My summer sausage questions

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by bobrap, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. bobrap

    bobrap Smoke Blower

    Gonna try my hand at SS and was wondering what most of you use as a meat ratio.  I've got about 7# of venison to use and a few butts for kielbasi (found a great deal on butts - .75/lb).  I was guessing 70/30?  I have a pack of Excalibur SS mix to use.  Any thoughts on that (good/bad)?  Someday when I grow up I'll not use the packaged stuff [​IMG] .  Amesphos?  Appreciate any help/advise.  Thanks.
  2. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    70/30 or 75/25 or even 80/20 will work.  Since venison is like uber lean to start with, you can vary the fat of the pork by how you trim up the butts.  I've not used the Excalibur mix so I can't comment on that.  If you have Amesphos or Butcher & Packer "special binder", I would add that as well.  I've used it my last few batches and the texture was very nice and moist and it leaves less to chance depending on your meat/fat ratio to start with.  It does not affect the flavor just the texture and mouth feel (in a good way IMO).  Go by the ratio recommended for what you have.

    I usually use the B&P #414 special meat binder.  It's 2 ounces to 25 pounds of meat, which works out to 0.08 ounces per pound or 0.8 ounces for a 10 pound batch (assuming your 7 pounds of venison and 3 pounds of pork).  If you have Amesphos, it is 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per pound of meat for sausage making. Note: if the Excalibur mix has any soy or milk proteins in it already, I would cut back on the B&P or Amesphos.  Might even cut it in half.

    I like to buy several extra pork butts when they are on sale, and cut them into 1"x1" by however long strips.  Then I vacuum pack and freeze the strips laying flat for grinding later.  The 1" wide strips just flow into my grinder and I can make pretty much anything from pork butt.  At $0.75 a pound I would have filled the freezer!!!! (and left a few whole for pulled pork also).
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  3. bobrap

    bobrap Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the reply.  Glad you mentioned the Excalibur.  I wouldn't have thought to look.  Ingredients listed are:


    Corn syrup solids




    Natural spice extractives

    Yea, I would like to have gotten more butts, but, limit was one case.
  4. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds like you are good to add Amesphos if you have some.  I also presume there is cure #1 that will be added (probably in a separate package in the kit which is why it's not on the ingredient list).  Also if you have not used the Excalibur before, you may want to make a small 1 or 2 pound (1 chub worth) test run to see how you like the flavor.  I had a kit one time (I think it was Eastmans?) that I thought was rather mild, so on the next run, I added some of my own spices to doctor it up.  I'm always reluctant to make a big batch of a new recipe as it's not so bad to deal with a couple of pounds of meat that you are not thrilled with the results from vs a whole lot.  Just a thought.....

    Also if you don't have any amesphos on hand, I would make the first batch "as is" on the kit instructions.  Your call though.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  5. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wouldn't NFDM do the same?
  6. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, and no. 

    That is why I suggested try it "as is" on the instructions that came with the spice kit.   I've made some that did not, but now that I mix my own, I do include a phosphate binder.  I will say that I have used both NFDM and the phosphate binders (Amesphos, B&P 414) and the phosphates give a superior product to NFDM, but NFDM is a grocery store item and does bring something to the party when you don't have the special meat binders.
  7. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks.   I will order some when I order from butcher packer next week.
  8. bobrap

    bobrap Smoke Blower

    Thanks, guys.  I'll add some amesphos.
  9. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    One thing I have noticed with the B&P 414 is it does not dissolve well in water.  I know a lot of recipes I've seen that use amesphos call for dissolving it in water before mixing.  The first time I used the B&P #414 special meat binder, I ended up with a mass of wet lumps that did not want to really dissolve.  When I used B&P I just mix it with my dry spices.  By the time I add my dry spice mix to the wet just before mixing with the meat, it is distributed enough that I see no evidence of lumping and it works fine.

    My process is to mix the cure #1 with a small amount of hot tap water to dissolve the cure.  I mix all my dry spices, etc.... in another bowl.  Then if I'm adding any other wet such as some beer, it goes in with the dry in the larger bowl.  Then the cure goes in and it's all mixed up (which also cools the cure/water mix before mixing with the meat).  If I'm not adding a cold liquid like beer, I will put a little ice water in the cure mix to bring the temp down (this would be when I'm mixing the spices dry with the meat and adding the cure at the end, you also need more water than when mixing it all like above).

    If you think meat gets tacky when mixed, it will get more tacky when you use a phosphate binder.  If it's not sticking to you like glue, keep mixing by hand until it does (3 to 4 minutes). But the final cooked texture is more uniform and smooth also due to the moisture retention (and the flavor is also improved), so it's worth the effort.
  10. nepas

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

    Go easy on the AP, it can ruin your chubs if you add to much.


    I drive past you when go up to visit daughter in Hiram, GA
  11. bobrap

    bobrap Smoke Blower

    I normally add 1/2 the recommended amount.  Don't really know if that's really a waste or not.
  12. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've been cutting to around 1/2 to 2/3 of the label percent also.  It seemed to work fine and saves the back stock.  .
    let me know next time you are up this way.  Perhaps we can hook up to swap stories, secrets and samples.

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