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TentHunter
12-03-2010, 07:52 AM
I got the new sausage stuffer and am planning on giving it a workout this weekend.

I've been making fresh Breakfast, Italian, Bratwurst & Hungarian sausages for a few years now, and I've had some success with some uncured hot smoked sausages. But with the help & advice of Nepas, Deb & Art (ACW3), my forray into the world of cured smoked sausages started last evening.

I started by mixing up 5 lbs of 80/20 ground chuck for some Summer Sausage.

I looked at at least 35 or 40 recipes and here's the spice mix I came up with. It contains : Cure #1, Pickling Salt, Dry Mustard, Mustard seed, Course Black Pepper, Granulated Garlic, Coriander, Brown Sugar & Powdered Buttermilk.
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPkC41K7D7I/AAAAAAAAAN0/pSslAaZXaEY/SSMIX.JPG

I mixed the spices together then with the 80/20 chuck packed into a container, covered and into the fridge it went. I took it out this morning to mix again, recovered then back into the fridge for another day and a half to finish curing.
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPkBQFmwaTI/AAAAAAAAANs/56nAstYi2l8/s640/SSCURING.JPG

More to come...

jimsbarbecue
12-03-2010, 07:59 AM
Please. I just got a LEM. No supplies yet,So all the info you have please share. Never to many photos

Big Poppa
12-03-2010, 09:15 AM
Im next this is killing me

TentHunter
12-03-2010, 09:41 AM
Please. I just got a LEM. No supplies yet,So all the info you have please share. Never to many photos

Absolutely!

Now I haven't tasted it yet (obviously), but here's the spice mix I came up with. It has 25-30% less salt than most of the recipes (I prefer the lower sodium). These are the amounts I used:


5 Lbs Chuck, ground (looking for about an 80/20 mix)

1 level tsp. Cure #1 (a little less might be ok, but DO NOT use more than that!)
5 tsp. Pickling Salt or fine Sea Salt
4 tsp. Dry Mustard, Mustard seed or a combo (I used 2 tsp each)
1 tsp. Course Black pepper
1 tsp. Granulated Garlic
1-1/2 tsp. ground Coriander
5 tsp. Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Powdered Buttermilk (optional - to give it that lactic acid tang.)


We'll see how this recipe fairs in a couple days! If the smell I smelled when I gave it another stir this morning is any indication, then it should be good!

Cliff

Deb
12-03-2010, 09:51 AM
Tent - can't tell for sure how tight that plastic is next to the meat but make sure it is right up against the meat with no air in between - it will be a prettier red that way instead of grey where the air is. It won't hurt anything but it just be prettier :)

TentHunter
12-03-2010, 10:17 AM
Good to know; Thanks Deb!

Edit: Is it better to totally wrap the mix in the plastic to get a better seal?

nepas
12-03-2010, 11:08 AM
Lookin good

Deb
12-04-2010, 05:33 AM
Good to know; Thanks Deb!

Edit: Is it better to totally wrap the mix in the plastic to get a better seal?

I bet that would work

TentHunter
12-04-2010, 06:50 AM
Tent - can't tell for sure how tight that plastic is next to the meat but make sure it is right up against the meat with no air in between - it will be a prettier red that way instead of grey where the air is. It won't hurt anything but it just be prettier :)

As soon as I got home from work last evening I checked and it was tight against the meat (whew!).

TentHunter
12-04-2010, 04:33 PM
Before I go any further, I must give a Disclaimer and warning:

Disclaimer: I am a newbie on smoked and/or cured sausage. So what I am posting & sharing here is merely what I've experienced & learned so far. I AM NOT AN EXPERT!

Warning: Smoking sausage carries responsibility on YOUR part! NEVER try to cold smoke sausage unless its been cured with an appropriate cure containing nitrites or nitrates. Doing so could lead to Botulism poisoning! FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS THAT COME WITH THE CURE or consult someone who is more qualified!

If you choose to avoid the use of Nitrates/Nitrites and Hot Smoke sausage, then you MUST: 1) Accept the responsibility your yourself. 2) KEEP YOUR MEAT COLD! And 3) When you hot smoke it, get the internal temp up and out of the danger zone (40 - 140 F) quickly to prevent the formation of the bacteria.

