Breakfast Sausage Questions

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mr_whipple

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Jul 3, 2021
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I've been making breakfast sausage with a couple friends as a group for a few years and I finally decided to do it on my own for a few reasons. First is that one of them gave me his meat grinder as he upgraded, second is that they are stuck on using store bought seasoning mixes and I have it in my head that I needed to try mixing my own spice blend as there is a ton of info here.... third reason I can't remember. CRS is on full blast today. So I finally decided to not be a sissy and made a batch on my own. I used this recipe from thirdeye thirdeye and liked it. Made basic logs and froze for making patties. I'll use the extra garlic and probably up the pepper next time, but it was a pleasant and different sausage profile that I was not used to. Also, according to my Ancestry DNA I'm 33% Basque...

That said, what I'm looking for is a basic spicy / hot breakfast sausage recipe that doesn't need to be a Jimmy Dean clone. I love sage, but it doesn't seem to fit well in a spicy profile. Not looking for burning heat, just spicy. I know spicy means a lot of different things to a lot of different people but for the sake of discussion look at your basic store bought hot sausage and call that the level of heat for a starting point. I've read a ton of recipes over the last few weeks, and what I can't find are recipes that work on percentages by weight as opposed to volumetric. Also not scared of MSG.

Ok.. this is kinda long and there's no pics for Q view but last question: in the aforementioned ton of recipes I came across a small percentage used sugar, both white and brown in the recipes.. thoughts and comments on sugar in the sausage? It was not rare, but uncommon so I wondered what the purpose of the sugar was.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 
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Here is good recent thread.
 
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Here is good recent thread.
Thank you, and I have read that thread, and kick me if I'm wrong but the only recipe based on % was from SmokinEdge SmokinEdge . I don't keep mace in the spice drawer but I guess it's easily obtainable.
 
I just did 7 pounds yesterday . I used AC Leggs #10 . Added some red pepper flakes and thyme .
I mix my own at times too . For me it's sage , salt , black pepper and red pepper flakes .
Have you looked at Pop's recipe ? I have not tried it , but would be along the lines I like . I would cut the salt back on his .
 
6 parts salt (6 oz)
2 parts coarse ground black pepper (2 oz)
1 part sage rubbed or ground (1 oz)

Mix all the above. I keep it in a baggie.

red pepper flake to taste. I eyeball mine and go sparingly. After a day in the fridge the red pepper meanders throughout the batch. The sage doesn't react badly with it.

Each lb of meat gets 1/2 oz of the spice mix.

Pop's (how I got mine) is an 8/2/1 ratio. It's very salty. I grind mine 2X on coarse where he uses 2x on fine. You can build whatever you like into this basic mix. I like it as is and do not add garlic. onion, etc....

Edit: I played with sausage recipes for years and gave up on it until I found the below thread. Sometimes simple is best ;)

Also - negative on the sugar. Tried it a few times - and it adds nothing IMO.

 
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I can't recall adding sugar to any sausage recipes, but my frankfurter recipe calls for corn syrup, and I've added sweet onions to a couple of recipes, but that is mainly for moistness. I have a Sicilian Italian sausage that calls for Pinot Grigio instead of iced water, so that brings some sweetness to the party. And I've made a sweet Italian that called for sweet paprika.

When I want to add 'heat' I want it to be flavorful. I have a seasoning called Temper Temper, made by Pendery's. It's a combination of peppers. Or I will venture into Mexican chile powders.

As you explore more and more sausage recipes you will notice a few things: Sometimes... less is more better (you don't always need 20 ingredients), recipes share a lot of ingredients (salt, pepper and garlic for example), and you can add both dominate seasonings and signature seasonings. Dominate seasonings would be something like fennel in Italian sausage. Signature seasonings for Italian sausage could be a little coriander or caraway to make your sausage slightly different from other recipes. These seasonings sort of hide in the background.

I'm glad you liked the Lukainka sausage, and here is a funny story. I had to reverse engineer the recipe from bits and pieces of information from over 15 sources, DanMcG DanMcG for example came up with the idea to call some of the Basque clubs to ask for help. Great idea.... but nobody was willing to come up with a full recipe. From buying and eating the Lukainka from Buffalo Wyoming (our Basque community) for over 40 years I knew salt, pepper and garlic were players, it just took some experiments with amounts (and giving out a lot of free samples) before arriving at the current recipe.

