The Art Of Meat Curing And Sausage Making

The origin of meat preservation is hidden within ages, but higher chances are that it began when man started to acquire the preservation knowledge of salt. Sausage making was originally developed as a method of preserving or curing and transporting meat.

Primitive communities understood that spices and dried berries could help preserve dried meat by being added to them. Sausages were discovered between 600-500BC and were eaten in China, Rome and Greece. The process of stuffing the meat into casings actually remains the same to date, but sausages ingredients have been refined and the process of making them has become a respected art.

Sausages come in two main forms: cured and fresh. Cured sausages can either be dried or cooked. While most of the cured sausages are smoked, this is not a must, the process of curing affects the meat and adds its own flavors. A pork roast and a ham is an example of differences in their taste.

Every smoked sausage is cured to eliminate clostridium botulinum [botulism], which is a bacterium that thrives in the anaerobic environmental conditions, available in sausages. The bacteria can survives at 4 degrees Celsius to 60degrees Celsius. This is the temperature range in the smoke houses and stores. Therefore, for safety purposes smoking of sausages should be done after they have been

Meat used and Sausage Production.

Various types of fresh meat can be used to make sausages. The obvious ones are pork, beef, games meats, lamb as well as meats from turkey, chicken and spent fowl. The end product is as good as the recipe it contains. The meat used should be of good quality, fresh and must have the correct lean to fat ratio in addition to good binding qualities. This meat should be clean and free from bacteria or other micro-organisms.

The meat used in sausage making must be safe as any other meat prepared in your kitchen. Selection of spices and seasoning combined in the correct amounts is important; their complementary to each other creates a product.

Types of Sausages

Fresh Sausages

These are seasoned ground meats, which are cooked before serving. Fresh sausages are normally not cured though can be cured if need be. They aren’t flavored with smoke, although liquid smoke can be used. They aren’t smoked in cold smokers due to the risk of botulism.

The basic seasoning agents are salt and sugar together with savory spices and herbs, which are often vegetables such as garlic and

Cured Cooked Sausages

These differ from fresh sausages because 2 teaspoons of Prague powder #1 per 10 pounds of finished product of cure are added. It uses four ounces of cure per a hundred pounds of sausage.

The product is then hot smoked. However, same results may be achieved by combining liquid smoke in the ingredients. The temperature of smoking varies and should be between 68 degrees Celsius and at 67degrees Celsius if they are fully cooked. If cold smoke is used and in this case the sausage may be cooked in a water bath at some optimal temperature. An example of this is Braunschweiger sausage preparation.

In this process after stuffing in 70mm to 76mm hog buns casings they are then submerged in water whose temperature is 70 degrees Celsius for two and half hours until the temperature gets to 67 degrees Celsius. At this temperature the product is chilled in ice then cooled smoked at 49degrees Celsius for 2-3

Cured Dry Sausages

Similarly these are prepared the same way as cured cooked sausages. The difference is that the Prague powder # 2 is used instead of Prague powder # 1. In this case, only certified meat should be used.

These products aren’t heated to the temperature that can harm trichinosis, which is why it’s important to achieve this by other ways. Normally freezing process is considered the best.