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Italian Sausages did not turn out right - Need advice

pinkerton

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Hey everyone, nice to meet you all. I just made my own sausages for the first time over the weekend. In general, I feel it went pretty well.

Anyway, I cooked a few of the sausages up the next day, and I was bit disappointed in the taste. The inner consistency looks fine, like a real sausage should. The taste, however, was very dry and unappealing. They tasted like a dried breakfast sausage that was in the oven too long. I cooked them in the over for about an hour at 180c. I actually cooked some store bought sausages at the same time, which tasted fine.

With my limited knowledge, I would guess that my subpar sausages were the result of not enough fat in my mixture. I read about adding back fat to the mixture, and trying to get to a 70/30 ration of meat to fat. I am in very new territory here, so I would like to hear what the board has to say about this.

Here are my cooking notes from that day:

-1412g of pork shoulder. I grabbed the fattiest packages I could find.
-2% salt, 28.24g
-30g fresh garlic
-6g Fennel Seeds
-5g Black Peppercorns
-1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
-¼ Cup Red Wine
-2 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
-2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
-Handful of fresh chili peppers

Two hours before starting, washed and soaked my casings. Put my pork shoulder in the freezer
Fried up the garlic and whole spices.

First pass on the meat grinder; ground the meat with the larger die.
Mixed in all the spices and peppers.
Second pass on the meat grinder; ground the mixture again using the small die.
Added ice and wine to the mixture. In general, I tried to keep the meat as cold as possible.

Mixed everything to emulsified the mixture. After that, did a taste test: It was very good, but maybe a little too salty. Generally, it tasted like an Italian sausage.

Filled the casing, twisted them up and then left them uncovered the fridge for the next 4 hours. Then I covered them. The next day, I cooked them up for dinner.
 

DanMcG

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It could be you didn't mix the meat enough to give it a good bind, but might be they were cooked to hot and to long.
 

SmokinAl

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It looks to me like you did everything right. I use about the same recipe & just use a pork butt with no added fat. The only thing I can think of is to either fry them in a CI pan, or put them on a grill. I think you may have coked them too long at too high a heat. Mine only take about 10-15 minutes on the grill or in a pan.
Al
 

SWFLsmkr1

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When i make fresh sausage i just grind pork butt, its just about perfect ratio.
Over grinding and mixing can smear the fat even with fresh sausage and your end product may not be to your liking.
 

pinkerton

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Hi guys, thanks for all your input. I didn't cook all the sausages up yet, so I think I'll try to boil them and see how it goes.

Sadly, I don't have a grill. I live in Tokyo and it's not really possible to have a grill at home. When I lived out in the countryside, I would drive out to the beach and bbq. But these days I no longer own a car, so that's not really a good option.

Anyways, I appreciate all the advice. I'll give the pork butt a try as well.
 

zwiller

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I am with SmokinAl SmokinAl Too hot and too long. I think you had major "fat out". Otherwise, seems to me you did everything right. I would par boil in a pot of water or sous vide to cook.
 

pinkerton

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I am with SmokinAl SmokinAl Too hot and too long. I think you had major "fat out". Otherwise, seems to me you did everything right. I would par boil in a pot of water or sous vide to cook.
Ok. When I was cooking I did note that there was a lot of grease/fat in the tray. I had to dump it twice. I guess I didn't think it would take all the fat out.

As mentioned, I did other store bought sausage at the same time. So, same temp and everything, and they were ok.
 

crazymoon

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P, I too use pork butt and only grind ONCE.I soak my casings overnight at minumum and then fry not bake.
 

pinkerton

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P, I too use pork butt and only grind ONCE.I soak my casings overnight at minumum and then fry not bake.
CM, thanks for the input. I am going to try all that. Maybe I'll make more sausages this weekend. Will try soaking the casings over night, using pork butt, grinding only once, and frying.

One questions; when you soak overnight, so you keep the casing in the fridge or just out on the counter in room temp?
 

indaswamp

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The store bought links more than likely had phosphates and a commercial binder. This is why those links did not dry out as much as your homemade links in the oven. I agree with what has already been mentioned, likely cooked too long in the oven. If you are going to use the oven, I would cook them and probe check the links with a thermometer after 20 minutes, then every 10-15 until the internal reaches 150*F, then pull them from the oven.
 

pinkerton

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The store bought links more than likely had phosphates and a commercial binder. This is why those links did not dry out as much as your homemade links in the oven. I agree with what has already been mentioned, likely cooked too long in the oven. If you are going to use the oven, I would cook them and probe check the links with a thermometer after 20 minutes, then every 10-15 until the internal reaches 150*F, then pull them from the oven.
Thanks for the advice. That makes a lot of sense about the store bought links.
 

crazymoon

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CM, thanks for the input. I am going to try all that. Maybe I'll make more sausages this weekend. Will try soaking the casings over night, using pork butt, grinding only once, and frying.

