Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Spicy Italian Burger

Italian flavors aren’t limited to just pasta. They go great inside burgers too combined with pepperoni and arugula salad. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette if you want to take this burger up a notch!

1 beef patty
1 tbsp Spicy Italian Seasoning from The Sausage Maker
1/4 cup arugula
1 slice provolone cheese
3 slices pastrami or pepperoni
1 brioche bun
2 tomato slices
Onion slices
Olive, optional

  1. Heat in a saucepan with oil or in a grill and cook to your liking. 
  2. Heat saucepan with oil or using a grill, cook beef on one side then flip over to heat the opposite side. Cook until it’s cooked to your liking. 
  3. Add a slice of cheese and remove from heat.
  4. Stack burger with arugula beef, pepperoni, tomatoes, onions and garnish with an olive, if desired.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Guacamole Burger

Who knew the same Mexican flavors you love taste great on a burger? The guacamole adds a great creamy avocado base, while the subtle flavors of the Grill Master Seasoning make the burger patty itself take center stage.

1 brioche bun
1 beef patty
1 tbsp Grill Master Seasoning from The Sausage Maker
1 can fire roasted corn, heated
2 tbsp. Guacamole (store-bought or homemade)
Red onion slices
Tomato slices

  1. Pat patty with seasoning on both sides. 
  2. Heat in a saucepan with oil or in a grill and cook to your liking. 
  3. Stack the burger with the beef, guacamole, fire-roasted corn, onion, and tomatoes. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hawaiian Burger

No need to go to the islands to get your pineapple-on-a-burger fix. The crispy bacon strips and Savory Bacon Seasoning from The Sausage Maker brings the saltiness while the pineapple delivers the sweet in a tasty combo you will crave again and again.

1 beef patty
1 brioche bun, split
1 tbsp Savory Bacon Seasoning from The Sausage Maker
2 slices pineapple
2 slices bacon
Green leaf lettuce

  1. Cook bacon slices in a medium saucepan with 1 tsp. water. 
  2. Once done, remove bacon from pan, drain and set aside. 
  3. Add pineapple slices to the same pan with the bacon grease. 
  4. Cook pineapple for 5 minutes on each side on medium/low heat.
  5. Remove from pineapple from heat and set aside. 
  6. Pat patty with seasoning on both sides. 
  7. Cook in a pan on the stovetop or grill to desired doneness. 
  8. Stack the burger with lettuce, beef, pineapple, and bacon. 
  9. Add your favorite sauce and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Italian Meatball Subs

Add the right amount of seasoning to turkey meatballs to make a perfect sub sandwich at home. All you need to do is combine turkey, garlic, Italian Herb Seasoning from The Sausage Maker, and salt to make flavorful meatballs packed with protein. Add any leftovers to pasta or eat on their own dipped in marinara sauce.

1 lb ground turkey
3 sandwich-sized whole wheat baguettes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 jar marinara sauce
Olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl add ground turkey, garlic, seasoning, and salt. With clean hands, mix ingredients together well. Form the mixture into balls with your hands and set aside. 
  3. In a large skillet or saucepan heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of your pan. Add meatballs to the pan and cook each side for a few minutes until browned and no longer pink inside. Once done, remove from heat. Slice the baguettes open and layer marinara sauce, meatballs, more marinara, and cheeses.
  4. Place on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

How-To Steps for Smoking a Fresh Ham

  Fresh Ham
  Ingredients for Brine
  Meat Pump

This is a condensed version of our online DIY Ham Tutorial in which the steps we took to fully prepare, cure and smoke two Hams are in greater detail. We hope the simplicity of this brine cured ham recipe will inspire you to try making your own this year.

Go to your trusted meat market, hog farm or grocer’s deli and ask for “boneless fresh Ham” (you may need to pre-order and pick up when ready). We bought two, each weighing in at a little over 10 pounds. This ended up costing us only about $50 total, compare that to a smoked Ham behind the glass counter. Your Hams are likely to taste just like those and will cost you MUCH less. Once you have the ham at home, immediately refrigerate it until you are ready to pump the salty ham brine.

