How to Make Summer Sausage: A Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome to our article on how to make summer sausage! Summer sausage is a delicious and savory meat snack that is perfect for picnics, parties, or any time you want a tasty treat. In this article, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on making summer sausage at home. We will also explain the process behind making summer sausage, and provide you with some helpful tips and tricks along the way.

Steps how to make summer sausage

Making summer sausage at home is a relatively straightforward process, but it does require some specialized equipment and ingredients. Here are the steps you will need to follow:

Step 1: Preparing the Meat

To make summer sausage, you will need to start by selecting your meat. The traditional meat used for summer sausage is a blend of pork and beef, but you can also use wild game meats like venison or elk. You will need to grind the meat using a meat grinder or food processor, and then mix in any desired seasonings and spices.

Step 2: Mixing in the Cure

After the meat is seasoned, it’s time to add the cure. The cure is a mixture of salt, sodium nitrite, and other ingredients that help to preserve the meat and give it that characteristic summer sausage flavor. The cure needs to be thoroughly mixed in with the meat to ensure that it is evenly distributed.

Step 3: Stuffing the Sausage

Once the meat and cure are mixed, it’s time to stuff the sausage into casings. You will need a sausage stuffer or a specialized attachment for your meat grinder to do this. Be sure to pack the sausage tightly into the casings, and tie off the ends to create individual sausages.

Step 4: Letting the Sausage Cure

After the sausage is stuffed, it needs to cure for several hours or overnight. This allows the cure to penetrate the meat and give it that characteristic summer sausage flavor. You can cure the sausage in a smoker, in a dehydrator, or simply in your refrigerator.

Step 5: Preparing the Smoker

If you are going to smoke your sausage, you will need to prepare your smoker. Most sausages are smoked at a temperature between 140 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit, and for a few hours to a few days depending on the desired flavor and texture.

Step 6: Smoking the Sausage

Once your smoker is ready, it’s time to smoke the sausage. You will need to adjust the temperature and smoke settings based on your recipe and desired flavor. Be sure to monitor the temperature and smoke levels throughout the smoking process to ensure that the sausage is cooked through and smoked to perfection.

Step 7: Cooling the Sausage

After the sausage is smoked, it needs to cool down before it can be eaten. You can cool it down quickly in an ice bath, or simply allow it to cool at room temperature for a few hours.

Step 8: Wrapping and Storing the Sausage

Once the sausage is cooled, it’s time to wrap it for storage. You can use plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or vacuum-sealed bags to store your sausage. Be sure to label each package with the date, so you know how long it has been stored.

Step 9: Enjoying the Sausage

After all that hard work, it’s time to enjoy your homemade summer sausage! You can slice it up and serve it on a platter with crackers and cheese, or use it in your favorite sausage recipes.

Explanation how to make summer sausage

The process of making summer sausage is a time-honored tradition that dates back to the days before refrigeration. The combination of curing, smoking, and wrapping the sausage helped to preserve it and keep it fresh for long periods of time.

The key to making delicious summer sausage is to use high-quality meat, fresh ingredients, and a precise curing and smoking process. You will need a meat grinder or food processor to grind the meat, a sausage stuffer or attachment to stuff the sausage, and a smoker or dehydrator to cook the sausage.

The curing process is important for both flavor and safety. The cure helps to prevent bacteria from growing on the meat, and it also adds a salty and savory flavor to the sausage. By following the correct curing process and smoking the sausage at the right temperature, you can create a delicious and safe homemade summer sausage.

Tips and Tricks how to make summer sausage

Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the best summer sausage possible:

1. Use high-quality meat:

The quality of your meat will have a big impact on the flavor and texture of your sausage. Look for meat that is fresh, free from antibiotics and hormones, and raised in a humane and sustainable way.

2. Balance your seasonings:

Summer sausage is traditionally flavored with a range of spices and seasonings, including garlic, mustard seed, and black pepper. Be sure to balance your seasonings to create a complex and delicious flavor profile.

