This bulletin is written to provide some of the basic information required to make various types of sausage. It is for those who enjoy good homemade sausage and who wish to obtain the greatest satisfaction from the trimmings and variety meats generated from farm slaughtered livestock or the results of a good hunt. These recipes are collected from various sources and have been prepared and tested.
Sausage making provides a unique way to use the highly edible and nutritious trimmings from beef, pork, lamb, and game meats as well as meats from chicken, turkey, and spent fowl. Historically, sausage is one of the oldest known forms of processed meat and has been a very desirable, “quick-and-easy” meal for generations. The experienced sausage maker uses many meat cuts to produce the characteristics of a particular sausage.
What's covered in this bulletin?
Download the PDF version of this bulletin for full contents; below is an excerpt of this publication for reference.
- Historical Perspectives
- Sausage Types
- Sausage Ingredients - page 8
- Sausage Making Equipment - page 14
- Sausage Making Procedures - page 16
- Important Considerations in Sausage Making - page 19
- Critical Operations - page 26
- Pathogens of Concern in Sausage Making - page 27
- Establishing a HACCP Plan - page 29
- Sausage recipes - page 32
- Fresh Sausage Recipes
- Cooked Sausage Recipes
- Fermented Sausage Recipes
- Luncheon Loaf Recipe
- Selected References - page 41
- Appendix - page 43
- Sample record keeping chart
- Spice Conversion Chart
- Glossary - page 45
Sausage is the oldest form of processed meat products known through historical evidence. It is considered one of the most appetizing, nutritious, enjoyable, and convenient meat products. Homer referenced sausage in the Odyssey as one of the favorite foods of the Greeks. The history of sausage is literally given by its name and many of today’s sausages derive their names from the city where they originated, such as Vienna, Frankfurt, Mettwurst, Genoa, Knoblanch, Bologna, Salami, and many others.
Sausages can be made by grinding meat from beef, pork, poultry, or game meat, mixing with salt and other seasonings followed by stuffing into a container or a casing.
The word sausage is derived from the Latin word salsus, which means salted or preserved by salting. In the United States, many small and very small meat processors develop excellent sausage products that are particularly popular among local citizens. Such locally processed and produced meat products provide an incentive for meat processors to create sausage products that could use local, cheaper, and more perishable cuts of meat and scrap trimmings.
In addition, people from various ethnic groups who immigrated to the U.S. have brought with them traditional recipes and manufacturing skills for creating a wide range of sausage types. Making sausages spiced to meet your own preference is a further incentive to prepare them at home
A suitable definition of sausage is ground or chopped meat combined with salt, seasonings, and other ingredients, which can be stuffed into a container or casing of particular shape and size. A wide variety of sausages can be produced by altering the meat source and spices, ingredients, and/or the method of preparation.
Over the decades, sausage making and preparation methods have been developed and refined to produce a distinctive style of sausage influenced by the ethnic groups, availability of local ingredients, spices, and casings. Many cultures around the globe have attempted to create their own ethnic style of making sausage. Native Americans made their own sausages with a variety of meats and berries, called pemmican.
Classifying sausages into a specific category is difficult because sausages are produced by many different methods. The following is a simple and broad classification of the various sausage types, based upon processing procedures and product characteristics.
- Cooked and Smoked Sausages
- Fresh Sausage
- Uncooked, Smoked Sausages
- Dry or Fermented Sausages
- Fermented Sausages
- Semi-Dry Sausages
- Mold-Ripened Sausages
Antioxidant. A substance that retards oxidation. Antioxidants are added to meat and poultry
products to prevent oxidative rancidity of fats.
Binder. An additive used to improve the binding properties of lean meat or poultry or meat and/or
poultry mixtures. Binders have strong affinity for water; therefore, misuse of binders may cause
the product to be adulterated with excess water.
Brine Solution. An amount of water that contains salt either alone or with other ingredients; often
referred to as a pickle.
Comminuted. Ground meat, poultry, meat byproducts, or poultry byproducts; finely comminuted
meat, poultry, meat byproducts, or poultry byproducts are often referred to as emulsified.
Control. Take all necessary actions to ensure and maintain compliance with standards and other
Control Measures. Any action and activity that can be used to prevent or eliminate a hazard or
reduce it to an acceptable level.
Corrective Action. Any action to be taken when the results of monitoring at a CCP indicate a loss
Critical Control Point (CCP). A step at which control can be applied; is essential to prevent
or eliminate a hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.
Critical Limit. A criterion that separates acceptability from unacceptability at a critical control point.
Cure. To add salt or salt brine and nitrite and/or nitrate, with or without sugar and other ingredients, to
a meat or poultry product.
Cure Accelerator. Ingredients in cure mixture, such as sodium erythorbate and sodium ascorbate,
that speed up the curing process for faster color development by rapid conversion of nitrates into
Cured, Comminuted Products. Products consisting of coarsely or finely ground meat and/or
poultry and cure ingredients mixed together (bologna, turkey salami, pepperoni, pepper loaf, etc.).
Cured, Dry Products. Products that have dry or powdered cure ingredients directly applied to
the surface of the meat or poultry (ham, pork shoulder, pork belly, etc.).
Cured, Pickled Products. Products that are pumped or massaged with, or immersed in, a
pickle solution of cure ingredients (ham, corned beef, poultry breasts, etc.).
Dry, Salt-Cured Products. Products that have had a pickle solution of cure ingredients
directly pumped into the muscle tissue (not through the circulatory system) before having the dry
or powdered cure ingredients applied to the surface of the meat or poultry.
Extender. An additive that increases the weight and changes the texture of meat and poultry
products, e.g., cereal, starches, etc.
HACCP. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. A system that identifies,
evaluates, and controls hazards that are significant for food safety.
Hazard. A biological, chemical, or physical agent in, or condition of, food with the potential to cause
an adverse health effect.
Hazard Analysis. The process of collecting and evaluating information on hazards and/or
conditions that lead to the presence of hazards in order to decide which are significant for food
safety and therefore should be addressed in the HACCP plan.
Monitoring. The act of conducting a planned sequence of observations or measurements of control
parameters to assess whether a CCP is under control.
Process Flow Diagram. A systematic representation of the sequence of steps or operations used
in the production or manufacture of a particular food.
Pickle. Any brine, cure, vinegar, or spice solution used to preserve or flavor food.
Restricted Ingredient. A product component that must be used in some required amount or
percentage when the product is formulated or be a component of the finished product in an
amount no greater than a specified maximum amount or percentage; and/or may be prohibited
from use in certain products.
Standard of Identity. The minimum requirements (cut, ingredients, processing, etc.) for meat
or poultry food product to be identified or labeled with an established or acceptable name.
Starter Culture. A standardized bacterial culture used in making fermented sausage.
Validation. A process of obtaining evidence to demonstrate that a particular food will be fit for
intended purpose, through the achievement of any regulatory limit or operator-defined limit.
Verification. The application of methods, procedures, tests, and other checks to confirm compliance
to the documented Food Safety Program and/or regulatory requirements.
Status and Revision History
Published on Dec 19, 2014