Making sausage is a great way to know exactly what is in your sausage. I do make my own fresh and cured sausages, as well as bacon. That being said, I read 5 or 6 books on the subject before I made any sausages. I recommend any of Stanley Marianski's books. The one I learned the most from was his book "Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages". He also has a pretty good book on smokehouse construction etc.