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How To Make Sausages

How To Make Sausages

Sausages are an excellent food. From beef sausages to pork to chicken and even turkey sausages, there are a lot of varieties of sausage.

Some sausages are salty, spicy, greasy, and some even resemble pepperoni. However, you have never tried sausage until you make your own.

The History of Sausage

Believe it or not, sausage is older than most of the foods we know and love. Sausage is a Latin word known as salsus, which translates to season with salt.

This means that sausage was invented some 2000 years ago.

In the same way, smoking meats and drying foods were preservation methods; coating meat salt was also a form of preservation.

When animals were taken to the slaughterhouse, salt was applied to the meat because it was thought to cleanse the animal’s intestines, stomach, and bladder.

As with most origin stories, multiple stories surround the history of sausage.

For example, the Scottish assert the inventors of sausage were Sumarians in 3000 BC who reside in what is now known as Iraq.

However, the first time sausage was documented in history was around 500BC in China and Ancient Greece.

Although the history of sausage is unclear, sausage has since evolved. Sausage created in hot, dry atmospheres is known as dry-cured sausage or salami.

In addition to this, sausage is made all over the world using several different types of spices.

Why Should You Make Your Own Sausage?

Even though making sausage is just as easy as making your own hotdogs, there are benefits to making sausage instead of buying sausage.

For example, creating your own sausage will save you more money down the line.

Believe it or not, it is more economical to purchase your own ground meat, seasonings, and sausage casings and produce the sausage at home than buying it from your local grocery store.

Just like a homemade smoked brisket, homemade sausage has a better flavor.

Unfortunately, some sausage makers use scraps or reject cuts of meat to produce sausage. In contrast, making your own sausage means you get to decide what kind of meat you use to make your sausage, creating a more flavorful sausage.

In addition to this, you also get to experiment with different spices and seasonings. There are several types of seasonings you can use to make sausage.

You can test our different seasoning blends and adjust the seasonings if needed.

To Grind or Not To Grind?

There’s no denying that making your sausage is an exhilarating experience; there are several ways you can tackle this beast.

You can use ground meat purchased from your local grocery store if you are in a rush.

However, grinding your own meat lets you determine the fat to meat ratio.

Furthermore, when you grind your own meat, you also get to control the freshness of the meat. Grocery stores may or may not put new packages of ground meats out every day.

Additionally, some grocery stores use low cuts of meat to make ground meat.

However, if you grind your own meat, you can use superior quality cuts of meat.

Modern meat grinders feature more than one grinding plate, which is usually indicated by the size of the holes on the grinding plate.

Smaller holes give you finer ground meat, while larger holes provide coarsely textured ground meat.

While a grinder with a multiple grinding plates grinder is ideal, a meat grinder with one grinding plate can still work.

If you’re interested in purchasing a meat grinder, check out our review of the best meat grinders for burgers and sausages.


Just like there are many infrared grills on the market, there are several different types of casings.

Truth be told, it can become quite frustrating to find the best casing to make sausages.

For example, natural casings are usually packed in salt. Therefore they have to be thoroughly rinsed before being stuffed with sausage.

Some casings must be soaked in cold water before they are stuffed. In contrast, artificial casings are produced from collagen, cellulose, and plastic.

While artificial casings are excellent because they can be purchased in several different sizes, they are not edible and must be removed before eating the sausage.

Hog Casings

As the name implies, hog casings are derived from the pig. Natural hog casings are edible and come in four different sizes (29-32mm, 32-35mm, 35-38mm, and 38-42mm).

Natural hog casings are ideal for many types of sausages, such as chorizo or Italian sausage.

In addition to this, natural hog casings are compatible with smoking or grilling.

Hog casings are relatively economical and easy to form into links without fear of breaking the casing.

On the other hand, the texture of hog casings can be pretty chewy.

Sheep Casings

Compared to hog casings, sheep casings are more petite and not as chewy as their hog counterparts.

However, sheep casings can be double or triple the cost of hog casings.

