Making Sausage at Home

Nope. You surely did not read the title incorrectly. This article is indeed an article on not only the best ways to grill sausages, but the best way to make your own homemade sausages fresh from your own kitchen! I know that sounds a bit odd. I mean not many people ever really talk about the art of making sausages at home. Most people just reach for a brand of sausage that sounds good to them at the store and then move on the next item. Honestly thought, the art of making homemade sausages is seriously underrated and needs a lot more appreciation then it gets! I know that typically, majority of people try to stay away from anything that says homemade, because homemade insinuates time and effort, and I get it, you are busy. But trust me when I say that homemade sausages are actually so worth the time and effort that you put into it. Plus, they are more delicious and healthier than store bought sausages (because you know where the ingredients came from), and once grilled on the grill to ultimate, juicy, perfection, you will instantly realize that homemade sausages should surely be the next trend!

The Basics

Before you get cracking on how to make the best homemade sausages, you first need to invest in some equipment. It is this part about homemade that tends to deter people from ever making homemade food items, but if you invest in these machines now, you can see the value they really give to your food in a way that store bought can never compare to! I would suggest starting off your homemade sausage journey by first purchasing a meat grinder. Stand-alone meat grinders and old hand-cranked grinders will do the job, so it really is up to you! So long as you have to two dies- course and fine, you will certainly be on your way to homemade sausage. In addition to a meat grinder, most sausage recipes require a good scale. You need to be able to properly measure out all ingredients to the best of your ability because a little too much of any ingredients can tip the balance of flavors within your sausage. Some other equipment to consider is buying a sausage stuffer to stuff your sausage into the casings properly and efficiently! This helps to keep your sausage firm and together! Of course, if you plan to buy a sausage stuffer, then you will need casing! You can choose to go the butcher and request pork casings or if you do not eat pork then proceed to buy synthetic collagen casing or balanced savoy cabbage leaves! Either of those will work well too!

Get Everything to the Right Temperature

One thing you must be aware of before you start the process of homemade sausages is that you need both your equipment and ingredients to be cold. Make sure the meat and fat are extremely cold by placing them in the freezer for a good hour or two. You need the meat to be very cold, because meat that is too warm will generally smear or not stay separate from the rest of the ingredients. A good way to test out if your meat is at the correct temperature is by holding the meat and fat within your hands. If your hands begin to go numb after a bit, then you know that the meat is somewhere around the desired 32-degree temperature. The goal is to get the meat and fat to be around this temperature without actually fully freezing them. Place all bowls and equipment in the refrigerator for around an hour before you can use them. Also note that the first time you make sausages, the time may be quite a while, but the more you make them, the quicker it will be whip these up!

Now without further ado, I give you the ultimate homemade sausage recipe!

Yields: Makes about 5 pounds of sausage or about 15-20 links

Sweet Italian Sausage (
● 4 pounds of pork shoulder
● 1-pound pork fat
● 40 grams of kosher salt
● 20 grams of toasted fennel seeds
● 35 grams of sugar
● 6 grams of cracked black pepper
● 4 grams of ground nutmeg
● 1 cup of minced fresh parsley
● 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
● ¼ cup of sherry vinegar
● ¾ cup of sherry
Additional: Wooden rack to allow the sausages to hang and dry.