3. Experiment with different meats:

While pork and beef are the traditional meats used in summer sausage, you can experiment with other meats like venison, elk, or even goat. Each meat will have its own unique flavor and texture.

4. Keep your equipment clean:

Cleanliness is key when making sausage. Be sure to clean your meat grinder, sausage stuffer, and other equipment thoroughly before and after each use to prevent contamination.

5. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature:

To ensure that your sausage is cooked through and safe to eat, use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the sausage as it cooks.

6. Don’t overcook the sausage:

Overcooking the sausage can lead to a dry and tough texture. Be sure to monitor the temperature and cooking time closely to achieve the desired texture and flavor.

7. Store the sausage properly:

To keep your sausage fresh and flavorful, store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Be sure to label each package with the date, so you know how long it has been stored.

8. Try different smoking woods:

Different types of smoking woods, such as hickory, applewood, or cherrywood, can add different flavors to your sausage. Experiment with different woods to find your favorite flavor profile.

9. Get creative with your seasonings:

While traditional summer sausage is flavored with savory spices, you can get creative with your seasonings by adding sweet or spicy elements like honey, chili powder, or brown sugar.

10. Have fun and enjoy the process:

Making summer sausage is a rewarding and enjoyable process that can be shared with friends and family. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with it!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Summer Sausage


1. Delicious Flavor: Summer sausages have a distinct flavor that is a perfect blend of tangy and savory. You can easily customize the flavor to suit your liking by adding different spices and seasonings.

2. Longer Shelf Life: Summer sausages are cured and dried, which means they have a longer shelf life than fresh sausages. You can refrigerate them for up to three months or freeze them for up to six months.

3. Versatile: Summer sausages are a versatile food item that can be enjoyed in many ways. They can be sliced and eaten as a snack, used as a pizza topping, or added to sandwiches and salads.

4. Economical: Making your own summer sausage can be more economical than buying it from the store, especially if you are making it in bulk.

5. Control Over Ingredients: When making your own summer sausage, you have complete control over the ingredients that go into it. You can choose to use grass-fed beef, organic spices, and no fillers or preservatives.

6. Fun and Rewarding: Making summer sausage can be a fun and rewarding activity, especially if you do it with friends or family. It can also be a great gift idea for foodies or meat lovers.

7. Healthier Option: Homemade summer sausages are generally healthier than store-bought varieties as they don’t contain any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

8. No Special Equipment Required: You don’t need any expensive equipment to make summer sausage. You can use a simple meat grinder, dehydrator, and a few other basic tools.

9. Impress Your Guests: Serving homemade summer sausage at your next dinner party or potluck can impress your guests and make you feel proud of your culinary skills.

10. Learn a New Skill: Making summer sausage is a new skill that you can learn and master over time. It can also lead to other meat curing and smoking techniques.


1. Time-Consuming: Making summer sausage is a time-consuming process that can take several hours or even days depending on the recipe and method.

2. Equipment Costs: While you don’t necessarily need any special equipment to make summer sausage, investing in a good meat grinder, dehydrator, and other tools can be expensive.

3. Food Safety Concerns: Curing and drying meat can be risky if not done properly. You need to follow food safety guidelines and ensure that the meat is fully cooked and safe to eat.

4. Learning Curve: Making summer sausage can be tricky, especially if you are a beginner. You need to learn the right ratios of meat to fat, the right temperature and humidity levels, and the right spices and seasonings.

5. Prone to Spoilage: Even when properly cured and dried, summer sausage can still spoil if not stored correctly. You need to keep it refrigerated or frozen to prevent spoilage.

6. Limited Variety: While there are many ways to flavor summer sausage, the end product is still somewhat limited in its flavor profile. It may not appeal to all taste preferences.

7. Messy: Making summer sausage can be messy, as you have to deal with raw meat and spices. It can also be difficult to clean up afterward.

