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Summer Sausage. How long to cure, ferment, bloom??

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi experts,

 

I've made fresh linked sausages a few times, but haven't yet tried fermented or smoked sausages. As a beginner project, I'm planning to try a 3 lb beef/pork summer sausage this week. I've looked at many postings and many different recipes, but there seems to be a lot of variation in how long people allow for curing the meat mixture, fermenting the sausage, then allowing the sausage to bloom after smoking is done.

 

Here is the best I can gather for a generic procedure:

1 - Grind the meat/fat.

2 - Mix the salt and Cure #1 into the ground meat.

3 - Place the meat mixture into the refrigerator. Let cure from 1 hour to 3 days, stirring daily.

4 - Mix in the spices.

5 - Stuff the casing.

6 - Let the cased sausage hang at room temp from 0 to 2 days. At a mininum, it should hang long enough to be dry to the touch.

7 - Smoke slowly, keeping the smoker temp about 25 degrees hotter than the IT of the sausage. Go to IT of 152 to 155 deg.

8 - Cool sausage down rapidly in cool running water.

9 - Hang at room temp for 0 to 4 hours to bloom.

10 - Refrigerate overnight to 1 week for best flavor.

 

Assuming I've got the basic process covered, I'm uncertain how long to go on steps 3, 6, and 9.  I'm planning to keep this initial sausage attempt refrigerated after completion, and eat it within a week or so. But it would be nice to know how to make it shelf-stable so that it will stay good for a few days without refrigeration if need be.  Also, I wonder how much the texture and flavor are compromised if the curing and fermenting steps are on the short end of the spectrum.

 

I'd be grateful for any expert advice.

 

Thanks very much in advance,

Clarissa

post #2 of 4

I usually mix then stuff into casings and then put into fridge over night to cure. DO NOT HANG AT ROOM TEMP!!! # 6 is wrong!!! You need cure 2 for that not 1. You just need to hang long enough for all residual heat to leave so that it doesn't condense moisture when putting into a cold fridge. 2-4 hours is usually plenty.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Johnson View Post

I usually mix then stuff into casings and then put into fridge over night to cure. DO NOT HANG AT ROOM TEMP!!! # 6 is wrong!!! You need cure 2 for that not 1. You just need to hang long enough for all residual heat to leave so that it doesn't condense moisture when putting into a cold fridge. 2-4 hours is usually plenty.

 

Thank you very much, Mike. That is exactly the kind of info I am looking for. It was a Len Poli recipe that called for fermenting the summer sausage at room temp for 48 hours (only using Cure #1), and that gave me the heebie-jeebies. I don't know enough to screw around with fermentation yet.

 

Thanks again for the info!

Clarissa

post #4 of 4

I know this is old - but I would like to add to this for the OP or other searchers.  I just finished reading "Charcuterie", Rulhman and finished my first batch of about 10 lbs.  (Qview and thread coming soon).  I think I can simplify your method a bit:

 

Here is the best I can gather for a generic procedure:

1 - Grind the meat/fat. ---OKAY, make sure very cold/partially freezing - never let the fat get to room temp for bonding reasons - can use large plate.

2 - Mix the salt and Cure #1 into the ground meat. Mix all spices together and run through kitchenaid w/ paddle mixer for 2 minutes.  This makes the primary fat bond that makes it sticky like the sausage your used to handling.

3 - Place the meat mixture into the refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap and push out all air, where as little air as possible touches the meat. Let cure from 1 hour to 3 days, stirring daily. - 1 to 2 days - I would avoid stirring as this only introduces air.

4 - Run through the grinder one more time with smaller holed plate

5 - Stuff the casing. Natural hog is preferable (not the mahagony ones people always use)

6 - Let the cased sausage hang at room temp from 0 to 2 days. At a minimum, it should hang long enough to be dry to the touch.(1-2 hours for drying - I hung up in the smoker and just let it sit before heating.

7 - Smoke slowly, keeping the smoker temp about 25 degrees hotter than the IT of the sausage. Go to IT of 152 to 155 deg.OK taking off at 150 is fine.

8 - Cool sausage down rapidly in cool running water.

9 - Hang at room temp for 0 to 4 hours to bloom.Definitely do this step - that's where the Hog casings turn the beautiful pink! Not sure if running under cool water messing up the bloom or not - I do that for smoked sausage but didnt for smoked summer sausage.

10 - Refrigerate overnight to 1 week for best flavor.

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