Sausage is a mighty food weapon. Full of fat and flavor, we stud many a home-cooked dish with it. It’s our secret weapon for Thanksgiving stuffing, a bevy of breakfast eggs, warm wintery soups and pasta bakes. But buying sausage in the pre-packaged section at the grocery store is for amateurs, and that’s just not you, kid. Get out your meat grinder and your hog casings, and get ready to get more than a little dirty. Just remember: Where there are guts, there is glory. Let’s sausage!

1. Breakfast Sausage: Be the captain of your own AM adventure with this homemade breakfast sausage. Keen on fennel? Double up. Can’t handle the heat? Dial back. You’re the boss. (via Love and Olive Oil)

2. Cheddar Jalapeño Sausages: This easy-to-follow tutorial is great for the novice sausage maker. Plus, cheese is involved, so yay! (via All Day I Dream About Food)

3. Chicken and Pancetta Sausages With Rosemary: This chicken sausage is fortified with pancetta and studded with chopped rosemary. We’re into it. (via Lucullian Delights)

4. Sheboygan Style Brats: These guys are perfect to eat while watching football — because everybody wins. (via Food52)

5. Andouille: Daydreaming about New Orleans? The jazz, the cocktails, the beads, the andouille. Bring the French Quarter to your kitchen with this Louisiana classic. (via The Paupered Chef)

6. Polish Kielbasa: This traditional-style Polish kielbasa is heavy on the garlic and marjoram and is smoked for flavor and for color. (via Honest Food)

7. Pork Sausages With Apple and Caramelized Onion: With ground pork, garlic, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, caramelized onions and sweet apples, this how-to is a home run. Goodbye, sausage. It was nice knowing you. (via Adeline and Lumiere)

8. Longganisa Filipino Sausage: Exotic and delicious, these Filipino sausages are served with rice and fried eggs. No passport required. (via Adora’s Box)

9. Stuffed Chorizo Sausages: Stuffing chorizo sausages by hand is hard work. Eating them is very, very easy. (via Eat Live Travel Write)

10. Spicy Italian Sausage: We like this Italian sausage recipe for its expert use of red wine. We’ll take an extra glass on the side, please. (via Pass the Sushi)

11. Merguez Sausage: Merguez is a North African lamb-based sausage, and this recipe makes good use of warm spices like cinnamon and sumac. (via Healthy Green Kitchen)

12. Chicken Sausage With Basil and Tomatoes: With enough fat and a good technique, even the humble chicken can be a sausage superstar. Let this charcuterie mastermind show you how. (via Michael Ruhlman)

13. Lamb and Anchovy Sausage: Peanut butter and jelly, mint and chocolate, peas and carrots… lamb and anchovy. This is a thing. Please trust us. (via From Belly to Bacon)

14. Mortadella: A traditional Italian sausage, mortadella can physically resemble the Oscar Meyer bologna of your lunchbox days of yore, but the similarity ends there. This version is sweetened with red wine, cinnamon and mace, and studded with aromatic pepper berries and merry nibbles of pork fat. A thing of beauty. (via SBS)

15. Boudin Balls: Just in case you’re living under a rock and you haven’t heard, boudin is the king of cajun food. A rice-stuffed sausage, heavily spiced and good with just about anything, this freestyle boudin-ball how-to is casing free and unfussy. We like. (via Chow)

16. Homemade Hot Dogs: Store-bought hot dogs? How gauche. Why buy a mysterious sausage from the store when you can make a much better one at home? (via The Burkett Blog)

17. Spicy Mango Chicken Sausage: Spicy and sweet, with fresh cilantro and a smoky pow of paprika, this chicken sausage is eager to please. (via Serious Eats)

18. Seafood Sausage: Prefer fish over pork? Sail away with this seafood sausage. (via Chubby Hubby)

Have any expert-level sausage-making tips you care to share with the whole class? Leave us a comment below or say hi on Twitter.