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Newbie summer sausage questions

post #1 of 2
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Hi, I am a newbie here and to smoking!  I received a Masterbuilt 40" electric smoker for my birthday and love it!  So far I have smoked ribs, pork butt, and brisket, but want to try summer sausage next.  I have looked over some of the recipes here and think I will try a jalapeno cheese sausage.  I think I will try JJRokkett's recipe here http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/76925/jalapeno-cheese-smoked-summer-sausage.  I have the meat grinder attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer that I received for Christmas and found the el cheapo 3lb stuffer at Cabelas in the bargain cave for $20 (after I bought it based on the reviews it may not have been such a bargain).  I know this is probably bottom of the line equipment, but hope it will at least get me started.  Now for some questions, is there any cut of beef that works better for summer sausage or do I just buy something cheaper like a chuck roast?  I assume something like a pork butt will work well for the pork portion, but do I leave all of the fat on both the pork and beef?  is it best to do a coarse grind, mix all my spices together, do a fine grind, mix in the cheese, and then stuff?  What are opinions on seasonings, is it best to buy the ingredients in the recipe above, or should I purchase a seasoning mix?  What does it mean to "bloom" the sausage?  Sorry for all the rookie questions and thanks in advance for any advice!

post #2 of 2
Hello Sniff.... First off, welcome to SMF and were glad to have you aboard.. Can you swing over to roll call and introduce yourself in the roll call forum so we can give you a proper welcome............................................................................................................................... I would go with a single grind with your smallest plate. you can use all beef or beef and pork. If I use both I use it at 70/30 beef/pork. I tend to like my summer sausage lean at 90 percent or above but many have had great results with 80/20 but you have to be careful of fat out. Before you tackle summer sausage I would buy a small amount (maybe 3 lbs) of ground beef and do a test run. If you bought one of those stuffing horns, there not very good..... I recommend a 5 lb vertical stuffer. I grind, season, stuff then smoke. You can cube, season ,grind then stuff like others do . Its amatter of preference. It will all come out the same... It would be easier to get a summer sausage seasoning mix if you are just staring out................................................. Blooming is nothing more than letting your sausage dry and "age" at room temperature before you package it for storage......... The longer you bloom the links, the deeper and darker the color will become. I find that, in most cases, 2 to 3 hours of blooming seems about right. I usally bloom in the fridge overnight Good luck and happy smoking Joe
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