Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Why You Should Make Your Own Sausage—And Skip the Store-Bought Kind

To the beginner’s eye, sausage can seem complicated. Tradition dictates that each type of sausage has its own preferred casing, fat content and spices to distinguish it from others. And if you live in a part of the world where BBQ is a BFD, starting from scratch in an attempt to make something that’s even half as delicious as what the pros serve up can be intimidating.

But never fear. While your first batch may not be perfect, it’ll be more satisfying (and, if you’re doing it right, more fun) to make your own sausage than to waste any more of your time poring over the options in the supermarket freezer aisle. Need more convincing? Check out the many benefits of cooking your own sausage below.

1.    Quality Assurance
The only way to know for sure what’s going into your food? Make it yourself. If you’ve got a trusted butcher in your area, hit them up for the best quality beef, pork, chicken, turkey or whatever meat you’re planning to use. Or take it even higher up the chain and use meat you’ve hunted and processed yourself. Either way, if you put good in, you’ll get good out. Choosing premade sausage from the store means trusting the manufacturer to use quality ingredients, and you’ll sacrifice freshness by buying something that’s been sitting on the shelf. Why not cut out the middleman?

2.    Freedom to Experiment
Our favorite part of sausage making is the huge variety of flavors we can create with every new batch. Try a new kind of meat. Play with your seasoning blend until you’ve got just the right amount of spice. Didn’t like the casing on the last links you made? Try something with a little more snap. Want to throw some cheese or veggies in with the meat? Go crazy. Even if the taste doesn’t turn out to your liking, you’ve learned something for next time. Experimentation is the key to becoming a master sausage maker, and you can’t get that from buying store-bought.

3.    Self-Reliance and Good Old Tradition
The practice of sausage making has been around for hundreds of years, and with that long history comes a series of traditions based on the preferences of the various cultures that made sausage what it is today. By all means, feel free to break the mold—that’s what experimentation is all about—but as you’re grinding that first batch of meat, take time to think about providing yourself and your family with a solid, traditional meal backed by centuries of good taste. There’s something bad-ass about making your own food from scratch. Embrace it.

4.    Getting Started is Easier Thank You Think
As mentioned above, sausage can be intimidating. But there’s no need to fill your kitchen with hundreds of new gadgets or spend a ton of money on supplies. Read our Beginner’s Guide to Sausage Making for tips, and allow yourself to explode a couple of sausage skins on your way to perfecting your art. When you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get started, the Sausage Maker will be here with all the simple equipment you’ll need at awesome prices.

Time to take that next step: Source the best meat you can find, dream up a flavor profile and get to stuffing. Good luck and enjoy!