Making homemade sausage can be a low-cost alternative to store-bought sausage and allows the consumer to use his own recipes to control the ingredients that go into the final product. This can be an effective method of limiting a sausage's fat and sodium content while offering freshness and unique flavor. Consumers can choose from several sausage maker models, depending on what type of sausages they wish to produce and how often they plan to use the machine. Cooks who already own a stand mixer may be able to purchase a food-grinding attachment that can make some kinds of sausage. Others may prefer to invest in a stand-alone machine that can produce larger batches of sausage at a time.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get into making sausage is for a cook to purchase a grinding attachment for a mixer he already owns. Several popular brands of stand mixers offer various attachments for their products, including sausage grinders and stuffers. These attachments allow users to place small chunks of meat and seasoning into the grinder and extrude the mixture into a sausage casing. This is an effective method of producing small batches of sausage and increasing the utility of an existing kitchen appliance. Using an existing mixer also helps free up counter and storage space in smaller kitchens.
Cooks who don't own a stand mixer or wish to produce larger batches of sausage may purchase a dedicated sausage maker. There are several types of these products, including grinders and stuffers. Grinders can be cranked by hand or operated with electricity and allow the owner to make his own hamburger in addition to various types of sausage. While a hand-cranked sausage maker can help save energy and last longer, these grinders are usually quite heavy and often must be attached to a counter with a clamp. Depending on the type of countertop, this can lead to damage or permanent markings on the counter's surface.
Electric grinders are typically stand-alone machines that can produce larger batches of sausage with less manual labor. These machines can be more expensive and may take up extra space within the kitchen. Owners of this type of sausage maker can usually purchase a wide array of attachments, allowing them to produce several different sizes of ground meats.
Stuffers are another type of sausage maker used to fill casings with ground meat and seasonings. These machines can stuff large batches of sausage at a time and are often used in a commercial capacity. Like grinders, these products come in manual and electric varieties, although the electric stuffers are often prohibitively expensive for home use.