First time Summer Sausage questions

  • Team Blue PK100 Kamado Joes Regular Contributors Sous Vide

    Planning to make some (25lb meat block) Jalapeno Cheddar summer sausage this weekend and had a few questions. This is my first summer sausage batch and will be using 100% pork shoulder.

    1. I ran out of hi-temp cheese so bought 2.5lb worth of the grocery store 8oz blocks of Sharp Cheddar and NY Sharp Cheddar. Have only ever used hi-temp in sausage so will this work well if I cube it up? I just ordered more hi-temp and assume Walton’s will have it to me in a day or so like always so can always switch. Just prefer to use up what I bought.

    2. Will a 10mm first and 4.5mm second grind be good or should I go smaller? I have 10/6/4.5/3mm for my LEM # 22.

    3. ECA: I have some but I will likely grind one day, mix/stuff the next, then smoke the day after that. I know it says not to hold product with ECA for extended period. Is 24 hours too much? Should I just skip ECA for now?

    4. Will be smoking in my PK100 so figuring 110F-1hr to dry, 125F-2hr + smoke, 140F-1hr + smoke, 155F-2hr, 170F till IT is 155F+. If I am using 2.4" diameter casing am guessing this will be a long day so may pull and sous vide. What IT temp shall I wait to sous vide? Should I hit them pretty hard with smoke or go light?

    5. Anything else that you can offer to help?

    Thanks as always!

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors Canning Green Mountain Grill Veteran Cast Iron

    Jamieson22 so to answer some of your questions I’ll try to do my best #1 you can use regular cheese in your sausage only thing is it’ll probably melt when you cook it so you won’t see the chunks in your sausage #2 10 mm is close to 3/8 so I’d use the 10 mm first and the 4.5 is probably around 3/16 size so you could use that or the 3mm is around 1/8 so either the 4.5 or 3 for your second grind #3 I don’t use ECA much in any of my sausage just don’t care for it (personal preference) so I’m sure someone else will chime in and help you with that #4 your smoke schedule looks good I’d say 2-3 hours of smoke should work far as heavy or light it all depends on how much smoke flavor you like I like a heavy smoke but seems when I smoke sausage I can’t really taste much smoke flavor….If you are going to sous vide I’d get them to 135°-140° then pull them……one other piece of advice is make sure you mix your meat enough to get good protein extraction……and have fun….there’s a lot of great people on here and they’re always willing to help someone out….don’t forget to post pictures of your finished product……we always wanna see pics….if I missed something someone will be on here to help

  • Team Blue PK100 Kamado Joes Regular Contributors Sous Vide

    blackbetty61 Thanks. Yeah I have seen people use regular cheese with good results but quick google shows cheddar melts at 150F. Hate to end up with 25lb of summer sausage with big voids from where cheese melted so maybe will just go with the hi-temp.

  • Regular Contributors

    The protein extraction is very important like blackbetty22 said. I tried regular cheese years ago and it seem to just be a waste of cheese and time. If you use it put it in the last minute of mixing. Light smoke is all you need on SS I don’t like ECA either, without it be sure to hold overnight in frig but the sous vide is great for SS get water to about 170,It only takes 30-45 minutes to bring 140 deg SS up to 160,great time saver…
    Have Fun with it…

  • Sous Vide Dry Cured Sausage Traeger Team Blue

    I have nothing to add to blackbetty61. I use cheese but mostly extra sharp which has less moisture and tends to be a little more dense and use a cycling process which would be less likely to affect the cheese (although it does some)

  • Team Orange

    I sous vide my summer sausage and I like how it comes out. I do very much the same drying and smoking times except only do 150 for one hour the sous vide for 2 1/2 hours at 154. Cold water bath and put in refer uncovered for a day or two to let it dry.

  • Team Blue PK100 Kamado Joes Regular Contributors Sous Vide

    mdseaside Yeah will likely do same this batch. I bought a cooler to and hole saw to modify lid for sous vide to fit, just need motivation to do it!

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors

    if the sausage is stuffed you can add the eca it will not activate until 130 degrees ? and will be fine to use but if holding it overnight it is not needed as the cure in the sausage will have time to work

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