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more sausage - Page 2

post #21 of 29
I always love Pop's Posts. Experience matters and besides that, he has the best Avatar on the Internet!

This deal with the spices brings up an interesting dilemma. Namely what is a small quantity sausage maker going to do about spices? The Butcher-Packer prices for a spice mix for 25 pounds at $4 or less? You can't touch that. My breakfast sausage recipe calls for summer savory and where I could find it, it was $6 for less than 1 ounce. OK, I can justify that because it's a lifetime supply, assuming the quality holds up over time. So you start buying this stuff and as Pop's says, it won't be long until you get a spice rack full of odds and ends of various quantities and degrees of freshness.

Most large quantity sausage makers buy premixed, pre-packaged spices. Buy enough of them and you can even have custom mixes made for you. But until you get up to a large enough quantity, that doesn't work either, so if you buy the pre-mix, you have to get happy with the mix they offer. Depending on one's taste, it may or may not be good. One of the advantages of little guys like us is we get to make what we like....unless we cave and buy someone else's taste in spices. The best situation would be finding one you really like. Problem solved.

Lacking that, perhaps another solution is to figure out what you like and make your own large quantity. Mixing batches using cups instead of tablespoons. Go to the bulk spice section of the grocery store or Sam's Club and buy a pound of ground pepper instead of a 4 oz can. Same for all of them. Bulk up!

But assuming you do that, how can you keep spice mix for 100 pounds of sausage fresh? Vacuum pack it?

(While you all think about this, I'm off to the store up the road, which as of today is selling whole butts sliced into pork steaks for 89 cents a pound. About 10 pounds of those are going to be converted into cold smoked breakfast rope sausage. Gotta check the spice rack before I go to see what I'm short of).icon_wink.gif
post #22 of 29
Nice sausage session, Pops! And that breakfast sausage seasoning recipe--does it get any simpler than that?

Hog Warden made a very good point though. It's pretty hard to consistently make fresh sausages with stale seasonings, so I buy mine prepackaged and vacuum packed. It is trial and error to find mixes you like, but it helps if you can trade sausage or recently-opened seasoning packets with someone you trust. Buying the very small blends like for a 5# batch gets expensive fast.

Rant over! Bowhunting starts this Friday, so I hope to get some of my own sausage Qview going soon.
post #23 of 29
The sausage all looks wonderful. For me the recipe experimentation is half the fun. NOt knocking anyone who uses premix it is simplier I am sure. As far as spice storage goes I buy in bulk and freeze whole spice as well as others in pint jars. I have the freezer space and it keeps really well for a long time that way. Just my 2cents. LOL
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
yepper, you're all right! There's different strokes for different folks, whatever you like! I went to the expense of buying identical seasoning packets from different producers and making test batches with them; I found for my tastes that Butcher Packer offered the most complex, well-rounded premixed seasonings at the most affordable prices. But, many love Old Plantation or many other seasoning producers, so experiment and enjoy! You have to know how to reproportion them into the correct amounts based on the amount of product you're producing (see my thread "Sausage Prep" for further explanation: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...eproportioning

it's kind of involved but explains the process for consistent results. You can refrigerate the packages for freshness, they will last for months and months.
But, that being said, if you like mixing your own, fantastic and we hope you share your secrets! PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif

A good example on variances, I had a friend that made what he called "medium" Italian Sausage. Damn stuff would take rust off a battleship - I couldn't talk for almost 2 days! On the other hand, I've had my dad's "super hot' Italian sausage and ate 2 lbs. of it and barely got an afterburn. It's all relative and you just need to try it and if you like it then keep doing it, whatever method suits your fancy!
post #25 of 29
Those look so delicious! I gotta learn to make sausage someday...
post #26 of 29
Good deal Pops. :) Love the old pics and the family recipe.
post #27 of 29
Very nice job on the sausage Pops!
post #28 of 29
Pops; Thanks for the hook-up with Butcher - Packer. I'm always looking for source's of seasonimgs and stuff. I'm still trying to find seasonings for a really good hot Italian, (I like it when it just makes my head start to sweat, and with a good flavor of fennel) We have a couple of shops around K.C. that make some awesome Itailan. And am looking to head in that direction. Also lookin for a good breakfast. I like the JD Hot. Can you recommend any of BP's premixes?
post #29 of 29
Pops: A question about your salt. I assume you are using caning and pickling salt or perhaps table salt? But NOT coarse Kosher? I ask as I broke down and got a set of digital scales like yours and found that a 1/4 cup of coarse Kosher weighs 54 grams. A 1/4 cup of caning and pickling salt weighs 72 grams, or nearly 33% more.

As per Rytek's book, all of his recipes call for "purified" salt, which I assume is similar to caning and pickling. For his recipes, he goes out of his way to state NOT to use Kosher because of the weight difference by volume.

The sausage recipe I have been using specified coarse Kosher. That do make a difference!
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