Pop's Country-Style Breakfast Sausage Variations

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Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Mar 26, 2021
Hi Guys,

I've made a few batches of breakfast sausage, some from commercial spice mixes and some recipes I've found on the net. I haven't been overly happy with any of them.

I ran across pops69927's Country-Style Breakfast Sausage thread (https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/country-style-breakfast-sausage.73350/) and decided to give it a try.

I gave Pop's recipe a try this weekend and was pleasantly surprised! Just three ingredients but it pretty much nails the breakfast sausage I grew up with here in Nebraska!

I say "pretty much" because I keep going back and forth as to whether it's too salty or not. One bite I think it is, another bite and I don't. All in all though, I'm thinking I'd like to back the salt down on the next batch. I know Pop's (now sadly deceased) said this was his father's recipe that he sold commercially for years, but I think tastes have just changed over the years - I, like so many of us, have high blood pressure and tend to lean towards lower salt in my diet so I'm sure I'm just more sensitive to salt than the average person was back in Pop's father's day.

I'm thinking I might like a little more sage flavor also, but maybe with less salt in the base mix but still using a 1/2 oz of mix per pound it will allow a little more sage flavor to come forward.

I also enjoy a little heat in my sausage, so I'm thinking I might want to add some cayenne pepper.

I noticed in Pop's and other poster's threads that many use Pop's recipe as a base and modify it to suit their tastes. I imagine many have made Pop's recipe, and I imagine many of us have similar tastes (such as leaning towards lower salt these days), so I'm wondering if other's who've modified Pop's recipe to create their own would be kind enough to share their variation here? As more get posted I imagine some commonalities will appear which will help others more quickly zero in on lower salt, sagier tasting, spicier, etc. versions of their own.

Looking forward to seeing what others have done!

Take care all,

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Reactions: indaswamp
Funny you should ask.

I like around 1% salt, but wife prefers 0.5% so we compromise at 0.5%

Here's a few more recent threads

Thanks for the feedback guys!

It's been a long day...my glasses got broke and I'm low vision to start with, so I'm not sure I'm up to a bunch of math tonight, but here's my go at figuring out what percentage of salt is in Pop's spice mix:

Pop's spice mix
8 oz salt
2 oz black pepper
1 oz sage
11 oz total

8 oz salt / 11 oz total = 72.7%
2 oz black pepper / 11 oz total = 18.2%
1 oz sage / 11 oz total = 9.1%

Now, .5 oz of above mix * 72.7% salt = .364 oz of salt added to every pound of meat

Pop's spice mix to meat ratio
.5 oz of spice mix
16 oz of meat
16.5 oz total

.364 oz of salt / 16.5 oz total meat & spice weight = 2.2% salt in Pop's original recipe

Did I do my math correctly?

Fueling around...I predict a long and happy marriage for you! LOL!
Last edited:
OK, the math works though I took the long way...again, my eyes are tired tonight (but I'm not, not a good combination for rational thinking, LOL!).

I popped this into a spreadsheet.

Pop's Original 8/2/1 Recipe:

Salt = 2.20%
Pepper = 0.55%
Sage = 0.28%

Changing just the salt to 5.5 oz and leaving the black pepper and sage alone gives 1.53% salt, which is right in the suggested ball park. There is a slight affect on the pepper and sage percentages, but they are in the thousandths of a percentage point, so negligible.

Soooo, it looks like my next batch of Pop's Country Style Breakfast sausage will be using a 5.5/2/1 spice mix!

THANKS for the salt level suggestions!

Now...I like a little hotter sausage occasionally too, anyone care to suggest a cayenne (or similar hot spice) amount to start at?

Take care all,

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Reactions: NewBuilder
I did a little snooping in the nutrition facts for the national brands of breakfast sausage patties and did a little math (converting sodium to salt, then the percent of salt in the serving) and this is what I came up with:

1.8% Jimmy Dean
1.7% Johnsonville
1.7% Smithfield
1.6% Hormel
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