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Sausage Prep

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by pops6927, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a few different things to share about sausage preparation as far as ingredients go. First, is a scale. I use a postal scale that is quite accurate, and being so, I can re-proportion seasonings to the exact amounts necessary for the amount of product I'm using. The scale I bought is from Right On Scales: http://www.rightonscales.com/web/home/

    I bought the 'UltraShip 55' scale that can handle up to 55 lbs. and it can measure both in ounces and ounces/lbs., but also in grams, which is very important.
    The face can be removed in case you're using a large lug and pulled out so you can view it easily. You can set 'tare' to deduct the weight of the container you're using so you work with net weights; no guesswork that way.
    It can be battery operated, but it's worth the extra expense to purchase the power supply that's offered. Unless you use it every day or two, if you leave it with batteries left in you always risk the chance of one leaking and ruining it (I've got drawers full of flashlights like that, haha!).

    More to come on how to accurately re-proportion seasonings.
  2. txbigred

    txbigred Meat Mopper

    Wow, that is a really good price. I use a scale that was made for measuring refrigerant, and it is pretty accurate, but it sure cost a whole lot more than that. I might get one of those too. Is it as accurate as they claim?

  3. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use mostly commercial seasonings from Butcher Packer, they are very well prepared. But, the problem that arises is how much do you use if you're not making the full amount listed on the package?
    For example, their Smoked Polish Sausage Seasoning lists instructions for making 25 lbs. of product:
    25lbs pork butts/picnics
    1 oz curing salt (DQ cure - 6.25% nitrite)
    2 oz binder
    3 lbs water
    The weight of the seasoning packet is 11 oz.

    Now, that's just fine if you're going to make 25lbs. of product. But, my meager resources (wife's a cancer survivor.. drains ya..!) only allow me to buy one or two butts at a time and many times I'm making Italian and Breakfast sausages as well as Polish, so I may only have 3 lbs. 5 oz.. of pork reserved for the Polish Sausage. How to I translate the ingredients from 25lbs. to 3lbs. 5oz. accurately so I get it right? Especially if you're dealing with 1 oz of something that is critical not to use too much (nitrite)?

    Well, first you have to find out your proportional amount. So, divide the amount you're going to use (3lb. 5oz.) by the weight listed (25 lbs). But, you're dealing with pounds and ounces and that won't divide out. However, if you convert them to ounces, you can divide those:
    at 16oz. per pound, 3lb. 5oz is 53oz. (48+5) and 25lb. is 400. 53 divided by 400 = .1325 or 13.25%. You're using 13.25% of the full amount, so therefore, you can use 13.25% of each ingredient to make it proportionally correct.
    Now, however, it's hard to figure out what 13.25% of 11 oz. is. But, if you convert your ounces to grams, then it's easy as grams are based on 10's and are a much smaller measurement. If you print out a conversion chart from:
    you can see that 11 oz. is 311.84 grams (make it 312). Multiply 312 by .1325 and you have 41.34 grams, or about 41 grams is close enough. So, you'd measure out on your scale set to grams 41 grams of seasoning.

    1oz. of cure would be .1325 of 28.34 grams, or 3.75 grams of cure - measure out just 4 grams is as accurate as you can get.

    2 oz. of binder would be 56.69 x .1325 or 7.51 grams, measure 8 grams.

    3lbs. of water would be 3x16 or 48 oz., which is 1360.77 grams x .1325, or 180.30 g. - measure 180 grams.

    Now, put a small container on your scale and set the tare to zero. Set the scale to grams, add water to 180 g. Add binder to 188 g (180+8), then add cure to 192 (188+4). You now have the proper proportion of ingredients to season 3lbs. 5 oz. of meat! And, you won't kill anyone by using too much nitrite!

    Hope this is understandable; if not just ask and I'll try to further explain anything more.

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  4. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, it is very accurate.
  5. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now, the one recipe I can share is my dad's from his grocery store for his pan sausage (breakfast sausage). He sold tons of this, it's an old-fashioned recipe from the family farm and is quite simple and basic:

    Mix together :

    8 oz. salt
    2oz. black pepper
    1oz. ground sage

    Mix well.

    Measure out 1/2 ounce of seasoning per pound of meat: 4oz for 8lbs.

    Cut pork into 1" or so cubes. Mix with seasoning and let set 10 min. for the salt to pull out some moisture, then remix.

    Grind once or twice thru a fine plate (depends on your preference) for patties. Or, grind once, then stuff into 19mm lamb casings for little links, or 28mm to 32mm hog casings to smoke for smoky breakfast sausages.

    Again, if you're using other than full lbs. of product, you can re-proportion as described above!
  6. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just re-read my posts and I erred: I said the water was 135.22 g., measure out 133.. should have been 136 - so add 3g to the culmative calc of total ingredient weights. Sorry!
    (It's so hard posting here... I git so dang hungry!!!)
  7. agmeyer

    agmeyer Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG] Best advice given yet on this site besides the remote thermometers and smoker Modifications; maybe better? I bought 2 scales; 0 to 6 lbs by .0001 and the other is 0 to 15 lbs by .001. I have a digital feed scale that goes to 400 lbs by .1 lbs. Great advice when doing seasonings and measuring spices and cures in my humble opinion. I hope you measure carefully and don't forget to add water to the sausage snack sticks or rings. Happy Smoke Rings from Sedalia, MO. Your way may be better; but remember if it isn't broke; you don't have to fix it. Rich.
  8. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Made 5lbs. of Beef Summer Sausage with cheese chubs. Used 5lb. roll of ground Chuck (80/20), seasoned with Butcher Packer Smoked Summer Sausage seasoning and hi-temp cheddar (as per above) and smoked 1.5 hrs. at 280 deg. Made 7 3/4 lb. chubs.
  9. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks agmeyer! And yes, you're absolutely right.. whatever method you use now as long as it gives you the results you want, then don't change. This is just for anyone looking for a more accurate way of reproportioning seasonings. I was stumped the first few times and made some really wild mixes until I remembered how my dad showed me at the meat market (about 40 years ago.. took a long time for the brain cells to regenerate the memories, believe me!). We did it on a much larger scale but the principles were still the same - instead of 10 lbs. of product, we were producing 500 - 1000 lbs. at a time. But, it was all just using percentages properly.
    Now, if I could just get my body weight to be about half ... my doctor would be ecstatic! hahah!