Upgrading Summer Sausage technique

  • Team Orange

    My venison/pork summer sausage recipe includes, in descending order of volume:

    Fermento, salt, corn syrup solids, powdered dextrose, spices, cure

    After the coarse grind I let it cure in the fridge a couple of days to let the Fermento do it’s thing… then fine grind, stuff & smoke.

    I’m considering switching from Fermento to Encapsulated Citric Acid for the tang, to let me skip the 2 day cure, and adding some smoked meat stabilizer (out of stock! boo!) and sure gel, but I have questions:

    • If I drop Fermento and the fridge cure, do I still need the corn syrup solids?
    • Does EPS have a shelf life? I have some that’s been vacuum sealed for just over 7 years.
    • Do corn syrup solids have a shelf life? I have some that’s been vacuum sealed for probably a decade. Yeah, I know. Newly retired and recovering from “hobby interruptus”.
  • Power User

    @SteveJonesMO dont know the answers to your three questions but you do not need ECA and smoke stabilizer together. If you want the tang then go with ECA, if no tang then go with the stabilizer. Both those items force you to smoke right after stuffing.

  • Team Orange


    Thanks TW.

    I came up with another question. My current recipe includes 25oz of water. The summer sausage recipe here (which includes sure-gel) calls for 64oz - quite a difference. I presume that is to “feed” some liquid to the sure-gel so it gets to do it’s binding thing without drying things out. Am I on the right track?

    By the way, with a little poking around it turns out ECA has a 2 year shelf life. I presume that is mostly due to the physical integrity of the encapsulation, which is needed for it’s to delay its magic until the right time.

  • Team Blue

    KillerNoms As Stated you dont want or need to use ECA and Smoked Meat Stabilizer together use just one or the other.
    Corn Syrup Solids can be used as a binder to help retain moisture in you product but it also adds some flavor so id keep it. If you open up you pack of it and it just wont break up in fine grindings toss it as it wont do its job.
    I definitely would get new ECA.
    After Talking with Jonathan last week I would Stick with the 25oz of water as you dont have to add more for sure gel to do its Job.

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