Is curing sausage really necessary ?

Sausage making and curing meats.

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William O Young
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Re: Is curing sausage really necessary ?

Postby William O Young » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:12 pm

Thanks for all the great advice guys.
So how about cold smoking sausage. I have my cold smoking supplies waiting to be tried first time. Got a mild spell happening this week .if I make a batch of cured sausage and cold smoke it with temperature below 40 degrees in barbecue grill outside , does this seem like a good way to go ?
Of course I do understand that this is still uncooked cured sausage even though it is smoked and cured so it will have to be cooked same same way as usual when bringing it out of freezer in vacuum sealed packages .
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Re: Is curing sausage really necessary ?

Postby Papa Tom » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:28 pm

William O Young wrote:Thanks for all the great advice guys.
So how about cold smoking sausage. I have my cold smoking supplies waiting to be tried first time. Got a mild spell happening this week .if I make a batch of cured sausage and cold smoke it with temperature below 40 degrees in barbecue grill outside , does this seem like a good way to go ?
Of course I do understand that this is still uncooked cured sausage even though it is smoked and cured so it will have to be cooked same same way as usual when bringing it out of freezer in vacuum sealed packages .



Actually I don't see an advantage to cold smoking this method but suit yourself the cured sausage should be fairly safe.

As you know there are many cold smoked sausages like true summer sausage, some salamis, pepperonis etc. but they are produced with a much different method.
They are slow cured with a lower percentage of nitrite and a larger percentage of nitrates and are inoculated with a lactic acid producing bacteria and fermented. During fermentation the bacteria in the meat will break down the nitrates into nitrites and lactic acid will be produced lowering the Ph of the meat to further prevent spoilage. The sausage is then hung to dry under very controlled conditions and not quite the way you'd think, the humidity is maintained at a fairly high level about 70%. Needless to say this method is doable but over the head of all but a skilled hobbyist.
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William O Young
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Re: Is curing sausage really necessary ?

Postby William O Young » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:52 pm

Papa Tom wrote:
William O Young wrote:Thanks for all the great advice guys.
So how about cold smoking sausage. I have my cold smoking supplies waiting to be tried first time. Got a mild spell happening this week .if I make a batch of cured sausage and cold smoke it with temperature below 40 degrees in barbecue grill outside , does this seem like a good way to go ?
Of course I do understand that this is still uncooked cured sausage even though it is smoked and cured so it will have to be cooked same same way as usual when bringing it out of freezer in vacuum sealed packages .



Actually I don't see an advantage to cold smoking this method but suit yourself the cured sausage should be fairly safe.

As you know there are many cold smoked sausages like true summer sausage, some salamis, pepperonis etc. but they are produced with a much different method.
They are slow cured with a lower percentage of nitrite and a larger percentage of nitrates and are inoculated with a lactic acid producing bacteria and fermented. During fermentation the bacteria in the meat will break down the nitrates into nitrites and lactic acid will be produced lowering the Ph of the meat to further prevent spoilage. The sausage is then hung to dry under very controlled conditions and not quite the way you'd think, the humidity is maintained at a fairly high level about 70%. Needless to say this method is doable but over the head of all but a skilled hobbyist.

OH yes , that method is way above my means and skill level and I am not interested in making the type of sausage that is hung for periods of time like that.
I think I will go ahead and try the cold smoke method as I mentioned earlier and see how it turns out .I got that idea from another site.There are so many different versions of what a person should and shouldn't do and with the uncured batches I have already made and eaten I had no problems . They sure were good to eat though . So I am going to try the curing method for that extra step of protection with the six pound pork shoulder that I have already purchased . . Fingers and toes crossed . . . lol . . . Those cylinder type pellet cold smokers sure do put out a lot of smoke according to some videos I have viewed. Having fun with this hobby and I get to eat what I make .Can't say that for a lot of other types of hobbies :lol:
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Re: Is curing sausage really necessary ?

