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How Sausage Gets Made

From breakfast links to hot rope, how our expert butchers create specialty sausage that makes us stand apart from the crowd.

Here at Strip District Meats we only use fresh ingredients to create our line of beef, chicken, and pork sausages, our butchers make the sausage daily and are always trying new recipes. We carry traditional sausages like our English British Bangers, Maple Pork breakfast links, and hot sausage which comes in both pork and chicken. We also make sausages you wont find anywhere else like our Spinach Feta chicken, Citrus IPA pork, and Korean BBQ beef. Our wide variety is all thanks to two local companies who make our seasoning blends for us; Pittsburgh Spice & Seasoning, and Con Yeager Co. both companies give us all the inspiration we need to keep new ideas and old favorites coming.

A Centuries Old Tradition Modernized

Humanity has been making sausage for thousands of years; and while the process is still the same, the tools we use are vastly different. With the help of new equipment we can make a wide variety of sausage daily. For our chicken sausage, we use only boneless skinless chicken thighs, for the beef we use beef shoulder clod, and for the pork, we use boneless pork shoulder.

The butchers start the process by grinding the meat, chicken will only get ground once while both beef and pork will be ground a second time. If the cuts of beef and pork are not fatty enough, they will add trim from the same animal to make sure the mixture holds. Any spices and seasoning will be mixed together before blended into the meat, pictured below are photos of our Spinach Feta Chicken Sausage.

Once the meat reaches the desired consistency, the seasoning will be mixed in.

The mixture will then be transferred to the sausage stuffer to be turned into links, or rope. Depending on the size of the casing, we can make the standard tiny link for breakfast, or dinner size links perfect for the grill.

Both the beef and chicken sausage use a collagen casing, while the pork has a hog casing. Once the sausage is finished it is trayed up and brought out to be sold.

Turning Sausage into Kielbasa

With our smokehouse on site, we have been selling our family style for generations!

The process of kielbasa starts out the same but with two key differences, cure and binder.

Cure extends the kielbasa shelf life, and binder stops the fat from rendering out during the smoking process. The cure is first dissolved in water before being added to the mix, both cure and binder are added during the seasoning process. Once the kielbasa is in the casing, it is hung on a special rack to go into our smoker.

After smoking for five and a half hours, it is brought out to cool down before packaging. When we first started making kielbasa it was a pork based recipe. Through trial and error, we found the perfect spice blend that became The Family Style, which is still sold today. In addition to this, we now make a beef, holiday, andouille, Linguicia and a Polish style kielbasa. Our holiday kielbasa was originally sold only at Easter time, but it was such a hit that we started making it year round. While all of our kielbasa are perfect for grilling season, all of them can really pull a meal together year round. The andouille is a great match for any Cajun rice dish, and the holiday kielbasa paired with some haluszki is perfect for a chilly fall day.

No matter what they are making, our butchers craft the sausage and kielbasa with care. In between each batch all the equipment is thoroughly cleaned to prevent cross-contamination. Using collagen casings for both the chicken and beef based products insures that no pork was is during the process. Our collagen casings are made from a plant based protein. While we carry the crowd favorites every day, our sausage schedule changes monthly, and there is always a chance a new one could arrive at any time. So make sure to stop in whenever you are in the area!

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