Help: Advice on curing sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by puttb, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. My first time smoking sausage (venison).  The sausages are already stuffed without cure (fresh sausage) and I want to try smoking some to med-dry. I have a pack of Len Cure but it says to add to the meat.

    Question, can I use this (or some other product) to cure the sausage after it has been cased?  I plan to vacuum pack and freeze the sausage not to store long term but am afraid of botulism.

  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Short answer would be, no.
    Although I think it could be done, there is that safety factor you're worried about.
  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Cure has to be mixed into the meat BEFORE stuffing.  It's not something you can sprinkle on later or put in water and make a dip out of when using ground meats like in sausage.  I don't see any reason you cannot squeeze the meat out of the casings and remix with the cure though.  I would not try to reuse the casings, but would use another set if you go that route.

    To keep it simple, I would just use what you have a fresh sausage, and use the cure on another batch later.
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I can't see a reason Cure #1 can't pass through a permeable membrane like Casing. Mixing the proper amount of Cure with a cup or two of Water and put the whole deal in a Ziptop bag with a 24-48 hour soak should get 'er done. The sausage would need longer to hang and let the extra moisture drain but seems theoretically feasible.

    In any event, I would just HOT smoke these as any uncured sausage and make a cured batch next time...JJ
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  6. Awesome forum, thanks for all the advice.

    So I understand, (and I also read elsewhere about "hot smoke") it should be safe to hot smoke at about 225+ to an internal temp of 160 and then vacuum pack & freeze and should be safe (albeit not truly "cured/smoked).  Guys are going for more deer next week so will offer to cure and smoke some long-lasting sausage.


  7. alan123

    alan123 Fire Starter

    I don't post much, but this one is a concern. Why risk your health or anyone else's for a chance it might work. Speaking for me I wouldn't smoke at any temperature because of the risk with no cure. As stated by a previous poster, just keep it vacuum pack it and use it as a fresh, none smoked, sausage. Sounds like it would be great in many different recipes... Sliced potatoes, onions, broth and your sausage for a coddle on a cold day. I wouldn't risk my health on a maybe.
  8. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You can hot smoke as low as 180 and get through the danger zone in time.............

  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You can Hot smoke, 225+,  anykind of Sausage safely just like smoking a Hamburger, Meatloaf or any fresh meat. The issue is only Cured sausage can be smoked at low temps like 100 through 170° to make Kielbasa, Andouille or the like...I have frequently bought Johnsonville Brats and smoked them for 2 hours at 225 to an IT of 165 and they come out great. Smoked Italian Sausage I am not so crazy about...JJ
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Barry, unless you want to freeze precooked sausage for some reason, I would freeze them Raw. This way you can Smoke them in the future or grill, fry, or broil them as desired. Reheating previously cooked and frozen sausage other than Hotdogs, Kielbasa and so on, does not yield the best quality product...JJ  
  11. alan123

    alan123 Fire Starter

    My apologies, you and Joe are 100% correct, I let my fingers get ahead of my brain on my previous post. I have smoked various meats at higher temps without cure #1, ribs, poultry, butts...... The point I was trying to make, so badly, was "I" wouldn't risk trying to fix the problem at this stage because of the health risks involved to friends, family and myself. The only way I would try to fix it is, as posted, squeeze the meat out of the casings, mix the cure in very well, give it 24 hrs to let the meat absorb the cure and stuff again in new casings, but why unless you don't mind the extra labor.

    I've been doing this for a couple of years and know just enough to be dangerous as I just proved. If it was me I would simple vacuum PAC freeze and enjoy and do as I have done before.....chalk it up to a live and learn.

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