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Am I doing things correct? (safely)


Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 5, 2019
Hi everyone. I’m doing my first batch of smoked elk sausage. It’s actually farmers sausage which is a favorite where I’m from. I added cure #1 to the meat mixture at a ratio of 1tsp per 5 pounds of meat. I then hung the sausage in a smoker to cold smoke for 4-6 hrs.
The place I bought the sausage supplies told me that people often use cure #1 to get a pink/red colour to their sausage. Well mine is not pink/red at all. It is more so brownish grey. It hasn’t really changed much after 3 hrs of smoking. So my question is, am I doing this right? I did piles of research on here prior to starting this batch and everything is going according to plan. I’m just wondering why the colour is not as advertised. I couldn’t really care less about the colour, I just want to make sure I’m doing things right. Thanks everyone.

JckDanls 07

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Sep 10, 2011
Did you let it rest in the fridge after mixing seasoning and cure in ?? or did you stuff and smoke right away ?? It's my understanding that it has to rest/cure for a minimum of 4 hrs before smoking... overnight is better ...


Meat Mopper
Joined Mar 16, 2015
Unless you used a cure accelerator like encapsulated acid you need to let the meat rest overnight in the fridge for the cure to work.


Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 5, 2019
Uh oh. I did not let it rest 4 hours. I am doing two batches of 25 pounds. The first batch was mixed, stuffed and went into the smoker after about 1 hr. The second batch is mixed, stuffed and sitting in the fridge waiting for it’s turn. Is the 1st batch gonna be messed up?


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Oct 12, 2017
It is all BS... did you wash your hands?... boiled all the stuff you're using? .if you did... carry on... you're good...


Legendary Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
Joined Dec 25, 2010
This will help

Why does my sausage turn brown?
Both myoglobin and oxymyoglobin have the ability to lose their oxidation which results in a brown color called metmyoglobin. This essentially means that meat can turn from a bright red color (which many associate with fresh) to a brown color from a lack of oxygen. Meat can also turn brown if any sort of contamination that would cause a chemical reaction comes in contact with it. For example, cure (sodium nitrite) turns raw meat a brownish-grey color (think of a cured, uncooked salami) if it comes in direct contact with a meat surface, but if that same meat is then heated, the sodium nitrite turns the meat a pinkish color (much like ham). In order for meat to maintain that bright red color we are familiar with, oxygen must be available at a sufficient concentration. That is why grocery stores utilize a small film over their products versus a vacuum package. Browning of meat can also occur with meat that has been chilled for a long period of time (about 5 days), ie: taken home from the grocery store and placed in your fridge for some time. This happens because as meat is chilled/frozen for long periods of time, enzyme activity decreases so the myoglobin and oxygen quit mixing together to keep meat that bright red color.


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Oct 17, 2014
I've never cold smoked sausage or bacon, only lox. I'd throw that beautiful elk sausage into my smoker at 110º with some hickory and slowly raise the temp, very slowly, until the smoker reached a max of 170º and the IT of the links was 152º. You have it cured, it's still fine, hot smoke it! RAY

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