Make Your Own Breakfast Sausages – Mmm!

Mmm, sausages.

If you’ve never tried making your own breakfast sausage, you’re in for a treat — making sausage home is easy and oh so tasty.

We use a Waring meat grinder MG-800 in my household, so the following directions are based on this machine. Basic sausage making recipes and machine operation tend to be very similar. However, read your own machine’s instructions and warnings thoroughly before beginning.

With that said, let’s get started making some delicious sausage.

1. General Warnings: Tie your hair back or wear a net. Wear gloves for sanitary purposes. Take off ALL jewelry and hanging items before beginning any part of this operation. Make sure the grinder is set well back from the table or counter edge and is stable. NEVER use your hands to place the meat; most grinders come with a special stuffer attachment — use that, or buy one that is compatible with your machine.

Instructions for the machine we used can be found on this PDF.

2. Buy your meat. In this case, we’re using pork, which is traditional for several types of sausages. Keep in mind that once you get good at this, you can start experimenting with blends of beef, turkey, veal and even venison and bison. When buying your meat, make sure it is at least 30% fat. DO NOT buy a low-fat meat for this recipe. You will need about 1 lb. boned pork, per the recipe below.

3. Buy your casings. Standard natural sausage casings come in either sheep or hog varieties. Beef casings are somewhat “tougher” and should not be necessary for a basic breakfast sausage. To find casings, ask your local butcher whether he or she is able to sell these. If not, there are plenty of online purchasing options; make sure you buy from a company with great reviews.

4. Cut the pork into approximately 1” cubes and add your spices. We have included a recipe below.

5. Place the seasoned pork cubes in a bowl and put the bowl in your freezer, covered, for approximately 30 minutes, or until just slightly frozen. Semi-thawed or frozen meats are much easier to grind and result in a better texture.

6. Take the bowl out of your freezer when the pork is ready per step #5 above.

7. Attach the sausage making ring and sausage attachment to your meat grinder in the size of your choice if you haven’t already done so. (Our model comes with two different grinding sizes. Start lager instead of smaller; once you’ve gotten the hang of sausage grinding, you can move on to the smaller, finer size if you’d like.)

8. Place a bowl underneath the sausage attachment to catch the sausages as they come out.

9. Attach the casing to the end of the sausage attachment per the manufacturer’s instructions.

10. Insert the seasoned, semi-frozen pork and turn the machine on to grind. Use the stuffer to push the pork down. Do not shove or mash the pork down with the stuffer. This could result in a mushy textured pork. Go slowly.

11. As the sausage meat comes out of the grinder and into the casing, twist the casing periodically to separate it and make the sausages. Make sausages any length up to about 4” long. Don’t overstuff your casings! They could split during preparation or when you cook the sausages if you stuff and twist too tightly.

12. Cook or freeze sausages immediately.

Pork Breakfast Sausage Basic Recipe

  • 1 lb. any cut of pork (shoulder works well), at least 30% fat, boned
  • ½ tsp. dried sage
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. non-iodized salt
  • ¼-½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • approx. 2 oz. water

The Waring MG-800 for Sausage Making

Now, on to our machine. We chose Waring because the name is well-known and has been reviewed thorougly by consumers. The MG-800 is considered professional grade. If you’d like to start smaller, buy a lower wattage home use machine to try. Always read reviews first.

The pros: This machine is sturdy but not ridiculously huge. The 450-watt motor is heavy duty and packs a lot of power. The grinding mechanism is quick and saves your wrists. We like the two different sausage attachments and have used both depending upon the type of sausage we’re making. The cost of this machine is very good, not overly expensive for the quality. (Again, start smaller and less expensive if you’re not sure.) The extra large hopper is great for processing larger quantities of meat.

The cons: This product is very reasonably priced for the quality, especially if you buy it on Amazon, but you’re still looking at somewhere between $85 and $95 for the unit without shipping, so it’s an investment. The motor is a bit on the loud side. Some expertise may be required to assemble the machine; follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. Or get help from someone who’s handy. It can take practice to get the right meat consistency and pressure on the stuffer.

All in all, this grinder does wonders for our family, particularly when we’re having a large gathering. You really can’t beat the taste of freshly ground and prepared sausage or burgers, so if you’re curious, we say: go for it, and enjoy.

About the Author: A full-time writer/blogger and part-time kitchen aficionado, Chris enjoys trying and reviewing different kitchen gadgets. His latest reviews include food grinders, Italian ice cream makers and food processors.

Image by Rachel Tayse

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