I use this very simple base for creating a new sausage:
5 pounds of ground pork butt (2.3 kilograms)
7 teaspoons (35 grams) of Morton kosher salt (this is 1.5% salt) (2% salt would be 9 teaspoons)
2 to 3 teaspoons of white pepper, or black pepper or a mix of the two.
1/2 to 5/8 cup of ice cold water or other liquid. (chipped ice can be substituted for some of the icy water).

My next step is to research the particular variety and see what other ingredients are used. Next is opening the "sausage secrets" page that is linked below. It gives recommended amounts (a starting point) for many seasonings. If you measure your ingredients in grams, it's very easy to increase or reduce ingredients as you sample your creations. Lastly, I give out 1/2 pound samples, and ask for an honest critique. Things like "it tastes good" or "I really like it!" is nice to hear.... but it doesn't tell me anything. Comments like "it needs more salt", or "the paprika flavor is too strong" are really helpful.

https://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-recipes/secrets
 
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Our family recipe:
https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/cajun-breakfast-sausage-family-recipe.284823/
You can add more red pepper flakes and back off on the syrup if you want, but the base seasoning is perfect IMO.

I have read that quite a few times, and my minds eye can't figure what it would taste like. I'd swear I've seen the Steen's on the shelf somewhere here, but I could be wrong. That said, I'd love to try it, so strong contender! I'm just slow to try new things. Guess I need to get over that?

I can't recall adding sugar to any sausage recipes, but my frankfurter recipe calls for corn syrup, and I've added sweet onions to a couple of recipes, but that is mainly for moistness. I have a Sicilian Italian sausage that calls for Pinot Grigio instead of iced water, so that brings some sweetness to the party. And I've made a sweet Italian that called for sweet paprika.

When I want to add 'heat' I want it to be flavorful. I have a seasoning called Temper Temper, made by Pendery's. It's a combination of peppers. Or I will venture into Mexican chile powders.

As you explore more and more sausage recipes you will notice a few things: Sometimes... less is more better (you don't always need 20 ingredients), recipes share a lot of ingredients (salt, pepper and garlic for example), and you can add both dominate seasonings and signature seasonings. Dominate seasonings would be something like fennel in Italian sausage. Signature seasonings for Italian sausage could be a little coriander or caraway to make your sausage slightly different from other recipes. These seasonings sort of hide in the background.

I'm glad you liked the Lukainka sausage, and here is a funny story. I had to reverse engineer the recipe from bits and pieces of information from over 15 sources, DanMcG DanMcG for example came up with the idea to call some of the Basque clubs to ask for help. Great idea.... but nobody was willing to come up with a full recipe. From buying and eating the Lukainka from Buffalo Wyoming (our Basque community) for over 40 years I knew salt, pepper and garlic were players, it just took some experiments with amounts (and giving out a lot of free samples) before arriving at the current recipe.

I use this very simple base for creating a new sausage:
5 pounds of ground pork butt (2.3 kilograms)
7 teaspoons (35 grams) of Morton kosher salt (this is 1.5% salt) (2% salt would be 9 teaspoons)
2 to 3 teaspoons of white pepper, or black pepper or a mix of the two.
1/2 to 5/8 cup of ice cold water or other liquid. (chipped ice can be substituted for some of the icy water).

My next step is to research the particular variety and see what other ingredients are used. Next is opening the "sausage secrets" page that is linked below. It gives recommended amounts (a starting point) for many seasonings. If you measure your ingredients in grams, it's very easy to increase or reduce ingredients as you sample your creations. Lastly, I give out 1/2 pound samples, and ask for an honest critique. Things like "it tastes good" or "I really like it!" is nice to hear.... but it doesn't tell me anything. Comments like "it needs more salt", or "the paprika flavor is too strong" are really helpful.

https://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-recipes/secrets
And this is why I read your content. I've been to meatsandsausages.com, but apparently missed the secrets page. Thanks again.
 
