Sausage ratios

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Honor Circle
This is an interesting article from TMBBQ

http://www.tmbbq.com/sausage-making-freedmens-style/

He's got a very simple sausage recipe. I tried something similar to this making my first sausage but I messed up my calculations and the sausage was too salty.

I really like the idea of using ratio's by weight to make sausage. Evan LeRoy in the article mentions he got the idea from Michael Ruhlman's book "Ratio". Ruhlman is the same guy that wrote the book "Charcuterie". I'm planning on making a sausage based on this weekend. Again I'm shooting for a Texas style mostly beef sausage using scraps I have.

I'm thinking 2 parts chuck, 1 part pork butt and 1 part brisket fat, which based on what I have is about 2.18 lb chuck, 1 lb Butt and 1 Lb fat. (I'll convert to grams for simplicity when I make it). If I have some pork fat I may use that instead but I know I have brisket fat. Then its 1.67% salt, I'll probably go slightly lower. Then .25% pink salt (probably close to a teaspoon in this case).

Then everything else can be determined from that. I'll of course use some black pepper and probably some herbs.
 
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Rich G

TVWBB Guru
A good article, Dustin. The idea of ratios is a solid one, and is used heavily in commercial cooking. It is also very popular with bakers who also measure by weight (more accurate than volume due to the variance in how much a "cup" of flour can weigh) and refer to all of the ingredients in a batch as a percentage of the flour in the batch.

I typically use weight measures when I'm making sausage. It helps to reproduce a recipe that I liked, or to scale it to a larger or smaller batch. It also helps when trying a new recipe to make sure that nothing seems out of whack or a misprint (I had one recipe which called for 15% salt.....misprint!)

Those recipes from the article look good. Post back and let us know how they work out for you!

Rich
 

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Honor Circle
Well it turns out I need a better scale. Mine is accurate to the gram supposedly but won't measure say 3 grams that well. But I've got meat in the salt and cure. I had to guess at the herb meaurments. I'll post how it turns out
 

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
Well it turns out I need a better scale. Mine is accurate to the gram supposedly but won't measure say 3 grams that well. But I've got meat in the salt and cure. I had to guess at the herb meaurments. I'll post how it turns out
This is the only "better" scale you need

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000O37TDO/tvwb-20

Measures to 600 gm and only .1 increments (don't need it any more accurate). I have a similar unit and find it perfect for measuring yeast or cure. Any jeweller's scale that measures in .1 gram increments is what you want.
 

ColinLP

New member
We've been making sausage for about 30 years, it's very much a try it and see thing sometimes. We tend to use half a pig at a time and make a even mix out of all the meat / fat and divide it up into 10lb batches, to which we add 1 heaped tablespoon of salt or for a bit saltier, 2 flat tablespoons and one heaped tablespoon of ground black pepper. then to that we fine tune different flavours as we please.

Here's a decent webpage of recipes http://www.lesleycooks.com/sausage/sausage.htm the sundried tomato one is a particular favourite of ours
 

JRAiona

TVWBB Gold Member
Great article Dustin. Thanks for sharing it. I can attest to the importance of measuring by weight. In the culinary profession my customers frequently return for their favorite dish so it's imperative that the pate I serve today has the same flavor profile and consistency that it did last week or last month. Weighing the ingredients is the only accurate means of keeping the results consistent.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Now that we've started doing a lot of homemade artisan bread I see the advantage of using grams instead of cups and such, the consistency is so much better. By using ratios I can also control the salt intake to my needs. Most of the recipes we are doing call for a salt ratio of 21-25 % I've been able to drop it down to 16% without any noticeable change in the texture or taste.
 

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Honor Circle
I went with pretty much the recipe above. 2 lbs chuck, 1 lb pork butt, 1 lb brisket fat. I did 1.5% salt. Then I broke down and started using measurement because my scale wouldn't handle it. 1 teaspoon of cure. About a teaspoon each of thyme, marjoram, sage. Maybe a tablespoon of black pepper. The sausage tasted amazing.


Ground up sausage meat. I'm still using the kitchen aid grinder for this. It works well enough.


My wife surprised me with a new stuffer for Valentine's day.


Sausage stuffed. These casing aren't my favorites.


Stuffing action shot.


Turned into links.


Here's where it broke down. Instead of warm smoking, I wanted some immediately so I put it on the kettle offset with some pecan. I really didn't regulate temp. but I pulled them at 150 internal.


After the cook.



