Poultry Sausages

Making poultry sausages follows the same manufacturing procedure as production of other sausages.

The most popular meats on the market are:

  1. Chicken
  2. Turkey
  3. Duck
  4. Goose

This does not necessarily mean that chicken meat is superior to goose. Chicken occupies the # 1 spot as it is the most profitable poultry to raise. It needs less feed than other poultry types, its meat contains little fat and the bird is popular all over the world due to its egg producing capabilities. Everybody has eaten chicken in his life hundreds of times but how many times have we eaten a goose or a duck? The basic raw product is boned poultry meat. In addition to the ground meat, the stuffing often includes pork fat, eggs, butter and spices. About 2% starch is often added.


Trying to make a sausage from chicken meat only presents some problems: high pH, high Aw and that means favorable conditions for bacteria growth. Campylobacter jejuni is a typical pathogen found in poultry meat. Chicken fat contains more water and less collagen structure than other fats which makes it soft and semi-liquid at room temperature due to its low melting point. When submitted to heat treatment, chicken fat will melt inside the sausage creating oily pockets and make the sausage seem like a fat product. For those reasons pork fat should be added to a sausage but it can not be classified as an all chicken sausage anymore.


Cheap, contains little fat, available everywhere.


Turkey is inexpensive and it has the biggest breast of all poultry. Turkey breast is a great cut for smoking. Being very lean, the breast should be pumped with curing solution. Other parts and turkey trimmings can be used for sausages.

Goose and Duck

These birds are much fatter, especially the skin which contains a lot of attached fat. As skin contains a lot of collagen, it can bind water and emulsify fats very well. Meats from those birds will make good sausages, in addition goose and duck livers are superior material for making liver sausages. It is not recommended to make poultry fresh sausages (uncooked) as fresh poultry does not keep well. Although fermented sausages can be made from poultry why not use much better meats such as pork or beef. Poultry meat is fine for making emulsified sausages that would be cooked in water. The best example is a variety of poultry hotdogs and frankfurters that are carried in our supermarkets.

A basic 1 kg formula for emulsified poultry meat:

  • ground poultry meat, 450 g
  • poultry skins, 250 g
  • poultry fat, 100 g
  • non-fat dry milk, 30 g
  • salt, 18 g
  • Cure #1, 2.5 g
  • crushed ice (cold water), 150 g
  • spices, as you like

A typical manufacturing process:

  1. Grind meat through ⅛” (3 mm) plate.
  2. Grind skins twice through a small plate ⅛” (3 mm).
  3. Place ground skins in a food processor and emulsify, adding ½ ice/water. Add salt, Cure#1, all spices, ground meat and emulsify adding remaining ice/water.
  4. Stuff into natural or synthetic casings.
  5. Hang for 1 hour at room temperature.
  6. Place in a preheated to 120-130° F (50-54° C) smokehouse.
  7. If casings are dry apply hot smoke at about 150-160° F (66-72° C).
  8. Cook in water at 176° F (80° C) until meat internal temperature reaches 72° F (160° C). Depending on a diameter of the casing that might take 15-120 minutes. A rule of thumb calls for 10 min for each 1 cm (10 mm) of the casing.
  9. Cool in cold water until sausage temperature reaches 68-86° F (20-30° C).
  10. Store in refrigerator.

NOTE A commercial producer will add phosphate and sodium ascorbate to the recipe.

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