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35 responses to “Tinkering with Sausages”

  1. PitbullLawyer

    Hi Hank,
    thanks for the sausage tips! Also, nice article in yeserday’s Record.

  2. Larbo

    Any recipe for the Cyclades sausages, other than leeks and garlic?

    I love the flavors of Greece and have made a number of traditional Greek sausages (Loukanika is big favorite), but when I traveled to Greece last year, I could not find good sausages anywhere. Every breakfast seemed to include slices of bologna and little snack links that were a notch or two below Oscar Meyer. I kept trying it, only to wonder “Who eats this stuff?”

  3. Kelly

    You’re making me seriously miss Greece. I’m not usually a big fan of sausage, but we had a few kinds of lamb sausage when we were in Crete that were mouth-wateringly delicious.

  4. hank

    Yeah, Larbo — click the hotlink on the Cyclades sausages in the text. All my sausage recipes are accessible via hotlinks, and they all live in the Wild Game Recipes section of the site.

    I’ve also heard that about Greece. Weird, huh? Maybe they hide the good food from the tourists?

  5. Nick

    Great incite Hank! Of all culinary endeavors, the art of salumi/sausage making is the one that takes the most practice to perfect. It is truly an art, balancing flavors to please the palate and most importantly conquering the mighty task of texture. You are a man after my own passion! Keep up the great work and i am not sure if the Beard results are out yet but good luck. Either way it is a great honor to be nominated by such a prestigious body.

    What kind of grinder do have/prefer?
    Do you use an actual sausage mixer or kitchen aid or like my archaic self by hand?

  6. hank

    Hey Nick: I find out about the Beard awards on Sunday; I am headed to NYC tonight, actually.

    I use my Kitchenaid grinder, and then use the paddle attachment on the Kitchenaid to mix. NTSC over at “The Art of the Pig” is slowly convincing me I need a stand-alone grinder, though…

  7. ntsc

    You need a stand alone grinder, you will wonder why it took you so long.

    Break a leg on the Beard award.

  8. Nick

    Yeah I use a hand powered grinder that I found through Cabela’s, but thinking about moving to an automatic.

  9. ntsc


    There are three tools involved, a meat grinder, a big mixer and a stuffer. I use a grinder and a stuffer both from Northern Industrial, the cheapest powered grinder and the 5 lb stuffer. The mixer is a 5 quart KA.

    Up until recently the grinder was the KA attachment, but I got the powered one from the nice guy in the red suit.

  10. liteluvr

    Great info and insights. Just starting to get serious about sausages myself. Just got a new stuffer this weekend after the first disaster with the KA stuffer attachment. Needless to say, I have about 10 lbs of bulk sausage in the freezer after that debacle. I look forward to more info and recipes!

  11. Carolina Rig

    I’ve used an electric Cabela’s baseline grinder for years. Works great and was a cheap purchase. It also came with a stuffing attachment…which I don’t like. It’s way too slow for stuffing, which stinks b/c time and heat are your enemies when making sausage. I’d advise buying a separate stuffer like NTSC has recommended. It’s on my wish list.

  12. we are never full

    secrets of the sausage – LOL. LOL.LOL. if that movie comes out hank, i’m gonna know you’re behind it.

    i really love that you have a passion for sausage making. i think that if i had alot more time to devote to sausage making (and space – living in nyc is not a good space to make sausages), i think i would do it often. maybe i was a sausage maker in a former life? there is something so zen about it. i admire your passion!

  13. maryann

    Hi Hank and thanks for another wonderful post. love your sense of humor 😉

  14. Kevin

    Timely. I just posted advocating the trimming of pork sinew prior to grinding. I REALLY buggered up a batch or two of sausage because of failing to do this. Glad to see your list, as it confirms some things I’ve learned, and offers other tidbits that will hopefully take my sausage making up a notch.

  15. Terry

    My sweet man from Maine sent me a newspaper clipping about this crazy guy named Hank who hunted, gathered, cooked it, grew it and wrote about it. Wow! You’re amazing and I thought I was the only…uh…uncivilized gal left in the world! I am immensely enjoying the read, will be back for more of what I don’t know, every post a lesson. And to think my man sees so much of what I do in your wonderful affirming writing, and shared it with me. You’re a keeper- Take care-

  16. Lang

    Good action on the sausage report, but where’s the NYC report? You mean you can’t post at 30,000 feet with an iPhone? Actually, I hope you’re not on your way home yet but enjoying another bite or two out of the Big Apple. Way to represent, Hank!