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I've been making breakfast sausage with a couple friends as a group for a few years and I finally decided to do it on my own for a few reasons. First is that one of them gave me his meat grinder as he upgraded, second is that they are stuck on using store bought seasoning mixes and I have it in my head that I needed to try mixing my own spice blend as there is a ton of info here.... third reason I can't remember. CRS is on full blast today. So I finally decided to not be a sissy and made a batch on my own. I used this recipe from thirdeye thirdeye and liked it. Made basic logs and froze for making patties. I'll use the extra garlic and probably up the pepper next time, but it was a pleasant and different sausage profile that I was not used to. Also, according to my Ancestry DNA I'm 33% Basque...

That said, what I'm looking for is a basic spicy / hot breakfast sausage recipe that doesn't need to be a Jimmy Dean clone. I love sage, but it doesn't seem to fit well in a spicy profile. Not looking for burning heat, just spicy. I know spicy means a lot of different things to a lot of different people but for the sake of discussion look at your basic store bought hot sausage and call that the level of heat for a starting point. I've read a ton of recipes over the last few weeks, and what I can't find are recipes that work on percentages by weight as opposed to volumetric. Also not scared of MSG.

Ok.. this is kinda long and there's no pics for Q view but last question: in the aforementioned ton of recipes I came across a small percentage used sugar, both white and brown in the recipes.. thoughts and comments on sugar in the sausage? It was not rare, but uncommon so I wondered what the purpose of the sugar was.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
I’m not real sure on what, exactly, you are looking for, but if you can post the flavor of spice you like we can create a good formula to start with. The basics are salt, pepper and sage for breakfast sausage, but garlic and Chile can come to play as well as a few other spices, just depends on your personal preferences.

I’ll help you with formulating a recipe but need to know what you like/want.

Sugars are added to balance salt. So I use between 1.5% and 2.0% salt then balance that with .5% to .75% sugars. This creates a true savor flavor. Not salty/sweet but a true savor flavor. You can do this or not. Sugar is not needed but if applied right it’s a welcome addition.
 
Wife has been low sodium due to high blood pressure issues for years. Put on 20# and that is me, too. Good that I stayed with her low sodium diet. It actually isn't hard to go low salt IF you don't eat out a lot.

The Jimmy Dean's clone poste by D Dave in AZ recipe is really good.
I modify and use 0.5% salt and 50% more sage and no sugars. Wife approved.
 
I’m not real sure on what, exactly, you are looking for, but if you can post the flavor of spice you like we can create a good formula to start with. The basics are salt, pepper and sage for breakfast sausage, but garlic and Chile can come to play as well as a few other spices, just depends on your personal preferences.

I’ll help you with formulating a recipe but need to know what you like/want.

Sugars are added to balance salt. So I use between 1.5% and 2.0% salt then balance that with .5% to .75% sugars. This creates a true savor flavor. Not salty/sweet but a true savor flavor. You can do this or not. Sugar is not needed but if applied right it’s a welcome addition.
Honestly I'm not sure what I'm looking for either 🤣 just trying to not buy sausage anymore at all. But seriously, I'm looking for a basic breakfast sausage flavor with a little heat so I guess I'll try a basic sage style with some crushed red pepper. The red pepper seems to be in all the spicy stuff I had over the years so that seems logical to me for the heat source. Having read over that sausage secrets page kinda ticks me off.... I have that book but haven't read it cover to cover... I'll admit my laziness. It did however give me exactly what I was looking for in regard to the percentages of spices per pound / Kg. I'll sit down later to day or tomorrow morning and come up with a basic recipe and go from there. Thank you.
 
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Good stuff. I learned ALOT playing with Pops. FYI you can sprinkle stuff on cooked patties to taste their flavor addition, with the exception of a few things like sugar. chopsaw chopsaw is spot on. Pops stock sausage browns very little and sugar fixes that. For me for BF sausage msg is a MUST as well as some acid for a little bite. Lemon juice works well but recently got some citric acid to play with. White pepper is really cool to play too with as it can add a nice pepper flavor without too much heat.

