How to Make Sausage Like A PRO using a Kitchen Aid Grinder Attachment

Sausage making is a great craft to get into. One of the most affordable and popular ways to get started is with a Kitchen Aid Grinder and stuffer attachment. If I had to be completely honest It’s not because this attachment produces amazing sausages, it’s more than likely the convenience of adding it to an already existing appliance. I must say that I feel obligated to tell you (before we begin) that this attachment is quite possibly the worst tool you can use to make high quality sausages. I’m a professional sausage maker and even though I know all the tricks on how to make this attachment work I absolutely HATE using it.

This attachment is very inefficient and produces a tremendous amount of heat. This will literally translate over to your sausage by smearing the fat and causing you to have a greasy, crumbly, and dry sausage. The motor on the kitchen aid is not very strong and its gear driven so your machine will have to work 4 times as hard and it’s very easy to strip the gears on your food mixer. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

I want to be crystal clear on this issue, I am in no way endorsing this method of sausage making. If you are looking to get into sausage making, please save your money and buy an inexpensive grinder and dedicated sausage stuffer. You will save yourself lots of frustration and heartache. I recommend going to The Sausage Maker’s web site and checking out their selection before you make any decisions. They have lots of different grinders, but their economical #12 grinder is a little beast for the price. Also, check out their small 5-pound sausage stuffer as I think it’s a great buy if you are just getting started.

With all that being said I have been asked to make a post about how to properly use this attachment and produce quality sausages. So, if you currently own one these attachments, this one’s for you😉

Here are my tips on how to make sausage using a kitchen aid grinder attachment

Work with sharp tools

Let’s start with the most obvious, if your grinder plate or grinder knife is dull, you can do the rest of these steps perfectly and your sausage will be a disaster. Begin by giving your plate and knife a good old fashion sharpening. Thankfully it’s very easy to do and last year we made a video on how to do just that. Be sure to check out “How to Easily Sharpen ANY grinder plate and Knife“. All it takes is a couple pieces of course wet/dry sandpaper for metal and a very flat surface.

Cut your meat and fat into small pieces

The motor is not very strong on this appliance, so we need to help it out a bit. Cut your meat and fat into small 1/2 inch – 1-inch cubes. This will allow those pieces of meat and fat to effortlessly fall into the head of the grinder allowing that auger to pull them through to the blade. The idea here is to NOT have to constantly be smashing the meat down the throat of the grinder with the plunder that comes with it. Let the meat naturally fall in and do its thing.

Chill your meat before grinding

Temperature is literally everything when it comes to making sausages. I can’t state this enough. Keep the meat and fat very cold at all times. Prior to grinding place your chopped meat into the freezer till the temperature gets below 32f (0c). Basically, you want it partially frozen. This will produce a very clean and “pebbly” grind

Chill your equipment

As we chill the meat, we should chill the equipment (tray, grinder head, auger, plate, knife). The extra cold equipment will help keep the temperature of the meat nice and cold. With that being said I do realize that the material that some of the attachments are made out of will not retain their temperature, I still think it’s a good practice to get in to.

Work in small batches

If you are planning on making 10+ pounds of sausage with your kitchen aid, you’ll want to work in small batches. Only take out 3-5 pounds of meat at a time. This unit is very inefficient, and it takes a long time to properly grind meat. So, keep what you are not immediately working with in the freezer and once you are done, grab a bit more.

Grind on the highest speed

The Kitchen Aid has several speed options, when it comes to grinding, I recommend grinding on the highest setting. The faster you can get the meat chopped up the better. The lower speeds cause drag and open the chance for the epic “Sausage Failure”

Rechill your meat before mixing

Grinding will generate a fair amount of heat and we need our meat to be properly chilled before mixing so after you grind all of your meat, you’ll want to put it back into your freezer. We want the meat’s temperature to be below 32f (32c).

Mix on the lowest speed

I recommend mixing on the lowest speed here. With a kitchen aid it only takes a few minutes to properly mix your meat and slowly mixing produces the least amount of heat (which is what we want)

Mix the meat till it gets sticky

There comes a point during the mixing stage where your meat will turn from a ground meat consistency to more of a meat substance or batter. As soon as you can grab a small hand full of meat and it sticks to your hand when you turn it upside down, you are finished. Adding 5-10% liquid to your recipe also helps out with this step

Rechill your meat before stuffing into a casing

If you haven’t guessed by now temperature is everything. After mixing, rechill your meat. I personally like to have my meat REALLY cold for this next step. Somewhere around 28f (-2.2c). Colder is better. Stuffing your sausage meat into a casing with the Kitchen Aid is brutal and will very quickly cause the temperature of the meat to rise. Starting off with extremely cold meat will at least give you a fighting chance.

