Knockwurst sausage is an emulsified sausage (like Frankfurter) so when it comes to making a homemade knockwurst you need to be strict with temperature control. The preparation must not exceed 15.6°C or 60°F.
I'll go through a detailed method statement to ensure that you get a good emulsification but before starting I recommend that you read my article about making homemade sausage if you haven't already done so.
Knockwurst is an American spelling, the original German is knackwurst which literally translates as "crackle sausage". I'm guessing that the crackle is effectively the snap that you hear when the sausage is broken or bitten into.
No doubt you'll have seen knockwurst sausage in cans on the supermarket shelves and if you read the ingredients list you'll see that it is a mix of pork and chicken. In Germany, knackwurst would traditionally have been made from pork and veal, it also wouldn't be linked as such long sausages as you find in the cans so I'll leave it with you as to how long you want to make your links.
The traditional serving accompaniment for a knockwurst sausage is sauerkraut.
Back to the ingredients you'll see that I'm going for a mix of pork, beef and turkey so mine is definitely a knockwurst and not a knackwurst sausage.
Emulsified sausage requires not only strict temperature control but also a lot of mixing steps which are a whole lot easier if you have a power food mixer / processor. It's not essential but I would certainly recommend one of at least 1 KW power because the mixing can put a lot of strain on the motor.
Keeping control of the temperature is best done using an instant read probe thermometer.
Yield:- 1.5 Kg or 3¼ lb
If you have room, put your sausage stuffer in the refrigerator to keep it chilled.
Dice up the meat into 1" cubes and pass it through the grinder using a 4mm plate (the smaller the better). Put the ground meat in a bowl and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Mix the water and seasoning (not the crushed ice) in a bowl to make a paste and ensuring that the salt has fully dissolved and then place this mix in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to ensure that it is cold.
Now remove the meat from the freezer and, the seasoning and knead the mix vigorously for 5 minutes to ensure that you have an even distribution of the seasoning throughout the meat. Return the mix to the freezer for a further 30 minutes which will make the ground meat crunchy but not set solid. This is the time to set up your food mixer.
Dependent on the size of your food mixer you may need to do this next process in two halves.
Place the ground meat in the mixing bowl and add the crushed ice and then mix for 30 seconds. Check the temperature.
Continue this process of 30 second mix followed by a temperature check until the temperature reaches 4°C or 39°F. When you reach this temperature reduce the mixing time to 15 seconds with 15 second intervals to check the temperature.
You can stop mixing when either when you have a good emulsification or the temperature reaches 12°C or 54°F, whichever comes first.
Note: You can tell when you have a good emulsification because the meat mix will have a glossy sheen and the paste appearance of a soft ice cream.
When you have reached this stage, don't "over-emulsify" just return it to the refrigerator while you get the stuffer ready.
Stuff the meat into the casing and make your links short and stubby if you want the traditional knackwurst, longer if you want a more modern knockwurst sausage.
Place your links in the refrigerator, cover with a paper towel and leave overnight to let the seasoning fully disperse.
Now it's time to smoke your homemade knockwurst sausage, use our guide to cold smoking here.
Poach to cook and serve with sauerkraut.
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