Simple sausage questions-after its made

  • I’ve dabbled in making summer sausage over the years, made a fresh batch using some leftover deer last night. My question is use and storage related.

    1. How long would you assume its safe to eat, just being stored in the refrigerator? (fresh off the smoker now, or months from now after being pulled from the freezer). Is that a week? 3 weeks? what have you found.

    2. How do you freeze yours? I made 1.5"x12" sausages (1/2 pounders). I’m going to freeze 2 per vacuum packed package. I’m curious if I should leave the ‘tag’ ends on the sausage, or cut off so they’re smooth (trying to prevent pinhole punctures in the vacuum bags). Probably over thinking it, but I always want to protect my frozen stuff as much as possible.

    Used Walton’s H-seasoning mix for 25 lb batch which included 2.5 lbs of beef fat, 2.5 lbs of restricted melt pepper jack (benefit of being an engineer in a cheese company where we make and dice the cheese, I get to buy it for pennies…), 1 jalapeno de-seeded per pound of product, plus added a 1/4 cup of peppercorns and 2 small containers of mustard seed. Best sausage I’ve made to date.

    Daughter is a grinding fool.

    Started in the PitBoss smoker, smoke setting for a few hours, then 150 for a few hours, then 175 for an hour, then finished in the oven at 175 to internal of 160+. Put on smoker at 1:00, pulled from oven at 10:50. I think my smoker is so small, the meat mass is so big, that initially the temperatures at meat level were lower than target. Might have to use my bigger smoker in future so not fighting that, but it all worked out fine.

    Ice bath chilled, and refrigerated overnight.

    Sliced and disappearing fast at work this morning.

  • Sous Vide Dry Cured Sausage Traeger Team Blue

    That is some good looking sausage there!!! I am so glad you shared the pic of your little one helping. That is something I did as well and let me tell you that at this point my oldest rivals my cooking skills

  • Regular Contributors Veteran Canning Team Blue Power User Sous Vide

    cheesy great pics and good job on passing on knowledge to the next generation. I cut the ends off when i vac seal, I think it looks nicer and get a good seal. Another thing I started doing is vac seal slices of my summer sausage. It is very handy when you want just a few pieces, or give someone some to try. You dont need to worry about how long the rest of the log will last in the fridge then. As far as freezing the log, I cut them up into about 6 inch pieces for the same reason, dont have to worry about a big chunk getting buried in the fridge and not remembering how long its been in there

  • How long would you guys say you had to consume it before it ‘goes bad’?

  • Team Orange Power User Veteran

    cheesy said in Simple sausage questions-after its made:

    How long would you guys say you had to consume it before it ‘goes bad’?

    I’ve had summer sausage in the fridge for as long as a month in a Ziploc. No issues. Don’t think I’d go much longer than that.
    I usually make the three pound logs. Cut in thirds then freeze. No problem with leaving the hog rings on.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    cheesy because you do not know the water level that is in your finished product unless it was tested with the correct equipment. It is safe to treat it like you would a fresh product, so I would say a week in the refrigerator. Some people will say a month due to the cure we add but I would not go that long. Vacuum sealed In the freezer the full flavor is still in within 6 months, after that the strength of the flavor will start to reduce but still edible until freezer burn occurs.

  • Thanks everybody. I’m an engineer in a food plant, so exposed frequently to food safety issues. Free water is commonly talked of, but not my line of work. I was thinking a week after thawing just to be safe, knowing longer is likely safe, but why risk it. It’s a wonder the old timers didn’t all die of food poisoning….

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    kyle I agree with you in cutting most to six inch length, seems to be about right for my wife and I to finish in no more than a week. If I know I am going to use more I might vacuum seal larger size, but I can always take out more than one of the smaller packs.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    cheesy i think the old timers used much more salt for preservation. Not sure if thats why the life expectancy was 50 years old…lol.

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