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Was wondering if anyone had suggestions on a good book for sausage making and smoking? Seems like theres a ton of options. Ive made my share of meats but feel like theres alot to learn yet. Thanks in advance.

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I had Rytek's book and a few others and it was the biggest reason why I quit making sausage of all types. I felt like the flavor was not quite right like they were missing some of the key seasonings.  Everything I made was ok but just not great. I started using Curley's for all of my sausages and now I really like them and get a lot of compliments from friends and family. I do change thing up by adding  more heat, mustard seeds or even peppercorns. I also like to use apple and hickory chips or chunks depending on how smokey I want the sausage or brats.

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16 hours ago, Jim Almquist said:

I had Rytek's book and a few others and it was the biggest reason why I quit making sausage of all types. I felt like the flavor was not quite right like they were missing some of the key seasonings.  Everything I made was ok but just not great. I started using Curley's for all of my sausages and now I really like them and get a lot of compliments from friends and family. I do change thing up by adding  more heat, mustard seeds or even peppercorns. I also like to use apple and hickory chips or chunks depending on how smokey I want the sausage or brats.

 

^^^This...

I do have some recipes that I created that I enjoy, but it's always been after a lot of tinkering to get it just right. I also use Curly's seasonings as a base to almost all of my sausage, and it gets rave reviews. I often add more heat, more garlic, etc., and I think adding NFDM (nonfat dry milk) at a rate of 1 cup per 5#s makes a HUGE difference in the texture of any smoked sausage (wieners, polish, summer, etc.). If you do go with a book, make small batches first (5#s or less), then taste test and add whatever else you like to personalize the flavor. Honestly, there is so much info online (like Reinhardt's page above), that you may as well save the book money and buy some seasonings instead.

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On 3/21/2017 at 4:33 PM, Jim Almquist said:

I had Rytek's book and a few others and it was the biggest reason why I quit making sausage of all types. I felt like the flavor was not quite right like they were missing some of the key seasonings.  Everything I made was ok but just not great. I started using Curley's for all of my sausages and now I really like them and get a lot of compliments from friends and family. I do change thing up by adding  more heat, mustard seeds or even peppercorns. I also like to use apple and hickory chips or chunks depending on how smokey I want the sausage or brats.

 

I'm on my second copy, the binding is not very good and before you know it pages begin to fall out, but as far as explaining technique, meat handling safety, use of curing salts and spices I think the book is a great resource.  I've given several copies to friends.  As far as the recipes, they are somewhat standard, but the same can be said for many other sausage books or online sources. I seem to make personal changes (like increasing garlic and black pepper) to most sausage recipes plus I sample a pattie to access the seasonings and will adjust if needed. I do think the amount of added fat is a little heavy handed for me, I find ground pork butt to perfect for me.  I prefer to make my own seasoning mix, and use very fresh spices... We order 3 times a year from spice companies to keep everything fresh, I only buy spices from the grocery store in an emergency, there is no guarantee of their freshness. 

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Great post Thirdeye.  Apparently some posters didn't catch the fact that the O.P. was looking for technique not just what spices to use. I bought the book 35 years ago when there was very little info on sausage making. It was almost as if it was a secret craft. Of course the internet came along and you can find info on any subject. I use Rytek's recipes as a starting point and adjust it to my tastes. I also buy my own spices and make my own formulations. I have time and I enjoy experimenting. This book was used as a text for college food science out east. His method for brining and smoking fish is the best I have found.

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40 minutes ago, Thunderbird said:

Great post Thirdeye.  Apparently some posters didn't catch the fact that the O.P. was looking for technique not just what spices to use. I bought the book 35 years ago when there was very little info on sausage making. It was almost as if it was a secret craft. Of course the internet came along and you can find info on any subject. I use Rytek's recipes as a starting point and adjust it to my tastes. I also buy my own spices and make my own formulations. I have time and I enjoy experimenting. This book was used as a text for college food science out east. His method for brining and smoking fish is the best I have found.

 

I have tried Rytek's brine (many years ago when I was still wet brining fish), and thought it was very good... but now I'm a little biased :grin: toward my dry brining method.

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1 hour ago, thirdeye said:

 

I have tried Rytek's brine (many years ago when I was still wet brining fish), and thought it was very good... but now I'm a little biased :grin: toward my dry brining method.

 

Dry rub is a little too salty for me. I mostly smoke pike, walleye and jumbo perch.

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On 3/23/2017 at 7:28 PM, Thunderbird said:

 

Dry rub is a little too salty for me. I mostly smoke pike, walleye and jumbo perch.

 

I have smoked pike a few times, never walleye or perch.... my experience has always been trout, steelhead and salmon. It is easier to adjust the salt in a wet brine and your control with using a dry cure is time.  Dry cures (sugar, salt, seasonings) verses a dry rub essentially turn from a dry mix to a syrup once they are in contact with the flesh.  Each fillet is wrapped in plastic wrap, so the syrup is contained.  Upon unwrapping they get rinsed then rested before smoking.  One method which is common for additional de-salting in both dry curing and wet brining is called "freshening", which can involve a soak in clean water or rinsing under running water for a minute or two, or both.  I do this on my Nova lox and can dial-in the salt content consistently. 

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