help please on summer sausage question

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Sep 13, 2013
Merry Christmas to all!! I made my first summer sausage this week and while I nailed the flavor, I had two issues. First, my fiber casing became wrinkled and second, the texture wasn't as solid or hard as I would like. It made it hard to slice thin. Did I not do something right or is this the nature of homemade summer sausage? I did use regular grind beef from Restaurant Depot. Will using fine grind help? Also I started them out in a cold smoker and slowly built up temperature. They went to 158 IT before I stopped them in cold water. I'd appreciate some advice. Thanks
Sharing your recipe would help.

How much salt did you use ? and did you get a good and sticky bind when you mixed it? Not enough salt or too little mixing will give you a poor bind and result in a crumbly dry like texture

And what was the max temp in your smoker? if your smoker went over 170-175 for any amount of time it will melt the fat out of the sausage and also cause a crumbly sausage.
Did you use a binder and what did you use for fermenting?  Usually summer sausage is made from a pork and beef mixture. Also the finished  IT should be  140 degrees.
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When I smoke beef stick type sausage, I smoke at 140-160 deg F for 24 hours so as to not have the "fat out" problem.... and I add soy protein to hold the fat and add Amesphos to keep it all moist.....
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I used powdered buttermilk as a binder and buttermilk for the fermentation. I just ran another batch, reducing liquid,added dry milk to increase binding and this time it was sticky. I have it in the smoker now at 134 degrees. I'll raise it 10 degrees in another hour and 10 more after that with heavy Apple smoke. I'll post results. Thanks for all the advice.
Make sure you check the IT of all the sausages. Most oven's , smokers have hot and cold spots . If they aren't hanging I would rotate from top to bottom every two hours and rotate the rolls half a turn. I have had the bologna on the top have a 15 degree IT difference with only 6" of separation between the racks.
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