In the course of time every person becomes suspicious about the meat products manufactured by large companies or small farms. And this mistrust is quite natural. Today we live in the world where marketing rules most spheres of our life and manufacturers try to prolong the expiry date of their products by using chemical additives and preservatives. On top of this we do want to be sure the consequences won’t be harmful for us and our families.
Lots of people, me too, made up their mind to minimize the purchase of meat products and get into the home production of sausages, jamon and other ham goodies.
First of all, It’s a perfect hobby because the impressing results make happy not only you but others as well.
Secondly, and most important, you can be sure you feed your kids with the best and the safest food.
And thirdly, you get acquainted with the variety of traditional cuisine from all over the world, with its delicacies, and at the lowest costs. And here comes the main topic of my review:
What you need for homemade production of sausage and other meat-fish delicacies.
Today we’ll talk about necessary equipment.
So, the equipment for charcuterie should be of high quality, maximally compact and not expensive compared to the price of professional equipment. I’d point out, you shouldn’t focus exclusively on the low cost of the equipment since the equipment you choose will be utilized in production of small amount of food but still it should be safe.
My conclusions and recommendations are based on almost 10 years of experience in homemade charcuterie, and I’m sure they will suit any charcuterie man who plans to produce from 1 to 20 kg of meat stuff at a time.
Let us start.
The headlines serve as links to the models I recommend.
It should be maximally powerful for home use. The discs to adjust mincing are very important. There should be three of them minimum: small, middle and large. Better if there are more. Avoid plastic housing whatever they write on a packaging. Remember, all professional equipment is made of stainless steel and it’s reasonable.
The nozzles for sausage stuffing in a mincing machine pack is absolutely useless. Using them you will curse charcuterie art and the whole world. The only thing you definitely need is a sausage stuffer.
There are lots of types, vertical, horizontal, with and without an engine. I’ve been using it for many years and I’m very satisfied because of minimum price, there’s nothing to break and the production output is perfect.
This option is used for a small number of sausages, is also very convenient for stuffing shells of large diameter. Differs simply ridiculous value. Take a must!
This device should be in every house regardless of whether you’re charcuterie man or a 23-year old student from Brooklyn who has no idea how to cook.
I’m too lazy to write 20 pages describing all the ways this important device can be used.
I’d point out only one thing, I made an experiment. Fresh steaks had been refrigerated safely for a month.
I had kept cooked ham sealed in an airtight bag in a fridge for 3 (three) months at +4 C. It never went bad and even didn’t change its color. More than that, the ham was fresh and full of nice aromas as if it had been recently cooked.
Smoked coppa had been refrigerated for a year and a half and neither went dry, nor became darker. The coppa was highly appreciated and eaten fast.
Also, apparently the vacuum sealer is an obligatory device when cooking in sous-vide.
I beg you not to buy the ham makers made of metal and springs. Don’t be tempted by low prices. It’s better to purchase this one.
A perfect, handy, eternal device. The only disadvantage — small size, suitable for making of just one kilo of a product. The device is perfect for a good start in charcuterie art but get ready to search for a bigger ham maker.
Link to the review
I’ve been using professional big size (3-kilo) devices for a long time
Not long ago this intricate device has come to our home kitchen from modern french restaurants, however, it has already occupied its honorable place in a cupboard of a real charcuterie man. I won’t describe all the capacities of sous-vide technology, there are special articles devoted to this topic, I will only say «Must have!»
I use this device and I’m very satisfied with it but I could recommend the other one much cheaper, if you’re not searching for high productivity.
I wouldn’t recommend buying non-submersible devices (built in the container). You will be limited by the capacity for only couple of steaks and you won’t be able to make 2−3 kg of ham.
Honestly, I’ve got about 15 different thermometers, for all occasions. There are wireless, transmitting information to the smartphone, infrared ones. Probably, I’m addicted to thermometers, however, I won’t infect you with this terrible «thermometer disease».
I recommend a cheap, simple and quite functional device.
Important and necessary device
This device is not compulsory for a charcuterie man, but it helps a lot when working with minced meat. When you want to make various sausages it’s very important and … hard to knead minced meat until it comes to a definite substance. The food processor copes with this task brilliantly in 5 minutes, and besides it is useful in many other recipes not dealing with charcuterie art.
You cannot miss it. There are many options but I would refer to these two:
If you dispose enough money, then the smoker «Bredley» is a perfect option. A compact one but capacious, and totally automatic.
Or else, I would recommend a smoke generator, like this, and you could make a camera for smoking yourself, depending on what capacity you need. In general, it’s a normal airtight box. Once I saw a smoke generator made of a packaging carton.
It’s not obligatory to buy this simple device, however if you love jerky meat then you cannot do without it. The device combines plenty of different functions. It perfectly dries mushrooms, fruits and any other products.
In the past sausages and other meat products were dried in basements and barns. Nowadays in the age of high tech, still not every person can afford buying a chamber for meat, sausage and cheese curing. This type of device is always manufactured for professional use, which means even a small curing chamber will be quite expensive. However, trust me, the device is really good and worths money spent on it.
I’d rather recommend to make a curing chamber by yourself out of an old working fridge (obligatory «No Frost»)
You will need:
You can easily buy all this stuff at a reasonable price and install within couple of hours, and, here you are, you’ve got your own chamber for curing delicacies.
In this review I do not mention spices, casings and other necessary material.
Well, counting all the prices you can figure out how much it is to make sausages at home, and if by any chance you come to the conclusion that instead of spending money on the equipment, raw material and other necessary stuff, you could save money and rather buy more manufactured sausages in a supermarket, then I’m gonna wish you a very very good luck, cause you’ll definitely need one, plus better health and a good medical insurance.