Thursday, 6 February, 2014
The sausage is done!
This was a long smoke, but it seems well worth the effort. First, a couple of comments about things to do differently next time.
As mentioned in Summer Sausage – Part I, the sausage was too long. This caused the sausage to be positioned hanging by the sides of the smoker, which may be cooler than the center. So, shorter sausages in the future. I also need to pack the sausage a bit tighter and pay more attention to air pockets. There were a few fat pockets that formed due to light packing and air pockets. Have more cold beer ready on smoking days – had to put some in the freezer to get it ready to drink. And finally, take more pictures of the final product.
Now, for the good.
The sausage is great. Perfectly formed, perfectly spiced, consistent color, texture, and taste throughout all of the sausages. I tasted a sample from each sausage as I packaged them, and all were the same. While I am not sure if this is the absolute best Summer Sausage I have ever had, it is certainly one of the top two, and I know every ingredient that went in these sausages, so I feel good eating them.
When I make this sausage again, I may change the spices a bit for half of the batch. I would like to add more red pepper flakes, more garlic, and more whole and cracked pepper. I may also add some buttermilk, which I forgot to do this time, to give the sausage a bit of a tang.
Also, the A-Maze-N Smoker worked great and produced about 5 – 6 hours of light smoke that flavored the sausage quite well. If I use it to make something that requires heavier smoke, I will simply light it from both ends.
ETA: The yield was: 10.65 pounds
The below of a picture of the final product as I was getting ready to vacuum pack and freeze: