Useful Tips for Making Low-Fat Sausage

Control what goes into your links by making sausage at home

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Sausages. © 2015 Creativ Studio Heinemann/Getty Images, licensed to, Inc.

If you're a fan of sausage, the high-fat content of the links may have led you to seek out a low-fat variety. You can buy such sausages from a grocery store or from your neighborhood butcher, but if you have other concerns about the healthfulness of sausage, you should consider making your own. That's right sausage doesn't have to be manufactured in a factory.

Of course, by making your own sausage at home, you can control the ingredients, spices, and fillers.

Those on a low-fat diet can control the fat content of homemade sausage, but keep in mind that less fat will mean a dry sausage. How low fat your sausage is depends on your own unique tastes.

If you're worried that your health concerns will result in you sacrificing flavor or quality, strike a balance between the two. Maybe add a little more fat than you originally set out to do but eat less. Or make a lower fat sausage and eat more. Decide which version will meet your health needs and whet your appetite.

How to Avoid a Dry Sausage 

Lower fat sausage doesn't have to mean dry sausage. You can use different methods to give lower fat sausage more moisture. For example, adding fruits, such as chopped apple or raisins will add moisture back. You may also try onions, mushrooms and other moisture-rich veggies. Even tofu will contribute more moisture to sausage links. The great thing about this method is that if there's a fruit or vegetable you really love, you can enhance the flavor of your sausage links with it.

Apple is an especially common fruit used in sausage making.

You can further reduce the fat content up to 20 percent without sacrificing moisture by cooking fresh sausages, draining the fat and then patting the links dry with paper towels. Using sausage in small amounts as a flavor accent instead of as a main dish will also help reduce fat in your diet, yet still let you enjoy a bit of sausage.

Consider this good news if you've been told you need to lose weight but are dreading eliminating all the foods you enjoy, such as sausage.

Sausage Cooking

If you've never made sausage before, use recipes and cookbooks to help you during the process and to learn about the origins of sausage and how it's manufactured. The collection of recipes below, for instance, includes a wide variety of sausage blends along with instructions about using sausage. The important thing to remember about any recipe is that it is easily adjustable to fit the tastes and needs of your own family, so feel free to adapt any of the following recipes:

What Is Sausage and How Is it Made?
Sausage Types and Forms
Sausage Casings
• Reducing the Fat in Sausage
• Sausage and Health
Sausage History
General Sausage Recipes

If you'd like to explore sausage making in more detail, consider reading any of the cookbooks below. Some are designed especially for cooks, like you, who prefer to make their sausage links at home. And if you've bought sausage from a grocery store, you're likely already familiar with famous cook Bruce Aidells, whose sausage is mass produced throughout the country. His books​ are on the list.

Home Sausage Making

The Sausage-Making Cookbook

Bruce Aidells' Complete Sausage Book

Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages