• Yearling

    Hello. We have the skill and equipment to make a decent pork sausage. However, we just can’t seem to make a good 100% beef sausage. We have tried several cuts of beef. The sausage has decent flavor, but the look and texture is not right. They look and cook up dark brown. The inside of the sausage is dark brown. I know all sausage is brownish. The eye tells you our sausage isn’t right. We need to know the best grind. Most of the smoked meat resteraunts here say they make their beef sausage out of 100% brisket. We would love to do that, but have given in to the idea of adding pork or whatever. Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions.

  • 9E8FB439-7B08-4B1B-B51F-47A813958E38.jpeg 0F8EED92-3E9D-4A8C-9DCC-12A421662955.jpeg 185CE87C-6694-40BA-A0BE-325A1FDE2122.jpeg

    Hopefully these pictures will come thru I have been making my sausage out of 73/27 ground beef since I have found out I have allergic reactions to pork. The cheapest in the bulk tubes I find work the best. Depending on the seasonings used determines the color change in your sausage. I save my briskets for beef bacon.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    For fresh sausage, I believe beef will always be darker than pork with everything else being equal for seasonings and ingredients and process.
    We would probably need to know more specifics about your other ingredients, mixing by hand or machine, and other processing to dial in on what’s going on with your sausage. Are you adding cure? Any binders used?

    Also, I take from your post you are buying ground beef and using that for making sausage?

    That will work, but understand that the best sausage is going to be made from freshly ground meat for highest quality protein extraction and binding of all ingredients. It is not so much which cut of beef you use as it is the freshness and quality of the cut you are grinding and of course using the optimum lean to fat ratio for the style of sausage you are making.

  • Yearling

    Thanks to both posts. I usually grind my own beef. I use premixed spices sold by Waltons. I will be more conscious of color after spicing. I will start adding cure. I use readily available powdered milk.

  • Team Blue

    EDaniels really it looks good to me

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    ricnordl are you using cure for your sausage? Most beef sausages that you get at barbecue joints have cure one in them too give a reddish color and allow them to be smoked slow. I hear people sometimes say that barbecue joints they go to don’t cure their sauces their beef sausages and cook them fresh, but I order sausage as my primary barbecue All Over Texas and I have never seen an uncured beef sausage. Without cure it will be brown like hamburger with cure it will be reddish pink. Recommend you add cure for a better flavor and color if you’re not.

  • Yearling

    I have not used cure. The guys I make sausage with like it fresh. I have tried to convince them. I will try. I also have questions about grind. Grind once through large plate then again through the large plate?

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona


    Here is my thread on Central TX 100% beef German style BBQ sausage. I like 6mm grind, 8mm if you like it coarse…10mm is too chunky to match Kreuz or Smittys our Southside market, IMO.

    I go into a lot of detail on it and notes on my results. Give it a look!

  • Team Blue Power User Regular Contributors

    EDaniels ricnordl I think it looks fine. How does it taste? That is really what matters. We do 100% beef very regularly. I have never used 100% brisket for my sausage grind though. We have used a combination at times of top, bottom, or eye of round, chuck, should clod, & brisket. The key is getting a good beefy flavored cut & all those mentioned will work, along with the right fat proportion. We strive for 30% fat, but there have been times when I had a little more than I anticipated & did not want to re-freeze or even freeze, so was worried, but it always turned out great. As far as the grind, I have often just used the 3/8" plate for both the initial grind & the re-grind, as we like our regular sausage course (non high protein extraction sausages) & that will work perfectly fine you will find, but do the 2nd grind. Mix the dry mix with 1 oz of liquid per pound to make a slurry & mix that in with the 2nd grind, before mixing in the mixer or by hand. You can use water, beer, wine, apple juice, or bone broth. We have tried them all they did fine, even the wine that I was worried would be too acidic. Again, your sausage looks fine & if it tastes good, have a glass of wine or a beer & sit back & enjoy it, that is what matters.

  • Yearling

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate all the information. I can easily see things I need to do differently. Also, I may need to adjust my expectations. I often set the bar too high. I think I will have that glass!

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    ricnordl said in 100% Beef Sausage? FAIL!:

    I have not used cure. The guys I make sausage with like it fresh. I have tried to convince them. I will try. I also have questions about grind. Grind once through large plate then again through the large plate?

    I would suggest trying a split batch, one with cure and one without.
    Then compare the result of the finished product.

  • calldoctoday Thank you so far I have not had any complaints we (my wife& I) really enjoy the finished products. But as usual I learned something new, add the sure cure to eliminate browning color. I followed Walton’s instructions on the seasoning pack and if the brats seasoning didn’t recommend the sure cure I never added it unless I planned to smoke it.

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors

    “are you using cure for your sausage? “

    Dave is spot on with his post and I will add that not only does cure maintain color, but it also helps to prevent oxidation and rancidity which will give sausage the off flavor every time.

  • Yearling

    Thank you. I’m hoping to try these suggestions soon.

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