Summer Sausage vs. Salami: What’s the Difference?

Most people sometimes become confused about which meat to grind for summer. Is it summer sausage or summer salami? Both salami and sausages are delicious, and each has its taste, especially when taking them with a drink, which is wine or even beer. The two types of meat have some similarities: they taste almost the same, their texture is the same, and even the surface is not different.

Despite the two types of meat having similarities, there are some differences. For example, summer sausage usually has more moisture when you compare it with salami. Also, both are made of different ingredients, where summer sausage can be a mixture of either beef and pork. In contrast, the salami is made of pork and meat such as horsemeat, etc. therefore, it is essential to choose the kind of meat suitable or matches your taste and is advisable from a doctor if you have health issues.

If you wonder what the difference is between salami and sausage, read the article below. It shows the difference between summer sausage and salami. It also states their differences, including the frequently asked questions and how to make the summer sausages and salami. Finally, when choosing between the summer sausage and salami, the article briefly shows which is the best and why.

A quick comparison table between summer sausage and salami

ComparisonSummer sausageSalami
Moisture capacityHolds more moistureHas lower moisture capacity, unlike summer sausage
Smoking processYou can smoke itYou can also smoke it
RefrigerationMost people prefer storing it in a refrigeratorYou can store it either in a refrigerator or even the countertop
DrynessAlmost dry since it holds moistureUsually dry or it is  a dry sausage
CuringYou can cure itYou can cure it
Three weeks refrigerationAfter you open it, you can keep it in a refrigerator for up to three weeksAfter opening it, you can keep it on the fridge or even countertop for up to approximately three weeks
12 weeks refrigerationStore it for up to 12 weeks if you have not opened itNot opening it, you can store it on the countertop for approximately six weeks.

Differences between summer sausage and salami

summer sausage vs salami

Despite the summer sausage and the salami having the same appearance, some differences exist between them. The differences make it suitable for most people to distinguish between the two meats. The information below shows the differences between the summer sausage and the salami.

1. Moisture capacity

In terms of moisture capacity, the two types of meat hold moisture capacity differently. For summer sausage, it has more moisture content making it less dry and different from the salami. The salami usually goes in a separate drying process that is much higher than summer sausage hence drying more than summer sausage.

For example, when drying both summer sausage and salami, the salami loses water that has moisture of approximately 15%, leaving it with more moisture. When it comes to salami, it loses more water that has moisture of about 25% content. The higher the amount of water lost during the drying process, the lower the moisture content remaining.

2. Refrigeration

The refrigeration process is a bit different between summer sausage and salami. For example, you can refrigerate the summer sausage in a refrigerator for a couple of weeks from three two twelve weeks; depending if it is opened or not.

You can store it either in a fridge or even a countertop for salami, but the most recommended device for storing the salami is the countertop. The salami can stay from three to six weeks, depending on the storage place and if opened or not opened.

3. Dryness

The dryness level depends on the moisture present in either the summer sausage or even the salami. The summer sausage is semi-dry since it holds more moisture content. For salami, it is dry since it loses a high amount of water that is approximately 25%. The amount of moisture the salami is losing leaves it dry, not like summer sausage.

4. Three weeks’ refrigeration

If you open the summer sausage and place it in the refrigerator, it can remain fresh for a couple of weeks, approximately three weeks. But, for the salami, you can keep it on the countertop after opening it for a couple of weeks, about three weeks. The freshness time for the two foods makes it suitable and saves money for buying another food if it doesn’t go well.

5. 12 weeks’ refrigeration

Sometimes, you may wish to store the two foods unopened for a couple of weeks. If you keep the summer sausage in a refrigerator while you have not opened it, it can be fresh for a couple of weeks, approximately twelve weeks, without going bad. But if you keep the salami on the countertop without opening it, it stays fresh for some time, that is, six weeks.

Similarities between summer sausage and salami

Similarities between summer sausage and salami

Despite the two foods having their differences, there are some similarities in terms of many things. For example, you can smoke both foods, but the dryness level varies. Luckily, the information below states the similarities between summer sausage and salami.

i. Smoking process

When it comes to smoking, you can smoke the two foods. Smoking is the process of removing the water content present in the foods. When smoking, the summer sausage loses less water than the salami. You can ferment the two foods depending on your taste.

ii. Curing

Both the summer sausage and salami are cured meats.  When treating the salami and the summer sausages, you have to use the curing ingredients. The curing elements include; lactic acid, salt, and sodium nitrate. The curing agents are essential because they get rid of the pathogens or germs that can interfere with their flavor, thus increasing their taste. After curing the ingredients, it is advisable to leave them or hang them to dry after stuffing them into casings.

iii. Appearance

Both curing types of meat, summer sausage, and salami have the same appearance. Despite the same appearance, the kind of food you can eat with the two foods differs. For example, you can eat salami with pizza toppings, cheese, baked potatoes, and others. You can eat your summer sausage with cheddar, gouda, among others. Also, you can use the summer sausage for pizza toppings and even sandwiches.

How to make both summer sausages and salami

How to make both summer sausages and salami

Before making both the salami and the summer sausage, the first thing to do is to cure them with the right ingredients. When fixing them, you must use salt in the recommended amount, and the salt comes with elements such as sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite that retain the amount of moisture and enhance the taste.

After curing the two foods, ground either salami or summer sausage, depending on your choice, and position them in their correct casings. The casings are either collagen or natural and are available anywhere. Proceed to cook the two foods. There are four ways in which you can make the two foods after curing them safe to eat, and they include;

1. Smoking

You can cook both the summer sausage and the salami and make them suitable for human consumption. First, have all the equipment and ingredients that are necessary for the cooking process. Also, ensure you have meat in the required amount and slice them in the shape that suits your preference. Most people prefer cutting it in diced or cubed shapes.

Heat the meat in high temperatures until it is ready to consume. Proceed to add flavoring to improve its taste. If you are cooking salami, consider using more heat than summer sausage and leave it to dry.

2. Drying meat

The other method to consider when cooking the summer sausage or salami meat is by drying them. Drying the meat reduces the original weight of both the summer sausage and the salami. Therefore, when drying, consider the amount of water or moisture present.

3. Semi-dryness

Some people prefer eating semi-dry summer sausage or salami. First, cook the meat by following the necessary steps. Then, proceed to dry it partially until it is semi-dry and not completely dry.

You might be interested to read our another comprehensive article of: Trail Bologna vs. Summer Sausage: What’s the Difference?

Frequently asked questions:

  • Which is the most recommended between summer sausage and salami?

The best meat depends on one’s taste. If one wants dry meat, salami is the most suitable one. But if one chooses a semi-dry beef, the most recommended is the summer sausage.


Summer sausages and salami are delicious, especially for those people who like meat. Despite being tasteful, some people tend to be confused. There are some differences between them. The main difference is the amount of moisture present in the two foods. The salami has less water content since it loses water of around 25%, unlike the summer sausage that loses water of 15%. Therefore, follow the article above and choose the best meat of your choice.

When cooking both summer sausage and salami, there are some factors you must consider. The factors include; consider the amount of water content present in each meat. Also, view one’s taste. If one wants dry meat, choose salami, and if one thinks of semi-dry meat, choose summer sausage. Finally, be careful when cooking the two meats and I wish you all the best.

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