Quite simply, sausages are forcemeats stuffed into casings. making homemade sausages doesn’t have to be a difficult endeavor. For centuries sausages consisted of ground meat, mostly pork, and seasonings.
Today sausages are made not only from pork but from all sorts of meats including game, beef, veal, poultry, fish, shellfish and even in some instances, vegetables. When it comes to making homemade sausages, it is important that you have the proper tools and equipment.
Equipment for Sausage Making
If you are engaged in large-scale sausage production, sausage stuffing machines are best. Otherwise, all you will need is a grinder with a sausage nozzle attachment such as the ones listed below.
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There are three main types of sausages
These homemade sausages include breakfast sausage links and Italian sausages. They are made with fresh ingredients that have not bee cured or smoked.
Smoked & Cooked Sausages
Smoked and cooked homemade sausages are made with raw meat products treated with chemicals, usually preservatives such as sodium nitrite. These include sausages such as kielbasa, bologna, and hot dogs
These types of homemade sausages are made with cured meats, then air-dried under controlled conditions. Dry sausages may or may not be smoked or cooked. Dried or hard sausages include salami, pepperoni, Lebanon bologna, and landjager.
sausage meats are forcemeats with particular characteristics and flavorings. Coarse Italian and lamb sausages as an example are simply a country-style forcemeat without liver and with different seasonings, stuffed into casings and formed into links. Hot dogs, bratwurst, and other fine-textured sausages are variations of basic forcemeats stuffed into casings and formed into links.
Although homemade sausage mixtures can be cooked without casings, most sausages are stuffed into casings before cooking. Two types of sausage casings are commonly used in the preparation of homemade sausages:
- Natural casings are portions of hog, sheep or cattle intestines. Their diameters are measured in milimeters and they come in several sizes depending on the animal or portion of the intestine used. Hog casings are the most popular; sheep casings are considered the finest-quality small casings. Both hog and sheep casings are used to make hot dogs and many types of pork sausage. Beef casings are quite large and are used to make sausages such as ring bologna and Polish sausage. Most natural casings are purchased in salt packs. In order to rid them of salt and impurities, the casings must be carefully rinsed in warm water and allowed to soak in cool water for at least 1 hour or overnight before using.
- Collagen casings are manufactured from collagen extracted from cattle hides. They are generally inferior to natural casings in taste and texture, but they do have their advantages: Collagen casings to not require any washing or soaking prior to use and they are uniform in size.