What do you need for sausage making?
There are 3 ways you can start with your sausage making venture:
Meat Mincers come in several forms. Manual Cast Iron, Manual Stainless Steel or Manual table top (suction base) Machines. You can purchase Sausage Filling Tubes (attachments/nozzles) for most Manual Machines if you don’t have any. Electric Machines and Food Processor sausage making attachments require less helping hands but can have a tendency to over process meat making it mushy. Piping Bags are a great way of making sausages without a machine. There are a few hints and tips with this technique but the biggest advantage is NO WASHING UP!! (It gets my vote!) There are kits that contain all the sausage mixes, casings, piping bags, hints and tips that you can buy to help get this great technique perfected. For more information on these see Electric vs Manual Machines.
Sausage Casings or Skins (sometimes called Castings)
There are 3 choices you have here:
- Edible Dry Beef Collagen Casings
- Edible Sheep, Hog and Ox Casings
- Inedible Synthetic Casings
Edible Dry Beef Collagen Casings come in a selection of sizes. Namely 19mm for cocktail sausages, 23mm for chipolata sized sausages, 28mm for standard breakfast sized sausages and 30mm for slightly fatter sausages used for Cumberland or Boerewors.
Edible sheep casings are primarily used for thin sausages like chipolatas. Hog skins come in various sizes but the standard is 32/35. Ox sausage casings are available in three forms – Ox runners and middles used predominantly for salamis and Ox Bungs which are perfect for Haggis and White Pudding as they are more round (like a ball) in shape when filled.
Inedible Synthetic Casings are available in a huge selection of colours and shapes. These are the casings you would peel off, like on salamis. See Which Sausage Casings do I use? for more information.
Traditional English Sausages are made with Pork. Butchers tend to use a mix of 60/40 or 70/30. This means 60% or 70% lean meat and 40% or 30% fat. Pork Belly is the fattier cut of meat and Pork Shoulder is a leaner cut. Often a combination of both is used to get the right mix.
However, you can let your experimenting and imagination run wild by using Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Lamb and even Fish!
Sausage Making Mixes & Seasonings
Two ways of making your own sausages at home is to get Sausage Ready Mixes. These contain everything you need to get going to achieve great results quickly and easily without any mishaps with your seasonings.
Alternatively, there are a great selection of pure seasonings you can purchase giving you flexibility with ingredients. You will need to add a natural stabiliser (otherwise known as binder) and breadcrumbs (gluten free can also be used) to your mix to achieve delicious results. These take the fuss out of trying to get the right herb and spice blends first time.
Once you’ve had a go, you’ll find it hard to resist experimenting even further. So many other options are available to you e.g. Haggis, Pepperoni, Black Pudding, South African Boerewors & Droewors – create away!