One questions; when you soak overnight, so you keep the casing in the fridge or just out on the counter in room temp?
P, Sorry I should have said that I do leave them in the fridge while soaking. Good luck with your next batch of sausage,it is a fun hobby to have !
 

daveomak

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Pinkerton, Don't boil the links..... Simmer them in a liquid.... Use this pasteurization to make them "food safe"....
Temperature Time Temperature Time
°F (°C) (Minutes) °F (°C) (Seconds)
130 (54.4) 112 min 146 (63.3) 169 sec
131 (55.0) 89 min 147 (63.9) 134 sec
132 (55.6) 71 min 148 (64.4) 107 sec
133 (56.1) 56 min 149 (65.0) 85 sec
134 (56.7) 45 min 150 (65.6) 67 sec
135 (57.2) 36 min 151 (66.1) 54 sec
136 (57.8) 28 min 152 (66.7) 43 sec
137 (58.4) 23 min 153 (67.2) 34 sec
138 (58.9) 18 min 154 (67.8) 27 sec
139 (59.5) 15 min 155 (68.3) 22 sec
140 (60.0) 12 min 156 (68.9) 17 sec
141 (60.6) 9 min 157 (69.4) 14 sec
142 (61.1) 8 min 158 (70.0) 0 sec
143 (61.7) 6 min
144 (62.2) 5 min
145 (62.8) 4 min
Table C.1: Pasteurization times for beef, corned beef, lamb, pork and cured pork (FDA, 2009, 3-401.11.B.2).
 

pinkerton

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Pinkerton, Don't boil the links..... Simmer them in a liquid.... Use this pasteurization to make them "food safe"....
Temperature Time Temperature Time
°F (°C) (Minutes) °F (°C) (Seconds)
130 (54.4) 112 min 146 (63.3) 169 sec
131 (55.0) 89 min 147 (63.9) 134 sec
132 (55.6) 71 min 148 (64.4) 107 sec
133 (56.1) 56 min 149 (65.0) 85 sec
134 (56.7) 45 min 150 (65.6) 67 sec
135 (57.2) 36 min 151 (66.1) 54 sec
136 (57.8) 28 min 152 (66.7) 43 sec
137 (58.4) 23 min 153 (67.2) 34 sec
138 (58.9) 18 min 154 (67.8) 27 sec
139 (59.5) 15 min 155 (68.3) 22 sec
140 (60.0) 12 min 156 (68.9) 17 sec
141 (60.6) 9 min 157 (69.4) 14 sec
142 (61.1) 8 min 158 (70.0) 0 sec
143 (61.7) 6 min
144 (62.2) 5 min
145 (62.8) 4 min
Table C.1: Pasteurization times for beef, corned beef, lamb, pork and cured pork (FDA, 2009, 3-401.11.B.2).
Dave, that's really interesting. Thanks for the handy chart.

So, you could throw them in a pot at 140f for 10 minutes and they should be good to go?
I could also throw them in a frying pan after there to sear the outsides?
 

DanMcG

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12 min. starting when the IT reaches 140. Although they will be safe to eat, you might not like the mouth feel, so yeah pan frying would improve the taste
 

daveomak

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From the time the Internal Temp gets to 140.... I ALWAYS add time to the finishing time..... Safety factor... It's safe to eat...
It will take some getting used to eating moist sausages... no fat out.... not dry and crumbly.... It's a learning curve for sure.... BUT.... you will NOT get sick....
 

pinkerton

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Hey everyone. First up, I wanted to say thank you all again for all the help advice.

I made a new batch of sausages over the weekend. I spread it out over 30 hours, giving the meat ample time to stay cool.

Today... right now in fact, I am poaching the sausages. They are almost at 140f. Just wondering, I noticed some fat coming out in the pot. Is that normal? Last time I cooked them at too high a temperature in the oven, and lost all the fat. Trying to do in proper this time.
 

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