This is important; PLEASE be smart and research this stuff for yourself!

LTS
12-04-2010, 05:24 PM
If you really want to get ito sausage making you really should buy this book

"Great Sausage Recipes and Meat curing by rytek kutas"

Barnes*&*Noble.com - All Product Search: great sausage recipies and meat curing by rytek kutas (http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?WRD=great+sausage+recipies+and+meat+c uring+by+rytek+kutas&page=index&prod=univ&choice=allproducts&query=great+sausage+recipies+and+meat+curing+by+ry tek+kutas&flag=False&r=1&ugrp=1)

Barnes and noble

It is kinda the sausage making bible I have learned a lot out of here and it is also FULL of recipes, I am only about a 1/4 of the way through the recipe section yet and have turned out some good sausage and brats from his book

LTS

Deb
12-04-2010, 05:29 PM
That's a good book, I have that one.

TentHunter
12-04-2010, 05:32 PM
This weekend I am also making some Smoked Polish Kielbasa & Smoked Cajun Andouille Sausage. By request I am trying to share the details, so please forgive the long posts. :)


I'm using two different smoking methods to show the difference.

The Kielbasa will be uncured and therefore HOT smoked. The Andouille will be Cold smoked and therefore cured.

What do I mean by cured & uncured? They both contain salt but I'm referring to whether or not the sausage contains a curing agent that includes Sodium Nitrite or Nitrate. These cures are commonly referred to as Cure #1 and Cure #2

I started with 6 lbs. of pork shoulder (this is the picnic shoulder I skinned and boned when I made the doggie treats a couple weeks ago).
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPq9GReqgGI/AAAAAAAAAOI/FTmv7FeBgVM/SMK01.JPG


IMPORTANT: ALWAYS weigh your meat, AFTER you remove bones, skin etc., so you know how much spice mix and/or cure to use! NEVER GUESS!!!
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPq9GittEnI/AAAAAAAAAOM/C-7Q8wweqTA/SMK02.JPG

Polish Kielbasa & Andouille are similar sausages. Andouille is spicier and usually smoked a little heavier. So I chose to make 1 mix for both sausages and then simply added the additional spices for Andouille.

Both contain: Pickling Salt, Marjoram, Smoked Paprika, Course Black Pepper, Mustard Seed & Granulated Garlic. The Andouille also contains: a little more paprika, Cayenne Pepper & Red pepper Flakes. Since its being cold smoked the Andouille also contains the appropriate amount of Cure #1.
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPq9GrSBP3I/AAAAAAAAAOQ/6SxPnu2YdtI/s640/SMK03.JPG

Note: its hard to see in the pic, but the cure #1 has little red flecks in it so it doesn't get confused with regular salt.


There are two basic ways to mix sausage. You can start with ground meat, then add the spices. Or cut the meat into small cubes, coat with the spice mix and let it sit to absorb the flavors, then grind it. For Fresh sausage I like to start with ground meat, but for Smoked Sausage I seem to get better results with the second method.

Edit: Some folks also like to add a bit of water or mix the spices with a bit of cold water to help incorporate the spices/salt into the ground meat.

The sausage is now cubed, spiced and sitting in the fridge for about 6 - 8 hours.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPq9G8YzkHI/AAAAAAAAAOU/oefxXF7D9Tg/s640/SMK04.JPG




Here's my spice mix amounts. Note this has a lower sodium mix than most recipes. I try my best to avoid unecessary/excess salt whenever possible (high blood pressure)!

Kielbasa - per pound of meat:
3/4 - 1 tsp. Salt (3/4 for lower sodium)
1/2 tsp. Marjoram
1/2 tsp. Paprika (I use Smoked Paprika)
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
1/4 tsp. Mustard seed
1/8 tsp. Granulated Garlic

Andouille - per pound of meat:
Same as Kielbasa plus add:
1/4 tsp. additional Paprika
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Ground Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes




To be continued!

TentHunter
12-04-2010, 05:45 PM
If you really want to get ito sausage making you really should buy this book "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat curing by rytek kutas"

Great Tip! I remember Deb posting that book in another thread and was actually getting ready to look it up when I read your post!


