Gray Summer Sausage Center, safe to eat?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by ibebirdman, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. ibebirdman

    ibebirdman Newbie

    Long time lurker here in need of some help.  This past weekend I made summer sausage and it now has developed a grayish center I have never seen before. Here is what I did:

    Sunday I made 25lbs of venison summer sausage, 1oz cure #1.  Smoked until internal temp was 120ish (about 4 hours), placed in 170degree water bath until internal temp was 155, monitored with dual digital probes, when reached temp, into a ice bath. Sampled some that night, was great, best batch I have ever made. Stored in refrigerator overnight.  Cut and packaged the next day, everything looked fine and normal. Left the ends of the sticks in the fridge to eat later.  

    Today, Wednesday, went to eat the ends, and found grayish centers surrounded by nice pink ring on some of the pieces.  Just didn't look right and had a different feel/texture compared to outer edge.

    Any idea what might be wrong?  

    Safe to eat? 

    Thanks for the help,

  2. unionguynw

    unionguynw Smoke Blower

    Was it where the probe was? I had some grey areas around where the probe was in a batch I did last week. Thought it was odd but smelled and tasted fine.
  3. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Should have smoked the SS to at least 140 before the per boil or skipped the par biol all together and taken it to 154 . You cooked the SS too fast not allowing the cure to do its thing in the center.

    My 2 cents

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  4. ibebirdman

    ibebirdman Newbie

    The gray was not where the probes were. I have seen that before and that would not worry me. 

    I forgot to mention that I did leave the sausage in the fridge over night after stuffing and before cooking. So the cure should have had plenty of time to work before going into the smoker.

    My smoker does does not move moisture well, many directions I have read say allow the surface of the sausage to dry before added smoke. Never understood the reason for that, but I know that I don't really do that.  

    I really like the par boil method.  Getting the sausage the last 20 degrees takes forever and in a my small smoker I have a tendency to over cook the ends. It had worked great in the the past.

    Thanks for the thoughts, keep them coming, 

  5. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have seen this before on SMF.... I am unable to locate the thread which had pictures of the grayish center. I would say the meat has reached temp all through the sausage with the par boil method unless your therm was inaccurate so I dont think this is a temperature issue...... As you stated the cure was in the meat overnight so that was not the issue. I'm still aiming at the speed in which the SS center reached its final internal temp that ould cause the discoloration... the sausage slowly reached temp on the outer part of the SS in your smoker and the color is good. When the SS was moved to the parboil at such a low temp the dicoloring started due to the rapid heating of the center.

    My 3 cents
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That it.... How to cure a ham recipe from the internet.... I think...
  7. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Yuck, ham sandwitch almost came up on that pic dave.

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