(1 lb. FRESH HAM)
2.5 Gal. Water
2/3 Cup Salt
1 Cup Insta Cure#1 
1/2 Cup Dextrose
1/2 Cup White Pepper, Ground
1/4 Cup Juniper Berries, Crushed or Cracked

 You can also substitute the Dextrose with 1 cup of Honey or Maple Syrup, delicious. We had whole juniper berries, so we placed them on a tray and laid a plastic bag on them and hammered them into pieces, simple enough. Add water to your container, mix in your ingredients and stir with a long wooden or plastic spoon for a few minutes to disperse ingredients thoroughly. There shouldn’t be gritty salt grains at the bottom, if there are, keep stirring.
TIP: Heating up the water to 100°F to 140°F prior to mixing will help ingredients dissolve quicker and more solute. Cool before adding ham! *We do not recommend curing ham without stitch-pumping.

The amount of the brine to be pumped into the Ham is 10% of its weight, so in our example, it turned out to be about 4 full capacity loads with our Meat Pump . It is important to pump the densest/thickest portions of the ham muscle. It is normal for some of the ham brine  to spill out of the meat, it is inevitable, so don’t worry. 
TIP: At small home-scale production, One (1) Fluid Ounce by Volume is close enough to One (1) Ounce by Weight that we are equating them here. For precise measure 1fl.oz. = 1.043 oz.

The temperature of Ham prior to pumping should be 38-40°F (refrigerated). If you are preparing a Ham that has the bone-in, make sure to pump around the bone. When the pumping is done, put the Ham in the brine bucket which should have enough brine left to entirely cover the muscle. It is alright to place one Ham on top of another as long as the top one is also completely immersed. If stacking, rotate top-to-bottom once a day. Place a plate with a water-filled jar on hams to keep them under the brine if you have to and place a lid on the container.

The brining of the Ham should be done in a cooler where the temperature can stay relatively constant at 38-40°F the entire time. Aside from top-to-bottom rotating, it's really 5-6 days of leaving the Hams alone. Let the cure do its job and get into each crevice by itself.

Remove the Ham from the brine solution and immediately rinse them under cold water while brushing with an unused bristle brush, and or thoroughly rinse for 3-5 minutes. Rinse, Do Not Soak. After you’re done brushing, place the Ham into a permeable, clean cloth bag  or into a Stockinette Bag .
TIP: Your bag should be moistened with a Water-Vinegar solution (50/50), or with a Liquid Smoke-Water solution (1 drop L.S. per 2 oz. water) this will prevent the bag from sticking to the ham.

Tie the net/bag onto the Stockinette Hook  securely, or if no bag available, place Ham on rack. Preheat your Smoker  to 120°F. Just as in smoking Sausages, spacing is important, be sure the Hams are neither touching each other (if doing two), the interior walls of the smoker, and they should be at least 6” above the heating element diffuser. Insert the Remote Smoker Thermometer probes into both the Ham and one into the smoker. The dampers should be wide open for the entirety of the drying process. Check once every hour, for the first few hours. The drying may take 8-12 hours when the outside is tacky to the touch and it isn’t dripping from the bottom… drying is done.

Open dampers/vents half-way. Set the temp. to 130°F and add a full pan of dampened Sawdust Woodchips . One smoke application lasts a little over 2 hours. On the second smoke application increase the temperature setting to 140°F for another 2 hours and close damper to 1/4 open. On the third smoke application (our last) increase the temperature to 150°F for a final 2 hours. You want between 5-7 hours of hot smoke for good flavor penetration & color development. Remove the sawdust pan, without smoke, bump the temperature up to 165°F for 2-3 hours and then set and leave at 175°F.
TIP: Usually in the 140-150°F internal meat temp zone, when cooking at temps between 170-200°F, the meat’s temp will STOP CLIMBING. Called a Plateau, or Stall. The cured ham meat is releasing moisture to the surface, which is, in turn, cooling the outside, and consequently the inside. In short, ‘it’s sweating’. It can sweat for 30 minutes or 2 hours, depending on temperatures. Don’t panic, it is normal and it will pass. Still panicked? Wrap tightly with Aluminum foil containing a small amount of water or apple juice once it plateaus.