So far everything I've learned has been by a lot of online research, cook books we have, library, asking folks (like Deb & Nepas) and experimenting with recipes flavors.. But that book is definitely going on my Christmas wish-list!

Thanks! :D

Big Poppa
12-04-2010, 06:59 PM
You are having a lot of fun arent you?

ACW3
12-04-2010, 07:11 PM
Tenthunter and I have been "conversing" via PMs recently. I bought a Cabelas horizontal sausage stuffer a while back and I have limited my experiments to pre-packaged flavors that contain the proper amount of cure, the spices, and the casings. My wife has already ordered the Rytek Kutas book for one my Christmas presents. When I finish using up all the different flavors of sausage, I will start expanding my horizons. I have done 15 pounds of elk and Russian boar summer sausage that came out really well. Tonight I made my first beef sticks. Only one blow-out. I consider that a success. Tomorrow they go on the MAK to get some smoke into them. I just bought more pork to grind and some 80/20 beef burger. I plan to try a few more types of sausage soon. It is fun, and the results are really good. This could be addictive. Nepas, is this how you got "hooked"?

Art

nepas
12-04-2010, 07:42 PM
As everyone can see there are many ways to make fresh and smoked sausage. TH puts the dry right onto the meat. I grind and mix the dry with water for better incorporation into the meat. Either way works good.

TH

Try these when you get a chance.

Chorizo 10 lbs. Cut it in half for 5 lbs

7 lbs lean beef (pre ground is ok)
1 1/2 lbs pork butt
1 1/2 lbs beef fat (trim from a brisket works good here) NOTE: If you dont have beef fat just ass another 1 1/2 lb of pork butt.
2 level tsp cure #1............1 level tsp for 5 lbs
5 Tbs non-iodized salt
3 Tbs spanish paprika
3 Tbs cayenne
2 Tbs crushed red pepper
2 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tbs mexican oregano
1/4 cup dextrose (powder)
1/4 cup corn syrup solids
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup chilled distilled water
2 cups non fat dry milk
33-36mm hog casing (enough for 10 lbs) rinse inside and out and soak in water with 1 Tbs vinegar 30-60 mins prior to stuffing, rinse again before stuffing.

Grinding is through the med plate.
Mix all the dry with the water and incorporate into the meat. A second gring is up to you, I normally dont.
Stuff into casing in 5-6" links.
Hang or rack in smoker at 130-140* with vent open or door cracked for about an hour for casings to dry. (no smoke)
Close vent to 1/4 and or close door. Set heat to 150-155* for another hour with smoke. Raise heat to 170* with smoke. Smoke at this temp until the IT (chorizo) reaches 152-155*

When IT is reached cool the chorizo with cold water, Hang at room temp to bloom.

Cut links and package 4 to a vac bag, They will keep frozen for 6 months.


Kielbasa.......10 lbs or cut for 5 lbs

6 lbs lean beef (pre ground is ok)
2 lbs pork butt
2 lbs beef fat.......(same as above chorizo recipe)
2 tsp cure #1
5 Tbs non-iodized salt
2 Tbs dextrose powder
2 Tbs garlic granules
2 Tbs yellow mustard seed (ground)
1 Tbs white pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cardamom
1 cup cold distilled water
1 cup non fat dry milk

Prepare and stuff as stated in the above chorizo. Place stuffed links in fridge overnight and smoke the following day in the same manner as chorizo.

Easy Peasy

nepas
12-04-2010, 07:43 PM
Art

I been doing this since i was 17. Many moons ago when we had salt petre.

TentHunter
12-04-2010, 10:56 PM
You are having a lot of fun arent you?

You bet I am!

I just used the new stuffer and Oh my word does it ever work nice! Its so much faster than the hand crank grinder/stuffer. I am really glad I spent the extra $$$'s and got a well built one. Next will be a better grinder.




TH Try these when you get a chance...

Oh yeah! My son & I love Chorizo, and nutmeg in the Kielbasa... I love the aroma & flavor that nutmeg gives to brats. I can taste it just thinking about it. Both recipes will be getting a try for sure. Thanks again NePas!

BTW, I PM'd you a question regarding the Summer Sausage smoke/cook.

