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Venison Summer Sausage Suet vs Boston Butt, Temperature and Cure Question

mtnlakeman

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Joined Dec 3, 2012

I have quite a few questions, and have read through lot's of posts, but I can't either find the answers or I'm not quite clear on them.
[justify]#1 In making a venison summer sausage mixed with pork is there a difference in using pork fat vs a boston butt for texture? Last year I made some with fat and it came out crumbly which I didn't know if it was because of the fat or my cooking temperatures?[/justify][justify]  [/justify][justify]#2 ​If I start my smoker at 120 for a summer sausage about what temperature should the SS be before I bump up the heat? Last year I waited for a long time for it to get to 110 before I bumped it up and I wondered if I slowly cooked the fat out is the reason I had the crumbly texture?[/justify][justify]  [/justify][justify]#3 Unrelated to the smoker, but I also wonder when putting in a starter culture for fermenting do you put the cure in with the spices or after the starter culture has worked for a day or so? It seems like everyone on here throws everything together, but my question is why doesn't the cure kill/inhibit the starter culture? I read where too much acid can create a crumbly texture.[/justify][justify]  [/justify][justify]I've got 25 lbs in the smoker right now so will learn some of the answers, but if you have any insight I'd greatly appreciate it. I used beef suet at 26% with a commercial spice blend, and started the smoker at 120 and when the SS got to 85 I increased the smoker to 130. I'm into it about 1 hour.[/justify][justify]  [/justify]
 
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mtnlakeman

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Another update on my summer sausage. I have the smoker at 170 and the SS is at 135. It's been in there for 6 hours is this okay, or should I raise the smoker temperature?
 

mkriet

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Leave it be. The SS I made last week took 10 hours. Don't go above 170-180
 

crankybuzzard

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Start at 120 for 1.5 hours with no smoke. This helps dry the exterior of the sausages. Then bump the temp to 130 and add smoke. Every 30 minutes after, bump the temp up by 10 degrees until you hit 170 in the smoker. Allow the sausages to get to 152 internal and then remove from the smoker and shower with cold water to stop the cooking effect.

It takes a LONG time for SS to get to temp, but this process prevents fat Out and case hardening.
 

SmokinAl

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Sounds like you got your answers!

I just had to tell you that you have a great looking smokehouse!

Al
 

mtnlakeman

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I appreciate your guidance as I had just turned up the smoker to 180. So ran back out and turned it down to 170 and ended up 13 hrs, but they turned out great.
 

mtnlakeman

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Thanks CrankyBuzzard. Next time I run these I'm following your advice. I think I could have shaved a few hours. It took 14 hrs in total. The issue I had was the polar vortex had us at -12 and running out to the smoker at 11 pm had my wife in her kerchief and me in my cap as it was quite frigid last night. While the smoker was preheating (I use wood for both heat and smoke) I hung the ss at room temp for an hour, 120 for an hour, 130 for an hour, 140 for 4 hours and then 170 for 7 hours... they turned out awesome.

Thanks for the compliment SmokinAl. Now I just need to get the inside results as good.

I'm still wondering about the cure and fermenting? The SS shown I didn't ferment and it tastes that way. Good if you like milld, but not perfect as there's no acid tang at all. I prefer the tang so wondered the proper method of fermenting? Add starter culture, liquid, meat, milk, dextrose and let work for a day or two then throw in spice and cure, or throw everything in together and let it work for a day or two? I would have used fermento had I known this didn't have the tang, but I'm more of a traditionalist so like the idea of fermenting vs adding acid.
 

crankybuzzard

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Thanks CrankyBuzzard. Next time I run these I'm following your advice. I think I could have shaved a few hours. It took 14 hrs in total. The issue I had was the polar vortex had us at -12 and running out to the smoker at 11 pm had my wife in her kerchief and me in my cap as it was quite frigid last night. While the smoker was preheating (I use wood for both heat and smoke) I hung the ss at room temp for an hour, 120 for an hour, 130 for an hour, 140 for 4 hours and then 170 for 7 hours... they turned out awesome.

Thanks for the compliment SmokinAl. Now I just need to get the inside results as good.

I'm still wondering about the cure and fermenting? The SS shown I didn't ferment and it tastes that way. Good if you like milld, but not perfect as there's no acid tang at all. I prefer the tang so wondered the proper method of fermenting? Add starter culture, liquid, meat, milk, dextrose and let work for a day or two then throw in spice and cure, or throw everything in together and let it work for a day or two? I would have used fermento had I known this didn't have the tang, but I'm more of a traditionalist so like the idea of fermenting vs adding acid.
Looks like everything turned out quite well!  The procedure I gave you is one that a LOT of us on here use for sausages, snack sticks, and some other items that need a low temp smoke.

My SS usually take 8-14 hours, so you were right in line with time.

Encapsulated Citric Acid (ECA) may help some with the tang you're looking for.  It's not the same as a fermented sausage, but it's closer.
 

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