We made two batches of summer sausage. The first was mixed 50/50 with pork shoulder. The second batch had 1 part pork for 2 parts moose. We used a the Excalibur seasoning from Alaska Butcher Supply. They’re great people and really helpful. We chose not to add any nitrates to our sausage. While that increases the chance of spoilage, our processing and meat is done very cleanly. We won’t be able to put a stick of the sausage in a backpack for a week like the store-bought stuff, but it is worth it not to bomb our guts with preservatives.
We ground the pork and moose separately, then mixed them together, along with the seasoning, in the aforementioned ratios. Then we ground the meat a second time once the seasoning was added. We were told to grind it a second time using a smaller sized grinding plate, but the meat just wasn’t moving through it efficiently so we used the same sized plate. The texture came out fine.
After we ground the meat, we used a sausage stuffer to stuff the casings. We found that one needed to push the sausage into the casing fairly hard to remove the air pockets. After the sausage was cased, we let it warm up to room temperature until it was time to put it in the smokers. We put the sausage in the smoker at the following temperature for the following times:
- 120 F for 1.5 hours
- 140 for 1 hour
- 160 for 1/2 hour
- 180 until internal temp of sausage reached 154F.
We smoked it heavily during the process with hickory smoke. Because of the fibrous casings, the sausage still only retained a subtle smoke flavor. After the sausage reached 154F internal temperature, we immediately put the sausage into cold water until the internal temp was about 90F. We put the sausage in the fridge and vacuum sealed it the next day.
- I enjoyed the sausage with 2 parts moose better. It tasted more like I expected it would
- The seasoning was mediocre. It still tastes good, but next time I’ll experiment with my own recipe.
- The homemade smoker we use does not have very even temperature, so the sausages on the outside actually got overcooked. It made the texture of the sausage near the casing dry and somewhat crumbly. Lesson learned.