TentHunter
12-04-2010, 11:38 PM
The Kielbasa & Andouille have been ground, mixed again & stuffed into hog casings. We fried up a small piece of each to test and are happy. Cant wait 'till they're smoked.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPsYH9X-12I/AAAAAAAAAOs/W6bYyZr77rI/SMK05.JPG


The summer sausage is stuff into their cotton casings and fit perfectly into two of the casings made to the size NePas instructed.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPsYH_PeFlI/AAAAAAAAAOw/O-gzCW5HXU0/SSCHUBS.JPG

All are on their wire rack beds tucked into the fridge to dry overnight. Tomorrow they get smoked!

Deb
12-05-2010, 04:26 AM
Nice Tenthunter

nepas
12-05-2010, 07:17 AM
Looks good TH

Them cotton bags will get a nice smoky color to em.

nepas
12-05-2010, 07:21 AM
One thing to remember. On your MAK the temps wont be low. Smoke setting is at 175-180* Starting at a temp like this will cause cavitation of the fat in the meat thus making a possible fat-out. Try to put as much distance between the SS and the heat or even in the side smoke shelf until the meat starts to tighten up, then into the heat area.

TentHunter
12-05-2010, 11:46 AM
All good to learn and know!


Big Poppa you could publish a NePaS Sausage book. It would sell like hot cakes (and sausage always goes good with hot cakes)!

TentHunter
12-05-2010, 12:36 PM
My son and I have to go play in a concert in Kent Ohio, so I'm going to get the smoker setup & going so the Summer Sausage & Andouille can cold smoke while we're gone. Its cold and snowing right now, which is fine it will help keeps temps down for this.

My son just started a small amount of charcoal while I made up the foil pellet pouches. I'm using a mix of half Apple & Half hickory for the smoke.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPvn94gcEhI/AAAAAAAAAPE/wD5-UmGXqUA/PELLETS.JPG

I'll setup a row of charcoal and use the minion method to allow the charcoal to ignite slowly and set the pellet pouches along the top of the row to provide about 3 hours or so of cold smoke.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPvt-bMdviI/AAAAAAAAAPM/kIsQWIpBw10/PELLETS2.JPG



There was some extra room in the smoker so its a perfect chance to throw a little cheese on to cold smoke along the sausages ;).

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPvt-sd_9ZI/AAAAAAAAAPQ/E4eQbp8ZyYU/COLDSMOK.JPG

The smoker is closed up, the light smoke is already starting and I have to leave now so I'm not late for the concert. I'll be checking back in ASAP.

Big Poppa
12-05-2010, 01:02 PM
I may sneak over and eat it before you get back

Deb
12-05-2010, 01:30 PM
this thread keeps getting better!

cowgirl
12-05-2010, 01:32 PM
Looking great TentHunter!

TentHunter
12-05-2010, 07:29 PM
We got back home about 7:25 p.m. A little more than 4 hours after we left. The Concert went well, although I knocked a percussion wooden block block off a stand & it went crashing to the floor during the very first song. I called it my wooden block solo! lol

Well we got home and the pit temp was still hovering right around 80 after 4+ hours. Pit temp is now raised & stabilized at around 180 - 190. The Andouille is almost done and the Kielbasa is now on. Remember the Kielbasa was not cured with Nitrite so it had to go on a hot smoke.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPxJCtHOOMI/AAAAAAAAAPY/-LDyXUDgVEc/s640/HOTSMOK1.JPG


Its snowing like crazy here! The pit is under a canopy to keep the snow off.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPxJC8qDsdI/AAAAAAAAAPc/a0G__EIWWUI/SNOWPIT.JPG

Stay tuned...

nepas
12-06-2010, 06:33 AM
Looking good......cept the snow DO'H


Oh yeah i guess i missed dinner huh.......Nice TH

TentHunter
12-06-2010, 08:00 AM
The Kielbasa (uncured) went on shortly before the Summer Sausage & Andouille were finished. This allowed me to slowly raise the pit temp to around 225 for cooking the Kielbasa.

Per NePas' recommendation, I pulled the Summer Sausage when the one had an IT of 148 (the other was at 149). It rested at room temp on wire racks for about two hours to allow the sausage to bloom (this apparently allows the dark color to develope).

The Andouille Sausage was pulled at just under 152. and all except one piece (for taste testing) went into a tub of very cold water to get the temp down quickly. The helps to prevent shrinkage & wrinkling by congealing the fat so it doesn't run out.

