sausages - intro

All pictures on this page—except Pic4—were borrowed from the internet

Sausages are a meat mixture (real or mystery meat with fat and fillers) that is usually stuffed in a casing and tied off or twisted to make links. Natural casings are made of animal intestine and are edible.

There are hundreds of different sausages. see: Wikipedia
I have eaten or prepared only a dozen or so on that list.

cured / dried sausages

Pic1: hanging to dry
Pic2: charcuterie plate

boiled sausages

Pic3: hot dogs in potato soup
Pic4: various smoked sausages in sauerkraut

1. Cured Sausages

Cured sausages may be either cooked or dried. Many cured sausages are smoked, but this is not mandatory. The curing process itself changes the meat and imparts its own flavors, similar to the difference in taste between pork roast and ham. I buy these at the butcher or the grocery store. My parents made these a few times. I never have and likely never will.

2. Precooked / Smoked Sausages

Many sausages (hot dogs, frankfurters, bologna, mortadella, boudin, and many German-style "wursts") and/or smoked (e.g. andouille and kielbasa) are precooked during the production process for food safety reasons and to increase the shelf-life of the product.
Most will be cooked again - or at least heated through - when being prepared. They may be poached, but are often pan-fried or roasted / grilled for extra flavor.

The one exception here is liverwurst, a highly-processed sausage that is pasteurized commercially for cold consumption, usually with bread. Liverwurst can be pan-fried of course, but I have never tried it.

3. Raw sausages

You can find raw sausages at your local butcher or grocery store; or you can make them yourself. You can make your sausages coarsely ground with or without fillers or very finely ground pure meat.


Pic5+6: raw sausage links


Making sausages at home

Food Safety warning:
Always maintain a clean work environment, or you'll be putting those germs inside your sausages.


Pic7: hand-crank meat grinder
Pic8: electric meat grinder


pictures below borrowed from THIS PAGE


Pic9: grind the meat
Pic10: wash the casings
Pic11: fill the casings


Pic12: keep going
Pic13: make links
Pic14: hang to dry


the things you need

  • meat grinder with sausage attachment
  • sausage casings
    buy them at your local butcher
  • meat for grinding
    cut small, gristle removed
    • pork
    • beef
    • chicken
    • turkey ...
  • fat
    • up to 25%
  • fillers
    • onions, chopped
    • rice, cooked
    • apples, pears. fruit
    • raisins
    • spinach
    • bread


  • Cut the meat in small enough pieces to easily fit in the grinder feeder opening.
  • Remove all gristle. It will clog up the grinder plate.
  • Grind the meat and fat. 1st pass is always with the coursest plate you have.
  • Add S&P, fillers as desired. Mix well.
  • Wash the casings, test for tears.
  • Grind the meat mix again, this time with sausage attachment.
  • Fill the sausage casings under slight pressure and without air bubbles.
  • When done, pinch the sausage tube at regular intervals with 2 hands.
  • Flip the isolated link to make it turn on itself to tighten the separation between sausage links.
  • Optional:
    • boil the sausages.
  • Hang to dry for a few hours to let the casings dry and content settle.
  • Separate the sausage links in groups that you expect to use each meal.
  • Refrigerate after 2 hrs. and freeze whatever is not going to be used immediately.