Summer Sausage Rind

  • After getting a few things sorted and with some fresh venison mix ready it was time for me to make my first sausage.
    To keep things simple on my first go I used a ready mix packet. Living where I do I used what was available. I have no smoker and this product said an oven could be used. Keeping oven temp at 180° until product is done. I used a digital thermometer in the oven to monitor temperature not relying on the original oven thermostat.
    I’m not unhappy with my end results and most who have tried it like it. However when I peel the casing off there is still a slight rind like layer. Is this common with summer sausage or did this happen because of the oven method I used or something I did or didn’t do? The rind is edible but it’s also somewhat noticeable when eating the sausage.

  • Admin

    @denny66 Using an oven can contribute to this because it doesn’t have as much temperature control to start low and slowly increase temps.
    @Jonathon did a good post on this a while back, for snack sticks, but the same principles will apply for summer sausage.
    Check out #4 on the Top 5 Mistakes Made When Making Homemade Snack Sticks
    What you are experiencing is what we call “case hardening”. The best way to prevent it is to start with low temps and slowly increase. Our typical guide is 125F for 1 hour - 140F for 1 hour - 155F for 2 hours - 175F until internal meat temp of 160F. That is difficult to achieve with an oven. An oven will still cook a fine and edible product, but not as perfectly as it could be.

    Maybe one of the others out here have some extra tips and tricks to cooking summer sausage in an oven…?

    I’ve never personally done it in an oven, but a couple things that could help might be propping the oven door to keep the temp a little lower than 180 during the initial cooking stages. Or, adding a pan of water somewhere inside the oven to help keep the humidity higher and prevent the summer sausage from drying out the outside as quickly before the inside is done.

  • @austin

    I’ll take a look at the tips a little later as I’m in the deer blind now. Trying to get a little more meat to can and make more sausage.
    I found the lowest setting on our oven 180° to be higher than 180° so I propped the door open. I was able to maintain a pretty consistent temperature reading on my thermometer. I knew that most recipes call for a much lower cooking temp but at this time I don’t have a smoker. Hopefully that will come.
    Thanks for you guidance.

  • @denny66

    My wife does the summer sausage in our house based on her mom’s old recipe. I do all the other sausage and meat sticks and smoking. That being said she does her sausage in the oven and does not use a casing but rolls it into 1lb logs and wraps them in foil and then cooks them to temp. The texture and consistency are a hit every time, they are just not in a casing. I use the Walton’s stepped temp in my SMokin it electric cabinet smoker and use the stepped temp method for my meat sticks and it works great but this way she does the summer sausage works great too. Austin can correct me if I’m wrong but I think the reason for the stepping method is so that the casing has a good finished product, so if you are using a casing it may not be as important. Just my 2 cents

  • Admin

    @danbow The cook cycle definitely can have good or bad effects on the casings, but I would say that the slow temperature increases are not just for the casing, but just in general for what we call “case hardening”. Jumping straight into a hot temperature when cooking any type of meat can create a “crust” or dry and tough exterior.

  • @danbow

    Austin… Her sausage doesnt have the crust you speak of. Maybe the aluminum foil is what prevents that and also holds in the moisture. that keeps the consistency good.

  • Walton's Employee

    @Danbow Back when I was in customer service I know I talked to someone who either said his wife did it exactly how you are explaining it or I talked to the woman who did it, I wonder if I was talking to either you or your wife?!

    Wrapping it in foil would keep more moisture in the product, same basic process that some people do when they are smoking ribs. I can absolutely see how this would work and I think the way she is doing it, without a casing, would be more effective when wrapping it in foil. I don’t think you’ll ever convert me from using a casing but we might be making some updates here and when we do I might have access to an oven and will give this a try!

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