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Homemade Frankfurter / Vienna Sausages – A Delicious German Classic

In this article I will show you how you can make Wiener Würstchen (vienna sausages) at home. They are known all over the world and have various names. In the U.S. for example they are called frankfurters.

For the preparation you need a smoker. Alternatively, you can also just scald them, which leads to the fact that you have no smoke flavor on the Wiener sausages. 

For this recipe, I tested to produce them without cure #1. You can tell because the Frankfurters don’t have the typical pink hue. In the recipe I added the cure to get the classic pink color. But as I said, you can also make them without it.

I use an old recipe where the main ingredient is beef. For cost reasons, that’s not happening in almost any industrially made frankfurters these days.

Since you might want to recreate vienna sausages you’re more used to, I’ve added a pork and “frankfurter” variant. The latter contains a portion of veal or beef in addition to the pork.

Enough talking, you can find the complete frankfurter recipe either as video or in written format. 

Have fun and good luck making it!

Making your own Frankfurter – What do you need?

frankfurter-all ingredients

Ingredients for your Frankfurter

Variant 1: This is how they were made traditionally

  • 60 % beef shoulder or neck (600 g)
  • 20 % pork shoulder (200 g)
  • 20 % pork back fat (200 g)

Variant 2: Pork Vienna sausages

  • 50 % pork shoulder (500 g)
  • 30 % pork cheeks (300 g)
  • 20 % back bacon (200 g)

Variant 3: Frankfurter sausages

  • 40 % lean pork (400 g)
  • 35 % pork back fat (350 g)
  • 25 % Veal (250 g)

Spices per 1000 g of meat:

In addition, you will need 15 – 20 % crushed ice or ice water as for the chopping process later on.

Equipment for making Frankfurter

Meat Grinder

You need a meat grinder to “grind” the meat. The meat is chopped into small chunks with it.

Food processor / Thermomix

In a food processor, the minced meat and ingredients are mixed into a very fine mass. If you have a Thermomix, you can also use it for this process.


The frankfurter must be smoked before they are cooked. For this reason you need a smoker. 

Sausage stuffer / attachment for the meat grinder

You need this to get your meat mass into the casing. For the beginning you can also use a filling attachment for your meat grinder.


To fill your sausage you need a natural sheep casing caliber 20/22.

Making Frankfurter – Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Cut your meat and back fat into strips. The size varies depending on how big your meat grinder is. The bigger the grinder, the bigger your pieces of meat can be.

frankfurter- cut

2. Put the meat in the freezer for 1-2 hours. This will help later on with the grinding process and the temperature.


3. Grind your spices (except for the cutter phosphate) to a fine powder.

frankfurter- grind

4. Now it’s time to grind the meat. Grind the meat through the finest perforated disc (2mm). Let the meat through the meat grinder twice.The next steps will be easier this way.

frankfurter- grind meat

6. Put the meat mixture into a sausage cutter or your food processor. Add the salt, cure, spices and cutter phosphate to the mixture.

frankfurter-food processor

7. Mix the meat and add some crushed ice from time to time. The crushed ice is used to make your mixture nice and creamy. Mix until it forms a nice cohesive mass.


8. Measure the temperature in between. The meat should not be warmer than 12 C° (53,6 °F), otherwise your mass will lose its binding and the sausage will crumble later on.


9. You can fill the mass into the casings. Make sure that not much air gets into the casings. 


10. Next you can link the sausages. You can decide for yourself how big you want your wieners to be.


11. Hang your frankfurters into your smoker / smoking chamber to dry for about 1 hour. Alternatively, you can also let them dry in the smoker for 10-15 minutes at 40 °C (104 °F) without smoke.


12. When your Vienna sausages are dry, you can smoke them at 60 – 70 C° (140 – 158 °F) for 45 – 60 minutes. The duration depends on your personal preferences. Depending on how much smoke and what color you want.

frankfurter- 60 minutes

13. After smoking poach your Frankfurter for about 15 minutes in 80 C° hot water (176 °F). Let them cool in an ice bath afterwards or eat them hot and fresh.

frankfurter- hot water

11. There they are, your Frankfurter sausages. Enjoy!

frankfurter- ready

What is the shelf life of Frankfurter?

If you vacuum the sausages, they should keep refrigerated for about 3 weeks. If you store them in the refrigerator without vacuum around 1 – 1.5 weeks.


Cooked Sausages

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