When the temperature reaches 145°F internal, the Ham can be removed from the smoker. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate overnight before carving. We hope you enjoyed this home smoked ham recipe, have found it easy to understand and will partake in some Do-It-Yourself ham smoking this year!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Delicious Sausage Ideas for Thanksgiving

Some people say that Christmas is their favorite time of the year, but for us at The Sausage Maker, our favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. What more could you possibly ask for in a holiday than a national day of food appreciation? In fact, Thanksgiving isn’t just a holiday; it elevates the enjoyment of food from a hobby to a full blown sport, and we definitely aren’t complaining. So, as the best day of the year rolls around (no pun intended) here are some delicious ideas for side dishes featuring sausage to impress friends and family at your Thanksgiving table.


Simply put, Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving without stuffing. And while we love classic stuffing, we’ve got to admit that you are missing out if you haven’t tried to elevate your stuffing game by mixing in some spicy or sweet sausage into your recipe. Eaten on its own, sausage stuffing makes a delicious side dish that can pull together the entire meal, and eaten with your turkey, it adds an entire new depth of flavor that you’ve probably never experienced before. We highly recommend adding a bit of sausage to your traditional stuffing recipe.

Mac and Cheese

The quintessential comfort food, macaroni and cheese is just as likely to be found in the everyday diet of most Americans as is it is to be featured on your holiday menu this Thanksgiving. And while mac and cheese is deliciously decadent on its own, adding some spicy sausage takes your macaroni and cheese to an entirely different level. The sausage adds new texture to the mac and cheese, as well as cuts through the richness of the dish with its spices, creating a deliciously decadent — but well balanced — side dish that everyone will love.

Sautéed Greens

Whether you prefer Kale or Collard Greens, sautéed green leafy vegetables add a wonderful flavor and nutrition to your Thanksgiving menu. When you add some poultry-based sausage into a sautéed green recipe, you add another layer of flavor and texture that makes these greens irresistible. Even better, if you have a child (or adult) who is finicky about eating their greens, adding a bit of sausage to your recipe could be just the thing they need to get past the taste or texture they don’t like.


Who doesn’t love a good roll? Simple, versatile and delicious, rolls are a staple of American dining, especially at Thanksgiving. However, we’ve gotten a bit bored with the traditional dinner roll. And if you’re like us, we’ve got the perfect solution for you. When you are making your rolls for the holiday, take one last step and roll up a sausage into the center of the dough balls before baking, creating a delicious sausage roll that is great as a side dish, appetizer or midnight snack long after the holiday festivities have ended and your guests have gone home.

Whatever you decide to put on the table this Thanksgiving, you can be sure that a sausage recipe is sure to please and be a favorite for years to come. And when it comes to sausage, why not make it the best sausage by making it yourself? With our selection of sausage making tools and accessories, you can impress your guests with your recipes and your newly found sausage-making abilities. Happy holidays!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Top 10 Must-Have Gifts for Your Man This Holiday Season

Do you have a DIY-loving carnivore in your life? If so, then you are in the right place. Nothing is quite as enjoyable as making your own goods at home, and being able to take meat and process it into sausage is one of the most rewarding DIY activities out there. However, DIY does not have to mean difficult. Whether he is just starting out with home sausage making or he is an experienced homemade sausage connoisseur, here are our top ten favorite sausage-making and meat-related must-have gifts to upgrade your man’s home-cooking game this holiday season.

Hickory Woodchips

The sausage-making process can be a long and challenging one, involving lots of attention to detail and delicate care. When it finally comes time for him to smoke and cook the sausage, you want to make sure that he is doing it with the best possible woodchips that will impart the most desirable flavor. Our hickory woodchips are produced in small made-to-order quantities so that we can maintain a high level of quality. The wood he will use to smoke his sausage is as important as any other ingredient that would be used to make sausage, which is why we love these hickory woodchips. The depth of flavor they give the sausage is unparalleled, and their flavor works with almost any meat.

Italian Bundle Kit

Nothing is quite as delicious as sausage that uses high-quality meat and high-quality spices. Our Italian bundle spice set takes the guesswork out of determining what quantity and combination of spices are needed to create an authentic Italian sausage. This set comes with our Italian Sweet and Italian Hot spice blends as well as Garlic Basil to add a greater depth of flavor to the sausage. With enough spice blend in each pack for up to 10 lbs. of meat, feel free to experiment with different spice and meat combinations to find the flavor that best suits you. We love this spice kit because it allows him to make a truly authentic Italian sausage or be creative and create a unique sausage flavor.

