creates a vacuum that sucks the filling backwards.

                    There's a simple solution - instead of trying to force things, slow down and let the machine do the work.

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      Yeah. I think of it more as a "guide" than a "pusher."