Equipment

Grinder

Grinders are tool that are indispensable for making meat sausages, however, they are less important for making vegetarian sausages. Most vegetarian sausages are made from precooked grains or soaked materials that do not need to be ground, only occasionally a recipe will call for grinding wheat gluten.

Sausage Maker's stainless steel #10 manual grinder.

Sausage Maker's stainless steel #10 manual grinder.

Sausage Stuffer

The sausage stuffer is probably the most important tool that you should carry. Sausages must be filled very firmly and the stuffer is a must tool for the job. There are two choices: a manual grinder with a stuffing tube attachment and a piston stuffer.

Grinder with an attached stuffing tube.

Grinder with an attached stuffing tube.

Stuffing tubes.

Stuffing tubes.

Although a manual grinder with an attached stuffing tube is an awkward arrangement for a single person to handle, it works surprisingly well with vegetarian sausages. It is a good machine to process smaller batches of sausages in the range of 2-5 pounds. You may start with a manual grinder, but if you intend to make 5 pounds of sausage or more, then upgrade to a 5 pounds piston stuffer. The reason that the piston stuffer is less suitable for making small amounts of sausages is that there is always some leftover material remaining under the piston when the stuffing is done. A large 15 lb stuffer has a large diameter cylinder so more material will remain. Get a 5 lb capacity model which is a perfect size machine for most jobs.

5 lb stuffer manufactured by the Sausage Maker is an ideal machine for making small batches of sausages.<br>www.sausagemaker.com.

5 lb stuffer manufactured by the Sausage Maker is an ideal machine for making small batches of sausages.
www.sausagemaker.com

Piston stuffer.

Piston stuffer.

Cutting and Blending Equipment

A good knife, food processor/blender will take care of general tasks and making emulsions. Don't underestimate the power of a manual wisk which is a wonderful tool for blending and is easy to clean. A small 100 g (3.5 oz) test sausage may call for 50 g of emulsion. There is no way that even a small processor will process such a small amount of food as its knives are positioned too high. You can, however, do it easily with a wisk. In addition the wisk works slower so you can introduce last minute changes and you can see the changes as they occur.

Blender.

Blender.

Food processor.

Food processor.

Whisk and bowl.

Whisk and bowl.

Usually it is possible to purchase ground seeds such as flaxseeds, however, some seeds for example poppy seeds may require you to grind yourself.

Spice mill/grinder.

Spice mill/grinder.

Measuring is accomplished with common kitchen tools like cups, spoons and scales.

Measuring cup.

Measuring cup.

100 ml measuring cylinder is a must have tool for control of small amounts of liquid. Having a second, smaller 10 ml capacity will be helpful too.

100 ml measuring cylinder.

100 ml measuring cylinder.

In addition to a general kitchen scale which is accurate to 1 g, a highly accurate digital scale is needed for measuring small amounts of gums and spices.

AWS CD-V2-100 digital scale has 100 g capacity and is accurate to 0.01 g (0.001 oz).

AWS CD-V2-100 digital scale has 100 g capacity and is accurate to 0.01 g (0.001 oz).

Making Test Sausages

Let's say you come up with a new idea for a sausage. Although the composition might seem unusual at the first glance, you will never know how it will taste until it is made. It will not be practical to cook 5 pounds of oats and mix them with 1 pound of honey, a half pound of raisins and so on. However, you can make a test sausage within 30 minutes and this will proof your recipe.

Assembling a grinder and stuffer to make 3.5 oz of test sausage is not practical as it requires much subsequent cleaning. It is simpler attach the casing to a suitable funnel and stuff the sausage mass manually as depicted in the photographs below.

Stuffing sausages with a funnel.

Stuffing funnel.

Stuffing funnel.

Stuffing funnel.

Stuffing funnel.

Traditional manual funnel stuffer.

Traditional manual funnel stuffer.

A small amount of sausage can be stuffed using the above set up faster than assembling the stuffer. The clean up is a snap and no problems with storage space. After a few sessions you learn when to release the casing when pushing down the pusher stick. This is how the sausages were stuffed in the past.

Casings

Casings are divided into two categories:

  • Natural - pigs, sheep, goats, cattle and sometimes horses. Kosher sausages will not be stuffed into hog casings.
  • Artificial - collagen, cellulose, or even plastic. Artificial casings from animal collagen can be edible, depending on the origin of the raw material. Collagen casings with a diameter of 32 mm or more are usually not edible.

Collagen casings are produced from the collagen in beef or pig hides, and the bones and tendons. It can also be derived from poultry and fish. In any case they do not meet the requirements of pure vegans.

Cellulose, usually from cotton linters or wood pulp, is processed to make viscose which is then extruded into clear, tough casings. Cellulose skinless casings are manufactured in shirred sticks that do not require soaking. They are highly permeable for excellent smoke absorption and color. They have tiny little holes that allow smoke and moisture to go through. This in our experiments created a problem as the flour was leaking through.

Synthetic casings are made of synthetic thermoplastic materials and are mechanically strong.

The Sausage Maker Inc., offers a variety of casings suitable for vegetarian sausages.

Clear fibrous casings.

Clear fibrous casings are offered in diameters from 38 mm (1.5") to 88 mm (3-3/8"). The casings should be soaked for 30 minutes in water before use. Plastic casings depicted below do not need soaking.

Casings.

The Sausage Maker Inc. casings:
Top: 38 mm clear fibrous
Middle: 32 mm curved plastic
Bottom: 26 mm curved plastic

Sausages stuffed into casings.

Sausages stuffed into casings.

Available from Amazon in paperback and eBook format

The Greatest Sausage RecipesThe Art of Making Vegetarian SausagesMeat Smoking and Smokehouse DesignPolish SausagesThe Art of Making Fermented SausagesHome Production of Quality Meats and SausagesSauerkraut, Kimchi, Pickles, and RelishesHome Canning of Meat, Poultry, Fish and VegetablesCuring and Smoking FishHome Production of Vodkas, Infusions, and Liqueurs