  17. matt wright

    great, great post on sausages. I always learn something new whenever I come here, and this will be indispensable when I start making sausages

  18. Garrett

    Great post, Hank.

  19. Cynthia Williams

    I enjoy reading your comments about sausage making. We made some for the first time with friends in January. So far, we’ve tried cooking them twice and have overcooked them each time. About how long would you leave them on a gas grill and at what temp? Thanks, Cynthia

  20. hank

    Cynthia: I would cook the sausages next to — not directly over — a gas burner set on medium-low. Turn them from time to time and cook until you get a nice brown color. Maybe 10-15 minutes? Remember that slower is better. Sausages hate high heat…

  21. Cynthia Williams

    Ooops, I forgot to ask, lid open or closed? No rush on reply, Cynthia

  22. hank

    Cynthia: Lid closed.

  23. Frank

    Great article! I was wondering if you could help me. I am new to the whole sausage making game. My stuffed sausages crumble apart after they have been cooked and cut. They still have that ground meat texture. Any ideas on how to prevent this from happening?

  24. hank

    Frank: It means you did not get a proper bind in your meat-fat mixture. This could be one of three things: Most likely is that your mixture was too warm; you want the mixture to be close to freezing (34-36 degrees).

    The other likely culprits could be either not enough mixing before stuffing — or too much. I generally have good results with 90-120 seconds of mixing in a Kitchenaid set on its lowest level.

  25. Frank

    When you say the meat to fat mixture. Does that mean that I don’t have enough fat or that I have too much? Thanks for the help

  26. hank

    Frank: I made no mention of the percentage of meat to fat, although it needs to be at least 20 percent fat. What I mean is they did not bind well when you mixed them after grinding — you did mix after grinding, right? If not, then that’s your problem right there…

  27. Richard

    What is usually the inside temp when you hang your fresh sausages? My house this time of year is usually mid 70″s when I would be hanging the links prior to putting in fridge. Can I do this for an hour (two?) without worrying about food borne illness if they are subsequently cooked thoroughly? Suggestions

  28. hank

    Richard: You bet. Salt is a wonderful thing. I have the same issue now, and I let my links hang about an hour before putting them in the fridge. In winter, I put them in a cool garage (50s or so) for 4-5 hours.

  29. Jonno

    Hank, a couple of fantastic articles on sausage making. Loved the step by step guide with pictures and tips. Great work!

    I am a British Expat who now lives in Canton, China, where savory sausages are impossible to find – along with many other foods that are either non-existent or ridiculously expensive.

    My website offers advice and support for Expat’s, and I am about to add a new section concerning how to make Western food you simply cannot buy here. Obviously, we cannot go to the store and buy the equipment like grinders, or materials like casings either – although intestines are easy to get anywhere.

    I’ll obviously link to your excellent webpages, but wondered if we can take this a little further so other Expat’s can make their own sausages with what is readily to hand over here? I was thinking about how to choose intestines and prepare them to make casings, and that sort of thing. Cheers!

  30. Homemade Sausages | Food With Legs

    […] for grocery store pork.  He wrote this dead-simple guide to making sausages on Simply Recipes, an advanced guide on his own site, and for those who prefer books here is his sausage and charcuterie […]

  31. Sweet Italian Sausage with Brown Sugar and Fennel | Smoke Cure Pickle Brew

    […] 1. Hank Shaw pulled together a series of tips on making and cooking sausages that are incredibly helpful, including recipes and an overview of his sausage-making library.  Tinkering With Sausages, April 30, 2009. […]

  32. Tony Owens

    Hi, i am new to sausage making and I have a Warming Pro grinder. The instructions say to cube the meat, season it, let it sit for a day and then grind it right into the sausage casings. I am confused on if you should grind it mix it with spices let it sit and then run it back through the grinder and into the casing?

  33. cindy

    Anyone ever added cheese to sausage. I mean breakfast type, not like a summer sausage that is going to be smoked or cooked immediately

  34. larry

    I make breakfast sausage and it always comes out too coarse; it always has a chew in it not like commercial JD.
    I use pork but from a quality butcher add about 25% additional fat to it, grind it up 3 times (that right 3 times). Flavor is great and patties seemed to form well but hate the texture.
    What to do??

  35. kim

    just made my first batch of sausage taste fine but texture a bit to mushy for my liking.any tips for a more rustic texture please.thanks

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