The fifth annual Creative Sausage Making class, a joint venture between the Meat Science Section of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, was held on January 12-13, 2018 at the Rosenthal Meat Center. Thirty participants, representing barbecue companies, foodservice distributors, retailers, chefs and backyard enthusiasts came to learn sausage production from start to finish.
During the program, participants learned the science of basic sausage production, differences in casing types, sausage cooking/smoking and food safety. With the assistance of Meat Science graduate students and faculty, and additional technical support from Rick Fitzgerald (A.C. Legg), participants formulated their own batches of both fresh and cured/smoked sausage from a list of different sausage choices, stuffed them in natural casings and prepared them for packaging or cooking.
After the sausage was made, the students assisting with the program took over. They made sure that each participant’s product was properly labeled, then the fresh sausage was chilled and packaged. The cured/smoked products were hung on sticks, placed on a smokehouse truck and cooked in the smokehouse at the Rosenthal Meat Center. After cooking and chilling, the products were packaged, matched with each person’s fresh sausage and placed in individual Texas A&M coolers for distribution.
Starting off Day 2, Dr. Matt Taylor and his students led the class through some practical ways to maintain food safety as they take their newly developed sausage making skills back home.
Dr. Wes Osburn and Dr. Davey Griffin led and coordinated the program, respectively. A tremendous group of Meat Science graduate and undergraduate students started preparing for the course earlier in the week by making example batches of each of the sausage products available for participants to make during the workshop. The products that they made were sampled during the last day of the program to give participants a better idea of what to expect from their own products when they got back home.
It takes a great deal of help and service to make workshops a success. Students involved in making products, leading groups, cleaning the lab and helping with all the behind-the-scenes activities included Chi-heng (Martin) Wu, Sam Annor, Kourtney Daniels, Eric Hamilton, Wade Hanson, Jill Jobe and Brogan Horton, Hannah Laird, Hillary Martinez, Kathy Modrow, Lokesh Motanam, Katy Jo Nickelson, Cassie Peña, Jacob Valenta, Kayley Wall, Caleb Wong de la Rosa, Hayden Blumberg, Jordan Hevner, Kenna Turner and Kirby Bohls.