Did you know that over 165 million Americans ate pork sausages in 2020?
The numbers are a bit lower when it comes to beef, turkey, and chicken sausages. However, you can’t deny that Americans love sausages. So, it’s no wonder they’ve started asking if it is cheaper to make their own sausage. Does the time you invest in making sausage pay off?
In the long run, it does. Continue reading for the detailed answer.
Making Sausage vs Buying It
For most people today, buying sausage is an everyday activity while grocery shopping. It hasn’t even occurred to them to make their own. Others have been considering turning to homemade sausage, but not knowing if it’s cheaper to do so stops them from trying.
According to several sources, this is the average price of different sausage types in supermarkets and grocery stores across the US:
- A usual four or six-pack of an average-sized sausage costs up to $6
- You could get a pack for $3 when on discount
- Smoked sausages can be a bit more expensive, at least $4 per pack
- Homemade sausages from butcher shops usually cost $1.5 per pound
- Some more renowned brands can cost up to $4 per pound, like Esposito’s Finest Sausage
- Pickled sausage can cost up to $32 per jar
But is it cheaper to make your own sausage?
The first concern you may have is the equipment. Professional meat cutters and sausage makers claim you don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive gear. A simple manual hand grinder works well for those who want to make sausage for noncommercial uses. What’s more, you can buy ground meat, so you don’t need to grind it yourself. Stuffers are nice to have but aren’t a necessity.
Nancy Kungel, a professional meat cutter, says you can get pretty good tools for less than $100. For instance, those who have a mixer or a food blender can check if these kitchen tools are compatible with meat grinder and/or sausage stuffer attachments. If so, the entire investment could cost around $30.
After that, all you need is meat and spices. Be careful to buy “non-pumped” meat if you want to avoid your sausages being too salty. Meat quality is just as important as the right equipment. Still, this small investment pays off if you compare the costs with those who regularly buy sausage in the long run.
How Much Is Sausage Casing per Pound?
You can usually buy sausage casing in butcher shops where they make their own sausage. You can also try hunting shops, or they’re even available on Amazon.
Butchers will buy natural sausage casings by the hank. One hank is typically enough for 80-125 pounds of meat, depending on the diameter of the casing. These packs generally cost around $30 and are around 90 meters long.
The cost of sausage casing per pound really depends on the type of casing:
- Natural hog casings can cost between $15 and $30 per pound.
- Natural sheep casings can cost between $40 and $60 per pound.
- Collagen casings should not cost more than $35 per pound.
When buying hog casing, you should look for 32-35 or 40-42 mm diameter sizes. Sheep casing is typically smaller, with 22-24 or 24-26 mm in diameter.
Buying a hank of casing might be a lot if you’re just making sausage at home for you and your family. Unless you know how to properly store casing for long-term use, the options that stuff 15 pounds or 25 pounds of meat might be best.
In Summary: Enjoy the Homemade Sausage
As you’ve discovered, making your own sausage needs a bit of investment in the beginning. You need to buy some equipment to get started. And if you want to make a quality sausage that’s not going to be too salty, you also have to purchase additive-free meat.
But is it cheaper to make your own sausage? Very much so. Other than the initial equipment investment, you only need to buy the meat and casing. It turns out to be cheaper in the long run.