One of the most important aspects of making your own sausages is learning how to tie and cut the links. Although this technique might seem tedious and complicated, you’ll be making and separating sausage links like a real butcher once you figure out how easy it is.
To tie a sausage link, all you need to do is pinch and twist every 5 inches of the meat. Repeat this process until you’ve reached the end of the sausage link. Then, to cut them, just use the tip of a sharp knife to carefully separate each link.
In this article, I’ll explain how to tie and cut sausage links in detail. I’ll also give you some valuable tips on how you can make this process even easier.
How to Tie Sausage Links
Making homemade sausages involves more steps than you might imagine at first.
Before you start tying links, you need to stuff the casings with the meat filling.
Once you have ground the meat and added the necessary seasoning, you can fill the casing with a grinder or a sausage stuffer.
To avoid the casing bursting during the process of tying links, don’t overfill it. Instead, leave some air inside the casing as well.
Sausage casings come in different sizes, and they can either be natural or synthetic.
The shortest sausage casings are 2 meters (6.5 feet) long, while the longest casings are 14 meters (45 feet). Usually, a sausage link should be made every 12.7 centimeters (5 inches). But, of course, you can adjust the length of each sausage according to personal preference.
Most sausage cases are also edible, so people usually don’t mind leaving them on the sausages even after they cook them.
The Sausage Link Tying Process
To start tying sausage links, place the sausage casing (which should be already filled with meat) on a clean surface.
Measure the first 5 inches and nip that spot using your thumb and forefinger. Do this gently enough to leave a noticeable dent.
Then, take the casing on both sides of the link and gently twist it around at least five or six times. Be sure to rotate the casing in the same direction.
Repeat the same process until you have reached the end of the sausage casing. If there are any air holes made by the twisting, take a toothpick and carefully pierce them.
When you’ve finished tying the sausage links, place them in your fridge for 24 hours.
It would be best if you could hang them so they dry evenly. But if you don’t have enough room, simply place them on a baking sheet on a refrigerator shelf.
To ensure they dry evenly, turn them around a couple of times throughout those 24 hours.
How to Cut Sausage Links
Cutting sausage links is a much easier process than tying them.
Simply remove the sausage casing from the fridge and place it on a clean surface. Hopefully, the links should be dry by now.
If you take the sausage out of the fridge too early, the meat inside will be too sticky, and you won’t be able to separate it from the casing if you decide to remove it later on.
To separate each individual link, use the tip of a knife to cut the link. You should do this carefully so as not to accidentally cut the casing as well.
Additionally, make sure you do this before you cook the sausages. It will be much easier this way.
At this point, you can remove the entire casing if you want. However, keep in mind that this might cause your sausage to lose its shape when you start cooking it.
As mentioned before, sausage casings are edible, so you might as well leave them. Some people prefer to remove the sausage casing after they cook them, but this might cause your sausage to fall apart as well.
If you decide to remove the casing after you’ve cooked the sausages, wait for the sausage to dry out. You can even use cold water to rinse it. The point is to do this while the sausages are cold since it will be easier to remove the casing this way.
Tips for Tying and Cutting Sausage Links
Prepare Everything Beforehand
In the process of making homemade sausages, you should prepare everything beforehand. Sausage casings are no exception.
Therefore, it’s always a good idea to rinse all the casings with cold water. In addition, fill a bowl with cold water and soak the casings for about 10 minutes.
User Butcher’s Twine
When making links, you can also use a type of thin rope called butcher’s twine. Simply tie a knot around each pinched spot to make sure that the links are tightened.
Don’t forget to puncture any air bubbles inside the casing. Although they may seem harmless, air bubbles can lead to mold or bacteria.
Leave Some Air Inside the Casings
You should also leave some air inside the casings. If you overfill them, they might burst when you try to cook them.
If you decide to remove the casings after you’ve finished cooking the sausages, or if you have some leftover casings, you don’t need to throw them out.
This especially applies to natural sausage casings, which are made from animal skin or intestines. These types of sausage casings are usually covered in brine.
Therefore, all you need to do is wash them, let them dry, and place them in your refrigerator. Note that you can keep them in the fridge for a whole year.
Try the Clockwise and Counterclockwise Method
Another method of tying sausage links is to twist the first link in one direction and the next in the opposite direction.
This is otherwise known as the clockwise and counterclockwise method. While others just recommend that you rotate the links in one direction.
Freeze the Sausage Before Cutting the Links
A helpful tip for cutting sausage links is to place your sausages in the freezer before you do this.
Leave them for about 15 to 20 minutes to let them dry off. You should also do this if you notice that the filling is sticking to the casing.
Those just starting out making sausages might wonder how to tie and cut sausage links.
Unfortunately, there are more ways than one to mess up the process of creating and separating links. However, practice and patience go a long way.
Once you have it all figured out, you’ll be tying and cutting sausage links twice as fast.