• Hi there. I am new to sausage making and have begun with some of Walton’s snack sticks seasoning kits. I do use the sure cure but not encapsulated citric acid. I understand with that process that the meat needs to sit in the fridge for 24hrs before hitting the smoker.
    My question is, after mixing with seasonings and sure cure, does the meat need to be stuffed into casings before it rests overnight in the fridge or can the bowl of mixed meat be covered and sit in the fridge for 24hrs and then stuff the next day and smoked.
    Just curious if one way or the other mattered more.

    Thank you!

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt

    Welcome, I don’t hold meat for 24 hours, but instead I hold for at least 12 hours overnight. If you add the binder then you have to stuff right away or the meat will become one big lump of meat. Some mix spices and cure and let sit then mix the binder in right before stuffing. I add everything and stuff then hold in the fridge until the next day then I smoke it. There are different opinions, but ultimately you can experiment or do what fits your life.

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    rinirego I think it is easier to stuff the meat and then put in fridge for 12+ hours. If you stuff after refrigeration, you will probably have to add more liquid.

  • Thank you both for the feedback. I think I do remember 12 hrs being mentioned and not 24. That’s my mistake. I don’t use a binder. My first batch I made I stuffed after mixing and let rest overnight in the fridge and came out great but this time I was tired and just covered the meat in the mixing bowl and put it in the fridge last night to stuff today.

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    rinirego You will be ok, like I said you might have to add some liquid to get it to stuff easier, especially with snack sticks.

  • Regular Contributors

    There are several theories on the curing time required for sausage and other ground meat. Most recipes here (Walton’s) say to wait 24 hrs before thermal processing when using Cure #1 UNLESS a cure accelerator is used.

    For an alternative opinion on sausage curing waiting period, here is an interesting article about sausage curing practices. Note that they make a distinction between curing time required for whole pieces of meat and ground meat.
    I tend to agree that ground meat mixed with cure #1 and salt will fully cure much faster than whole pieces of meat simply because of the thorough mixing process between the curing ingredients and the ground meat particles, thus there is minimal time delays for ingredients to be absorbed or to penetrate.


  • Team Blue Cast Iron Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt

    processhead great link, thanks. That is why in a previous life all of the products contained sodium erythorbate which I probably should be using since time is always guiding my production schedule instead of standard.

    This could be a little confusing since it on this site, but I digress.

    “A lot of our recipes from Walton’s and Meatgistics call for a 12 hour holding period when making cured sausage.”

    “So if you want to skip the 12 hour holding period when making cured meats between processing and cooking, simply use a cure accelerator, and get the added benefits of flavor stability and a potentially better shelf life.”

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