How to Stuff SausageGreg
Homemade sausage has become increasingly popular in recent times as people become more conscious about what they put into their bodies. Dictating your fresh sausage ingredients is, however, just a step in a larger process of making sausage. Transforming those ingredients into a sausage is a skill that requires experience and the right tools. How you stuff the sausage has a great impact on the quality of the final product, yet there are limited resources on the subject.
This article is a step-by-step manual on how to stuff sausage pieced together from notes we took from consultations with seasoned experts and numerous successful and disastrous attempts of our own. It is relevant that regardless of whether your sausage stuffer is manual or motorized, you are employing a traditional piping bag or manually filling those casings.
Soak the casings in warm water for at least an hour or until they are soft and supple. Run lukewarm water through the casings for about 5 minutes to clean them and remove the salt. Salt is used as a preservative and the casings usually come packed in salt or salt brine.This procedure allows you to check the casings for holes or tears.
Lay them on a towel to dry once you are done cleaning.
Filling The Casings
Tie a double knot on one end of the presoaked casing and cut off a manageable length. Slide the other end of the casing onto an appropriate sized funnel depending on the type of sausage you are making and recommendations for your particular casings.
Keep sliding it on until the entire casing is gathered on the nozzle, leaving one or two inchesof the tied end dangling (picture how a stocking is gathered for wearing). Ensure the sausage casing is aligned and not twisted.
- Using a Sausage Stuffer/ Filler
This is the most efficient way of stuffing sausages as you are guaranteed an even and consistent outcome. Sausage stuffers even have mechanisms for removing air bubbles from the sausage mix. We recommend that you invest in a unit if you currently don’t have one. You can check out our review of sausage stuffers with the best deals on the market to familiarize yourself with your options.
Turn on the power or start cranking your sausage stuffer to extrude the sausage mixture into the casing via the stuffing tube. Control the speed depending on the diameter of your casings. Thin sausages like chipolata require more power due to the small diameter than the thicker bolognas which will fill up faster. Keep pinching the end of the casing against the funnel with your thumb and forefinger so that it doesn’t slip off the funnel or let some of the stuffing spill out.
- Using a Piping Bag
Fill the bag with the sausage mix, but not up to the brim so there is space to maneuver. Pull the open end of the casing over the tip of the piping bag and start squeezing the piping bag while holding the top of the casing with the other. Refill the bag as the situation requires and repeat the process until you have a sufficient number of sausages.
- Direct Stuffing
This process will take longer than the others and is also tedious and can produce an uneven result. It gets the job done nonetheless, especially if you are not going for perfection.
Pack the seasoned meatinto asausage funnel and push it gently through to the casing which should be held against the tip of the funnel. This is a two-person job as someone needs to secure the casing while someone else pushes the sausage mixture through the funnel. Use your fingers to work the filling into air pockets if you can spot any.
If you are using a piping bag or stuffing by hand, it is advisable to cut smaller casings and make a few sausages at a time rather than try and stuff the whole casing. You will lack sufficient pressure to pack the sausage firmly and evenly in a long casing.The goal is to maintain a firm and uniform thickness, packing the sausage as tight as you can without overexerting pressure. Too much pressure can burst the casing.
Slip the casing off the nozzle when it’s almostfilled, or the filling is used up and tie a knot on this end or tie it up using a piece of butcher’s twine.
There are 2 forms of sausages you will end up with which determine where your stuffing process will end:
All you need to do at this point is to tie the sausage where the stuffing ends and you are good to go.
If you plan to form links, try and pack the casing less tightly to leave an allowance for compression at the points where it will be tied or twisted. There are two main methods of making links:
- Tie the rope of sausage at intervals using a butcher’s twine.
- Pinch the rope using your forefinger and thumb at the points where you want to form the links then twist the rope at the indentation a few times clockwise or anticlockwise. Repeat the process at the next point and twist in the opposite direction. Keep going until the whole casing is in links.
Inspect the casing for bubbles and puncture them using a thin toothpick, fork, or sterilized needle torelease the trapped air.
Refrigerate the ready sausages without covering them to allow the ground meat to set. This creates time for the casings to dry and natural casings will firm up in the process. The sausages can now maintain their shape well enough to be hung for smoking or separated and packaged.
If you prefer smoked sausage, position them in the smoker in such a way that they don’t touch as the parts in contact will block each other, resulting in uneven coloration.
Your sausages are now ready for deployment according to your masterplan! You can cook them, sell them, or store them for future consumption.
Leftover casings can be repacked in salt and refrigerated where they will keep for up to one year.
What is The Best Way to Form LinksonSausage Casings?
Natural casings don’t need to be tied and can just be twisted to make links with knots at the edges. Synthetic and collagen casings on the other hand require twine as they are less malleable. You need to purchase butcher’s twine to facilitate the process, which some people find to be taxing. Tying sausages however lets you stack the casings more as you need smaller allowances. This might inspire you to tie natural casings as well. Access to such options is what drives people to experiment with their own homemade sausage recipe.