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Author Topic: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks  (Read 5048 times)

Offline razor sharp

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Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« on: December 31, 2012, 10:33:07 AM »
I'm posting a tutorial on how i make my own summer sausage and meat sticks. you can use wild game or domestic meats. its a long process that can be messy but it really isn't hard to do.  you do not need a smoker, you can make it in your oven at home, even a broiler filled with water but it does come out tasting better (in my opinion) when you use a smoker.  allright, lets get started... 
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 12:27:39 PM by razor sharp »
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Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2012, 10:36:58 AM »
OK, to start out you will need a few supplies, ground meat, seasonings, cure and a way to put the meat into the casings.  below is a picture of all the stuff you can use to make sausage but its not necessary. the picture below that is shows what little you can get away with.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 12:27:57 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2012, 10:43:00 AM »
You don't have to use a pre seasoning packet like the LEM packet in the picture. there are hundreds of different recipes on the internet to match about any tastes. i got a great deal on a bunch of these seasoning packs and that's the only reason I'm using them this time.  the seasoning packs come with there own "cure"  cure is a sodium nitrate that prevents the growth of certain bacteria that cause things like spoilage and botulism. it doesn't take much. about a teaspoon of pure cure per five pounds of meat.  if you are making your own recipe you will need to either purchase a cure. (easily found on the internet and eBay and quite cheap) or go to the local supermarket and look for the blue bag of Morten's tenderquick. it is a salt premixed with the meat cure. just follow the directions on the back for quantities to use for how many pounds of meat your making.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 12:28:55 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2012, 10:50:08 AM »
the next step you will need is well...the meat  :hugegrin:  if you use wild game you need to grind it into burger. if your using domestic meat you can go to the supermarket and just buy it in 1,3 or 5 pound lots. its ok to get the lower costing 70-30. they were out so i got the slightly leaner 80-20 for this batch. if you use wild game such as deer you will need to add about 30% pork to it to increase the fat content. i still use 1 pound of pork sausage per 5 pounds of beef to make sure the fat content is high enough. it really does affect the texture of your finished product. i personally just grab a roll of cheap breakfast sausage. its got some seasoning to it already.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 12:29:21 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2012, 10:58:35 AM »
next you will need your seasonings and cure. if your using the preseasoned packet just follow the directions on the back. if it is proportioned to make 5 pounds of meat and your only making 2.5 then split it in half. it is recommended to make the entire batch though. you can add the packet to a little water first and stir it into a solution. it tends to penetrate the meat better and more evenly that way.  also if you are going to make it from scratch using a recipe off the internet or a book i highly recommend grinding the ingredients in a peppermill, a coffee grinder or a blenderchopper thingy (yeah, i have no clue what that thing is but it will powder rocks, i love it)  also this is the point that if you want to flavor your meat to a specific taste say hot and spicy or sweet, etc. you would add your own flavor enhancers.  if you will not be using a smoker to cook it i would recommend adding liquid smoke to it now also.

in this picture ive divided up the seasonings and cure because i cant mix all 5 pounds at once.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 12:30:42 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2012, 11:04:50 AM »
now the fun part, you can do this by hand but your hands will get very cold. or you can use a machine. i have a Kitchen aid mixer that has a meat grinder attachment. i put the bread hook in and use it to mix the meat at a slow speed using a wooden spoon to help press the meat to the center as needed. like i said you don't need this, you can just mix it with your hands in a large bowl. i always line my bowl with a bag during this process, it makes clean up and handling the meat after mixing a little easier. now is when you would add you % of pork and your wet seasoning mix and go to town till its all one consistent color and looks well mixed.  you can always run it threw a grinder again to finish the mix but ive had trouble getting the sticky pile of goo to feed into the grinder.



« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 03:45:41 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2012, 11:12:44 AM »
once you have the meat mixed you should probably stuff the casings before the temperature gets warm. i usually put the mix in the fridge for a little while while i get all the stuffing equipment out. just be warned, if it firms up it can be hard to squeeze threw the sausage stuffer, at that point adding a little cold water will soften it back up.
now you will need casings. there are a few different types. i avoid natural casings because they require more prep time and proper handling. the summer sausage cases also come in two colors, clear and mahogany (dark) the dark look nice when your done but i prefer to use the clear. ill explain as we start to stuff them.

the fibrous casing weather dark or clear need to be soaked in warm water for at least 30-45 minutes prior to use. it softens them and allows them to stretch a little when stuffed without tearing.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 12:32:32 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 11:14:08 AM »
the sticks i use a collagen based edible casing. these you DO NOT! soak in water first.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 12:33:09 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2012, 11:20:03 AM »
now you will need a way to stuff the sausage. if you are using the large casings and making summer sausage you can just use a spoon and shovel it into the casings squeezing it down tight but this is a messy time consuming way to do it.  i use an antique sausage press/lard press i restored to good working condition. there are numerous other stuffers available if you do a quick search on-line I'm sure you ll be overwhelmed shortly.  there are also the jerky guns, some are nice stainless steel models and others like this one are cheap and touchy but as long as the meat is soft and wet they work great for stuffing the sausages, you just have to refill them alot if your making the big summer sausages. i like to spray just a touch of non stick cooking spray into the stuffer and tube right before i use it. it helps glide the meat to the tube and cuts resistance a little.

i also have the meat grinder with a sausage stuffing kit for the Kitchenaid but as well as it works at grinding meat ive had a lot of trouble stuffing sausage casings with it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 12:34:56 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2012, 11:26:13 AM »
OK, we are ready to stuff some meat  :hugegrin:  i clamp my stuffer down to a counter so it doesn't move when im using it. that way it frees up one hand to hold the casings.  if your making sticks you need a stuffer tube that's small enough and preferably not tapered. mine is unfortunately so i can only place a limited amount of stick casings on the tube. so what i tend to do is decide what length sticks i want and cut the casings to that size.


now you will need to close one end of the casing. (the summer sausage casings already have one end closed)  i twist the ends and then roll them over into a loop. i use small hog rings to clamp them shut but you can just tie them with cotton twine. make sure its not nylon or synthetic, that could melt, or burn and impart a nasty taste in your meat. 


« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 12:36:12 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2012, 11:33:59 AM »
i like to make up a few ahead of time while my hands are dry and not covered with any meat juice. 
now slide the open end onto the nozzle (tube) of whatever stuffing devise you are going to use. keep a small round headed pin handy. as you  push the case onto the tube it will fill up with air. prick a small hole in the end and it will let the air out without damaging the casing.
once you have the case in place its time to stuff. apply pressure to the meat and let it start to flow into the casing. you will keep some pressure on the nozzle so that the meat stuffs firmly into the casing without any air pockets or loose meat. letting the filled casing slide threw your hand. once you are a few inches from the end stop and relive the pressure. remove the casing and twist and clamp(or tie) the end.  now work the meat tightly towards the end of the casing to get all the air out. twist the sausage in the middle so that it will stay tight. lay it down and repeat until you have all your casings full. it is a little bit of a learning curve but once you do 1 or 2 you'll have the hang of it.




« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 07:08:37 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2012, 11:40:08 AM »
and here is the stuffed and twisted sticks.  i pop them in the fridge to chill for a bit and move onto the summer sausage logs.

 this is the stuffer i use.
 

Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 11:43:16 AM »
now the process for the summer sausage is the same. the only thing you need to be mindfull of is not getting air pockets in the casing. that's why i prefer the clear casings. you can see if there is an air pocket. pop it with the pin and squeeze the meat into the air pocket. take it off, twist and tie/clamp the end and you have your first summer sausage stuffed.

 repeat until your fridge looks like this

......just kidding, make as little or as much as you want.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 11:44:44 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 11:50:40 AM »
now we move on to the long boring beer drinking portion of the process. now im going to be using a smoker. you do not have to, you can do this in your oven or even a broaster filled with water. ill start by letting the meat sit out till its about room temperature. this helps to keep it from sweating when it starts to heat up in the smoker. i prefer to hang my meat in the smoker rather than laying it on the grates. this helps it keep its shape and i can get alot in the smoker at once. its also why i twist the sticks in the middle. it lets me have a place to hang them.

 same with the summer sausage.

Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2012, 12:02:27 PM »
now you need to keep a very close eye on the temperature of the device (smoker/oven/broiler) your using. do not trust the gauge on the front or the ovens settings. the fastest way to ruin the sausage is overcooking to fast and hot.  i use digital meat thermometers with wired remote probes. you can get them at target for 10 dollars.  if you only have one what i do is lower it threw a smoke hole in the smoker till its centred amongst the meat and not touching anything. this allows me to keep the temperature exactly where i want it.

Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2012, 12:11:01 PM »
the first step once you load the smoker is to regulate the temperature above 90 but below 120 deg.  you need to dry the casings, any moister on the outside will prevent the smoke from penetrating the meat. this will take about 30-45 minutes or so. just till the casings feel dry to the touch. that is when you would add your wood chips. you want to smoke the meat for 1 hour at no higher than 120 degres (give or take a few degrees wont hurt) then you want to up the temperature for 1 hour to about 140 deg. you can continue smoking or not depends on how much smoke flavor you like but i wouldn't smoke for more than 2 hours. you can really oversmoke meat if your not carefull and give it an off flavor. 
i put the thermometer on a board on top so it don't melt.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 01:56:21 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2012, 12:16:27 PM »
once the smoking process is done you need to regulate your smoker/oven to 170 deg. once it stays firmly at that temp you can stick your meat thermometer probe into the end of the stick or log until it is in the center. now you need to go open a beer and sit down and relax.  because this is the long boring part.  waiting till the internal temp reaches 160-165 deg. it has to be slow, otherwise the fat rends out of the meat and ruins it.  now the process is the same for doing it in the oven or broiler. just keep the temps down.
one hour at 120
one hour at 140
then cook until done at 170.
this can take can take a total of 6-10 hours(including the drying and smoking) depending on how thick your meat is.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 01:59:52 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2012, 12:17:38 PM »
even with clear casings they will turn a lovely brown color by the time your done.

Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline razor sharp

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Re: Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2012, 12:26:13 PM »
now the last and only secret left is what to do when you take the meat out of the cooker. this has nothing to do with the taste, flavor or anything else for the sausages but the look.
i take a cooler and fill it with water and ice (or clean fresh snow and water)  sorry i didn't take any pictures of this process.  :blushing:   when you take the sausage out of the cooker immediately submerse it into the ice water and let sit till chiled threw. this swells the meat and gets rid of alot of the wrinkles in the casings making them look almost store bought. i think it might also drive some of the rendered fat back into the meat keeping it moist but that's just my theory.   



once they are chilled they are ready to eat. but honestly, i think they taste better if you let them sit overnight before cutting into them. 

its not a hard process but it is time consuming. make sure you have beer, and invite friends, make sure they bring beer  :hugegrin:  and if you do over heat them what will happen is the fat will travel out to the casing, it will leave a gooey mess on the outside and give the meat a very dry tacky texture. it will still be allright to eat and if you don't like it, just grind it up and use it as seasoned burger in you favorite chili or meat recipes. have fun with it and good luck, Razor
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 01:49:39 PM by razor sharp »
Those that give up liberty for safety deserve neither.

i dont know which i like better, a sunrise or a sunset, but any day i get to see both is a good day.

The more you know.....the less you need

Offline Machine

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Making homade summer sausage and beef sticks
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2012, 01:12:07 PM »
Very cool!  Thanks for taking the time to post all that!
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