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Meat grinders, sausage stuffers, and food dehydrators are commonly used in the sausage making and preserving process. In addition, the right cutlery and a smoker are sometimes needed, depending on the meat and the desired end flavor, respectively. A novice sausage maker can still make sausage without having certain types of sausage making supplies other cooks consider vital. For example, a person can make loose sausage instead of sausage stuffed into a casing to avoid buying a sausage stuffer and casings.
A meat grinder is an electric or hand-cranked device that grinds whole slabs of meat. It is not always necessary to have a machine specifically meant to grind meat. For example, some kitchen mixers have grinder attachment accessories. A meat grinder is among the most basic sausage making supplies and is not optional, unlike casings and sausage stuffers.
Unless making loose sausage, a sausage stuffer is needed to place the meat into a casing. Generally, vertical hand-cranked designs are easier to operate than horizontal ones. Motorized machines are available, especially in large sizes to handle sausage batches of 25 pounds (11 kg) or more at a time. Sausage stuffers can be relatively inexpensive types of sausage making supplies when purchasing a device meant for small batches.
Food dehydrators are used to remove the moisture from food. Dehydrators are typically powered by electricity and use a combination of fans and heating devices. Sausages are usually dehydrated at higher temperatures than fruits and vegetables to prevent harmful bacteria from growing. Not only does dehydrating sausage preserve the meat, but many people prefer the taste and texture of dried sausage.
Making sausage can require a variety of cutlery to start the process. For instance, large cleavers are sometimes needed to chop meat into manageable sizes, depending on the meat being worked with. Deboning knives are used to remove bones from meat before grinding it. If regularly deboning and cutting meat to make sausage, it might prove useful to invest in a knife sharpener in addition to high-quality knives.
Smokers are types of sausage making supplies used to cook sausage or add flavor to sausages after they are cooked. Many different designs of smokers exist, from small outdoor-style racks to large industrial enclosures or indoor machines roughly the size of a mini fridge. Hot smoking can cook sausage with burning smoke, but sausage can also be simultaneously smoked and roasted or baked. In addition, sausage can be cold smoked after it has been cooked to add flavor.