The Kielbasa was cooked in less than two hours and pulled at an IT of 162 then dunked in cold water just like the Andouille.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPxs9bSnp5I/AAAAAAAAAP0/erDgDQ5gMUw/ALLDONE.JPG

This is a peice of andouille (upper right) and Kielbasa (lower left) we tested... Yummy!
They were both very good. The Kielbasa's smoke ring is thick leaving only a small amount of brown in the center. The Andouille has a deeper smoke flavor & very nice heat that hits the back of your throat but isn't overwhelming. Note: the cured Andouille is pink all the way through.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPxs9u4ArSI/AAAAAAAAAP4/uFh0-BFg4d8/CROSSCUT.JPG



Cooking & Giving Uncured Hot-Smoked Sausage a Pink Color:
Although the Danger Zone is between 40 - 140, to be on the safe side, I like to take uncured Hot-Smoked Pork Sausage to an internal temp of 160 - 165. The Sausage is fully cooked at this point. Just be sure to dunk whatever your not eating in ice cold water right away to keep it from fatting out.

Two things I quickly learned that helps develope a good thick smoke ring for a nice pink color:
1) Put the sausage on at a pit temp of around 180 - 190 then slowly raise it to 225.
2) I use a clean finishing nail to prick the uncooked Kielbasa every inch or so. This prevents steaming & cooking too quickly so the smoke ring has a chance to develope.

This was sliced after cooling in the fridge overnight. Note the fat has congealed, and again, the cured Andouille (left) is pink all through and the uncured Hot-Smoked Kielbasa is slightly brown in the center. This does NOT affect the flavor whatsoever.
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TPz3dzGwyeI/AAAAAAAAAQA/NsdTrKBwUkY/s640/SMKSLICE2.JPG


Once again, I'm not an expert on this stuff; this is merely what little bit I have learned so far! :)

I'll post pics of the sliced Summer Sausage ASAP.

ACW3
12-06-2010, 08:07 AM
Looks good! I smoked two different sausages yesterday. Six pounds of beef sticks and six pounds of pepper and garlic (lots of garlic) pork sausage. I cooked the beef sticks at around 170 - 180 on the MAK. It had some cure in it, so that is why I chose the lowest setting. The pork sausage, on the other hand, was cranked up to 225 because it did not have any cure in it. The outside temperature was in the mid 30's with the wind blowing. All came out good. Got really busy and did not take any pictures. I'll try to remember next time. I may try some of Nepas chorizo soon.

Art

TentHunter
12-06-2010, 08:50 AM
The pork sausage, on the other hand, was cranked up to 225 because it did not have any cure in it.

Very wise! Cook it quick so there's no time for the botulin bacteria to form.


Art, we need pictures my brother... lots and lots of Pics!

nepas
12-06-2010, 01:58 PM
Your doing real good there TH. All looks great.

In your andouille if you want the deep red add more paprika.

http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/stlthy1/Fresh%20and%20smoked%20sausage/and66.jpg


I course grind the fat and add it to the med grind meat.
http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/stlthy1/Fresh%20and%20smoked%20sausage/and65.jpg

http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/stlthy1/Fresh%20and%20smoked%20sausage/DSCF5221.jpg

Some on my MAK
http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/stlthy1/Fresh%20and%20smoked%20sausage/DSCF5219.jpg

CarterQ
12-06-2010, 02:06 PM
You guys are killing me with this! I should know better than to look around here at lunch time! Looks great so far Tent, hopefully Santa hooks me up with a stuffer this year, definitely looks like fun. Thanks for all the great pics.

nepas
12-06-2010, 06:48 PM
Is it sliced yet...Is it sliced yet...Is it sliced yet...Is it sliced yet...Is it sliced yet...

TentHunter
12-06-2010, 09:35 PM
Is it sliced yet...Is it sliced yet...Is it sliced yet...Is it sliced yet...Is it sliced yet...

He he!! Yepper, here it is!

The flavor was quite good. It was plenty tangy enough for my taste and even though my mix was about 30% lower in salt than any other recipe I found, everyone who tried it said it had plenty of salt.

