Kitchen appliance first look reviews Lakeland make-your-own sausage kit
Lakeland’s new ‘make-your-own’ food kits aim to capitalise on the current trend for entertaining and creating gourmet meals at home. We tried the make-your-own sausage kit to see if it really makes it easier and cheaper to dine in in style.
We tried out several of the new Lakeland sausage kits including the Lincolnshire and Cumberland flavours, and, while the end result was declared universally tasty at a Which? staff BBQ, we found the process of making them somewhat frustrating.
Not so cheap to make
The kit costs £8.99, and makes approx 20 sausages. Included are instructions, 4m of sausage casing, a piping bag, and some breadcrumb/seasoning mix.
By the time we’d bought 1.5kg of pork mince (the one ingredient that you need to buy separately) at £2.50 per 500g pack, we’d spent a grand total of £16.50.
Buying the kit components separately, for equivalent amounts (e.g. one piping bag/150g bread mix /4m casing) would cost approximately £3.55, saving you around £5, although you’d probably have to buy in larger quantities than this and therefore pay out more upfront.
Alternatively, buying 24 of our Best Buy sausages at £2.69 for a pack of six would only set you back £10.76. So making your own is certainly not the cheapest option, but shared between a group it would probably be cheaper than dining out.
Hard work but tasty results
Is making your own worth it then, for the satisfaction of a home-made sausage and the freedom to experiment with new flavours?
We found that, whilst it was satisfying to make your own sausages, and the outcome was delicious, the experience was quite hard work.
It is possible to get good results with this kit, but it takes patience and practice, and mistakes are costly when you only have one chance to get it right without wasting the whole kit. On our first attempt we ended up throwing away half the mince after our researcher’s arm got tired and the piping bag started to split.
Easy to prepare sausage mix
Preparing the sausage mixture was easy enough - you simply combine the mince with the seasoning mix provided and some ice-cold water. This goes into the piping bag, which you cut a hole in the bottom of. You then cut a section of the casing off and hold it over the end of the piping bag, and, in theory, squeeze the mince into the casing, producing one long sausage, which you then twist into smaller ones.
We found this difficult to master. It’s hard to hold the casing steady and squeeze the thick sausage mixture one-handed, and smoothly, through the piping bag and into the casing. Towards the end the piping bag started to split and our arms ached from trying to keep up the pressure.
We ended up with a good pile of sausages though, albeit a few in slightly odd shapes and sizes. On a second attempt, we found that the process was slightly easier with another pair of hands (one person to hold the casing steady and the other to squeeze the piping bag).
Which? first look verdict
This kit is a nice introduction to homemade sausages if you want to experiment, and could be good gift for a foodie friend.
But if you are serious about making sausages there are other, reusable, options which aren’t much more expensive. A dedicated sausage machine can cost upwards of £100, but you can buy mincers with sausage-filling attachments for as little as £20. If you have a kitchen machine you may be able to buy a sausage attachment for this, too.
Pros: Sausages were considered tasty and authentic looking, simple instructions
Cons: Difficult to get the technique right, tiring to use