Summer sausage is a particular hit when it comes to pork delicacies. It’s a semi-dry sausage that falls halfway between salami and fresh sausage in terms of texture. The best part is that it is simple to prepare at home.
But what if you don’t have access to a grill or a smoker? There’s no need to be concerned; all you’ll need is an essential household oven. If you’re wondering how to prepare summer sausage in the OvenOven, start by preheating the OvenOven to 170°F and then increasing the temperature to 190°F. In the end, you want your summer sausage to achieve a temperature of 160-165°F on the inside.
This article will provide you with all the information you require on the subject. I’ll also go through some additional cooking methods and give some pointers to keep in mind.
- What is summer sausage?
- Things required
- How to Make Summer Sausage in the Oven
- Finishing Summer Sausage on the Oven
- Frequently asked questions
What is summer sausage?
Summer sausage was a German invention preserved throughout the winter and spring months and into the summer months without refrigeration. That’s because classic summer sausage is a semi-dry sausage with three different preservation forms, a practice that’s been around for centuries.
Other ingredients are needed to reduce the pH of the sausage so that it does not need to be refrigerated. The following instructions are for semi-dry, shelf-stable sausage.
The Backwoods Summer Sausage Blend can be used as a base seasoning, but it will need to be supplemented with other ingredients to ensure good preservation. The curing salts start the preservation process first.
Second, summer sausage is cooked either in an oven or in a smoker, our favorite way. Both cooking processes partially dry and thoroughly cook the meat, which aids in sausage preservation. Although we enjoy the smokey flavor, not everyone has access to a smoker. Finally, traditional summer sausage contains lactobacillus bacteria, commonly utilized as starter bacteria in yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut, pickles, beer, cider, kimchi, and chocolate. Lactic acid fermentation is the final step. It limits the growth of undesirable bacteria while imparting the sour flavor you’re undoubtedly familiar with from many of the items we just described.
Encapsulated Citric Acid is a component used to reduce the pH of the sausage, dry it out, and give it a tang. To make a shelf-stable sausage, combine encapsulated citric acid with any of Backwoods Cured Seasoning Blends. Follow the guidelines carefully, and if the tang bothers you, add some Trehalose to help cover it.
These three protections combine to produce a semi-dry sausage that might be stored and consumed during the summer before refrigeration. Food preservation requirements have changed since we first started using refrigerators.
We recommend following the USDA’s standards, which specify that semi-dry sausage, such as summer sausage, can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 months unopened and three weeks after opening. We’ll swap brain food for stomach food and get straight into the sausage filling instructions now that we’ve covered that.
After you’ve quartered your game and sliced up the steaks, loins, and rump, you’ll have plenty of parts to make sausage with. Aim for an 80/20 ratio of lean to fat in your meat. We prefer pork fat because of its mild flavor, but you can use any fat you like. To make 10 pounds of sausage, combine 8 pounds of meat with 2 pounds of fat. You’ll need to grind the meat and fat bits together to make the sausage basis. You don’t have to utilize game meat all of the time. It’s also delicious to use ground beef or pork from your favorite butcher.
Consider the meat thermometer before dismissing the idea of making homemade summer sausage due to potential health risks. You could already have one at home. If not, it could prove to be a wise investment. You can always be confident that your sausages are fully cooked if you use a meat thermometer. You might be tempted to remove the sausages from the OvenOven after they’ve been cooking for a while.
That isn’t something you have to guess with a meat thermometer. When the internal temperature of the sausages reaches 160-165°F on a thermometer, you know they’re done. Cutting the sausage using a knife is another option, though cutting through the casing may result in the sausage losing its shape. Furthermore, you will not be sure of the internal temperature.
Casing and Seasonings
If you prefer, you can make your seasoning blend, and we’ll provide some suggestions below. Check out our High-Temp Hot Pepper Cheese if you enjoy cheese in your sausage. It comes in cheddar, swiss, and habanero flavors and can be baked in chunks up to 400 degrees.
