About to make my 2nd batch of sausages. This time I am using a cure as recommended on here.
Having trouble finding a good seasoning for a hot Italian sausage and brat. Also will be doing breakfast sausage. What do you like?
I plan to primarily hot heat these Links.
Hi there and welcome!
No matter if you get a store bought seasoning or you follow a recipe, ALWAYS be sure to do a "fry test" before you stuff or package the meat up.
Once you season the meat well, take a glob and form into a tiny little patty and fry it in a skillet on your stove.
If it's too salty or tastes horribly then you need to add more meat and adjust flavors and test again until you have nailed it (make notes of how much seasoning and meat you use so you have the correct proportions/recipe for the future).
If it is too bland, simply add more salt/seasoning and fry test again until it tastes good.
IMPORTANT: When do you stop adding salt if it's bland????
When you fry test it and you think "close but could use a little more salt"... that is the indicator to NOT add anymore salt :)
Now, the flavor will change some when you smoke or cook the meat and that is ok. Your fry test just lets you know if you are good on flavor/salt and not to tell you how it will develop more flavor in the end :)
Again, you must do this process for ALL store bought and/or recipes you are given because they are rarely accurate, or your tastes are different.
For Brats, Lem's Backwood Fresh Brat seasonings hands down destroys any of the millions of different brats i've tried in comparison. No competition.
What is also nice is that you can add your cure to it or just go with no-cure and you will be good to go either way.
My notes have this seasoning at 27.3grams per pound of sausage meat.
So there, the homework is done for you but still fry test it :)
Lem's Hot Italian is good as well but their Sweet Italian is amazing. I don't have measurements if you decide to use it AND you can always add red pepper to it to heat it up.
As for breakfast sausage, that is the simplest "do at home" and fine tune sausage. Basically Salt, Pepper, Garlic (a good amount), and Sage (plenty of it) will get you breakfast sausage. Just tune each ingredient from there till you get what you like from it.
You mix it up, fry test, and fine tune seasonings all day and on the spot until you nail the flavor you want.
Again write down your seasoning measurements and meat amounts.
Finally, the best way to measure your seasonings is by weight if you have a little scale that can measure down to 1gram.
If you go by volume (teaspons/tablespoons) the flavors can easily get out of whack as you go up/down in the amount of sausage you make.
For example, the LEM's seasoning by volume instructions is acceptable when doing 1-5 pounds. When you get 6+ pounds it starts getting too salty because of the inconsistent slop in the teaspoons and some measurements being more/less than others. Going by the weight (grams) with seasoning makes it consistent whether you are doing 1 pound or 100 pounds.
I hope all this info helps :)