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Dry tasting sausage

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi folks. I just finished making a trial batch of breakfast sausage. I made a 2 lb. batch of sausage using the following recipe:


Homesick Texan Breakfast sausage

2 lbs of ground pork  
1 tablespoon of sage
2 teaspoons of marjoram
2 teaspoons of thyme
2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

I used a pork butt that had been ground twice. I think it needs a little more salt, a little less sage but the main thing is that it tasted like it need more fat. It was too lean almost mealy tasting for breakfast sausage. This is not the first time this has happened to me. I have never needed to add more fat to any of the other sausages I make using a pork butt. Any suggestions. I am not new to making sausage but a good breakfast sausage seems to elude me.




post #2 of 16

Maybe you ground it too fine if it tastes mealy.  I use a little ice water as a carrier for the herbs and spices and also to add moisture.  You could even use some ice cold red wine.  If there is not enough fat in the meat, it will be dry.

post #3 of 16

I would say you need more fat, too.  When I make Bratwurst I use equal parts of pork and veal, but I also add actual pork fat. I use half of the weight of either the pork or the veal so the meat/fat proportion is 4:1

post #4 of 16

The 4:1 meat to fat should be a good to go. ratio. I also always add chilled water to help mix spice. 



Originally Posted by Retread View Post

I would say you need more fat, too.  When I make Bratwurst I use equal parts of pork and veal, but I also add actual pork fat. I use half of the weight of either the pork or the veal so the meat/fat proportion is 4:1

post #5 of 16

I  agree, about using water as a source to help mix in the ingredients, but I grind my breakfast sausage with a fine plate...If it's to course it seams to be to chunky for my taste. One other thing, grinding the sausage twice may be over working it. The fat will start separating out from the meat and will not be mixed in thought the meat evenly. Are you stuffing it or making patties? When you over work meat, the fat will get caught around the outside layer in-between the casing and the meat. You want an even distribution of fat through the middle of the meat. after you mix your seasoning cook a little piece, cut it open and look at it, you should see fat pieces through the middle of meat, not just meat in the middle. If you over cook it,  it will have a dry almost mealy taste too, caused from cooking out all of the fat.....Several other things I do is, use a good food grade silicone to help prevent the meat from sticking in the grinder, spray all the part that come in contact with the meat. I chill (NOT FREEZE) the meat really well, I will put it in the freezer until its firm on the outside and it’s still soft in the middle, then grind it, mix the seasonings into the meat, back into the freezer till it firms up (NOT FROZEN) again, then into the casing (my grinder has an attachment for stuffing).... Then it’s ready for the freezer or smoker.... Hope this helps Shoneyboy 

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

OK,  I added another 1/4 lb of fat to the mixture along with a little more salt. Cooked a sample on a really low fire. Tasted much better this time. Still a little mealy but I think that was from grinding it twice. I will grind once from now on.I have 5 more lbs of meat that is already ground ready to use. This is what I intend to do with it. I will add about 2 lbs of ground fat. I am making patty sausage. I think I will partially freeze the fat before I grind it as well as placing the grinder parts in the freezer.. I like the idea of spraying the inside of the grinder with a non stick spay before grinding but that won't be necessary this time. I feel like I am getting really closer to a good quality breakfast sausage. Thanks for all the suggestions guys, I appreciate it. Anyone need help on a killer Texas Hot Link I have perfected my recipe on it. I have even won a few blue ribbons with it. Would be more than happy to share it with you guys. Next week I am tackling making my first batch of home made Pepper Cured Bacon. When I was a kid my mom would bring some pepper cured bacon back from the base commissary in Austin, Texas. I am out to recreate that bacon.


Thanks again. I love this site.


post #7 of 16

I'm always open to try a new recipe if you are willing to share it......SB

post #8 of 16


Now I like our sausage alittle on the leaner side so when I'm smoking it I always start really low and bring the temps and the smoke up slower then normal. If the sausage getts too hot then it will melt the fat and it will drain out and be dry. So slow it down and enjoy the smoke. Oh yea this method sometimes requires more beer too.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Here ya go.

Texas Hot Links

1 (6 pound) pork butt
1 bottle beer
2 tablespoons black pepper, coarsely ground
2 tablespoons red pepper, crushed
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons kosher (coarse) salt
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon MSG
1 teaspoon Tender Quick(I use Insta Cure #1)
1 teaspoon bay leaves , ground
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon thyme, dried

Mix all spices with beer.

Grind pork for sausage.

Mix beer/spices thoroughly into the meat.

Form into sausage links and grill or smoke.


I don't use the cayenne pepper as I am still recovering from throat cancer and cannot eat hot spicy foods. I do however throw in a handful of Jalapeno Nacho Rings rough chopped.

This recipe I believe came from Big Wheel on the internet. I never use water when I can use some type of flavored liquid.



post #10 of 16

Lone star, are you formin these Naked or stuffing into casings? If stuffing what size. BTW you sure got a bunch of pepper in there!icon_eek.gif

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

The hot links are being stuffed into 32 mm casings and as I said, I do not use the cayenne pepper at all. I just listed because that is the way the recipe came to me.


post #12 of 16

A couple suggestions.  Try mixing the seasonings with the meat before the first grind while it is in small chunks; let sit for 30 min. before grinding to let the seasonings absorb and natural moisture from the meat to form, moistening the meat without adding more liquid.  Grind through the coarse plate once for flavored sausages (Italian, brat, polish, etc.) and then stuff.  For bulk (patty) breakfast sausage, grind twice through the coarse plate.  Cook on medium heat, turning often, keeping patties medium thickness so they don't overcook to be able to get the centers done, otherwise it will be overcooked on the outer layers and dry.

post #13 of 16

How much time do you spend mixing the meat before stuffing? And what salt are you using?  You want to shoot for 1.5% salt so adding more with help but a spoonful of kosher is lighter then canning salt, so the type matters. the salt also aids in the development of the proteins that bind the meat together. You need to mix the ground meat spices and salt until it becomes sticky. The stickiness is telling you that the proteins are developed and binding the meat.  If not it will taste dry and mealy like you described.

post #14 of 16

Great suggestions here.  My thoughts were fat content, mixing, or grind.  My natural tendency, which I have to fight mightily, is to get lazy with the mixing.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #15 of 16

sounds like over mixing 

post #16 of 16

Actually the mixing helps to form the emulsion.  My guess would be he got a lean butt. 


Good luck and good smoking.

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