Smokin Bacon Kit

There is never a bad time to eat bacon; however, the holidays are an even better time to enjoy this beloved meat treat. We love this Smokin Bacon kit for many reasons. First, the kit produces really great results. Once he tries to home smoke bacon, he is never going to be able to go back to regular bacon again, as he will realize that the taste and value of home-smoked bacon is pretty unbeatable. Second, if he is new to sausage making or smoking, this kit is a great way to get started, as it is incredibly easy to use and produces consistently delicious results every time. Finally, this really is fun for the whole family, as it makes the bacon-cooking experience much more interactive and fun. Unfortunately, we cannot include actual bacon in your order, but we are pretty sure that anything could be smoked with this kit and it would turn out just as delicious.

5-lb. Sausage Stuffer

There’s an old saying that goes, “Nobody wants to see how the sausage is made.” However, we would like to respectfully disagree in this case. The quintessential home-sausage-making appliance, our 5-lb. sausage stuffer, is what DIY sausage dreams are made of. Both a beautiful piece of machinery and incredibly simple to use, this sausage maker makes a great first sausage stuffer, although we would not recommend this as a stocking stuffer. Along with its ease of use, this sausage stuffer is very easy to clean and will produce consistent results every time.

Stainless Steel Jerky Oven Tray

After bacon, we cannot think of a more universally loved meat product than jerky. Many think that it is impossible to make jerky at home because it requires too much new equipment and too many appliances. Fortunately, we have a solution in a simple oven tray. This tray makes cooking jerky at home a breeze. All he will have to do is skewer the desired meat, hang it on the tray, keep the oven door slightly open and let the drying begin. Not only is this method incredibly easy for a jerky novice, it also makes the kitchen smell amazing with all the jerky scents coming from your slightly open oven door.

Heavy-Duty Stainless Steel Gas Burner

If he loves the idea of making sausage at home, he probably enjoys any meat-related activity, such as grilling. If you want an item that is versatile and caters to all sorts of meat cooking, a quality burner is what you need. This heavy-duty burner is not only incredibly easy to use and put together, it also has safety features like safety ignition ports and wind shielding to make sure the burner is safe to use around family and friends without risk of hurting anyone.

Electric Meat Grinder

One of the reasons he might want to make his own sausage and meat products at home is to ensure that he has total control over what exactly is going into the sausage. So if he plans to make quality sausage at home, he is going to need a meat grinder that can easily grind up the quality meats he gives it. This electric meat grinder is incredibly easy to use and takes all the hard labor out of meat grinding; it can grind as quickly as it is fed. Not to mention, this electric grinder is built to last and will be a valuable investment in his sausage-making future.

Umai Dry Ribeye/Striploin Packet

Anyone who loves steak can tell you that dry aging a steak is like reducing a sauce; by letting the meat get rid of some of its water content, the flavors become extra-concentrated and incredibly rich. It used to be that special equipment was needed in order to correctly dry age a steak, but with our ribeye home drying kit, he can easily replicate the rich taste of a dry-aged steak at home. Not only is this process incredibly easy to master at home, this home-dry-aging packet makes the dry-aging experience a lot more affordable than it would be if you and your partner were buying the steak from a steakhouse.

Electric Smoker

Another incredibly delicious way to prepare meat, smoking used to be a long and difficult process requiring the expertise of an experienced cook that couldn’t be replicated at home. However, our electric smoker makes smoking meat at home as easy as possible with consistent and delicious results every time. This electric smoker does all the work for him; all he has to do is set it and forget it, then come back to beautifully smoked meats that retain all the flavor and moisture expected from the best barbecue joint in town.

Meat Tenderizer

One of the biggest challenges home cooks face is trying to tenderize meat. For leaner meats like chicken, it can also be a challenge to achieve even and complete cooking without drying out the meat. With our easy-to-use Mr. Tenderizer meat tenderizer, the process of tenderizing and flattening meat is no longer a guessing game. Whether grilling, smoking or pan-frying the meat, this tenderizer makes it easy to ensure that he is getting perfectly cooked and tender meat every single time.

We think we can safely assume that if you were not interested in getting the man in your life the home-sausage-making essentials before, you are definitely interested now. Our line of products makes it incredibly easy to enjoy delicious and quality meat products at home, saving money and keeping you and him from consuming the preservatives often found in store-bought options. Whomever you are shopping for this holiday season, The Sausage Maker has a meaty gift for everyone in your life.