My first summer sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by snorkelinggirl, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks to assistance from Couger78 and Mike Johnson, I made my first summer sausage this week.

    I pretty much followed the recipe and process that Couger did in this excellent post:

    The only thing I did differently from Couger was that I scaled the recipe for 3 lbs of meat. Also, I mixed the meat, salt, and Cure #1 together first and refrigerated those overnight prior to mixing in the rest of the ingredients and stuffing the fibrous casings.

    Two 1-1/2 lb summer sausage chubs....

    I hung them in the smoker and let them dry at about 100 deg F for 1 hour without any smoke being applied. Then I used a mix of hickory and apple in the AMNPS and gradually raised the temperature.

    Temperature control was hard using my electric smoker without a PID. They ended up spending about 10 hours in the smoker to get to 153 deg F as I was trying so hard to keep it below 180 deg in the smoker. I ran out of smoke about 6 hours into it, and didn't bother to reload the AMNPS. But, these electric smokers are miserable at temperature swings. Eventually I ran out of time, had to bump up the temperature, and ended up with the temp spiking above 200 deg F in order to keep the smoker running between 170 - 180 deg F.

    Because of these temp swings, I did end up having fat render out of the sausages. Clearly, I have some room for improvement.

    Anyway, after soaking in cold running water to cool it down and after resting overnight, here is what it looked like on the inside....

    Despite rendering out some of the fat, the sausage was still tasty. Better than some commerical summer sausage I've tried.

    And here is the money shot!  My first homemade summer sausage, topped with my own hickory-smoked cheddar cheese that has been resting for a month.

    Thank you again, Kevin and Mike Johnson, for answering my questions and helping me out on my first summer sausage!

    Thanks for looking!

  2. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks great, Clarissa! Nicely done...

  3. bamafan

    bamafan Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    looks mighty fine to me. Can't wait to get my smoke house started and get into the sausage making. I'm getting my gear together now.
  4. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks great...... congrats on your first try......................[​IMG]
  5. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice job!!
  6. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mighty fine SS there. Slice me off some

  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Outstanding Job, Clarissa!!!

    Looks mighty tasty!!!

    You had some Great help there, in Cougar & Mike J.

  8. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks so much for looking and for the compliments, you guys!!!

    Have a great Sunday!
  9. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you very much for the compliments and checking out my post, Bear!

    I couldn't agree with you more about the amazing people and resources that this forum makes available to us. Every project I've done has been a team effort.

    Go Team SMF!!!

    Thanks again and have a great Sunday!
  10. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks so much, Red! 

    Have a great day!

  11. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Once you get the temp swings under control, you'll find the results considerably more predictable. I think pretty much everyone who has made home-made sausages has experienced, at some time early on, big temp spikes, resulting in a greasy, inedible mess. You, however, despite the spikes, still have some quite tasty results. I also think 6 hours of smoke in a 10-hour cook is plenty, but others may disagree. The only time I've felt the need to refill the AMNPS is for an extended (14-16 hr) smoke doing a whole pork butt.

    I like the addition of the hickory-smoke cheese, too, Yum! [​IMG]

  12. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice SS! I like seeing all the mustard seeds in there.[​IMG]
  13. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'd eat that!! looks great for a first try, I have elec also but with a PID good investment if you can get one.

  14. Looks great. I learn something every smoke I do. The fun part is that you can eat that batch and do it again. I would be proud of what you smoked...Looks great......[​IMG]
  15. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Kevin,

    Thanks again for all of your help and explanations.....I couldn't have done it without you! 

  16. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you very much for the compliments, guys!  I thought that summer sausage was a nice way to get my feet wet on curing and smoking sausage. Such a big, bright world of smoked sausage out there to try!  But I'm definitely going to start saving up for a PID controller. Watching the temp in the smoker swing up is a nail-biting experience!
  17. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks really good Clarissa.  I thought those fancy electric smokers were easy to control without adding more $$$$ to control them??? Your report has solidified my decision to build my own and spend the saved  $$$$ on meat!
  18. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Case,

    I think you are completely correct on this. Yes, the electric smokers are "set and forget" for forgiving things like pork butt, brisket, etc. But for sausage, you stand there wringing your hands and praying that it doesn't overshoot too high. Do that for 10 hours and it gives you gray hair!

    SmokinJoe52 gave me a lot of help early on with using my smoker. He wrote a thread about exactly what you are talking about. You might find it interesting.
  19. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks for the link Clarissa. I have had a new smoker build in the back of my head for awhile. It's soul purpose will be sausage, jerky, and fish. Electric and pid controlled. I have been following this thread as Dward51 has posted some of the best wiring diagrams I've seen:

    I looked at the plug n play units but after reading all of Dward51's posts I know I can wire up my own!
  20. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Looks real good and you did a mighty fine job.

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