- Joined Jan 1, 2010
Is it safe to cure pork for sausage, grind it, stuff it and then freeze the sausage BEFORE you smoke it? We want to smoke it a few weeks after we make it. Are there any problems that I should be aware of?
I was thinking I read this somewhere before, and now that you said it, I'm sure I read that before. I don't remember where. I think it was longer than 12 to 24 hours, but it wasn't more than a couple days either. I would not do this.I would highly recommend not doing this. With a product that you are curing, you really should cook it within 12-24 hours of making the product because otherwise the nitrite will dissipate and once you cook the product weeks later, it will not be properly cured or not even cured at all if all the nitrite has dissipated by then.
I would either wait to make the product until you are ready to smoke it, or make it and smoke it and just reheat it when you want it in a few weeks.
I agree that you need to let any product you are curing sit in the fridge for a period of time, unless you are using some sort of cure excellerator (I always use a cure excellerator such as sodium erythorbate and I smoke the product immediately). I would recommend 12-24 hours of time for the sausage to "age" (or however you want to describe it) in the fridge, but then once you have reached this time, if it were me, I would go ahead and smoke it. Even if a product doesn't cure right, it will still taste good and it should still be edible (assuming food safety guidelines were followed), but you will notice a slight change in flavor and possibly texture.I really don't see a problem as long as you give the cure time to do it's thing. I'd let my sausage age in the refrig for 24 hours then do what you want, after a day cure they're just like a store bought sausage . only better.
Midwest maybe you can explain, I never heard of the cure dissipating, but I'm always ready to learn something new
Cure, along with giving you a "redder" colored product, will also change the flavor profile. If you take a bratwurst that is typically a "fresh" product and make it into a cured product, it will have a slightly different taste, so cure does hold some importance other than aiding in meat preservation.What is the point of the cure if you keep the sausage frozen/refrigerated and then cook in a hot smoker? If the sausage is intended to be eaten right away and as long as you get past the danger zone in 4 hours and get to the recommended internal temp you don't even need cure. I make fresh sausage without the cure all the time but it is handled differently then when I make a slower cooked, cured sausage. The cure he is adding during prep will help preserve the "color" and help guarantee a safe product.
Al,Freezing. Meat products that have salt added to them during processing are not particularly suitable for freezing. Salt accelerates the development of rancidity and thus decreases freezer life. With a freezer set at 0 degrees F, intact ham and bacon can be frozen for two months whereas sliced bacon and most sausages have a freezer life of one month. When the freezer is set at -15 degrees F, freezer life is doubled. University of Minnesota Extension Service, Processing Meat in the Home, Richard J. Epley and Paul B. Addis
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Ok back to the original question. I can't answer it but I was wondering how others would hold the raw cured sausage for lets say 3 weeks? In the frig in a plastic bag? .Is it safe to cure pork for sausage, grind it, stuff it and then freeze the sausage BEFORE you smoke it? We want to smoke it a few weeks after we make it. Are there any problems that I should be aware of?
OK Dan, back to my original answer--I would not even think of doing that.Ok back to the original question. I can't answer it but I was wondering how others would hold the raw cured sausage for lets say 3 weeks? In the frig in a plastic bag? .
Me too Shooter, but the thing that was asked was "Can you cure & stuff sausage, and then hold it for 3 weeks before smoking?"I have cured and smoked much sausage and CB and then vac packed and froze for several months without a problem. I try and use fresh sausage after freezing within 3 mos.
I would not argue with you, unless I find the thing I read that said not to hold cured sausage without smoking for any length of time.The quotes I posted I believe answer that question. Do not freeze cured meats for more than a few weeks. The OP asked about a couple of weeks and the references say that is ok. Not sure it is the cure that causes the problem, a question posed by Bear and others, or the salt that is included in most cures as implied by Epply and Adis.
I too would have to throw out the majority of my freezer using these guidelines. The references cited where (similar to FDA guidelines) to assure the safest, most "near fresh" meat possible. Just like we all cheat a bit on final cooking temps we all cheat a bit on freezer time.
For a couple of weeks between make time and serve time go ahead and freeze the sausage. Defrost in the fridge and smoke in a hot smoker being careful to follow the 4 hour rule. Bring to safe internal temp and serve. MWR&S said cure changes the flavor profile. I believe the greatest change in flavor is due to the salt in the cure. I don't want to argue how a bit of cure 1 changes the flavor of sausage because I can tell you that with all the other stuff I put in fresh sausage you will be pressed to taste a tsp or two of cure when making a fresh/smoked sausage.
The citations revolve around the quest for the best/safest product available. What you want to sell to a customer. We as individuals sometimes make decisions based on convenience and time factors. It the OPs concern is making the sausage before hand because he doesn't have time or the facilities to make it the day before, his option of freezing for a couple of weeks is in my opinion a very valid one. The slight taste change caused by the salt and or cure is a minor determinant in his decision making. I suggest making the sausage without using cure and handle it as a fresh smoked sausage product using natural casings. I am still concerned that collagen casings would not handle the freeze and subsequent defrosting as well as natural.
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