These sausages turned out fantastic. I froze half up and I'll try cooking it right at a later date. As it was obviously, the fat didn't set. How I justify it in my mind is this is how they serve them in Lockhart, TX. You let the grease drip on the crackers and eat the crackers. They got plenty of smoke from the pecan chunks. I might be a little on the high side on fat. They are a little rich. Definitely a heart attack waiting to happen. If I tone the fat down they probably wouldn't taste so damn good. Anyway, thanks for looking. I posted this here just because if anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to them. I've got that scale on the way, thanks, Len!
 

Rich G

TVWBB Guru
Damn fine job with those links!! They look fantastic! I have this recipe saved in my to-do list for sure!

Thanks for posting your results, Dustin!

Rich
 

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
Now that we've started doing a lot of homemade artisan bread I see the advantage of using grams instead of cups and such, the consistency is so much better. By using ratios I can also control the salt intake to my needs. Most of the recipes we are doing call for a salt ratio of 21-25 % I've been able to drop it down to 16% without any noticeable change in the texture or taste.
Keep in mind Rich that the salt is not just for flavour. It helps moderate the growth of the yeast (slows it down/can kill it if you're not careful of how it's added). I tried making a raisin bread once based on the recipe as printed (this was a first time, before I started to try to alter/improve it). Brick time. The cinnamon (not the salt) killed the yeast and it didn't rise at all. I was careful about the salt/yeast combo addition but learned later that cinnamon can also kill yeast.

21-25% salt? You sure about that? Thats a quarter of the primary ingredient. What are you measuring that salt percentage against? When using a bread recipe, the % used is calculated as

salt/total flour

or

yeast/total flour

Doing it for sausage, it would be

salt/total meat

or

marjoram/total meat.

So for example bread, I use 1000gm (1kg) of flour. If I want a 65% hydration, i would use 650gm of water (650/1000=65%). That would be for a ciabatta type bun. Depending on the humidity, it might vary 3-4-or5 %.

The only constant in the process is the flour or the meat. Everything else has to be measured against how much flour/meat you are using.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Keep in mind Rich that the salt is not just for flavour. It helps moderate the growth of the yeast (slows it down/can kill it if you're not careful of how it's added). I tried making a raisin bread once based on the recipe as printed (this was a first time, before I started to try to alter/improve it). Brick time. The salt killed the yeast and it didn't rise at all.

21-25% salt? You sure about that? Thats a quarter of the primary ingredient. What are you measuring that salt percentage against? When using a bread recipe, the % used is calculated as

salt/total flour

or

yeast/total flour

Doing it for sausage, it would be

salt/total meat

or

marjoram/total meat.
Don't know why I put % I meant to say grams. I did a lot of research on the salt and as you say to little will retard the yeast and also change the texture. But so far a side by side comparison of two times of doing Overnight Whites at 16 grams 1.6% vs. 22 grams 2.2% we cannot detect any difference at all.
 

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
Don't know why I put % I meant to say grams. I did a lot of research on the salt and as you say to little will retard the yeast and also change the texture. But so far a side by side comparison of two times of doing Overnight Whites at 16 grams 1.6% vs. 22 grams 2.2% we cannot detect any difference at all.
I agree. I too have reduced the amount same as you. Having said that, considering that it's such a little reduction compared to the volume of dough, I don't know that it'll have much of an effect on anyone's health. In fact, I've found that if I cut salt out (in general) too much, i end up having a craving for it in some other form (usually of the potato chip or peanut variety I'm ashamed to say :rolleyes: ).
 

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Honor Circle
Looking back I probably over did the fat. Chuck and butts have about 20% fat to start with and then I added a lot more. Still it tasted great. I'm going to try to cook it slow this weekend and see if I can get the fat to set and see how it does. Otherwise, I'll probably cut down to maybe 1/2 lb brisket fat.
 

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Honor Circle
This weekend I finally cooked the sausage right. It turned out good, but having frozen it, I think I messed up. The casing turned out tough. I'm not sure if this was from the freezing or the warm smoke.


Here is my snake. I made it a little long. I would have liked to have gotten to 180 about hour sooner.


My setup on the WSM


I cooked them at 150 for about 4 to 4 1/2 hours and an hour or 2 at 180. As you can see the fat didn't all turn to liquid.


Sausages on this beautiful serving tray.


Sliced shot.

So all in all they turned out good. Same flavor, a lot more smoke, but not bad smoke. The fat didn't turn to grease and run everywhere. The downside was the casing got tough. I didn't mind it that much, but my wife didn't care for it at all. So the question is, was this from the long smoke (6 or 7 hours), or from having frozen the links? I did learn I could maintain my temp in moderate weather. Forget trying this in the summer!
 

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
Came across this after googling for "tough sausage casings after smoking"

Cooked too quickly over too high heat.
Not soaked long enough before stuffing.
Some casings are thicker than others.
The sausage wasn't stuffed enough.
If u add lemon juice to the water, it might soften them.
 
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