Next time I think I'll try adding some crushed red pepper flakes and even more mustard seed. I love that little 'pop' and burst of horseradish flavor you get from biting into a mustard seed! :o For my first Summer Sausage I am very pleased!

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TP2qe8nXi6I/AAAAAAAAAQU/dvVaRsdn55E/s640/SSCHUB2.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_lV0r2WmItQc/TP2seSlbNaI/AAAAAAAAAQc/LVI0Xa3mjck/s640/SSCHUB.JPG


BTW, I love these cotton casings. They're rustic and very economical. My wife bought 2 yards of the unbleached cotton muslin material for $5 and we will get a total of 18 3" x 15" casings from that. That's only 28 per casing.


Thanks everyone for looking, and thanks to Deb & NePas for all the advice & help.

TentHunter
12-06-2010, 09:57 PM
In your andouille if you want the deep red add more paprika...

Funny you should mention that; If you look at the pic of the spices you can see where there was more paprika and I took some off the plate. lol



I course grind the fat and add it to the med grind meat.

Those Andouilles you made look fabulous with the bigger chunks of fat! My hand crank grinder only has one plate and I really want a better grinder since I am enjoying this. I debated between an electric grinder with a stuffing attachment or a stuffer... The stuffer won out. This close to Christmas money is a little tight, so for now I may just order a course plate for the grinder I have.

Deb
12-07-2010, 04:22 AM
Those came out great TentHunter!!

squirtthecat
12-07-2010, 05:55 AM
Fantastic!

nepas
12-07-2010, 07:09 AM
Nice job TH

The Amish use the cotton sausage bags here. So i figured its cheaper to make em than to buy em.

Try something different with the bags next time. Soak them in water with 3 Tbs of apple liquid smoke for 2 hours. Take em out let em dry then stuff.........Nice

Big Poppa
12-07-2010, 07:11 AM
You guys are good!

TentHunter
12-07-2010, 07:38 AM
Being so close to Amish country in Ohio, I can see the Amish influence in your sausages. I remember your posts about Ring or Trail Bologna. In fact Troyer's Trail Bologna isn't far from us at all.

I want to try to making some sometime, so I'll be asking lots of questions when that time comes :p.

I will definitely need a better grinder first though.

nepas
12-07-2010, 11:06 AM
Being so close to Amish country in Ohio, I can see the Amish influence in your sausages. I remember your posts about Ring or Trail Bologna. In fact Troyer's Trail Bologna isn't far from us at all.

I want to try to making some sometime, so I'll be asking lots of questions when that time comes :p.

I will definitely need a better grinder first though.

Ask away

I have the Cabelas 1/2 hp. I found its good enough for what i do and it goes through meat like crazy. I ended up buying the jerky slicer for it also, Gotta count yer fingers after using that.

TentHunter
12-13-2010, 06:34 PM
This quote is copied from another thread:

...TH, The longer the Summer Sausage sits for the smoke to marry with the meat the better...

Oh my word, is that ever true! I finally cut open the second Beef Summer Sausage yesterday to make a meat & cheese tray to take to Church. After sitting for a week the mix of Hickory and Apple smoke flavor was very mellow and absolutely not overwhelming at all!

The Summer Sausage was a huge hit! As was the Andouille and the smoked cheeses. I had to refill the tray twice. People kept asking, "Did you really make this?"

One other note: I am so glad I decided to reduce the salt levels by 25 - 35% for all of the sausages. I asked folks to comment on spice, salt, smoke level, etc. Absolutely no one thought they needed more salt.

My one friend who doesn't even like summer sausage ate several pieces. He says the store bought stuff is just too strong for him, but this was milder and he could actually enjoy it.


Thanks again Deb & NePaS for all your help and advice! I learned a lot & now feel confident that I can make some cured sausages. Thanks to everyone else too for the encouragement. This forum ROCKS! The great sausage experiment will continue...

jimsbarbecue
12-13-2010, 07:14 PM
I just ordered my Christmas present a LEM #8 meat grinder. I wil give it a whirl and let you know how it does. One of the features I checked was overall weight and I didn't need to grind a hog a hour.

TentHunter
12-14-2010, 07:56 AM
I've been looking at the LEM and the Cabelas grinders, so I'll be looking for your review Jim!