Homemade sausage links help

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by truckee1, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. Good day fellow smokers, please forgive me for asking, but I have done many searches and scrolled through pages of threads and seemed unable to find an answer to a few questions I have about making my own sausage links.  I will be butchering my own hog in a few weeks and want to make sure what I'm planning on doing is correct.  I plan on making my own sausage.  My plan is to cube up the meat with about 20% fat, grind it, season it, stuff it, and freeze it.  I plan on making some mild Italian, sweet Italian sausage links.  If I plan on hot smoking after freezing, do I need a cure?  Its my understanding you only need a cure if you plan on cold smoking, is that correct?  I plan on hot smoking for an hour or so until the IT reaches 160ish, is that correct?  Thanks a bunch for any advice!!
  2. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    No cure needed for fresh sausage but it is needed for smoked sausages because of the slow cooking times with low temps
    inferno12 likes this.
  3. So if I make my fresh sausage links, freeze them, thaw them and hot smoke, I do not need any cure?  I apologize if I seem simple, but I want to make sure what I do is correct, and its a bit confusing to me about when cure is needed and when its not.  Thanks for your reply.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you plan on BBQ'ing the links, or grilling or under the broiler, no cure needed.... When smoking links, usually they are in the smoker for many hours to absorb smoke and cook.... If you are doing that, cure is recommended.... Cure also changes the flavor of meats that most find desirable... bacon, ham, pastrami and corned beef all have cure in them... Cure is also a safeguard for some bacteria, pathogens and botulism... It's cheap and in my opinion, worth the time and a few pennies to use it.... For sausage, use about 1 gram + per pound... at $7's per pound for cure #1, that's 700 / 454 = 1.5 cents per pound +/- for cured meat ....
  5. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Dave explained it better than I did! sorry for any confusion.
  6. Dave I really gravitate to your posts about curing as it really is clear you know what you are talking about.  Do you have a post anywhere that gives a quick lesson to us absolute complete noobs on curing who are very interested in sausage making, bacon making etc?  cure ratios for different types of meat?  All your basic tips in one place? And I see you said 1g + per lb for sausage making.  Should we always go by weight or is there a conversion for volume (teaspoon etc?)
  7. From my short time on this forum I have learned that going by weight is the best way to go.  Lots of things such as grain size and mosture in the air affect volume measurements.  There are lots of great guys with vast knowledge on this forum who are willing to help us new people understand and be safe at what we do.  Dave, Nepas, Bear and many many others give great advice and help out, sometimes without even knowing they do.


  8. good thing I have a digital kitchen scale then!!

    I have been reading over this forum for a few months and just joined the other day to start asking questions.  I thought I would come here and get some great recipes and tips, but what I am appreciating the most so far, is the amazing people who have taught me more about food safety in  a few days than I even knew about in my 45 years.  And being someone living with a compromised immune system, I appreciate that more than most !!
  9. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You can hot smoke the sausage without cure. Bring the smoker between 180 and 220 degrees. The sausage need to go from 40 to 140 degrees in 4 hrs. At this smoker temp the sausage will cook and get the most smoke/cook time allowable without cure. Take the fresh sausage to 160 degrees IT

    Adding cure will allow you to smoke at lower temps for longer periods of time and act as a preservative and adds flavor which also turns the meat red.

    Using cure #1  1 level teaspoon per 5 lbs of meat

    tender quick 1-1/2 teaspoon per lb of meat

    you will not need to add any additional salt

    using cure #1 you will have to add salt to the mix for flavor

    using tender quick you will not need any added salt to the mix

  10. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    There are a few really good websites out there that are the real deal on sausage and curing in general. Watch out for random sausage recipes on the internet. Read lots and do your homework before attempting a long cured sausage project at home. I am not trying to scare anyone off of this but just be wary. I have seen many typo's in recipes and even published recipes. It happens. double check everything or even triple check. There are some really knowledgeable people who frequent this site. Pay attention, write everything down, check everything again. There is a cure calculator around here somewhere that I like to use to double check the amount called for in new recipes I see. I will see if I can find it for anyone who is interested. The LenPoli site is really good as It takes you through the differences in types of cures and what they do and what can and can not be substituted etc.... I use that site a lot to find good formulations but I always double check the cure amounts given. An ounce of prevention..... well, you get it.

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