What is Italian Sausage?

Italian sausage is different than regular sausage because it uses Italian seasonings.  There is no one set way to make Italian sausage, and no one ingredient list which you much must use.  If you make your own sausage at home you can add whatever ingredients that you like in order give it an Italian flair.

What  you need for making Italian sausage

Any time you make sausage you will need to have sausage casing, ground meat, a mechanism to stuff the sausage, string, and seasonings such as fennel, salt and pepper, red pepper etc.

Some people stuff the casings by hand or by using stuffing tube.   It usually takes more than one person to do this task.  It is not easy work and will take awhile.  I will not get into specifics at this time, for a few reasons.  One is that there is so much to say – it would be too much for a simple post.  I like talking to people who actually stuff their own sausage because they will tell you like it is.  And it isn’t always as easy as the cookbooks make it sound.

If you are using an electric meat grinder to mix all your ingredients it will generally come – or should come with a sausage attachment.  In fact, this is one common reason why people like to own their own meat grinder – to make sausage!

If you own a Kitchen Aid stand mixer you can actually purchase special sausage stuffer attachment kits made specifically for the Kitchen Aid.  Some users have found the sausage attachment to be good for novices who are new to the sausage making world, while others have found the attachments to be messy, time consuming, and not of durable quality.

Let’s talk a bit about the casings.  It is commonly assumed the casings are made of pork.  However, lamb can often be used and I believe there are some synthetic casings as well that you can purchase.  Since I tend to avoid pork products, and lamb is acceptable for me.

There are many cookbooks available which give various recipes and how to techniques for making your own sausage.  If you are an enthusiast, I would take a look at Amazon and see what they offer.

Major Advantage for Making Homemade Sausage

One of the advantages to making your own sausage is you have total control over the quality of the ingredients which you put in.  Where I live, it is hard to find a lot of organic meat products.  Much less organic sausage that does not use pork.  So being able to purchase your own organic meat, grind it in your own meat grinder, purchase your own casings, and season it with your own seasonings without any artificial additives-this is what I’d call real sausage.  This is how it was done in the past and this is how it should be done today.

When making your own sausage make sure to give my sausage and peppers recipe a try.   It’s easy and tastes great!

If you have your own sausage making techniques or advice, feel free to post them here – I’d love to hear.


Easy Italian Recipes

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  1. Hi Liz!
    I make my own sausage and Italian so far is one of my favorites. There are so many different varieties from the different regions to make, and by making your own you can modify them to suit your own taste buds.

    In my opinion, the quantity and type of sausage has a great bearing on the equipment needed. For bulk sausage or patties all that’s really needed is a mixing bowl providing you already have ground beef, pork on hand. However, I strongly suggest not buying ground pork from the packaged meat section at a grocery store as the grade varies too much.

    One of first and most important tools is a meat grinder, either manual or electric. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve had some problems with pre-packaged ground pork and I prefer to know exactly what’s in the grind. I can control the quality of meat and the type and also the amount of fat which makes a big difference.

    If you have a butcher shop in the area then you can usually get the same good quality by specifying the mix you’d like.

    Other than an occasional piece of bone or gristle, I really haven’t had any major issues with ground beef or veal.

    The best thing about grinding your own meat is again, all about quality of the finished product. Buying great cuts of meat on sale is usually equal to or cheaper than packaged. Plus when you grind it yourself, you know that any trimmings added are controlled by you, but remember not to make the mix too lean.

    An 80 – 20 ratio of meat to fat is a good starting point and one that should give you a nice moist sausage without being greasy. These ratios obviously can be adjusted to your own personal preference.

    Please stop by my site with any questions and I’ll be more than happy to help if I can.

    Take care!

  2. Hi Mike,

    I really like the fact that by grinding your own meat a person has greater quality control. This is very important for me. I love to make my foods from scratch whenever possible. I agree, buying good deals when they are on sale is often a better deal than when buying everything prepackaged!

    Thanks for stopping by!


  3. I make all kinds of sausage at home and you are correct, the quality of the end product is much better than the store bought sausage. You have wonderful blog, I’m glad I found it.


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