How to Make Homemade Summer Sausage - Recipe

  • Admin

    How to Make Homemade Summer Sausage

    How To Make Homemade Summer Sausage

    Learn how to make homemade summer sausage with Walton's and Meatgistics. Read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.

    What Is Summer Sausage?

    Summer Sausage is a semi-dried sausage that is typically stuffed into a larger diameter casing, like fibrous sausage casings. Most summer sausage has a low pH, which gives it that familiar tangy flavor. pH values can range from 4.5 to 5.2, and this also helps aid in shelf-stability. Besides pH, water activity can also help determine whether a product is truly shelf-stable or not, which means in summer sausage we need to bind water in the meat snacks and make it unavailable for microbial growth. Water activity is not something that can be measured by a home meat processor, but we still setup our process and thermal processing to attempt to achieve a lower water activity. Summer Sausage can be made using a variety of meats and anything like wild game or venison, beef, pork, poultry, or a combination of meats. Walton’s recommends using a lean to fat ratio of at least 80/20, and many times a 30% fat ratio, with a maximum of 40% fat. Fat is where most of your flavor comes from so changing your lean to fat ratio will change the overal taste and mouth feel of your product.

    Meat Block

    25 lb 80/20 beef trim (or 20 lb wild game and 5 lb pork fat)


    1 package Excalibur Summer Sausage Seasoning
    1oz Sure Cure (packet included with seasoning)
    6oz Sure Gel Meat Binder
    4oz Encapsulated Citric Acid
    2 to 3 lb High Temperature Cheese
    2.4 in x 12 in Mahogany Fibrous Sausage Casings
    2 Quarts Ice Cold Water

    How to Make Homemade Summer Sausage Meat Grinding


    Grind the meat twice. The first grind can be done using a 3/8 in (10mm) grinder plate, and then the second grind should use a 1/8 in (3mm) grinder plate. A sharp grinder knife and plate are key to help you create a better meat snack by helping retain better particle definition, color, and help prevent any smearing of the meat. If you cannot easily distinguish the lean from the fat when grinding, then it may be time for a new grinder plate and knife.

    Meat Mixing

    A meat mixer is your best option for meat mixing when making summer sausage. We need to not only thoroughly mix the seasoning, spices, and additives into the meat, but we also need to achieve a good protein extraction. Protein extraction is visibly noticeable when the meat starts to get really sticky. What this does is allow the proteins in the meat to bind with water and fat giving your sausage a better consistency and mouth-feel when eating, plus it helps keep it from being crumbly in the final product. Hand mixing is possible, but difficult to achieve the same result as using an actual meat mixer. For the mixing time, we need to mix for a total of around 8 minutes. During the mixing process, reverse the direction of mixing every 1 minute. As soon as you start mixing, you can add all the ingredients except Encapsulated Citric Acid and High Temp Cheese. Those 2 ingredients can be added in the last 45 to 60 seconds, or just long enough to evenly disperse. Over mixing Encapsulated Citric Acid or High Temp Cheese can lead to breaking the encapsulate or smearing the cheese.

    How to Make Homemade Summer Sausage Meat Mixing

    Sausage Stuffing

    Avoid creating air pockets when you load your sausage stuffer and begin stuffing until the casings are full with a smooth exterior. Remember to leave a little extra on the ends of the fibrous casings so you can twist tight and clip them tightly closed with a pair of hog ring pliers.


    (If you do not use a cure accelerator like Encapsulated Citric Acid or Smoked Meat Stabilizer, then hold in a refrigerator for approximately 12 hours or overnight)

    Thermal Processing

    Either hang on smoke sticks or lay on racks in your smokehouse or oven. Just be sure to leave a slight gap between the snack sticks. A simple cooking schedule you can follow is here:
    125F for 1 hour
    140F for 1 hour
    155F for 2 hours
    175F until internal meat temp of 160F


    To help set the casing to the meat and also prevent wrinkling we need to shower the summer sausage when they are done cooking or put them in an ice water bath. It should only take around 10 to 15 minutes to get the temperature to drop down. Then, we’ll let them set out for about 1 hour at room temperature before moving to the refrigerator/freezer. After we are totally done with the cooling process, then we will package in vacuum pouches for longer term storage.

    Homemade Summer Sausage Meat Snacks

    Wrap up

    It’s easy to get started on making a basic version of summer sausage, but practice does make perfect! Walton’s has Everything but the Meat to make fantastic tasting and looking summer sausage. Plus, we have tons of knowledge and assistance if you need it for perfecting your own process. If you have any questions or need help in your process, please share your questions or comments below.

