Special Equipment for Meat Fermenting
If you're interested in making sausage and other fermented meats, you need some equipment you may not have in your kitchen already. Fermenting meat requires extra care when cleaning and sterilizing equipment to avoid food-borne illness, so if you have old, rusty equipment, you may want to purchase new.
Meat grinder for fermenting food
To make sausages and other forms of fermented meat, you need a meat grinder. Hand-crank and electric models of meat grinders are available. Hand-crank models are cheaper and suitable for most home meat processors.
Meat grinders are sized with numerals from 8 to 32. This size is the diameter of the throat — the area that you push the meat through — and basically determines how much meat you can grind at one time. A size 10 is good for smaller batches of meat.
Your meat grinder should have a variety of interchangeable plates that the meat is pushed through. The plates have holes in them that determine the size of the grind, from fine to coarse. Different types of meat and different recipes may call for different-sized plate holes. Also, you should be able to take your meat grinder apart so you can easily sanitize it.
If you feel that meat fermentation and sausage-making is going to become a hobby, you may want to invest in a sausage-stuffing machine, which you can buy from specialty catalogs. These machines stuff ground meat into casings — natural or artificial skins that hold meat. Fermented sausages always need casings. Some meat grinders have attachments to stuff sausages.
When you try your first sausage recipe, you can stuff the sausages with a stainless-steel kitchen funnel. If you like the results, then invest in a sausage stuffer.
Room thermometer and hygrometer
When fermenting meat, you must control the temperature and humidity of the room it's fermenting in, and you can't do that unless you have instruments that measure them. A hygrometer measures humidity. Consider a combination thermometer-hygrometer with a digital display. These are relatively inexpensive and can be found in many stores.