Since sheep casings are considered more tender than hog casings, they can easily slit when you are stuffing them or twisting them into links.

Sheep casings can range between 20-22mm, 22-24mm, 24-26mm, and 26-28mm.

Collagen Casings

Collagen is a protein derived from beef bones and connective tissue. Collagen is the same protein gelatin is produced from.

Collagen casing size can vary because it is created from scratch and sold in a dry form.

Collagen casings cost more money than wet casings. However, they are easier to use and are more popular because they are easier to mass-produce.

Collagen casings must be soaked for 24 hours before placing them onto the sausage stuffer.

In their raw state, collagen casings are tough, but when they are cooked, they become tender.

The biggest drawback of collagen casings is that they do not have the flexibility to be twisted into links.

Collagen casings often break during the linking process, which quickly becomes frustrating. Therefore, collagen casings are not ideal for making sausage at home.

Beef and Muslin Casings

Although beef casings are used to make black pudding links, many people think they are too tough for homemade sausage.

On the other hand, muslin casings are used to make some types of salami.

Muslin casings are fabricated from cheap cloth. Although muslin casings are not edible, some people prefer them because they can be removed easily.

For this reason, some people consider muslin casings to be better than tough sheep, hog, or beef casings.

How To Prep Hog and Sheep Casings

Most people use hog or sheep casings to make homemade sausage. However, these casings must be prepped before placing them on the sausage stuffer.

First, you must determine how many casings you need. You will need 2 meters of sheep casings for every kilogram of meat.

If you are using hog casings, you will need a casing that is 1 meter wide in diameter for every kilogram of meat.

Purchase more casings than you think you need.

You can also coat any leftover sheep or hog casings in dry salt and store them in the fridge until you make sausage again.

Soak your hog or sheep casings in cold water to remove the salt. Open the end of the casing and immerse it in the water to ensure the water enters the casing.

Make sure you add a fresh batch of water 3-4 times.

Remove the cold water for the final time, then soak your hog or sheep casings in lukewarm water to make it easier to place on the sausage stuffer.

What Do I Need To Make Homemade Sausage?

Making sausage is a relatively simple process. As mentioned above, you will need casings, but you also need a few more tools.

Best of all, you can find all of the equipment online to make homemade sausage.

Most people purchase the meat grinding attachment for their stand mixer. However, you can also buy a manual meat grinder or an electric meat grinder.

If you do buy an electric meat grinder, select one with a minimum of 1/2 horsepower, especially if you are going to be grinding a lot of meat.

Next, you will need a sausage stuffer.

Although some people stuff the casings by hand, a sausage stuffer does make the process of stuffing the casings easier.

In addition to this, grinding the meat can cause the sausage to become too hot, resulting in a less than ideal texture that has to be stuffed into the casing.

Yes, sausage stuffers can be expensive, but they are totally worth it. If you are looking for a sausage stuffer, check out our review of the 5 best sausage stuffers.

Lastly, you will need a smoker if you intend to smoke your sausage.

You will have to make the hardest decision is which type of smoker to buy.

Alternatively, you can also pan-sear your sausage in a cast-iron skillet or stainless steel skillet with oil.

If your cast-iron skillet needs to be seasoned, check out our how-to guide.

How To Make Sausage

Making sausage at home is easy to create a delicious, flavorful meal. It’s also a great way to perfect your culinary skills.

Most sausages are made produce from falt, meat, seasonings, and casings. This recipe is no different.

If you want to make a pork sausage, use pork butt. Pork shoulder is an acceptable substitute, but pork butt is ideal.

Check out our detailed guide if you are interested in the pork shoulder vs. pork butt debate.

Even if you do not want to make a pork sausage, make sure your meat has a healthy amount of fat.

If you’re going to add additional fat to your sausage, pork fat is a great choice. Unlike other kinds of fat, fatback will not render as the sausage cooks.

To produce 4 pounds of sausages or 18-20 links, you need a minimum of 3 pounds of meat.

