Making sausage can be frustrating if you do not know how to do it. I make life easier by stuffing directly into the casing. It is faster, cleaner, and in my opinion, turns out a superior product. Using this method, I can make 25 lbs of sausage in about 15 minutes. Here is how we do it at home.
Pork cut into 1-inch cubes
1 and 1/2 cup of ice water for every 12.5 pounds of meat
hog casings (usually about the 32 mm)
Meat grinder with a stuffing tube and a plate
STEP 1 – Cube Meat
Cube your meat into 1 -inch or so pieces. They do not have to be perfect. After they are cut up, put them in the freezer for an hour or two to get very cold. When working with sausage, the colder the better. If you can get them just a little bit frozen, it is perfect.
STEP 2 – Prepare Casings
Place your casings into a container of cold water. The best way to do this is to feed it out onto the bottom of the container and then hang the end off of the rim. Now, turn the container about 1/6 turn, and feed the next casing. Continue until you have your casings lined up. You may need multiple containers. Mark the last casing hanging (I usually just form a small loop off the hanging end). If you load them now in order (last to first), they will not tangle.
STEP 3 – Prep the Grinder
To stuff directly into the tube, set up your grinder as follows. From the auger, put on your knife. Always keep the flat side against the auger, the sharp side against the plate. Next, put on your plate. Now, here is where it gets a little different. Put your stuffing tube on next, and THEN screw the whole thing tight.
STEP 4 – Spice the Meat/ Add water
Now, dump your pre-measured spices onto the meat cubes. Add the ice water (chunks of ice are included). Mix by hand. You want to keep mixing it until you feel it get a little “sticky”. This is the salt extracting the myosin from the meat. It will take about three minutes or so. Do NOT skip the water step. The water is essential to help the meat flow. In fact, if your grinder struggles due to less power, add more water to hep it flow. It will not hurt the sausage.
STEP 5 – Load the Casings
Go ahead now and load your casings onto your tube. Wet the tube first to help them go on faster. A little lard on the tube can help too. I usually put two or three casings on the tube at the same time since I have a fairly large grinder and tube.
STEP 6 – Load the Meat Tray/ Feed the Grinder.
Start Loading up your meat tray with the seasoned meat. Add your meat SLOWLY A PIECE AT A TIME! Do not push and stuff and pry. That is counterproductive. Let your grinder do its work. Just add a few pieces of meat at a time. If you hear a little air gurgling, you are doing it right. If it backs up and you need to use your stomper, you are adding too much at one time.
STEP 7 – Linking
If you want, you can link the sausage. Pinch them in the middle and then slowly twist them in one direction. Turn the next link the opposite direction. If you stuffed too tightly, you will not be able to link them, it will burst the casings. Sometimes I link, sometimes I do not. Do not worry about the meat falling out if you just cut the casings off — it won’t really happen. This batch is for Christmas and Thanksgiving, so I linked them to be a little fancier.
Good Luck! Have Fun!