Smoked beef summer sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by kihler, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. kihler

    kihler Smoke Blower

    I made my first smoked beef summer sausage and it turned out dry. The flavor was good but the end product was dry. I used 2 pounds of ground beef and 10 oz of bacon plus herbs and spices. I thought the bacon would give it the moisture it needed.  I ground the beef and bacon together several times to give a smooth and even texture. I smoked it at 225 for an hour and finished it covered in the oven for 3 hour at 225. 

    Any thoughts on why it was dry?  
  2. Probably went too long in the oven. 155 is the usual internal temp. for SS. Also you MUST put it in an ice bath quickly to stop the cooking. I cooked my first batch too long. 
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The first thing I see is that you smoked it at way too high a temp. You should never let the smoker temp get above 175, when smoking sausage. The fat will melt out. Also I would use some pork in it too, maybe 80% beef and 20% pork. Usually you start the smoker out at 120 & slowly increase the temps over a few hours to 175. No smoke for the first hour or so. I'm sure others will chime in with their ideas too.

  4. chopsaw

    chopsaw Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I'm going to suggest you start the post over . Need to know the recipe you used . Did you use cure 1 ?  Milk powder or a binder ? 

    Temps above are good if you used the correct amount of cure 1 for the 2 lbs of product . I always use soy protein or milk powder anymore had enough dry sausage to last me awhile , lol . 
  5. kihler

    kihler Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the input. I used Morton tender quick for the cure. 1 1/2 teaspoon per pound of beef. I didn't add any extra for the bacon since it was already cured. I didn't add any binder, does that help with the dryness? By reading the replies, I think I had the temp to high and I didn't give it a fast cool down. Would adding a little liquid to the beef mixture help? When you watch TV shows making summer sausage they add water. 
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I add water or wine or stock when making sausage. Amount varies depending on type of sausage. For summer sausage I do add NFDM to also help retain moisture. As mentioned your higher temp in the smoker and oven also would have contributed to the dryness.

    I use a step system for heat when smoking sausage and jerky. Start at 120-130 for first hour then bump 10 degrees every hour until the pit reaches 170. Cook the sausage to and IT of 156. It's a long process but makes a superior end product. I rarely ice bath after.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
    smokinpapist likes this.

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