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LEM backwoods summer sausage resting time?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by ecodork, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. ecodork

    ecodork Fire Starter

    Of course I didn't think to ask this question BEFORE I started, so now I have 10 # of venison/pork sausage all mixed up and waiting (in the fridge, of course).

    The packet does not say to rest overnight (or at all) after mixing.  Should I rest it?  Or can I stuff and smoke within a few hours (2 - 4) of mixing? 
  2. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The last time I did SS I used a Kit from AC Leggs and it said to grind, mix and then smoke. I think let it bloom overnight. 
  3. ecodork

    ecodork Fire Starter

    My decision has been made for me.  By the time I fed my 2 year old lunch then got the casings stuffed, it's 2pm and not really enough time left in the day to smoke.  Maybe enough, but I avoid smoking into the night as I get impatient and I can't see well enough to keep track of everything.

    But I'm an early riser so I'll be smoking before sunrise tomorrow. That'd be ~20 h of rest time.  Probably fine either way I'd guess (I hope).  Most recipes for SS that I saw do have an overnight rest.
  4. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    I can think that overnight in the fridge would let everything mend together, sure would't hurt.
  5. It depends on whether you use cure in your summer sausage.  Assuming that you did, for smoked sausage, I would recommend holding the product 12 hours or overnight before smoking, unless you are using sodium erythorbate (a cure excellerator) or encapsulated citric acid (this gives summer sausage and snack sticks their traditional "tang" flavor and acts as a cure excellerator) in which case you should cook immediately after stuffing.

    Good luck with the summer sausage!
    meateater likes this.
  6. ecodork

    ecodork Fire Starter

    The LEM Backwoods stuff does have cure but pretty sure no accelerator.  It seemed no worse for the wear this morn.  I got it in ~6:15am (thanks daylight savings!) and am at ~150 currently.  Started ~140* and slowly worked up to ~185*.  Pecan and cherry wood blend.  Should hit 165* in an hour or so.

    This pic is from ~3 h into the session. 

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Well your sausage looks good from here if that means anything. I would take the sausage to maybe 152° and then into a ice bath for a few minutes and bring the sausage to maybe 80° or so and then into the refrig for an overnight stay. Then you will have some mighty fine summer sausage to enjoy.
  8. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I did Summer Sausage from LEM, and I put it in the fridge over night.

    I always put stuff like that in the fridge over night, before smoking.

    I like to start smoking in the morning & finish before Supper if possible, if not--at least before bedtime!

    I am no longer a night-owl!

    BTW: Yours already looks beautiful!

    The ones in the bottom of your smoker look more like mine----Unstuffed (no casings).

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  9. ecodork

    ecodork Fire Starter

    Thanks ya'll!  Yeah, I'm REALLY glad I didn't try smoking it yesterday!  It's now 4pm and I'm still only at 157* internal!  mballi, taking it to 150, eh?  I'm sticking to my 165ish for now, but you've done 152 with success? elaborate, if you can, i'd love to cut some time off this.  No biggie either way, I kinda needed a day at home to enjoy doing not much.  My 2 year old keeps me plenty busy as it is and I was able to re-stock my personal hot-sauce stash.  32 oz of something that resembles cholula chipotle hot sauce. with guajillo, pequin, chipotle, homemade chipotle, and arbol peppers! 

    For the record, this summer sausage is ~60% deer that a good buddy of mine killed recently and 40% pork shoulder (nothing fancy).  I supplemented the LEM Backwoods seasoning mix with black pepper and my home-made chipotle powder based on others comments that the LEM is missing some kick (and I'm used to KICK!).

    I did the casings just b/c I wanted to try "the kit" first before I tried my hand at it myself.  In the past I've had some trouble using cure without any idea of what the end product should/would be like.  But the casings were a bit of a pain with the deer...and the cure made everything tacky and hard to extrude with my underpowered kitchenaid. The casings one look cool but I'm not sure if they were worth the extra effort.  I could more easily mix up some SS (with or without smoke) with bison/pork or whatever from the grocery and roll'em up without casings with much less effort...
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  10. ecodork

    ecodork Fire Starter

    Got impatient and cranked the heat up to 230* for about 10 min to finish it off.  They're all vacuum sealed and in the fridge to "bloom" overnight.  I'm hoping to talk my co-worker I'm sharing with in to cutting one of "his" sticks open tomorrow! [​IMG] Hard to resist temptation to crack one open now....they look and smell great and my fingers tasted great!

  11. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    A new sponsor? Welcome to the site. [​IMG]
  12. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks great. Did you shock them in a ice bath when you pulled from the smoker?
  13. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    I have read that 152˚ is enough, but I'm like you, as long as it doesn't dry out, what does it hurt to go higher?

    I did 160˚ a couple times, but some places I measured were down in the mid 150s, so I went to 165˚.

    That way if some are 6˚ or 8˚ lower who cares.

    If you do 152˚, and some pieces are lower than the ones you measure, you could be in trouble!

    Just my way of thinking,


    BTW: Those look awful Awesome !!!!
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  14. ecodork

    ecodork Fire Starter

    Thanks again!  Yeah, we just cracked one open and they taste great! Even some of my big-time hunter co-workers were impressed.  I didn't shock with an ice bath but it was in the low 40's / upper 30's when I took them out.  I just let them sit for a few minutes outside while I tided up.  They were a bit warm upon sealing but not hot.  Next time I might try to ramp up the heat towards the low 200's once the meat hits the 140* mark...

    Also I could crank up the spice a bit more.  I'll see what my wife thinks as she's more sensitive to such things.  I did 2.5 tsp each (for 10# of meat) of chipotle powder and black pepper but another 1.5 tsp or so of each would probably not hurt anything.

    Bear, that's about my thinking on things too.  Better safe than sorry.  My temp readings were on a thick one in the middle of the smoker (cooler spot, heat seems to rocket up the edges of the King Kooker), so I like to think I was getting slower and cooler representative sample.
  15. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Let me know if you agree that the ones without casing are more tasty & smoky, because of no casings blocking the smoke from getting to the meat.

    My son agrees, but it might be just the two of us.


  16. richtee

    richtee Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Is there really a choice in using a cure in summer style sausage?
  17. blzafour

    blzafour Smoke Blower

    I always let it rest overnight...Thats what I would of done if i was using a maple cure... which is probably what you are using. If you are using a pink cure , you can go straight to the smoker after stuffing.

  18. richtee

    richtee Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    No, you cannot. UNLESS you are outside the danger zone area, and "cooking" it.(assuming you mean adding cure and immediately stuffing)  Pink ain't a magic bullet. It cures the same as any curing agent.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2010
  19. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey Richtee !

    Long time no see!

    You're over 10,000 too, like Mark!

    Good to see you---I learned more food safety from you, than from anyone. Your safety post were awesome!

    Hope you'll stop in more often.


  20. ljfarrell

    ljfarrell Newbie

    Hi I am new to dry curing so my question is can I use LEM cure to make dry cured sausage ? of course i would cold smoke first for 8 hours