Was craving some BF sausage and decided to cave and get some storebought fave Bob Evans zesty hot. Shocked. Either my stuff has gotten that good or their QC has gone down but probably the last time I will by it. Oh man, forgot how much I missed having leftover patties in the fridge that I could grab for a quick nibble in the AM.
 
Sugar definitely aids in the browning of sausage . Get the salt right you should be good .
The only thing I do by percentage is the salt . I add the dextrose by eye and just enough to get some color from a frying pan . I've done it enough times that I know what works for me . Just how I do it .
1678466744812.jpeg
When I started out the best teaching I had ( besides some of the older members advice ) was looking over Len Poli's formulas . Taking note of what he was doing and asking myself why . Comparing his recipes , and seeing what was the same or how they were different .
Again asking myself why .
 
I've seen the cumberland sausage recipe also, and wonder what that tastes like but I tired of overthinking this and finally made a command decision. I'm going to make both the Len Poli and Marianski recipes and see what I like better. I am going to up the red pepper in the Len Poli just a touch.
 
I'm going to make both the Len Poli and Marianski recipes
The sausage in post 14 are the Len Poli breakfast links . It's a good one . I really like the rosemary . He uses dextrose . If you don't have it and sub in white sugar I would cut that amount in half .

I see Marianski uses ginger in his . That's a good add in my opinion for all sausage . It's strong , so don't be heavy handed .
Good luck and let us know .

Just another comment . Not sure if you're doing all bulk or stuffing links . I just did all bulk . I like sheep casings the best , but if I don't want to mess with them I'll run some through the medium horn with no casing . Cut to length and freeze on a tray .
 
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The sausage in post 14 are the Len Poli breakfast links . It's a good one . I really like the rosemary . He uses dextrose . If you don't have it and sub in white sugar I would cut that amount in half .

I see Marianski uses ginger in his . That's a good add in my opinion for all sausage . It's strong , so don't be heavy handed .
Good luck and let us know .

Just another comment . Not sure if you're doing all bulk or stuffing links . I just did all bulk . I like sheep casings the best , but if I don't want to mess with them I'll run some through the medium horn with no casing . Cut to length and freeze on a tray .
I'm doing bulk for patties, no links. The Len Poli one is his JD clone. No dextrose or rosemary, but citric acid is optional and I have none so... that's my option. Also, it uses no msg, and I'm going to ad some. As to ginger, oh boy do I know. My go to jerky recipe that I found years back called for a bit of ginger. I still use the same recipe, but I cut the ginger by 50% if not more as it was very up front and in your face. We'll see how this all plays out. Thanks for the advice.
 
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So... ground up a pork butt and ended up with sligtly more than 8 lbs of grind. Split that in half and measured out the ingredients based on 1800 grams. I made the Marianski recipe exactly as written, with the exception of lowering the salt by .2% and adding that in MSG. I then did the Len Poli JD clone on the other half with the only change being doubling the red pepper flakes from %.08 to %.15. Cleaned everything up and let them rest in the fridge overnight. Just did a test fry on both and the results are in. I fully expected the Marianski to have a bit more forward flavor from the additional ingredients, but it was a very pleasant mild sausage, not too salty. Smelled great while cooking. There was no doubt to my nose that I was cooking sausage. According to my taste buds the Len Poli is the hands down winner. The red pepper flakes were perfectly balanced with the rest of the flavors, not too hot but nowhere near mild. Oddly enough, I'd swear the parsley stood out a little as flavorless as it normally is to me. I'll do both again, but if I do the marianski, I think I'll up the black and or cayenne for a little more bite. Maybe even try adding some white pepper. No real changes need to the LP, but I might even kick up the red pepper flakes a slight bit just because I like spicy food.

Lessons learned: I converted all the measurements to percentages so I could weigh all the spices in grams. While my digital kitchen scale measures in increments of .1 gram I found measuring the smaller amounts very troublesome and had no repeatability so I went back to using my trusty measuring spoons. I read an article this morning on this very subject and a jewelers scale was recommended so for $12 I ordered one and am going to play with it to see if it's of more use. Its range is 0.05g to 500g where my kitchen scale goes to 11 lbs max.

Thanks for all the input, and I'm pretty sure store bought breakfast sausage is now in the rear view mirror.
 
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