Skip to main content

Did 35 pounds of Italian smoked sausage for church a couple of weeks ago. Began with 35 pounds of home-butchered ground beef, about 80/20. Mixed my Italian sausage recipe, the required amount of instacure #1 and some butcher packer special meet binder.

Mixed completely and let set overnight in the fridge. The next day, stuffed into 35-37 Natural hog casings and tied at about 24’’ length. Put back in fridge overnight. Smoked on the FEC 100 using pecan pellets running at 160 degrees for about 8 hours, boosting smoker temp during the last hour to achieve an internal temp of 153.

Bathed in cold water immediately and let cool completely in fridge, then packaged. Amazing flavor. Casing were not too tough. Very flavorful.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I'm hoping to do a few lbs of fresh sausage (just a bit of Prague powder 2 for curing), 32 mm casings, hung in the AQ for just a couple hours at 180 or so to then bloom in 170 - 180 water and cool in an ice water bath before refrigerating. It is my old recipe for snack sausage and I used to do it in an ancient Sausage Maker smoker (wet sawdust in a pan on an electric coil burner with no thermostat), but wonder if it can be done effectively in the essentially closed environment of the AQ. I remember the sausage coming out dark-skinned but juicy prior to the blooming, and I wonder if anyone has done it in a similar way in the AQ.
I do about 50 pounds of Summer sausage every year. Started out doing in the SMO45, and now the SMO66. I put a pan of water on the lowest rack. I have trouble with getting some fat break, and this helps. I still have trouble with the sausage looking great when it comes out of the smoker, but casings are wrinkled after the ice bath. They taste great just look bad. I stuff the casings, and let them sit in the fridge to bloom before I put them in the smoker. I will have to look up the times and temps, I just know that for the first hour I have the temp set low, and the door is open so the sausage gets some drying. Since I do these on my racks, I open the door about every hour to turn the sausage, and rotate the racks.
Jay 1924: Here are my notes on how I do my Summer Sausage. The Whitt's has been bought out, and I am going to have to find a source for the seasoning mix, and I might go to a leaner hamburger grind. Anyway, here it is with the temps.

I used the Witt’s Summer Sausage seasoning and had to do the math to convert things over for a small batch. I have then modified things a little.
For 6 pounds of meat:
5 pounds of 75 percent lean ground beef.
1pound of ground pork
½ cup of Powdered Milk
7 grams of cure
150 grams of Witt’s seasoning
2 ¼ cups of water
2 ½ tsp. Mustard Seed
2 ½ tsp. Black Pepper
2 tsp. Granulated Garlic
1 cup High Temp. Cheddar Cheese

This all gets mixed up, and then is stuffed into 1.5 inch casings. Let them sit in the refrigerator overnight to “bloom”. Take them out, and let them come to room temperature. They then go in the smoker at 135 degrees for 1 hour. Insert the wood box 2 oz. of Hickory (I may change up the wood), Put a large pan of water in the smoker on the bottom rack. Increase the temp 145 degrees for 1 hour, and then 155 for 1 hour, and then 165 degrees until the internal temp. 149 degrees and hold for at this temp for 3 minutes plus. Place them in an ice water bath as soon as they are finished.

The Medium seasoning for 6 pounds has all of the above and

Pepper Jack cheese to replace the cheddar
2 tsp. Red Pepper flake
6 large Jalapeno peppers cleaned and diced.
Thanks again Mike - It looks to me like a winning recipe for times and temps. I think I understand that the first hour at 135 the AQ door is open (a little or a lot?) and after that it is closed. I'm interested in the rationale for the water pan - isn't the AQ moist enough already? Everything else seem in concert with what I'm used to in my much older smoker, now defunct, except that I always used a hot water bath after the smoker before cold soak and refrigerating. Maybe that affects the final look of the casings?
Jay 1924: The big pan of water was suggested by a local guy that I buy supplies from. It sort of works as a heat sink. It spreads the heat out. When you think about it, the heat source in our smokers is right in the middle. The water pan blocks this, but spreads the heat across the smoker. I don't know that it actually works this way, but it works for me.
I have been retired since 1991, so Oct. to Dec. I bow hunt 4 or 5 days a week. I use my venison for everything from breakfast sausage to Trasaumi (my personal seasoning blend). I use a 5# mix packet of trail bologna, and a 25# mix packet of Salami from LEM. I have found their seasonings to be ideal. I did a 30# mix this morning after resting in the fridge over night.

I always use the old reliable 020 and always comes out perfect.

I never use any cure but the packet that comes in the mix packages from LEM, I have always been delighted!

2 deer last week so did 20# of breakfast sausage yesterday also. I use the same LEM spices only mix plain breakfast sausage mix with hot breakfast sausage mix. I like the hot but the wife likes it milder, and the hot it's what I call just right, the mix I use is pretty mild. But I have quit using other seasoning mixes for any of my sausages, and highly recommend LEM for any sausage, I tried a lot before them, but no longer use anything but.

I'm trying this at home for sure. I live in the countryside and I never knew that the recipe is not that complicated.I'm getting tired of the cured meat at the supermarkets and since I plan to start doing this alone that's real value shared. I loved our trip in Sicily back in the day and I still remember all the amazing local food that we ate there. It's really remarkable how well they follow the recipes left from their ancestors and they supply all the Italian restaurants around the world. In fact the other day I was searching for Italian restaurant names and found quite a few that I have visited in downtown Boston.

Last edited by anmclean

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.