That meat isn’t going to ground by itself, and it certainly isn’t going to put itself into the casings. One of our Big Bite Grinders and a Mighty Bite Sausage Stuffer are recommended. A Meat Mixer and a Meat Lug are additional options. The mixer makes it much easier to whisk in the seasonings. It also prevents your fingertips from becoming icily.
How to Make Summer Sausage in the Oven
You know that making summer sausage in the OvenOven is not only possible but often preferable. Let’s go over the steps and everything to be done before putting the sausages in the OvenOven. You must first select the meat for your summer sausage. Pork, beef, lamb, chicken, or venison, perhaps?
Keep in mind that, despite their versatility, sausages should contain between 25 and 30 percent fat on average. If you’re using leaner meat, boost the fat percentage with beef tallow or another animal-based fat. After that, you must choose your seasonings. Traditional seasonings include salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, cayenne pepper, and others.
You can also add cheese. Summer sausages are ideally served with a high-temperature cheese. Finally, there are two more considerations to consider. The meat binder will keep the fat from clumping.
Curing salts are required because they prevent bacteria from growing in the sausage. For the summer sausage, you’ll need Curing Salt #1 (also known as Insta Cure #1, Prague Powder #1, or pink curing salt), which has the proper proportion of ingredients. After you’ve combined all of these components, your summer sausage needs to ferment for the curing salt to work its magic. The beef combination is refrigerated for at least 24 hours.
After that, the meat is stuffed into sausage casings. Then set them aside to cool to room temperature. Preheat the OvenOven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit and put the sausages under the broiler. Gradually increase the heat to 190°F and check the internal temperature of the sausages.
Finishing Summer Sausage on the Oven
If you want to make your summer sausage in a smoker, you’ll probably need the help of your OvenOven to finish it. You might not be able to get the smoker’s temperature as high as is necessary to cook the sausage properly.
Or you may want to expedite the process but still enjoy that smokiness as well. Summer sausage is commonly finished in the OvenOven by those accustomed to producing this meat dish at home.
When you take the sausages out of the smoker, let them rest in the fridge overnight for the best results. Preheat your OvenOven to 185-190°F the next day, then lay the sausages on the broiler and bake them. Remove the sausages and set them aside to cool once the internal temperature reaches 160-165°F.
Frequently asked questions
How Long Should I Cook my Summer Sausage in the OvenOven?
There isn’t a simple answer to this question. There are many different cooking directions for homemade summer sausage because there are so many other recipes. Cooking your summer sausage in the OvenOven will take between two and three hours at the very least.
However, in the majority of situations, it is much longer. The cooking time will be affected by the size of the links as well as the contents. If you’ve added water to the beef mixture, you’ll need to cook it in the OvenOven for a little longer.
That is naturally annoying for inexperienced summer sausage makers. You don’t want your summer sausage to be dry and overdone, but you also don’t want it to be undercooked. So, what’s the answer? Continue reading to find out.
Is it safe to store summer sausage in the freezer?
What is the shelf life of dried summer sausage in the freezer? If properly stored, it will keep its finest quality for around ten months, but it will be safe for much longer. The freezer time indicated is for optimal quality only; dry summer sausage that has been stored frozen at 0°F for an extended period will keep permanently.
How long am I supposed to smoke the summer sausage?
Summer sausage is not supposed to be overcooked because it will become dry and crumbly. Cook the sausage until it reaches a temperature of 155 degrees on the inside. The process takes roughly 4 hours on average.
Hopefully, you now have a comprehensive understanding of how to bake summer sausage. Electric and propane smokers are also good choices, but the process may take longer and be more difficult.
In general, when cooking summer sausage, it’s essential to keep an eye on the interior temperature. You may not need a meat thermometer if you have a lot of experience preparing summer sausage at home. Otherwise, it will be your most valuable ally when making sausages.