Beef Summer Sausage

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Smoke Blower
Original poster
OTBS Member
Dec 24, 2006
Catawissa MO
I made my first batch of summer sausage yesterday and today. I used a 74/26 ground chuck mix. (no pork) I made it with a purchased seasoning/cure mix. I did add a little cayanne pepper. Anyway, I mixed and stuffed it into collogen casings yesterday the refridgerated overnight. \

I put it in a 120 smoker until the internal temp of the meat reached 90. Then I turned up the heat over several hours and smoked it with hickory and apple till the internal temp of the meat was 152. The whole smokehouse time was about 6 hours.

I pulled the sausage and let it cool for about an hour, then cut one to try it. The texture was similar to that of spam, and the meat looked pinkish red. The casing was not drawn tight to the meat. The taste was okay, but that texture was awful.

After doing some research I found a couple websites mention letting it set for a day before refrigerating or eating.

Could someone with experience offer some insite to this. The casing on the sausage looks like it is actually starting to shrink tight to the meat, or the meat is expanding.

Thanks for any guidence.

What kind of seasoning/cure mix did you use? A few years ago - before we got into smoking - we used a Hi Mountain Seasonings kit for Summer Sausage & followed the instructions provided for oven cooking & it came out with a consistency almost the same as the Hickory Farms Summer Sausage. I don't remember the details all that well though, but we do still have the rest of the cure & the instructions if you're interested in any of the info on them. I personally didn't like the flavor, but my husband loved it.

- Mrs. Just learning
Mrs. Just Learning I used a mix from a local Droege's Supermarket. It has the cure in one bag and the seasoning in a different one.

I hope the consistancy changes with a little time.

Thanks for the reply.

Thanks Gunslinger. That is very informative, but still doesn't explain a few things. However I have learned a little bit more.

I put the sausage in the fridge overnight and it completely changed the texture. It firmed up pretty good. The casing also tightened up around the meat.

The taste is fair, however there is very little smoke taste. Actually I would say there is NO smoke taste. I kept the smoke supply up real good because I really like the taste. I wonder if the casing blocked the smoke from getting to the meat?

I'll get it figured out... just a sweet learning process where you get to eat your lessons! :)

Try using synthetic fiberous casings to get some smoke flavor.Also as soon as you take your sausage out of the smoker you need to shower them with cold water until the internal temp is 100 deg.This will tighten up your casing.After this allow the sausages to remain at room temp for at least 1 to two hours,this is called BLOOMING.Another reason you might have no smoke taste is that after stuffing let your sausage hang at room temp for 5 to 6 hours to allow them to dry.If your casings are wet or are covered with grease the casings will not take smoke.
Avoid getting your temp in your smoker higher than 165f at higher temps you melt the fat in the sausage and end up with something that appears to be meat flavored sawdust
dacdots, Could you explain "Blooming" in a little more detail? In all the reading I have done on this I do remember hearing that term before.

You mention allowing the casings to dry. The instructions I used said to not apply smoke and to keep the temp at 120 until the internal temp of the meat reaches 90. This was supposed to assure the casing was dry. Maybe I should have just felt them...

Thank you for sharing your knowledge. As I said before this is a learning process for me.

Cheech, I was careful about not getting the temp too high, but I did get to 170. Here is what I did as far as temps go. I am glad I keep notes. :)

120 for 2 hours - internal temp 90

140-150 for just over 2.75 hours

165-170 for just over 1 hour

Thanks for the reply.

MoHntr the way that I understand blooming is when you let it sit at room temperature to achieve the color that you want the exterior to be.

Word of caution, I have tried salami fresh out of the smoker and almost tossed it out because it tasted so bad. After letting it cool off in the refrig over night it improved the taste a million times
Ken thanks for the confidence. I'll figure this whole thing out yet!!

The casings did shrink to fit once cold. My biggest concern now is why I got NO smoke flavor. I used the collagen casings. Have you ever had trouble getting the smoke flavor in your sausage?

I cooked the sausage to an internal temp of 152 then pulled it off the heat.

The wife or myself can taste even a hint of smoke. Its funny, because you can smell it when you open the fridge, or just smell the casing. Maybe I should have smoked it from the get go and not waited for the internal temp to reach 90!!

Think I'll try different casings next time.

If nothing else works (and if you don't consider it cheating), you might try adding a little natural liquid smoke flavoring to your mix so you have flavor on the inside too. Wrights makes at least 2 Hickory and Mesquite - I use Hickory for my BBQ sauce if we don't have time to smoke something the real way.

- Mrs. Just learning

(Sorry, I should have said "in" my homemade BBQ sauce, not "for.")
What type of wood are you using that may be part of it?
Also your post says total in smoker time 6 hours something does ot sound right. When I do mine I figure on 12-18 hours but even with 6 hours you should still be able to taste smoke.

What did the smoke look like leaving the smoker?

What type of smoker are you using?
Cheech I used hickory chunks (dry) and some apple chips (wet). I had a lot of smoke coming out of my smoker. It was pretty heavy and mostly white smoke.

I'm using a homemade smoker that is about 6' tall and 2' square on the outside (3/4 plywood.). I've been smoking a lot of things and everything has a great smoke taste... IE- Ribs, Fatties, ABT's Boston Butt, Jerky.

It may just be my "thing" but I always fry a little hunk of sauage meat to see if it needs anything, like more salt or garlic or something before I finish it. Just in case ...

Debi, the taste and texture both turned out okay after a little time.

The lack of smoke through the casing into the meat is what I'm trying to figure out still.

I agree with tasting a small pattie first.


Well I've been making sausage (in patties) for a long time but smoking is a new thing. I've only stuffed Italian sausages in the past everything else was rolled in plastic wrap or made into patties.

I will be trying my hand at smoking the little beasties soon also. Someone (can't remeber who) told me to use collogen? casings for smoking don't know how true that is haven't tried it yet. I just got some in I will say they smell awful!

Yep, the collogen do stink. That is the type I used for my summer sausage.

Let us know how your's turn out smoked!! :)

MoHntr is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads