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Boar

Fresh vs Smoked sausage.

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ok with a bear and a couple deer in the freezer so far, it wont be long before i embark on some sausage making venues. Ive been looking a curleys kits, and havent seen anything that jumps out at me yet,  I have lots of meat to work with, but gonna give freash a try which I assume is a mix, stuff, and freeze, process. and smoke is a mix, stuff, cure, smoke ect...  what are the bennies of either. I wouldnt mind a ring bologna or a really good braut or polish.  dose the smoked style get a little more dry thand fresh? Smoke it and its cooked, then heat it up again and yur cooking again, i feel it has a tendency to lose remaing moister.  Please add yur thoughts and recomedations. and even other smoking kits. Thanks!

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While I would have to say a fresh sausage is a bit more forgiving in terms of moisture, but no means should a smoked sausage be dry if you take a few precautions.

First, get a good meat thermometer. You want to pull the product out the second it hits it's lowest safe temp, IMO.

For things like polish, snack sticks, etc., the next step is to cool them down rapidly (ice bath, sprayed with cold water, thrown in a snow bank...whatever you can to stop the internal cooking process). This step also prevents your casings from shrinking which makes for a more appealing looking product.

Finally, be sure you are adding enough fat to your mix for extra moisture and smoke at the lowest temp you can. I am hoping Reinhard chimes in here regarding cold smoking and then bringing it up to temp as I am curious to transition to that process myself, but hot smoking has worked for me as long as I don't jump above 175 or so which is when you start rendering out the fat which leads to dry, crumbly sausage. For me, I use about 70% venison to 30% fatty pork and try to smoke at about 160 for things like polish, etc (note: I have a propane smoke, so it's harder to smoke at a lower temp and keep chips going...I did get a pellet tray last year that I will try that this year to get the smoke but keep the heat lower).

As far as what to try... Polish, Kielbasa, Ring Bologna, Hot Dogs, Pastrami, Chili Dogs, Snack Sticks, Summer Sausage... all good cure/smoke options. If you order from Curly's they have great staff that can answer questions for you. Their venison bacon mix is the best out there that I have found.

For fresh, try brats, bulk sausage, and jacked up burger patties...grind 2 parts deer/bear to 1 part bacon...you can grind in garlic cloves, hot peppers, mushrooms, onions, and add hi-temp cheese. Get creative, and have fun!

Edited by pikestabber

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thanks pike, Ive donr the sticks from curlys, and am versed on the smoking process, and will be doing some again, good point on the moister from fat and not to over heat the smoking proccess, thus rendering the fat out. Great point. so many recipeis, so little time. I to have a propane smoker, one thing i do to maintain a constant temp is to crack the door and inch or less depending, otherwise the temp just shoots up high, my smoker is a insualted stainless upright freezer. Thanks!

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There should not be dry fresh or smoked sausage when the correct mix of fat vs meat is done properly.   I do not use pure fat.  i use straight up pork butt.  Even without the fat cap of a pork butt the internal meat in a butt on average has a 35% fat content on it's own and with the fat cap even higher.  I also have never had fat render out from smoked sausage.  The reason is that I use powdered milk in all smoked and even some fresh sausage.  It acts as a binder and retains the moisture in the links or sticks.  This is why my links are always moist and have a great texture.  This is something I have learned many years ago.  

 

Pikestaber made some great comments in his post.  He sounds like he knows what he's doing.  Fresh sausage is basicly a one day deal with the grinding, mixing, and stuffing.  Smoking is grinding, mixing, overnight in the fridge for the mix, and the next day stuffing, smoking [hot or cold], bringing the sausage up to internal temp, cold bath, letting it cool and storing in the fridge one more night for the next day wrap or vac pack.  I go over all this in my page Boar so you can get the right amount of water and powdered milk in your mix for the smoked.  I make mostly all fresh from spring to late summer and then from that point on to spring all smoked.  If you have any questions just ask.  good luck.

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The good thing I've noticed about Curley's and a lot of the seasoning sellers is that they sell many of their blends for 10lb batches, so at least you can fail small.  if you have a lot of meat to work with, than give a bunch of things a try!

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I forgot about the powderd milk trick, thanks for the reminder.  Ok I got pork butt in the freezer. dose one want to trim off any outside excess fat being the meat itself has a fat content of 35%? yup curley has 5 10 and 25 lb kits.   R1 whats ur page name again.?

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www.sausageheavenoutdoors.com   Boar, I use the whole butt, fat cap and all.  They trim those butts pretty good these days.  Years ago you could have a lot more of a cap on them.  Curley's seasonings are top of the line in my book.  There are others out there but this is what I use.  Just got done cleaning up 2 deer in my garage by myself.  I can't stand skinning them though, but once done it's game on.  Boar, once you decide what you are going to make we can help you out with questions.  Sausage making is a great addiction as well as a adventure that never stops.  good luck.

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I frequent your web page, Reinhard. It's a dandy! I notice you put a cup of powdered milk per five pounds of meat in the recipes I have read. Do you do that for all sausage? Even like bulk breakfast sausage or fresh sausages?

As for hanging summer sticks versus putting them on racks, do you have a preference?

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I do use the one cup per 5 pounds of meat on most sausages and even fresh sausage.  I lay my summer and sticks on the rack.  Making sure none of the summer or sticks touch each other.  I do like to cold smoke the summer, links, and sticks if I have the time and then crank the heat up to finish them off.  good luck.

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Thanks guys!!!  Man we all gots to get togehter this summer. 

and have to put up with you TWICE in one year?????:tired::crazy::P

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