Cured Sausage 107 - Basics For Making Summer Sausage

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    Cured Sausage

    Cured Sausage 107 - Basics For Making Summer Sausage

    Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Summer Prep
    Protein Extraction
    Summer Sausage Stuffing

    What Is Summer Sausage?

    Summer Sausage is a semi-dried sausage that is typically stuffed into a larger diameter fibrous casing. It can be made from beef, pork, wild game or some combination of meat. Some people are intimidated by making it but the most basic steps can be done by almost any home processor.

    Meat Block

    10 lb of Untrimmed Pork Butts
    1 Bag of H-Summer Sausage
    1 oz of Sure Cure (Included with purchase)


    Walton’s #12 Meat Grinder
    Walton’s 20 lb Meat Mixer
    Walton’s 11 lb Sausage Stuffer

    Casing Preparation

    Before you begin processing take your casings out of the package and soak in warm water for an hour to make them pliable for stuffing so do this early enough in the process to prevent any delays later.


    The first thing you need to do is to grind your meat. Make sure you have oiled your plates and knives before starting your grinder. You will want to grind the meat twice, the first grind should be through a 3/8 plate and then with a 1/8 plate. Remember to keep your meat cold through this process. You can also simply purchase ground pork, it is readily available just make sure you aren’t buying lean pork, you want and need the fat.

    Meat Mixing

    Next, you need to mix the seasoning and cure into your meat. To do this you can either use a meat mixer or do it by hand. Because this is a product that we are going to cure and smoke we need to achieve a high level of protein extraction so doing this with your hands is difficult but can be done. When using a mixer add the meat to the mixer, then the seasoning and cure and finally the water, you will want to mix in both directions until all seasoning and cure has been mixed in and you have good protein extraction. You will know that a good level of protein extraction has been achieved when the meat is sticky and tacky if you can pull a handful of it apart and it stretches that is a good sign.

    Sausage Stuffing

    Next, choose the largest stuffing tube that your casings will fit over and begin stuffing. Stuff until the casings are full and smooth but leave yourself enough room on the end to close with a hog ring. To close with a hog ring twist the end and then put a hog ring over the twist and crimp it down.


    When you are done stuffing the product has to be held in the refrigerator overnight to allow the cure time to work. If you added Encapsulated Citric Acid or other cure accelerators you skip this step.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    Set up your smoker and hang your sausage on smoke sticks or lay on racks and smoke at
    125F for 1 hour
    140F for 1 hour
    155F for 2 hours
    175F until internal meat temp of 160F

    When they have reached 160° internal temperature remove from the smoker and put them in an ice bath to bring the heat down and help set the casing.


    Lastly, leave them out at room temperature for about an hour before vacuum packing them, this will ensure you don’t get additional moisture in the vacuum bag which would affect the shelf life of your meats.

    Wrap up

    In later classes, we will go over these and more advanced steps in greater detail for making Snack Sticks.

    Other Notes

    Depending on your pH and your Water Activity your sticks might be shelf stable but without a way to test this you should vacuum pack and refrigerate these.

    Watch WaltonsTV: Basics For Making Summer Sausage

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  • Yearling

    I believe there is an error in your Meat Block/recipe. The Meat block lists 10 pounds of Pork. However, all other ingredients are then based on 25 pounds of meat. Example: 1 ounce of Cure is enough for 25 pounds. Same for Citric Acid. Assuming the recipe should be 25 pounds of meat, 1 oz cure and 1 bag of Citric Acid - then you should consider a mixer with a capacity of at least 25 pounds.

  • Referenced by  Ridley Acres Ridley Acres 
  • Referenced by  Dave in AZ Dave in AZ 

  • Hoe much water do I need to add? Recipe says 2 lbs…is that supposed to be 2 cups?

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About Meatgistics

Meatgistics is brought to you by Walton's ( Meatgistics is a community site, knowledgebase, forum, blog, learning center, and a sharing site. You can find help and ask questions about anything related to meat processing, smoking and grilling meats, plus a whole lot more. Join Austin & Jon from Walton's and sign up for our Meatgistics community today. We have created Meagistics University, where we broke down meat processing into different categories and then broke it down into a class like structure. The introductory classes are 10s, the intermediate are 20s, and advanced are 30s.

About Walton's

Walton's Inc. sells meat processing equipment and supplies, including all of the Seasoning, Equipment, Supplies, Packaging, and Casings needed to make almost any type of sausage. Walton's sells to the commercial customer with a focus on the small to medium-sized processing plants or butcher shops, and directly to the hunter or processor who makes their own product at home. Whether you are a commercial or retail customer of Walton's you will be receiving the exact same seasoning and supplies, we do not have a different "line" for commercial and retail customers so that everyone can make the best sausage or jerky possible!

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