Making & Cooking Your Own Sausages
In this guide we will discuss how to make link sausages, avoid bursting, the best sausage seasonings and skins to use and how to cook your sausages.
Why make your own sausages ?
Sausages are one of the most popular foods in Britain with over 266,500 tonnes being consumed every year. However there is always the worry about what goes into the sausage. Making your own is a way of controlling this. Perhaps you have a special diet such as gluten free, low fat or have allergies to certain ingredients. Sausages can be tailor made to your own specifications. Buying free range organic meat from a farmer’s market or butcher ensures that you have a good quality sausage. When using our blend of spice mix there are no "nasties” such as Mono Sodium Glutamate, artificial colourings or artificial flavourings.
Tongmaster supplies carefully prepared sausage seasonings that will help you make delicious sausages with unique flavours. Our seasonings and sausage casings are posted worldwide.
How do I link sausages?
Tongmaster recommends a little vegetable oil on your hands when linking your sausages. This helps reduce friction when linking and is especially helpful if your inexperienced and the oil will also give a professional sheen to your delicious cooked sausages.
- Tie a tight knot at the start of your sausage casing so the pressure of your sausage does not force the knot open.
- Decide on the length of sausage that you want. At that point pinch the sausage with your thumb and forefinger and twist the sausage to the right.
A quick and ideal measurement when hand linking is the diameter of your palm.
- Move your fingers along the same length and repeat the process twisting the opposite way.
Why do my sausages keep bursting?
Sausages burst because they are either overfilled in the casing or they have too many air bubbles when making the sausages. When using collagen casings they should be left to rest in the fridge overnight. Cooking too quickly or putting in a very hot pan can also make the skins burst. Too much liquid in the sausage can also cause bursting – hence the name bangers (During WWII so much water was added to make sausages cheaper – they had a tendency to explode! BANG!!).
What is the best way to cook sausages?
Sausages should never be pricked as this releases the juiciness of the sausage and can cause splitting. Always start to cook from a cold oven, cold pan, cold grill or a low heat barbeque so that the skins do not split. Cook at a low heat (150 deg C in the oven). The general rule is cook on a low heat for longer. You can make sure that they are cooked through in the middle by cutting a sausage that has been cooking the same duration as the others.
Or, if the sausages are burnt, they are probably ready! Again, cook in a low heat oven or pan or if you’re having a BBQ move your grill a little higher or place the sausages above coals which aren’t too hot.
Which sausage casings or skins should I use?
The most popular diameter of sausage are 19mm, 22mm and 23mm for chipolata type sausages, and 26mm or 28mm for the larger breakfast and B.B.Q sausage.
The size of sausage will normally be to your own preference but if you're a novice sausage maker using slightly larger skin will allow for a little overfilling to prevent your sausages bursting when being filled or cooked. The sausage casing will need to be bigger than the diameter of the nozzle on your sausage feeding machine but typically the nozzle is small to allow a slow, steady pace of your mix to fill the casings.
Tongmaster recommends collagen sausage casings as they are easier to hand-link than sheep gut, are much easier to store- they don't need to be refrigerated or stored in salt water and will last years if kept dry.
Why collagen skins?
Collagen skins do not need any preparation. They are ready to use and are not salted. They have a shelf life of about two years if kept in a cool, clean and dry environment. They do not need to be refrigerated. Once these casings have been filled, it is important that the sausages are left in the refrigerator overnight to rest. The herbs and spices marinate with the meat . These skins look and feel just like normal skins and are less “chewy” than natural gut casings. Check out our fantastic prices for collagen sausage skins.