If you are a sausage maker, you must have noticed some variation in the number of times a sausage recipe requires you to grind the meat. Have you ever wondered if the results vary depending on the number of times you ground the meat? The number of times that the meat ought to be ground varies. While the majority of sausage producers grind twice, some are contented with grinding only once. It primarily relies on the texture of the sausage you wish to bite into.
Whether you’re new to preparing sausages or a seasoned pro, a meat grinder is an excellent asset to your kitchen. One is capable of making homemade sausages at any moment using such a device. The grinder is typically sold with plates, though many sausage enthusiasts choose to buy them separately.
This article captures why you need to grind the sausage meat by yourself and the number of times to grind the meat. It also includes various suggestions to grind your sausage meat. Find also the best responses to the frequently asked questions. Continue reading for more information.
Why is it essential to grind the sausage meat by yourself?
Meat in a factory, supermarkets, or even butcher store is not usually ground daily. Typically, the meat is ground some few days or perhaps a week before the sell day, as this is how these enterprises optimize productivity and thus increase sales. Regrettably, this also implies that meat is left on the meat section for long periods.
This has several unfavorable consequences:
- It significantly increases the likelihood of the meat being contaminated with E. coli.
- It degrades the meat’s overall quality.
- It reduces the meat’s freshness.
- It degrades the flavor of the meat.
The longer flesh is exposed to the environment, the greater the chance of becoming contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli. Thus, if you grind your meat at home, you significantly reduce the probability of contamination with E. coli, as you’re likely to use or freeze it immediately after grinding. Additionally, when meat is left out, its flavor is lost.
However, if you decide to grind your meat and quickly stuff it or transfer it to the stuffer for sausage making, the sausage will taste significantly fresher and cleaner. Another advantage of grinding sausage meat on your own is using any meat or mixture of cuts of meat that you would like. Additionally, you have total control over the selection of fat used in the sausage meat as well as the fat-to-meat ratio.
Also, you can control which additives, such as curing salt, can be added to the meat and the quantity of the additives. If you want to avoid the dangers of nitrates, you are not required to use curing salt.
The final aspect over which you have greater control is your spending. Self-grinding of the sausage meat is undoubtedly less expensive, depending on what type of animal flesh you use.
How many times should you grind meat for sausage?
There is no definitive answer to the number of times to grind meat for making sausage. It is truly a matter of personal preference. It depends on whether you favor coarse, lumpy meat in the sausage or a silky texture. The amount of sausage meat you grind also varies based on the type of sausage you’re producing; for instance, if you’re making breakfast sausage versus bratwurst, you’d perform a single, coarser grinding for breakfast sausage.
Meat grinding also affects bonding, and if the meat is ground too coarsely or too finely, spreading can occur. Most home sausage producers grind the meat twice, and this can be accomplished in several ways.
- You can start with a coarse 3/8″ plate and work your way down to a smaller 1/4″ or fine 1/8″ plate.
- Both times, grind coarsely with a 3/8″ plate.
- Double-grind with a fine plate for a very smooth texture.
- If you’re unsure about the types and sizes of grinding plates, it will help if you seek guidance on the same.
Some sausage makers prefer to grind only once, and they like it, while others prefer grinding twice and only once if the recipe specifies. As we have seen, the decision is entirely yours. To put it simply, grind once for more significant, chunkier bits of meat and twice for more even, smaller, finer pieces of meat.
Suggestions for grinding your sausage meat
Firstly, ensure you put the meat in a freezer to keep it semi-frozen after the first grind. After the second grind, it will pass much more quickly through the grinder and maintain the grinder’s throat cleaner. Additionally, users can freeze the removable grinder neck for approximately 15-30 minutes. Making it cold enables the meat to pass through the grinder more quickly. If you’re grinding a large quantity of meat, ensure you work in a small batch size and allow enough time for your grinder to cool between batches.
Cut the meat into long strands (rather than cubes) and grind it. For some, this is a more convenient and practical approach to passing the meat through the grinder. Some prefer to season before the grinding process because grinding aids in the seasoning’s inclusion. Others claim that there is no difference between this and seasoning after grinding.
If the grinder doubles as a stuffer, keep in mind that one can stock into the casings while grinding. If you intend to grind the meat twice, do it during the second time of grinding. Alternatively, you can omit the casings entirely.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is the reason for the graininess in my sausage?
Answer: When the meat is warmed, the proteins and fats present in the sausage will separate, leading to the sausage breaking during cooking and imparting a coarse, gritty texture. Additionally, refrigerate the grinder and the stuffer components before use. Then, please take a little piece of sausage and shape it into a small patty; fry it with a pan and taste it.
In conclusion, always pass sausage meat through a coarse 3/8″ or 8–10 mm diameter plate first. This is considered the “first grind” because it assists in breaking down the initial slices of meat before proceeding with the grinding. Next, using a reduced plate size, grind your meat a second time for finer quality.
The number of times meat is ground for sausage varies according to a variety of circumstances. However, I would argue that it comes down to the texture desired for sausage being made. The joy of preparing your sausage from home is that the alternatives are practically endless; thus, be creative.