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Summer sausage and grease

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I tried making a 15 pound batch of summer sausage. I used High Mountain and followed the recipe which was to mix, refridgerate for at least 12 hours and the cook as follows:
1 hour at 120
1 hour at 140
.5 hours at 160
finish at 180 until internal temp is 156.

I did this and right now the sausages are cooling down. My question is regarding the amount of grease that came out the back of my MES. I thought that the lower temps would keep the fat from melting but I had a mess. Did I have the temp too high?
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
I used all beef hamburger left over from a 1/2 cow. I would guess it was about 20% fat.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Just beef. I tried some and it is good but there is a layer of grease on the outside I will need to remove before offering it to anyone. My main reason for making it was to clean out my freezer before hunting season. Next time I will try to put some pork in the mix because every recipe tends to call for it. Oh well, the freezer is cleaner and the sausage is okay.
post #4 of 13
I would guess that your thermometer is off. The temps you tried to hit seem fine and I would guess the ground meat was about 20% fat also.
post #5 of 13
agree with the others, those temps are not high enuf to render the fat, i would also guess your thermo is not reading correct.
post #6 of 13
Well I have used the kits and you did nothing wrong. If ya hand mixed did ya notice amount fat residue on your hand? When hand mixing I am forever washing them getting the fat off. When I got a meat mixer you would be amazed at the amount of fat stuck to the side. After smoked I submerge in ice water and then wipe off the excess of the casings. If your hanging them get a small needle and poke 2 to 3 holes in the bottom. If your laying them down on a rack place 2 to 3 holes in the casing as well.
Now I have taken my deer to different butchers and have mixed results. What I found out was they was mixing fat that was still frozen into the burger and the results are its not mixing with the meat. Our club buys bulk hamburger in pattys already. All of a sudden we was getting so much water outta the burger we wasn't accustomed to. After further research the butcher fessed up what he was doing. He didn't like eating his own burger when we served it to him.
Now the grease out the back did come out the end you tied off or secured? Next time you get a beef specify what fat content ya want.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I think the thermometer might be the problem. Before I bought the MBE, I used a Big Chief for smoking and then my oven in my kitchen to finish things off. The MBE is often finishing up in about 1/2 the time I used to need in my oven. I will contact them tomorrow and see if they can help me with this problem. Thank you everyone for your time to answer my question.
post #8 of 13
Yeah curious. Your thermo accurate? Could you have measured the coolest hunk in the bunch by chance? Also...did you do a icewater rinse/dip immed. after temp was reached?
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
I had the temp set on the control panel and a meat thermometer in one of the logs. Maybe I did measure the coolest or hottest log/spot but my main concern was the amount of grease that dripped from the casings. I had a mess and I did not think that I would have any, as the fat should have remained solid - or so I thought at those temps. I did ice them down and the sausage tastes fine. You bring up a good point however in that maybe both the control unit is off and my electric thermometer is off. I will need to boil some water and see what my reading is. Thanks.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just checked my electric thermometer in boiling water and it read 212 so I think the problem is in the MBE control. I will contact them tomorrow.
post #11 of 13
Put yer probe thru a spud and crank it up to verify....
post #12 of 13
I think you will find that your thermometers are fine. Heres a question for you. If you slow cook a hamburger to 155 internal degrees will you not get some fat run off? Now if you do multiply that by 15 and now you have a lot. I stuff my casings (2 1/2 inch) to about 2 3/4 lbs a piece. I have had the end I tie off had fat or grease spray out the end. The casings that come with kit do have holes for the fat/grease to escape. I have never done a batch of Summer Sausage where I didn't have to clean them up. I have GOSM Big Block so I am fortunate to have a catch basin in the bottom. I just helped a friend do a 15lb batch and everything I used was covered in fat. When mixing your meat did you feel any fat on your hands to had to wash off? Your next batch plan on the same amount of fat/grease run off.
post #13 of 13
beef fat tends to melt at a fairly low temperature. I suppose if you'd mixed in some pork it'd ameliorate the process somewhat.
Generally with beef sausage you use lean beef and the fat comes from pork fat which melts at ahigher temp.
Cheap hamburger is way too fatty for me to use in sausage and %20 fat content may be a little conservative.

Also I suppose it depends how thick the sausage was.

I smoke some sausage recently. Just held it at 175 for 5 hours. Don't have any food thermometers yet - but it was pretty much perfect.
The fat thing wasn't an issue as I keep the fat content in my sausage very low.

If you make the same sausage again it might be an idea to mix in oats as they tend to absorb more fat then the rusk you get in commercil mixes.
Take black pudding for example. Mixture of fat oats and blood. It's the oats that hold it all together.
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