Summer Sausage Question

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by iaswam, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. iaswam

    iaswam Newbie

    Hi all,

    I am new here, and I have to say, I like what I have read so far. I made a batch of summer sausage, pulled it out at 158 degrees. I let it cool, sliced it open, and noticed it had a pink ring and a grey center. the texture is the same throughout the sausage. Is it cooked all the way through? What caused this?

    Thanks for any and all input!
  2. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome to the forum. What recipe and cure did you use? More info on the method you used to make it would be helpful as well as photos.
  3. iaswam

    iaswam Newbie

    Sorry. I'm a novice smoker. That would be some good info to share. Lol

    Here goes:

    3 lbs. Ground beef
    1.5 lbs. Ground pork
    Smokehouse brand summer sausage cure/seasoning
    Summer sausage - type casings

    Mixed meat according to directions. Stuffed casings. Cured in refrigerator overnight.

    Smoker info:
    Super Chief pellet smoker
    (Thermostat not accurate)
    Smoked for 3 hours at approx. 140ish.
    Cooked for about 2 hours until meat thermometer read 158.

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  4. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    What type of thermometer did you use to check your internal temp? I'm hoping some of the guys with more knowledge will chime in. If your internal temp was 158 you should be o.k.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  5. iaswam

    iaswam Newbie

    I used a standard, dial-type thermometer that was brand new. After the 3 hour smoke I inserted it lengthwise into the center of one of the sausages. It read 136. After a couple more hours it hit 158.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Check your thermometer in boiling water.... Where do you live.... please place that info in your profile... It will help answering question like this....
    Water boils at different temps. depending on elevation.... so when checking therms, elevation is important.... If your therm reads high, make an adjustment for it... reads 10 degrees high, take the meat to 168... not a big deal.... just takes some figuring out...

    The meat looks like a good recipe.... that pink ring could be a smoke ring.... If you need to reheat it to get it up to a finish temp, do so... then submerge in ice water to cool below 90 degrees.... let it rest for a day in the refer and give it another taste test... you can poach in 160-170 degree water to cook sausage.... don't know what method you used, or you can steam to bring to final temp...

  7. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    It appears that the cure wasn't mixed properly? The red color comes from the use of cure in the meat.
  8. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, I'm thinking that pink ring could also be from the cure in the mix. I've used cure in sausages and had similar looking final product. The texture itself could be from the mixing of the meat. You never mentioned the fat ratio of the ground beef you used. I've come to appreciate the addition of NFPM to my sausage as a binder and it improves the texture of the final product IMO. 1 cup per 5 pounds of meat with the addition of about 3/4 to 1 cup of liquid to a 5 pound batch makes a nice, sticky blob for stuffing. Truthfully, I'm not a big fan of commercially made mixes although many use them with great results......Willie
  9. iaswam

    iaswam Newbie

    Wow. This is a lot to take in, but I really appreciate all the advice. I read on a post on this forum from 5 or so years ago that someone wanted to venture into Summer sausage territory, and wanted to avoid "the grey circle of failure". I'm thinking that is what I achieved. lol

    I was wondering if it smoked too fast? Could that make the sausage "cook" in the middle rather than smoking?

    And 1 other thing; I cured the sausage in the casings. Would it have been better to cure the meat before stuffing?

    All in all, the taste is good, and the meat is definitely done.

    Thanks again for the help!
  10. iaswam

    iaswam Newbie

    I used 1 lb. of 80/20 ground beef, 2 lbs. 75/15 ground beef, and 1.5 lbs. ground pork. The directions on the cure/seasoning package said to add 1 cup of water, which I did. Excuse my ignorance, but what is NFPM?
  11. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Non Fat Dry Milk...sorry, most all is abbreviated these days. I used a ground beef from Wal-Mart recently that had to much fat for my liking....last time I go cheap. I've been informed by many to stick to 80/20 ground chuck for better results.....Willie
  12. iaswam

    iaswam Newbie

    No worries. I think the next time I will try better quality meat myself.
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Curing/resting for 24 hours or so, in the refer, is accepted practice.... If you rest the meat in the refer, for 24 hours or so, then try to stuff, the meat can "thicken" or "stiffen" up to the point, it can be difficult to stuff.....
    Resting or "blooming" the meat for a longer period of time in the refer, "may" reduce the circle effect and have the meat get to a more equilibrium state...

    You did good.....

  14. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I'm baffled as to why its brown in the middle. I have mixed meat for SS and stuffed and smoked immediately and also stuffed and left in the fridge for 1 day or longer  and never had anything but red all the way through. I would say you didn't use enough cure BUT I know it was a premix package ??? Sorry I don't have a clue . I'm using 4:1 venison to pork so your mixture is foreign to me .CM
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  15. centex99

    centex99 Fire Starter

    No way its a cure issue... If you're certain it was cooked fully all the way thru, then the only thing I could think of is a smoke ring?  Did you use a TON of smoke?
  16. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    One other thing to check is the temperature of your fridge in the area where your sausages were kept. If the temp was too cold it may have inhibited curing.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  17. wazzuqer

    wazzuqer Smoke Blower

    I wish I could help but it new to me...
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very good point..... curing should be done at 38-40 deg. F for the cure #1 to work properly....

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