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Summer sausage questions

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

I've got a question about summer sausage.  My understanding was that summer sausage was made to be kept without refrigeration.  As a result my wife and I had planned on making smoked cheese and sausage baskets for family members for Christmas.  We found two recipes on morton salt (pepperoni and salami) that we tried making and enjoyed.  I used morton tender quick as the recipe calls for and pretty much followed directions except I used fibrous casings and smoked in my electric smoker at low temp instead of baking at 325 in the oven like the recipe directs.


The website directions say to keep in the refrigerator and use within 3-5 days or freeze for later use.  My question is whether the company is just being conservative or if there is some process the recipe doesn't employ that allows true summer sausage to remain good without refrigeration.  If the sausage has to be refrigerated that kind of ruins the whole gift basket idea.  I certainly wouldn't want to make anyone sick with sausage I give them so can anyone provide guidance to make the summer sausage without need for refrigeration if I'm missing something?


One of the recipes:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 1/2 level teaspoons Morton® Tender Quick® mix
  • 1 teaspoon Morton® Table Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Few drops liquid smoke, if desired
  1. Combine all ingredients mixing until thoroughly blended.
  2. Divide in half. Shape each half into slender rolls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic or foil. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Unwrap. Bake on broiler pan at 325 degrees F until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of a roll reads 160 degrees F, 50 to 60 minutes.
  4. Store wrapped in refrigerator. Use within 3 to 5 days or freeze for later use.



Thanks for any help you can provide!

post #2 of 2

I go by this below.


Unopened bologna in fridge 2 weeks. Freezer 1-2 months


Dry smoked style sausage (pepperoni, salami, jerky) un opened 1 year in your pantry. Or opened in fridge 1 month.


Smoked & cured Summer sausage, Bologna unopened vac sealed in fridge 2-3 weeks. Vac sealed frozen 6-8 months



Fresh style sausage in fridge (zip lock) 1-2 days or freeze for 1-2 months.


Most dry cured style sausage, salami and various charcuterie cured with cure #2 can be shelf stable for months.

Sausage cured with MTQ or Cure #1 should not be in a plastic zip lock on your counter for longer than 2 days, zip lock style bags create moisture and can spoil the meat.


The ABOVE mentioned fridge and freezer time are what i use. Use your best judgement on how you will store.

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