Using a Home Sausage Making Kit

Usually I make my own seasonings for sausage by combining herbs and spices and I package my sausage in ground meat bags. This year I thought I would try to use casings to give my sausage a more of a “sausage link look”. Natural hog casings are made from the intestinal tract of hogs. They are cleaned and packed in salt to keep them fresh.

I bought a home sausage making kit at local outdoor sports store. The kit came with hog casings, packages of cure (which I did not use in my sausage), and packages of bratwurst seasonings.

As we were making cuts of pork chops, steaks and roasts we also were putting aside the odds and ends of pork meat to use in the pork sausage. I cut these bits of pork meat and fat into about 1 inch cubes.

I sprinkle one of the bratwurst seasonings packets over 12 pounds of  pork meat and pork fat a bit at a time and make sure to blend in well with my hands to cover all pieces of meat and fat. Next I cover the container with plastic wrapping and label.

I then place my seasoned meat into the refrigerator overnight so that the spices and herbs have time to permeate the meat. Next day, I freeze the sausage for a couple of hours before grinding the meat.

Also about 40 minutes before I grind the meat I rinse the salt off of the hog casings and then soak the hog casings in warm water.  Natural casings look dry and stringy when they first come out of the package but will become more pliable after being soaked in water. After the 40 minutes of soaking I run water through the inside of the hog casings.
Hog Casings Soaking in Warm Water
Hog Casings Cleaned and Ready to be Used

I use an electric meat grinder to grind up the pork to make sausage. I fry up a small sausage patty to taste to see if I need to add any more seasonings. Once that I am content with the taste I grind up all of the sausage.

I place the sausage casing over the sausage funnel.  I tie the end of the casing into a knot. I then feed small amounts of meat through the electric meat grinder. I fill the entire length of the casing.
Slide Hog Casing on to the Sausage Funnel

I twist the sausage links about every four inches. I pack the sausage in one pound packages, label and date the packages, and place them in the freezer.


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