Breakfast Sausage Spices

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by hog warden, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    I took a critical look at some breakfast sausage recipes and was a little surprised at what I found. Here are few that are well known on this site:

    These three are the one by Pops, Wedlinydomowe (very similar to the breakfast sausage on Pg. 169 of Rytek's 4th Ed) and one I have used several times. If you have Rytek's book, note the last item he mentions is ground hot pepper......1 Tb. per 10 pounds of sausage. That must be a typo. Should be 1 tsp. (BIG difference!)

    These are presented as measurements, weight in grams and percentages of the total. At the bottom is the total grams of combined spice mix per pound of meat.

    Note the similarity of the percentages. Pops only uses black pepper. The others make up for less black pepper by adding one version or another of red pepper....either ground or crushed. The others add one thing or another such as thyme, nutmeg and ginger.

    I recently picked up a couple pounds of sausage from a small local processor who makes sausage out of the trim. They use a salt/pepper/sage mix similar to Pops, but theirs is hotter. Looking at the charts, you could get that by simply adding something like 1/4 to 1/2 tsp hot pepper per 10 pounds of sausage. Not much pepper, but it would kick it up a notch. I've added 1 tsp per 12 pounds to mine and it turned out so hot some folks I know won't eat it.

    Another consideration......the recipe I've used specified coarse kosher salt. There is less of that (in weight) per measure than in a fine textured pure salt like canning and pickling. That would throw you off. Also, note that unless you have a scale to tenths of a gram, it gets hard to measure these small amounts of spices by weight for small batches. In these recipes you see that standout some as the same measures wind up weighing something different. Better to make enough spices for 25 pounds or so and use what you need by pound of sausage. I've also recently found out that even ground pepper varies in hu (heating units). I've seen it from 30,000 (mild) up to 135,000 (very hot). You might want to know which one you have if you are adding that in. Fresh spices more potent than stale....and so it goes.

    Along these lines, notice how little spice I use per pound vs. the others. It's half. It's slightly milder but its not like there is no spice at all. You notice it. The point being, that there can be a wide variation in what's up to you to figure out what you like best and go from there. After seeing these comparisons, I'm going to bump my spice ratio up to around 10 grams per pound and try a few pounds that way.
  2. sausage joe

    sausage joe Newbie

    I am interested on how your experiment works out. Keep us posted.

    joe b
  3. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Local store was running pork butts sliced into pork steaks for 89 cents a pound last week. So two of those, plus some pork fat at 49 cents and after trimming, I had 14.3 pounds of trimmed pork and fat to work with.

    Don't know who suggested it, but for these, I cut the steaks into long strips, vs. small cubes. That really helped with feeding them through the grinder. I'll keep doing that.

    Anyway, ground it all once, then split into 5 pounds for a modified version of Pop's recipe (I added 1/4 tsp ground red pepper); 5 pounds of Rytek's and 4.3 pounds of my recipe. Since I had about half a pound of the spice mix measured in bulk, I only needed to weigh out 43 grams and I was good to go. That turned out much better than what I had been using.

    In fact, all of them turned out really well. Give any of them a try and modify to suit your taste. If you buy bulk chubs in the store, note that some are mild and some are hot. You can go from one to the other by simply adding ground or crushed red pepper. None is mild. 1 tsp ground or 2 tsp crushed red pepper per 10 pounds of sausage is to the hotter side. Adjust as suits your taste.

    They should work stuffed or in bulk. I freeze mine in 1 pound packages in bulk and make patties as I need them.
  4. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Hog Warden
    I just saved it to my reference files for sausage
  5. pantherfan83

    pantherfan83 Smoking Fanatic

    I know that in his Charcuterie book Ruhlman spends considerable time discussing salt and how different types vary considerably when measured (even among different brands of kosher e.g. Diamond Crystal vs. Morton). He specifically says that all his recipes were written for a specific brand of kosher salt. I believe his preference was Diamond Crystal.
  6. surgem7

    surgem7 Fire Starter

    Warden,good post. I don't have scales so I can't be as accurate. I have calculated my mix on volume and determined that for Andouille I need 2 1/2
    Tablespoons of spice mix per pound of meat(excluding chopped garlic). Regular breakfast sausage is about 1 Tablespoon per pound. Works good to mix in bulk and and take out just what you need for the amount of meat on hand.

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