8. Need for Storage Space: If you are making summer sausage in bulk, you need to have enough storage space in your refrigerator or freezer to store it.

9. Not Suitable for Vegetarians or Vegans: Summer sausage is a meat-based product, so it’s not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

10. Not Travel-Friendly: Homemade summer sausage may not be travel-friendly, as it requires refrigeration or freezing to stay fresh.


1. What is summer sausage?

Summer sausage is a type of sausage that is typically smoked and cured. It is a popular snack food and often enjoyed during the summer months, hence the name “summer sausage.”

2. What are the main ingredients needed to make summer sausage?

The main ingredients needed to make summer sausage are ground pork or beef, salt, curing salt, sugar, spices, and water.

3. What type of meat should I use to make summer sausage?

You can use either pork or beef to make summer sausage. You can also use a combination of both meats.

4. Can I use ground meat instead of grinding my own meat?

Yes, you can use ground meat instead of grinding your own meat. However, using fresh meat and grinding it yourself will give you more control over the texture of the sausage.

5. What type of casings should I use?

You can use either natural or artificial casings. Natural casings come from animal intestines and are more traditional, while artificial casings are made of collagen and are easier to work with.

6. Do I need any special equipment to make summer sausage?

Yes, you will need a meat grinder, sausage stuffer, and smoker to make summer sausage. However, there are alternative methods for making summer sausage without a smoker.

7. Do I need to use curing salt?

Yes, you should use curing salt when making summer sausage to preserve the meat and prevent bacterial growth.

8. Can I make summer sausage without smoking it?

Yes, you can make summer sausage without smoking it. You can bake it in the oven or use a dehydrator instead.

9. How long does it take to make summer sausage?

The process of making summer sausage can take several days, as the meat needs to cure and rest before smoking or baking. It can take up to a week from start to finish.

10. How long does summer sausage last?

Properly stored summer sausage can last up to three months in the refrigerator and up to six months in the freezer.

11. Can I freeze summer sausage?

Yes, you can freeze summer sausage to make it last longer. It is recommended to slice the sausage before freezing to make it easier to thaw and use.

12. What are some recipes for making summer sausage?

Some popular recipes for making summer sausage include garlic and pepper, jalapeno and cheddar, and honey BBQ.

13. Can I customize my own summer sausage recipe?

Yes, you can customize your own summer sausage recipe by experimenting with different spices, seasonings, and meats. Just remember to keep the ratios of salt and curing salt consistent for safety reasons.

Conclusion: How to Make Summer Sausage

Making summer sausage is a delicious and fun activity to do during summer. Whether you’re making it for a family gathering, a picnic, or just for your personal consumption, this recipe is not only easy to follow, but also customizable to your liking. With a few ingredients, you can create a delicious batch of summer sausage that will leave everyone wanting more.

The process of making summer sausage is simple – it involves grinding meat and stuffing it into casings. The mixture is then cured, smoked, and hung to dry. The result is a savory and flavorful sausage that’s perfect for snacking, sandwiches, or even a charcuterie board.

While there are many recipes out there, the one we’ve provided is a classic and foolproof choice. However, feel free to experiment and add your favorite spices and ingredients to make it your own. Summer sausage is a versatile food that can be enjoyed in countless ways.

Once you’ve mastered the art of making summer sausage, the possibilities are endless. You can gift it to friends and family or even start selling it locally. It’s a great way to share your love of food and connect with others who appreciate a tasty, homemade treat.

Closing: How to Make Summer Sausage

Thank you for taking the time to learn how to make summer sausage. We hope that this article has inspired you to try your hand at creating this delicious treat. Remember, the key to a great summer sausage is to use high-quality meat and to not be afraid to add your own personal touch.

Making summer sausage can be a therapeutic and enjoyable activity that can be shared with loved ones. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out! We can’t wait to hear about your experience.

Until next time, happy sausage making!