Making Bulk Sausage
1. Lay out all ingredients, cold meat, cold fat (can be 100% frozen), and cold equipment out.
2. Cut all the fat and meat into chunks and make sure you keep the meat cold in a bowl over ice. First, prepare a large bowl of ice and put a medium metal bowl on top of the large bowl. Slice up your meat and fat into chunks that are about an inch to two inches. It is ideal that you keep your fat chunks a little smaller in size than your meat chunks. Then proceed to place both the meat and fat into the medium bowl that is on top of the large bowl with ice.
3. Once the meat and fat have been cut up, it is now time to add in a majority of your spices. Pour in all spices, but leave out 1-2 tablespoons of fennel seeds and one tablespoon of black pepper for later. Mix up the spices with the meat and then add in the salt and sugar. Mix them up one more time after this. Pour the ingredients with the meat into a covered container or bowl with plastic wrap. You then need to put your sausage mixture into a freezer for about 30 minutes and make sure it never exceeds an hour.
4. If you think sherry may not be the best option for this sausage mixture then substitute the sherry for white wine and white wine vinegar instead. Mix ¼ cup of sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar) and ¾ cup of dry sherry (or white wine) together and then place them in the fridge.
5. The next step you must take is to immerse the casings within water. Keep in mind that this recipe produces about 5 pounds of links per batch so the casing should be around 15-18 feet long. It is recommended that you submerge your casings within warm water. If you do not wish to stuff your sausages then this step is completely unnecessary.
6. Once your sausage mixture has chilled thoroughly it becomes time now for you remove the sausage grinder and equipment from the freezer or refrigerator for set up. It is more typical that you use the coarse die of the grinder for Italian sausages but it is completely up to you! It is recommended though that you completely stay away from any fine die because in order to create the ideal and rustic sausage you need to run the meat through a coarse die, re-chill it, and then go in and run the meat through a fine die.
7. Push the meat at a quick pace through the grinder and make sure that there is a cold bowl at the bottom that you can use to catch the meat as it passes through the grinder. Upon all the meat being ground up, it is time to put the bowl of meat back into the freezer and clean up the grinder and work area.
8. Take your mixture out of the freezer and add in your remaining spices and sherry vinegar mixture. You can then use a wooden spoon or your own hands to mix up the sausage very well. You want the end result of your meat to be a little sticky to the point that it begins to bind itself. Once you have reached this type of consistency, take a scoop out of the meat bowl and form into a ball with your hands. Flatten the ball up and cook them on medium to low heat for about 5-10 minutes in a skillet until they have browned and cooked through.

Directions for Stuffing Sausages into Casing for Links

1. If you prefer your sausages link style, then there are a few more steps you need to follow before you are done. After reaching a dough like consistency with the meat, stick the meat back into the freezer and clean the area around you well. Bring out your sausage stuffer from the freezer (which should have been in the freezer the entire time since all your equipment MUST remain cold). Run your casings through warm water. This is a very good tip to make sure that there are no holes in your casings that occur while stuffing the sausages into the sausage stuffer. Lay one edge of your casings over the edge of the bowl that is filled with warm water. This allows for an easier grip of the sausage casings.
2. Proceed to slip the casing over the stuffing tube, but make sure that when doing so, you leave a tail that extends at least 6 inches beyond the length of the sausage stuffer. This allows for you to tie it all off together.
3. Proceed with taking out the meat from the freezer and begin to stuff the meat into the stuffer. If you find it difficult to fit all the meat in, then this could be a sign to you that you need to keep the meat in bowl that sits atop another bowl that is filled with ice. Once you have reached this step, you must start to crank the stuffer down.
4. As the meat begins to come out, use your other hand to regulate how fast the casing slips off the tube. You are working to let the sausage come out in one long coil. At this point, once the sausage is all in the casing, you can then tie it up with a double knot.
5. Use your hands to pinch off the meat into two separate links. Work on the links well so that they are pretty tight. This way you can reduce the chances of air bubbles forcing their way through to the edge of the sausage. You then proceed to Spink the link in your hands away from you several times. Repeat the process throughout the entire meat coil, but alternate the direction you spin each sausage. The first sausage link spins away from you. The next one will spin towards you and then the pattern goes back and forth.
6. You are almost done! You have now reached the step where it is time to hang up the sausages. Hang the sausages up on the rack (making sure they do not touch each other too much) and find a needle. Sterilize the meat of any air bubbles by prickling them with the needle.
7. Allow the sausages to dry for about an hour and two and then proceed to put them in a container for overnight keeping in the fridge. Package up the sausage or eat them up~ You can cook some and freeze the rest for later.

As you can see the process of making homemade sausages can be a long one, but it is certainly rewarding after you have accomplished the task. There is something so rewarding about making something on your own and you can even make this a fun, challenging project for yourself while also reaping the benefits of enjoying fresh sausage (that you know is healthy because you are aware of every single ingredient within it!). No more worrying about the various chemicals and hormones that make up the sausages you buy at the store! Plus, you can have a lot of sausages at a fairly inexpensive price, allowing for mass grilling at your next barbecue! Whether you decide to fry up the sausages as a wonderful breakfast option or choose to barbecue them on the grill for a delicious, dinner choice, you certainly will not be disappointed by the sausages that this recipe has to offer you. When you taste the fruit of your own hard work, you will surely realize why homemade sausages produce a rewarding and delicious benefit for everyone to enjoy!

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