If you want to make your own gourmet healthy sausage at home, then you will need several essential tools and ingredients, including a meat grinder, sausage casings, a sausage stuffer, spices, cure, and of course, meat and some fat.
While it is possible to stuff sausages manually, a sausage stuffer will save you time, a lot of effort and ensure that your sausages are stuffed perfectly every time.
If you are new to preparing homemade sausages, read on through our guide on how to use a sausage stuffer, choose the best casings, and get some useful tips for DIY sausage stuffing.
Once you get the hang of it, you can start enjoying making and eating homemade sausages as often as you want.
Before starting, you might ask:
What is a sausage stuffer?
As the name suggests, a sausage stuffer is a tool or attachment, which allows for stuffing the sausage mixture into the casings of your choice.
There are some excellent standalone sausage stuffers suitable for making large volumes of sausage that can hold sausage mixture starting from 5 pounds.
On the other hand, some meat grinders come with sausage stuffer attachments, or you can purchase an attachment for the grinder you already own, which can help you save money and space for buying another appliance.
These attachments include a funnel that is mounted on the grinder’s plate place and is used for slipping on the sausage casings. Then you can proceed to feed the sausage mixture into the casing through the meat grinder itself.
How to pick sausage casings
Sausage casings are available in different types, sizes, and shapes. Here are the main types of sausage casings suitable for making homemade sausages:
Natural sausage casings
These are traditional casings that have been used throughout history for making sausages. They are made of parts of the intestines of a hog, beef, sheep, or other animals. Natural casings contain collagen and are easy to stuff as they are very flexible. They are tender and provide a satisfactory “snap” feel and sound when bitten and eaten.
Natural casings differ in type and size and are suitable for all types of sausages, starting from small link sausages and up to the larger salami, bologna, and mortadella.
Artificial sausage casings
These are synthetic casings that are inexpensive and very easy to use without breaking during the stuffing. They come in several different types, including collagen, cellulose, and plastic.
Collagen casings are made of collagen from animal skins and hides and come in different forms and sizes. They are inexpensive, and most of them are edible as they are still made of natural animal collagen.
Cellulose casings are easy to stuff, even by newbies. They are made of cellulose and come in uniform shapes and sizes. Cellulose casings, though, are not edible and will need to be peeled before eating. They are suitable for smoking, as the cellulose is permeable to smoke.
Plastic casings are the least expensive of all sausage casings and are the most suitable ones for beginners as they are easy to stuff and will not break. They are not permeable to smoke, but some of them come with integrated smoky flavors.
How to use your sausage stuffer
Once you have your sausage mix ready and have chosen the most suitable casings, you can start stuffing your delicious sausages by following these next steps:
- Make sure to soak the sausage casings in warm water overnight before using them. Before stuffing them, you should rinse them out thoroughly.
- Either place your sausage stuffer attachment to your meat grinder or get your standalone sausage stuffer ready.
- Keep the funnel or nozzle of the stuffer as well as the casings moist for easier stuffing and for added flexibility and prevention of breaking.
- Place your sausage mixture into the stuffer or grinder.
- Slide the casing end on the nozzle, and tie the other end up but make a small hole there for the air to escape.
- Begin filling the casing by feeding the mixture into it, and use one hand to force out any air bubbles that form while feeding the meat mixture into the casing.
- You can leave the sausage in one big loop or ties and cut each of the ends of your sausage links.
- If there are visible air bubbles in the sausage, use a needle or other sharp object to puncture them to avoid the sausages from splitting when they are being cooked.
Tested tips and tricks
- Taste your sausage mixture before stuffing it into casings. You can do it by forming a small patty and grilling or otherwise cooking it. This will allow you to make adjustments to the flavor before the mixture is already stuffed in the casings and the sausages are ready.
- It is recommended that you soak your sausage casing for at least an hour or, if possible, overnight in warm water prior to stuffing them. This will make them more flexible and soft, and easier to fill without breaking.
- After soaking them, rinse them thoroughly and drain the excess water.
- Avoid filling the entire casings completely so that you have enough of them left for easy tying when making link sausages.
- Add water to the sausage mixture and keep the nozzle of the stuffer moist for easier casing filling.
Hopefully, we have helped you learn how to use a sausage stuffer and how to pick the best casings for your needs.
Sausages have been a part of human cuisine for thousands of years, and still today, they are among the most popular and most loved foods around the world.
By learning how to make and stuff your own sausages, you can ensure that they are made with the ingredients and flavors you prefer.