    Other Notes

    Place a small pan of water in the bottom of smokehouse during entire cooking cycle to help increase humidity
    If your smoker, smokehouse, dehydrator, or oven cannot reach temperatures as low as 125F, just start as low as possible and slowly increase the temperature over time

    Shop for Summer Sausage Seasonings

    Shop for Sausage Stuffers

    Shop for Meat Grinders

  • hi when do I add smoke and for how long???

  • Walton's Employee

    @frank Add smoke once you get the temperature up to 140° and then leave it on for at least 2 hours. I like to just leave the smoke pan in there until the end. Smoke will only adhere to the meat in certain temperature and humidity ranges so there is only a very small chance of adding too much smoke.

    I hope that helped, let us know if you need anything else and post some pictures of how it turned out!

  • So I am going to make a batch of snack sticks and summer sausage . I don’t have a regular smoker. I only have a wood pellet grill/smoker to smoke the product on. It only has a smoke setting usually runs around 160 and then the next setting is 225. I know both of your recipients state to start low and stage up. Do you think starting on smoke and then going up to 225 to finish would be ok? Or should I partially open the door to regulate the temp for the first few hours?

  • Walton's Employee

    @SierraPete If your smoker starts at 160° I would start at that temp for 2 hours and then bump it up to the 225°. You will want to monitor that closely though as it is going to be fast.

    The one thing you need to make sure of is if you are using encapsulated citric acid you need to keep the internal temp of the snack sticks or summer sausage between 135 and 160° for at least 1 hour to allow the citric acid to work.

  • @Jonathon Good news. I fired up my T pellet grill and messed with it on the smoke setting. I can adjust the P-setting which controls the off time of the auger. I got it to run at 125 and should still have enough adjustment with the p setting to bump up the temp prior to hitting 225 setting (if needed). I am using encapsulated citric acid so thanks for the advice. I didn’t know that.

  • Walton's Employee

    @SierraPete Awesome, when they are done let us know how they are and post some pics!

  • Can I use smoke meat stabilizer instead of eca and skip the 30hrs in the frig.
    I’m going to use some smoke on them (venison) in my electric smoker.

  • Walton's Employee

    @tarp Yes, you can use the Smoked Meat Stabilizer instead of the Encapsulated Citric Acid as a cure accelerator. This will allow you to go directly from stuffing to the smoking process. One difference between Smoked Meat Stabilizer and Encapsulated Citric Acid is that Smoked Meat Stabilizer will not drop the pH and impart the tangy flavor that is associated with Encapsulated Citric Acid. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  • @Jonathon
    HI: Thanks I’ve never used it but will give it a try as soon as my product arrives
    I see its on the way

  • Walton's Employee

    @tarp Glad to help! If you take pictures make sure you post them.

  • ![alt text](![image url](image url))

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  • Making Bratwurst from Jerky Seasonings

    Learn about Making Bratwurst from Jerky Seasonings with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.

    Meat Hacks

    One of the questions we get a lot on meatgistics is if you can use a seasoning that is designed for either snack sticks or jerky to make bratwursts out of or vice versa. The answer is absolutely you can there are just a few things you need to do differently and keep in mind. First, if you are using a bratwurst or summer sausage seasoning to make jerky it might end up having a stronger taste than you are used too. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily but it is something you will need to play around with to make sure you get the taste you are looking for. The same is sort of true if you use a jerky seasoning to make a bratwurst but since in this product the seasoning will be mixed into the meat it’s not like we are going to end up with a dull tasting brat. Also, if you buy a jerky seasoning and make a bratwurst you don’t need to use the included sure cure package and if are using a bratwurst seasoning to make jerky or snack sticks then you need to purchase sure cure separately as it will not come with the brat seasoning.

    So today we are going to grinding 20 lb of meat and making brats out of them. We will be doing a 10 lb of batch out of BBQ Jerky seasoning and I am going to add some ghost pepper cheese to some of this because these are going to be eaten when I’m not around and I want them to suffer! I am going to use our new seasoning Conversion Chart which I will put a link to in the description down below that shows you how much seasoning to use by weight and by measurement per 1 lb and 5 lb batch. So for BBQ seasoning for 10 lb, I will need to do 2.5 cups 2 tbsp and 4 tsp for 5 lb of brats made from bloody mary snack stick seasoning 1/4 cup and 1 tsp.

    I am going to do the majority of the BBQ with no cheese but then I will add some ghost pepper to the last few lb just to see what it is like and I will add cheddar to the bloody mary brats.