Postby Papa Tom » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:11 pm

Play with that smoke device before you grind.
I have tried several of them with different designs and varied results..
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Re: Is curing sausage really necessary ?

Postby samantha » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:24 am

So many people die each year from contaminated food according to the CDC. Mostly processed food were to blame.

If there's one additional step you must take to ensure food safety, it's so worth doing.
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Re: Is curing sausage really necessary ?

Postby cmack » Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:49 am

I've cold smoke sausage, bacon and salmon. I also do a combination cold/hot smoke on sausage. I always use the called for amount of cure#1. I use the combo hot/cold these days. Depending on weather, I'll cold smoke for 24-72 hours, then raise the smokehouse temps to 160-175 and continue smoking until the sausage reaches 150 degrees. This method seem to give the nicest results. I have could smoked up to 2 weeks in the winter, really smoky product.
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Re: Is curing sausage really necessary ?

Postby 02ebz06 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:44 pm

As Papa Tom said. Curing is necessary to prevent Botulism.

William: You had asked about difference between Cure #1 and Cure #2.
Cure #1 (aka Instacure #1) is for meat that will be cooked. i.e. Sausage, bacon, etc.
Cure #2 (aka Instacure #2 or Prague Powder #2) is for meat that will NOT be cooked. i.e pepperoni, summer sausage, salami, etc.

As a WARNING: Don't add more than is required thinking you will be safer. Excessive amounts of the nitrite that is in the cure can kill.
It has long been known Nitrites are not good for you, yet we all keep eating it because the meat is sooooooo gooooood. :lol:

I make my own sausage for pizza, and some bratwurst (Thanks Papa Tom for your help there).
Was going to give it a try to make some salami and pepperoni, until I did some reading on it.
Much easier to get botulism if you don't do things exactly right making non-cooked meats, so I nixed that idea.
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Re: Is curing sausage really necessary ?

Postby Txdragon » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:28 am

Papa Tom wrote:My alert is going off.......
Yes you must cure smoked sausage like DAT said it prevents botulism that is nasty.
What you have there is the equivalent of USDA cure #1 (pink salt) and can be safely used at the rate of one level teaspoon per 5lb of meat.

Bratwurst is fresh sausage normally kept cold at or below 40°F until cooked, when you smoke sausage you raise the temp of the sausage between 40-140°F the the temps where bacterial growth is rapid. Because sausage is ground meat where all surfaces have been exposed to air and pathogens it is very important to avoid the 40-140°F temperature range. Also botulism is anaerobic (without oxygen) growing so encasing the meat is ideal for it's growth.

SPECIAL NOTE!! People keep asking me "What about this "uncured" sausage and bacon I see in the meat department? Well basically that is BS it is cured if you will pick up a package and read the ingredients you will find celery listed it so happens that celery is loaded with nitrates (nitrites) and may also contain sodium Sodium Ascorbate (vitamen C) or Sodium Erythorbate both are very effective cure accelerators.

Do the right thing and enjoy!


^^ THIS.. Sums it up perfectly. Back in the old days, and I prefer traditional curing methods myself; salt, black pepper, and smoke, were used to cure and preserve foods. Salt to help prevent microbial development, black pepper and smoke to keep bugs away.. You can still do this today without using "pink salt" but, you can't guarantee you will not develop botulism. This is the biggest threat to sausage and jerky and such. Usually these goodies are smoked at the lowest possible temperature and unless you're able to keep a PERFECT and consistent 150 degrees for the whole time it is smoking and/or drying, you would further reduce chances of botulism development with the addition of a cure salt or agent. Now.. I'm gonna be 100% honest and say it is RARE for this to happen, but it is possible. Celery juice is a preferred alternative as it is a natural nitrate. It undergoes a chemical change with the addition of heat and smoke, transforming it into a curing agent. Supposed to be chemically better than the pink salt version, I dunno, I've not looked THAT far into it. Lol!
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