Chill your equipment before stuffing

I like to pop everything into my freezer for good measure here. It won’t hurt.

Properly rehydrate your casings before use

If you can manage to get your sausage made properly, you’ll want to have a nice tender and snappy casing to bit into. One way to make that happen is to soak your casing overnight in the refrigerator. What I like to do is wash any salt that’s on my casings and rinse them out the day before. Then I’ll place then in a cool water with a little baking soda (1 tsp per quarts of water). Finally, I’ll place that into my fridge overnight. The baking soda is added to help lubricate the casing which will reduce the chance of your casing blowing out while stuffing.

Minimize the distance between the stuffing horn and the table

Once you assemble your kitchen aid stuffer you will notice that there’s a lot of distance between the end of that horn and tray on your table. This will put a lot of unnecessary pressure on your sausage links. What I like to do is minimize that distance by simply placing a bin under the stuffer and a tray on top of that bin (watch video to see the example). This reduces that distance and allows you to work more comfortably.

If possible, get someone to help you stuff the sausage

This might not always be possible but if it is, I highly advise it. Having a helper place meat into the auger while you guide the casing is a whole lot easier than having to do it by yourself.

Stuff on the lowest setting

I find that stuffing on the lowest setting works best (especially if you are working alone), but if you have a helper, you can switch it to the #2 setting and see how that goes.

While stuffing, work in small batches

Just like grinding, you will want to work in small batches. I also think it’s better to break off small pieces of meat and allow them to fall into the auger naturally. This works better than trying to smash the ground meat into the neck of the auger with the plunger. Here’s where 2 people really make sense!

Don’t overstuff the casing

An overstuffed casing can easily rupture during the linking or cooking step. My tip here is to gently squeeze on the tip of the stuffing horn as you press down on the casing. Allow the meat to naturally fill up the casing while pulling it out of your fingers. It’s easier said than done, but with a little practice you’ll get the hang of it. One small test to see if you’ve stuffed it correctly is when you pinch your sausage link you should be able to squeeze the sausage and it will leave an indentation. If you squeeze it and it feels like it’s going to rupture, then it’s stuffed too tightly. If you do overstuff your casing, you would be better off coiling your sausage rather than linking it.

Poke out any air pockets

If you notice any air pockets in your sausage link, take a sausage pricker or a needle and just give it a poke. We don’t want air in our sausage. Air keeps the casing from properly adhering to the meat. This could produce fat pockets and a chewy casing

Let the sausage rest in the refrigerator overnight

Finally, after you are all finished, let the sausage rest in the refrigerator (this mainly applies to sausages in a casing). Allowing the sausage to rest in the refrigerator will help the casing dry out and give the spices a chance to really deepen their flavors. The next day or whenever you are ready, cook your sausages on a medium heat (nice and slow). If all went well you will have delicious, plump, juicy, snappy, sausages.

Ok. There you have it. In the video below I put all of these tips into practice so that you can see what each step looks like. I hope these tips help you make better sausage but just remember, if your sausages are still coming out dry and crumbly it’s more than likely not you, it’s the equipment! Don’t give up on the craft.

The recipe below is the recipe I made for the video. It’s just a basic sausage recipe. You can apply these techniques to any sausage recipe.

Here are a few things you might find useful when making sausage

Enjoy the video and the recipe. If you have any questions, feel free to ask away.

2 Guys & A Cooler Amazon Storefront

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Basic Sausage Recipe

Nothing special, just a tasty, juicy, basic sausage
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time25 mins
How much do you want to make? 1000 grams

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Clean your meat of any silver skin, sinew, arteries and cut into small strips or cubes. Place in the freezer till the temp is below 32f (0c)
  • Grind your very chilled meat on a medium plate (6mm)
  • Prepare all of your seasonings and ice-cold liquids and add it to your ground meat.
  • Mix the meat till it becomes very tacky. If you grab a small handful it will stick to your hand if you hold your hand upside down.
  • Stuff the meat into a casing and prick out any air pockets.
  • Twist your sausage into links and refrigerate overnight.
  • Cook your sausages to an internal of 155f (68.3c) and enjoy

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One thought on “How to Make Sausage Like A PRO using a Kitchen Aid Grinder Attachment

  1. Dave Omak
    Dave Omak

    5 stars
    My sentiments exactly on the KA grinder/stuffer…. I made 1 batch of andouille and decided sausage making was not for me… About 10 years later, I tried again and the gear case exploded in the mixer. Bride was not happy. Bought new parts and fixed it, then bought a new #12 grinder and 5# vertical stuffer after joining SMF… I haven’t looked back… Very pricey learning experience…

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