Summer Sausage Almost FAIL

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by chef willie, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Coming to the conclusion I am not a fan of 100% ground beef sausage or stix. I say 'almost fail' because the stuff is edible/passable but not what I'm looking for. I will say the 'tang' is definitely there with the addition of the ECA along with the buttermilk culture. I used a whole pepper 'medley' thinking the different colors of red, white, green & black would be interesting. All seem to have disappeared somewhere, perhaps to be found later on. Truthfully, biting into a whole peppercorn wasn't a thrill for me either. I'm certain of operator errors on my part that I'm viewing as a learning curve, this being my first true SS attempt. I screwed up by using 'pre-stuck' casings and after 4 hours of smoke and with my impatience running rampant I submerged it into a water bath to finish. Don't know what I was thinking....holes not only let the smoke in but water as well. So, I had SS swimming in it's own casing as I pulled it out of the bath. The overrun went into 30MM red casings that I found interesting, my original intent was to stuff with my Hot Links recipe. They faired better than the SS casing and the overall look of the interior is better. Live and learn....I'm thinking a 60/40 beef/pork ratio next time, no peppercorns but more cayenne for Zip or crushed red peppers. This chub will be sliced and brought to the bar to see what the peeps think through beer goggles. Perhaps a 93/7 ratio is in order? Again, I found no fault with Joes error with the casing doomed the chub IMO but I will continue searching until I hit THE jackpot recipe......Willie


    1. 5 lbs lean hamburger

    2. Add 3.5 tsp Mortons tender quick

    3. Add 2 1/2 tsp garlic salt (I used just granulated garlic)

    4 .Add 2 1/2 tsp ground pepper

    5. Add1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

    6. Add1 tsp liquid smoke

    7. Add1/2 oz or 14g cultured buttermilk

    8. Add1 tsp black peppercorns

    9. 1 tsp mustard seed

     I added 1 tsp of ECA per pound of meat at the very end, just before stuffing

     Mix all ingredients 1-9 and set in fridge for 24 hrs. Add steps 2 through 9 into the meat again and mix. let sit in fridge for another 24 hrs. fill into fibrous non edible casings and smoke til internal temp reaches 155 degrees...

    after the second day----no added liquid was used

    felt nice and tight

    after 4 hours of smoke...into the poach

    horror of horrors......wet and shriveled

    these looked promising

    after 2 days of fridge bloom....not bad

    my first thought was 'cold meatloaf' texture.....moving onward

  2. Chef, I guess just chalk this one up to a learning experience then huh. The last batch (and my only) was done with a 80/20 mixture of pork shoulder to lean  beef. I REALLY liked it. It was nicely compact and held together beautifully after cooked. I also LOVE to taste of pork sausage, so that might have been the deal for me. I used Len Poli's recipe for German SS. It's a good base that I'm going to continue to work with. Here's a shot of what was produced from the mixture. Good luck on the next batch! 

  3. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It happens to all of us Willie, You'll make good use of it I'm sure till ya try again.
    I used 81/19 ground beef last time and came out nice, I also add soy protein concentrate to help with the bind and to hold some moisture while smoking.

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  4. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yep, that's it exactly....much like Edison with the lightbulb. I also prefer the pork sausages so I'm on the hunt for the correct blend for me.....100% beef is out
    Now, that looks delish. And, I agree with the addition of NFDM or another binder which I usually use. This is what I was hoping for...

  5. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    I am curious if you soaked your peppercorns before you mixed them in. Soaking them for 2-3 hours before you mix them in will soften them and mellow them out some.
  6. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Chef, I dont see any dry powdered milk in the recipe.  That would of helped with the texture and appearance in my opinion.  One cup for that 5 pound mix.  I have used 80/20 ground beef for summer type sausage and it's just fine for this.  Reinhard.
  7. I'm gonna chime in here and that the NFDM and the like isn't really needed. Granted, it serves the purpose of ensuring a plump and nicely textured final product, but I've never used it in any of my pork or beef products (that SS being the only beef one I've made). A proper meat/fat ratio and mix to obtain the bind and closely watching your temps is all that really needed to get a final product that looks like my picture. There would be no fat out thus moisture and juiciness would be intact also. 

    With that said, I'm by NO means downing those that do. When a lack of fat content is present in a mixture, it sure does help with giving a juicy end a certain extent. So Chef, I don't think that additional would 100% cure the issue you've got here. I don't see any fat marbling in the photo so your temps might not have been what you thought they were. Overcooked SS would result in a crumbly texture like you've got...especially if it's 100% beef.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  8. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Okey Dokey
  9. I use a lot of 80/20 and have never had a problem. One thing about it. Your friends with a cold beer will always say good things about it and the ones who don't will miss out on the next batch.

    Happy smoken.

  10. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Chef Willie, I think they look awesome ! With that said, hope ya soon find the combo of things your lookin for to get em how your wanting !

  11. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sorry to hear that Willie......  I like Summer sausage on the lean side with the 90/10 lean to fat ground beef. You can run the smoker a little hotter and not get the "fat out". Freshly ground beef that hasn't been frozen is what I like to use. I like peppercorns and having a slicer helps cut thin enough slices where you don't get the whole peppercorn....The peppercorns were a matter of preference. I hate it didn't work out for you. The recipe is pretty good stuff. I bought some bactoferm I might try in it next time and eliminate the eca and buttermilk culture.....
  12. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I use a 60/40 mix and add Fermento or dry powdered milk in with my spices. Smoke for 4 hours, then no smoke, only heat till it gets to temp. Sometimes it takes a long time to get there depending on how many chubs you have in the smoker.

    Here is a picture from my last batch.

  13. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    LOL> right you are!! The cronies at the Vets Bar ate the shit outta it...I brought 2 mustards (mild & a HOT) for dippin' and they scarfed up the whole plateful.....
    Thanks man.....moving on with another batch soon...gonna get me some different casings
    Hi Joe....was no problem with the recipe....think I'll have another go at it and add some pork loin (dark end) to it for a little diff taste. I have access to a slicer at work....may try that out next time if I use the whole peppers again. Even though I added NO additional water the juice was running out along the horn as I turned the crank, which I found odd...thought it would be drier. The ECA use was my first time....will probably get some Bactoferm myself along with different casings....the no holes type....thinking that was my major error when I submerged it instead of riding it out in the smoker.

    However, as mentioned above..the guys at the Bar loved it, scarfing up almost the whole chub......go figure
    Hey HT...thx for the input. I'm thinking along the same ratio for next run with different, no holes, casings and adding some NFDM as I usually do in other sausages. The ECA gave it a nice tang so will use it again. I remember that batch in the had a full MES if I recall & it took forever to finish. I must start earlier in the day to allow for this longer smoke time.....I jumped the shark and pushed it.
  14. Looks to me like you may have over cooked, or temp on smoker was way high. I use 100% venison, buffalo  all the time and never have a problem. Also try adding soy protein or dry milk to your mixture next time. 
  15. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    yes, and when it stalled I had to pop the heat up a bit to push it over the edge and get it finished., once it peaks, the temp go quick and finishes fast, I kind of think of it like " boiling water" you are right there on the edge and then all of a sudden it starts boiling over if you know what I mean. Speaking of which, it's about time i make some more also.

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