    I am also going to be making some Bratwursts out of Bloody Mary Jerky Seasoning and I will use the Conversion Chart for that as well.

    I’ve already ground all my meat twice through a 3/8 plate. A good tip is at the end of the second grind to take a handful of meat that has already been ground twice and put it back down through the grinder, this will force the last remaining bits in the throat out through the plate so everything has been ground twice.

    Since I am making bratwurst and not snack sticks out of these seasonings I don’t need any protein extraction so I am just going to mix in the seasoning and cheese by hand.

    Now I am just going to stuff it. I am using a tubed hog casing and to load these we just need to slide the plastic sleeve on the stuffing tube, move the casing down to where it is all on the tube and then pull out the plastic sleeve. I also like the tubed hog casings as all you need to do is soak them in warm water before they are ready for use.

    They were both pretty good but I liked the Bloody Mary ones better, the BBQ was just a bit sweet. Now, we made these from Beef so it might partially be the difference in beef fat vs pork fat but I also think that with a Bratwurst you just don’t want as sweet a product as you might want with Jerky.

    So, all in all this was a success for sure. I think an important lesson to learn was that when you take a Jerky Seasoning to make Bratwurst you need to take into account what will make a good bratwurst, just because you love the taste of BBQ Jerky doesn’t necessarily mean you will love that taste in a bratwurst.

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  • P

    Save your money and don’t spend a dime on that machine. I got the Weston #22 1.5hp pro series and it’s worrh every penny. Walton’s carries and sharpens every size plate and blade. Not the throw away ones from big box stores. Keep in mind they supply processors so you are getting pro level equipment. Buy with confidence!!!

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  • M

    tried to post mangoes will it bbq?

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  • Meat Hacks: Pairing Cheese With Sausage

    Learn about Pairing Cheese With Sausage with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.

    Meat Hacks

    Pairing Cheese With Sausage
    Finding the right cheese to add to your sausage is like finding the right wine to serve with dinner, it can be daunting but when done correctly it can vastly improve the experience. I have some of my favorite Hi-Temp cheese pairings that I wanted to share with you guys. Now, everyone is different so feel free to experiment and if you come up with some you like let us know!

    Our Cheddar is the most popular cheese we sell as Cheddar is a flavor most people know and it goes well with many different flavors. I would describe this as a mild cheddar with very little sharpness to it. A good classic seasoning to use with Hi-Temp Cheddar Cheese would be Willies Snack Stick Seasoning, something a little outside the box but a great taste would be to use the Cheddar with Apple Bratwurst Seasoning. The sweetness of the Apple goes really well with the cheddar.

    Our Hot Pepper Cheese is comparable to a Pepper Jack in that it has a little hint of heat and a buttery flavor. Anyone, including children, should be able to handle this level of heat. I like using the Hot Pepper with something like Jerry’s Brat as it gives the classic taste of the seasoning just a little kick to liven it up. Try adding it to the Dill Pickle Snack Stick Seasoning to give a small but unexpected bit of spice to that seasoning. This is also a great cheese to add to any burgers are making.

    The Mozzarella is one of my favorites. It has an easily recognizable taste of pizza cheese and there is nowhere that that will be as appreciated as in a supreme pizza flavored brat. Seriously, if you like Pizza and you like brats and you haven’t tried this combination yet you need to get that on your next order! It’s also good to add when you want to cut the heat of a seasoning a little, it’s great when added to something like our Habanero BBQ Summer Sausage Seasoning.

    The Hi-Temp Swiss Cheese has a classic Swiss taste that goes well with many different flavors. The Philly Cheesesteak Brat really does well with some Swiss Cheese, that seasoning mixed with this cheese is a surefire hit. Swiss is often paired with pickled vegetables and meats and for the same reasons, it pairs extremely well with the Rueben Brat.

    The Sriracha Cheese has a really nice creaminess to it and no noticeable heat, even less heat than what is in the hot pepper cheese but what it lacks in hear it makes up for in flavor. Like the cheddar, it can go in almost anything but it is really good in Bloody Mary Snack Sticks. Or you can double up on the Sriracha Flavor and add it to the Sriracha Summer Sausage or Snack Stick Seasoning.

    Lastly, we have Hi-Temp Ghost Pepper Cheese. This is not a Cheese to be taken lightly or thrown into your mix without measuring first. I like heat and even for me, this stuff is pretty hot. Try adding it to a brat that you would not consider as spicy like a Blue Ribbon Bratwurst. Or for something really diabolical add 1 lb of this to 10 lb of Inferno Hot Bratwurst. Austin and I did this not too long ago and by the time we were done with the video I was dripping with sweat!

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