Summer Sausage Help

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jvhome869

Newbie
Original poster
Jan 10, 2024
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Hello All!
First time poster and my first time working with summer sausage. I recently put together a batch of elk summer sausage. Unfortunately, I did not read the directions as carefully as I thought. As per the directions I was to mix the meat with the seasoning and the cure and let set at least 12 hours. I did not do this but stuffed and smoked immediately after mixing. Is this meat safe to eat if all other directions were followed? TIA for any info...I hope I do not need to throw out his batch as elk meat is hard to come by in my neck of the woods.

Jay
 
It also might be helpful to know what the ingredients were in the spice pack. Summer sausage mixes usually have an acidic component to give that tanginess in unfermented summer sausage. Some of acidifying ingredients also act as cure accelerators.
 
So I used the Hi Mt Jalapeno and cheese commercial mix per the directions. I used a wireless thermo to monitor the heat. First, put it in the oven for 1 hour at the lowest setting trying for 120 but was closer to 140...then to the smoker on low about 140 for 1 hour...then 160 for 30...then 180 until it reached 160 internally. I think it took about 4-5 hours start to finish.

Thanks Jay
 
The final IT is what we really need to know. The nitrite that is in the cure is already within the guidelines of USDA which are safe to consume without any depletion. Nitrite is mainly there to neutralize botulism which can be deadly if there and given time to make toxins. Even if there is a cure accelerator involved the nitrite doesn’t completely deplete in the cooking process.

We need smoke temp, time to final and the final IT. To answer the question.
 
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The final IT is what we really need to know. The nitrite that is in the cure is already within the guidelines of USDA which are safe to consume without any depletion. Nitrite is mainly there to neutralize botulism which can be deadly if there and given time to make toxins. Even if there is a cure accelerator involved the nitrite doesn’t completely deplete in the cooking process.

We need smoke temp, time to final and the final IT. To answer the question.
So I used the Hi Mt Jalapeno and cheese commercial mix per the directions. I used a wireless thermo to monitor the heat. First, put it in the oven for 1 hour at the lowest setting trying for 120 but was closer to 140...then to the smoker on low about 140 for 1 hour...then 160 for 30...then 180 until it reached 160 internally. I think it took about 4-5 hours from start to finish.
 
What temps did you smoke at, what was the final internal temp and how long did it take to get there.
So I used the Hi Mt Jalapeno and cheese commercial mix per the directions. I used a wireless thermo to monitor the heat. First, put it in the oven for 1 hour at the lowest setting trying for 120 but was closer to 140...then to the smoker on low about 140 for 1 hour...then 160 for 30...then 180 until it reached 160 internally. I think it took about 4-5 hours start to finish.
 
I would say your
So I used the Hi Mt Jalapeno and cheese commercial mix per the directions. I used a wireless thermo to monitor the heat. First, put it in the oven for 1 hour at the lowest setting trying for 120 but was closer to 140...then to the smoker on low about 140 for 1 hour...then 160 for 30...then 180 until it reached 160 internally. I think it took about 4-5 hours start to finish.
I would say your alright, seems you reached 160 around the 4 hour mark.
 
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I agree with Jim. You should be fine with the cooking schedule and final IT. Only negative thing is without an accelerator you will still have nitrites present. The heating to 160 does degrade and break down nitrite but not all of it. In today’s age it is thought that these leftover nitrite could form nitrosamines, even if true I think you need a lot more than one round of SS to have a negative effect.

Those out there who mix and then add ECA or sodium erythorbate then stuff and smoke same day have the same residual leftover nitrite but it is accepted that the vitamin C in either accelerators stops the formation of nitrosamines. To be safe in the future let the mix cure overnight at least even if you add erythorbate, then stuff and smoke. Will taste better too. Flavor takes a little time.
 
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