You will also need half to three-quarters of a pound of fatback. If you want to add liquid flavoring to your sausages such as wine, chicken or beef broth, or water, use 1/2 cup.

You can also experiment with dried herbs, garlic, ginger in addition to black pepper and salt.

To prepare the casings, cut them into 2-2 1/2 feet to make them easier to handle.

Place your casings into warm water and allow them to soak overnight. Pour the soaked casings into a funnel or colander, and rinse them under cold water several times.

If you do not have a seasoning blend, whisk 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, a tablespoon of smoked paprika, a tablespoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon toasted fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon ground of black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper flakes.

Cut your pork shoulder or whatever meat you are using into 1-inch pieces that are small enough to fit into your meat grinder.

In addition to this, slice your fatback into 1-inch pieces and place them into a bowl and freeze them for 30 minutes.

Add the seasoning to the sausage meat and gently toss to combine.

Do not overmix the meat, as the warmth from your hand can heat up the fat.

Next, set up your meat grinder according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Place the medium grinding plate onto your grinder. You can also use the coarse or fine grinding plate depending on the texture you want your sausage to have.

Place a bowl under the meat grinders’ mouth to catch the ground meat.

Turn your meat grinder on low and start feeding the meat into the meat grinder.

Alternate between the pork butt and fatback pieces and use the pusher that came with your grinder to push the meat into the feeding tube.

Once all of your meat is ground add any remaining seasonings such as water, broth or wine, or chopped garlic or onions and mix the sausage with your hands or wooden spoon.

If you are using your hands to mix the sausage, be quick and gentle to prevent the fat from melting.

Clean your meat grinder by feeding a slice of white bread into your meat grinder and remove the feeding tube as well as the grinding plates and wash and dry them before reassembling your meat grinder.

Next, place a cookie sheet below your sausage stuffer, so the sausage has a place to land.

Thread a piece of your casing onto the nozzle of the sausage stuffer.

Leave 1-2 inches of the casing dangling off the end of the sausage stuffer, then tie a knot at the end of the casing.

Feed small portions of the sausage batter into the machine’s hopper with your sausage stuffer on its lowest setting.

A gust of wind will flow into the casing, blowing it up like a balloon, but you must hold the casing in place until the sausage batter fills it.

Slowly remove the sauce from the nozzle of the sausage stuffer and as it is being stuffed.

You may need another person to help you with this process so one person can feed the meat into the hopper and another person can hold the casing as it’s stuffed with the sausage mixture.

If you notice any air bubbles forming in the casing, squeeze the air out of the casing.

Leave 4-inches of empty casing on the end of your sausage. To create the sausage links, beginning with the end of the sausage, determine the desired size of your sausage.

Squeeze the spot where you want one sausage to end, then measure out another sausage.

Twist the space between the first and second sausage alternating in different directions as you twist and continue to measure out your sausages.

Tie a knot at the end of the link of sausages. If the free end of the casing is not long enough, squeeze the sausage meat out of the last sausage in the chain into the sausage batter and use it to stuff your second round of sausages.

Coil the sausages on a sheet pan and pierce all of the noticeable air bubbles to prevent the sausages from splitting while they are cooking.

Refrigerate your sausage overnight uncovered before you cook them.

There are several different ways to cook sausages.

You can cook them for 15-20 minutes over medium-high heat, or you can bake them for 20 minutes at 450°F and cook them until they have a temperature of 170°F.

Additionally, you can also smoke or grill your homemade sausages.

To smoke your sausage, heat your smoker to a temperature between 175°F-185°F. Smoke the sausages until they have a temperature of 160°F.

Do not exceed this temperature when smoking sausages, as the fat can melt too much and cause your sausages to shrivel.

You can also add a few handfuls of your preferred woodchips throughout the smoking process.

Final Thoughts

Making homemade sausage is an easy, simple way to wow your dinner guest.

It will yield a freshener, more flavorful sausage, and you will be able to control what goes into the sausage.