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I am fairly new to the sausage game, and for some reason they always turn out grainy instead of nice and snappy!

I have even gone so far as to fully freeze my meat instead of just chilling (I have a beast of a meat grinder at home and only did this once out of frustration) as I heard that grinding and mixing when the temp goes above a certain temp is usually the culprit.

I have also tried even throwing my meat into the food processor with some ice until it becomes a freezing cold sticky mess. (I also have just had the meat freezing cold while I have it in my stand mixer for a 2ish minutes)

Have I been over-chilling this whole time? Is that even possible? What else could I be doing wrong? I am making sure to keep my meats at about 20% fat, and for ~3 pounds of sausage I also add about a tablespoon of whey as a binder.

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  • What quality is it you are describing as 'snappy'?
    – Spagirl
    Jun 12, 2023 at 10:25
  • When you bit into it/snap it open, that pop you feel with most sausages.
    – Flotolk
    Jun 12, 2023 at 12:22

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You can go a bit higher on your fat percent. Traditional recipes are up around 30%. No need for any binders...and no reason to go crazy on the ice. First, chilling and working with cold grinder parts is all about chopping the fat, rather than having is smear or melt. I worry that a food processor creates too much friction. I wouldn't use it. With 3 pounds of product, you should be able to work quickly enough for this not to be an issue. I regularly make 5 - 8 pound batches.

Dice up your meat and fat, add salt and spices, and put all that in the freezer for 20 or 30 minutes, along with your grinder parts, before grinding. Better yet, if you can plan ahead, salting and seasoning your chopped meat a day in advance and keeping in the refrigerator will help with binding, but put in the freezer before grinding. It can be almost frozen. After the grind, mix using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Just a couple of minutes, until it becomes sticky. While you are mixing, add wine (prefered for flavor) or water...up to 10% of the total weight, which will add moisture. Also consider your cooking technique, as overcooking can also lead to a more crumbly texture.

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